English: Gunbuster 2
Synonyms: Aim for the Top! 2, DieBuster
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2004 to Aug 25, 2006
30 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.961 (scored by 10426 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action comedy mecha sci-fi
SynopsisWhile Gunbuster's final mission destroyed the space monsters' star system, the intergalactic war still continues. Earth's only hope lies in the hands of "TOPLESS", an elite mecha group with children possessing supernatural powers and new Buster Machines. Among their ranks is a rookie named Nono and the ace pilot Lal'C - whom Nono looks at as a "big sister". Together with their teammates Nicholas and Chiko they must aim for the top and protect all of mankind from the wrath of the space monsters.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Top wo Nerae 2!, Top o Nerae! - Next Generation
Prequel: Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster!
Alternative version: Top wo Nerae! & Top wo Nerae 2! Gattai Movie!!
Characters & Voice Actors
Many people will know the name of Hideaki Anno, in particular because of Neon Genesis Evangelion. His directorial debut though, was an OVA called Top wo Nerae (known as Gunbuster in the West), and whilst NGE has many, many advocates, I will admit to being one of the few who consider his debut work to be superior in almost every aspect. That said, I approached the sequel, Diebuster, with a degree of trepidation, in particular because the directorial reins had been handed over to Tsurumaki Kazuya, who also directed FLCL, NGE: Death & Rebirth, and the first two installments of the NGE remakes.
To say I was surprised by the end result would be an understatement.
Top wo Nerae 2 takes a bit of getting used to, especially for fans of the original series. The style, plot and scripting are very different to the original OVA, however the feel of the show is remarkably similar to it's predecessor. Part of this is because the story is set around ten years prior to the final moments of Gunbuster, at the very end of the 12,000 year period. Humanity is still at war with the "space monsters", but they are more able to cope now thanks to the efforts of the Fraternity, which is made up of teenaged pilots who possess "supernatural" powers (known as "Topless"), and their Buster machines.
The story begins with Nono, a clumsy girl living on Mars who dreams of being a space pilot. She runs away from home to follow her dream, only to find that reality is very different. Through a chance encounter she meets a Topless called Lal'C Melk Mark, and is completely bowled over by the experience. She follows Lal'C into space, ultimately to meet her destiny.
In all honesty, the plot is actually the weakest part of the whole OVA. Although the story is well paced and the scripting is tight but flowing, there are some obvious homages to Gunbuster which, all told, the show could really have done without. That's not to say that all the references are bad, especially as this is set within Gunbuster's timeframe. It simply means that the show is too reliant on knowledge of the original OVA at times, and would have been better served by trying to be more original on occasion.
The biggest problem though, is that the director and the writers have tried to cover this by making Nono a fan of Nonoriri, the girl who saved the Solar System thousands of years ago. This attempt at deus ex machina didn't sit too well as it gave a certain falseness to the characters thoughts, feelings and actions at times, especially on the occasions that mirrored occurences from the original OVA.
However, while the story may have it's problems, it is actually enjoyable for the most part, and it's to the credit of the writers that a number of flaws can be forgiven (not all though, more on that in a bit).
One area where the show does excel is in it's animation. Gainax have, once again, produced some stunning work in terms of character movements and set piece action sequences, and it's fair to say that in this department Diebuster is actually better than Gunbuster. The character designs, created by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki (who was also the character designer for FLCL), are very good on the whole, although they are, at times, a tad cartoonish. The backgrounds, especially the renderings of space and it's wonders, are very well done, and some of the visual effects used in the show are truly inspired.
The OVA does fall down though, in it's usage of nudity. Where the original series also had a degree of nudity, it's usage was minimal at best (aside from the bath scene), with the most prominent example being Noriko's famous shirt ripping moment in the final episode. Diebuster, on the other hand, seems to take any excuse to show the fans some skin, and whilst there are times when this mimics the first series, there are far too many occasions where it serves no purpose other than to please the fans. I'm all for pleasing the fans, but Tsurumaki and Gainax should have tried to do this in a different way instead of choosing to be "cheap".
Diebuster is very good in terms of it's sound effects, not simply in their usage, but also because of their timing. The sound department has paid a great a deal of attention to matching specific effects to the on-screen action, and whilst there are times when the sound is a veritable cacophony, closer examination will reveal that each individual effect stems from an individual action, item, character, etc. In truth, Diebuster is one of the few anime that is worth watching with surround sound to truly appreciate the quality of the effects.
In terms of music, the show has a generally martial tone to the various thematic pieces, however these are offset by some mellow tracks that work well with the more relaxed moments. The show has a certain feeling of continuity because of the music used throughout the series, some of which is taken directly from Gunbuster, while others have the same feel. The ending theme in the final episode is very much in keeping with that of the original series, and given that both OVAs finish at the same point in time this, like many of the other tracks, is well used and choregraphed.
Once again though, Diebuster is let down by something simple, in this case, the OP and ED. Where the ED from Gunbuster was a pretty staid ditty about love, the OP had a "get up and go" feeling to it that was reflective of the whole OVA. Diebuster, on the other hand, has two J-Pop tracks for it's OP and ED, both of which don't really reflect any aspect of the show, and seem to have been chosen to make the OVA more "trendy".
That said, the voice acting was very good throughout the show. Fukui Yukari's Nono possessed a bubbly personality that was tempered with determination, while Sakamoto Maaya's Lal'C has an aloof, and slightly disgruntled air about her. In terms of acting ability, the cast is truly excellent, and while there are occasions when they do ham up their roles a little, this is very much in keeping with the "excessive" feel of the OVA (more on that in a bit).
As for the characters themselves, they are the second weak point for Diebuster. Nono, in terms of the story, possesses no real motivations other than to be a space pilot. While she is most definitely an enjoyable character, she doesn't actually develop in any real way, as much of her drive and conviction remains the same even after her memory returns. Much of the development in the show actually happens on the part of Lal'C, especially in the way her thinking changes to reflect that of Nono.
Unfortunately, the show has a number of recurring characters who really get little to no development, and whilst it's true that this is only a 6 part OVA, if all the development was only supposed to occur on the part of the main characters, then the director should have focused on this instead of making lame attempts to round out other characters, a case in point being the furore involving Tycho and Buster machine Quatre-Vingt-Dix. The time could have been better used to round out the story instead, and it's ironic that while Diebuster hasn't done this, Gunbuster actually did.
To many it may seem as though I don't like Diebuster, especially as I'm an advocate of the original OVA, however nothing couldbe further from the truth. I found Diebuster to be very good, however not in the same way as Gunbuster. The reason for this lies solely on the shoulders of several people, including the director and character designer. Like many directors, Tsurumaki has tried, and in some measure succeeded, to stamp his mark on the series proper, and his influence, along with that of certain other staff members, is readily apparent throughout the anime, so much so in fact, that there are occasions when Diebuster resembles FLCL or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann more than it does Gunbuster.
This is not a bad thing though, as it does give the OVA a different feel to the original, but therein lies the problem as well. Where FLCL and TTGL have an excessive, over-the-top atmosphere that is prevalent in Diebuster, the original Gunbuster opted for a quiet heroism that was truly touching, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the final episodes of both OVAs. The final scenes in Gunbuster are quiet, with an emphasis on personal sacrifice - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few being the most appropriate sentiment. Diebuster, on the other hand, opts for a much flashier ending, with lots of noise and action, and to be honest, very little emotional impact. In truth, Nono's transformation scene and what follows is actually far more memorable than the ending itself, which says a lot about the actual scripting of the show.
The problem, at least for me, is simply this: the entire series is supposed to be about how far humanity will go in order to survive. Given that fact, the method chosen to combat the "space monster" in the final epsiode doesn't equate with the core of the story, especially as there are other planets in the Solar System that would have been more suitable. That particular method was an attempt at mimicking the usage of Buster machine #3 in the first OVA which, unfortunately, doesn't have the same effect, mainly because the element of personal sacrifice for the greater good is missing.
It may sound strange to say this now, but Tsurumaki et al could have easily channeled their collective creativity into creating a show that not only captured the spirit of Gunbuster, but also encapsulated the style of FLCL and TTGL, and, in all honesty, a show like that already exists - Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still. That said, Diebuster is surprisingly honest in a number of ways, the main one being the fact that it makes no excuses for it's numerous homages to the original OVA. While there may be those who think that using so many references is simply a method of capturing fans of the original anime, this method gives the entire show a feeling of continuity that is so often missingfrom sequels.
On the whole Diebuster is a great addition to the franchise, and while it has it's flaws, it's definitely a worthy successor to Gunbuster. While the story and characters may not be as good as the original OVA, Diebuster has a style and flair of it's own that elevates the show to a whole new level.
I wouldn't say that it's truly equal to Gunbuster, but it comes very, very, close. read more
First off, DO NOT WATCH THIS UNTIL YOU HAVE SEEN THE FIRST SERIES. If you have seen Gunbuster, it will make your Diebuster experience 32783176983x10^21 times better.
Lets get down to it. Top wo Nerae! 2, or Diebuster as I prefer, is the indirect sequel to Top wo Nerae/Gunbuster. I enjoyed this short OVA substantially because how it presented itself was outstanding. Plus Nono is love.
The story follows a girl called Nono who wishes to be a "Topless," which is basically an ace mech pilot to put it simply. Instead of dragging the story out with pointless episodes and scenes you often see in 26+ shows, Diebuster goes straight to the point and sticks with it. Most of the scenes show multiple different conflicts (whether they are big or small) which are tied together with the main plot quite nicely. Pacing is great, but since it's so short you might forget some of the smaller details as the series goes on.
The animation and art in this series was substantially well done. The fights were all very fluid, everything in the scene seemed like it was flowing together. The characters had very strong emotions that showed greatly. Not only that, but character design was excellent, they managed to turn a basic style suit into each character's individual style, and personality wise, none of them (at least to me) seemed to follow the stereotypical route. Like I said, the emotions they emitted out were pretty memorable.
Diebuster had a good OST when it comes to sound. The BGM's were nice and, all though not Gurren Lagann-type memorable, they stood up there with some of the good ones. The voice acting was pretty good too (see emotions being memorable). Some might argue Nono's voice was annoying, but I liked it. Even the enemy grunts/noises, those were superb, for grunts and noises anyway heh. Everything that had a distinct sound keep that sound though, for example beams sound like beams or explosions sound like explosions, but when tied with Diebuster's BGM, it sounded better. Lets not forget the OP and ED, both of which totally owned face. Groovin' Magic stands to be one of the best songs, at least in my opinion, to match this series (plus it was done by Round Table feat. Nino, who are one of my favorites). ACKO's Hoshikuzu Namida is a catchy single as well, pair it together with the slideshow ending, it's perfect.
The reason I enjoyed this so much is because of the memorable scenes and the similarity between the original Top wo Nerae! and this (see first sentence). Gainax seemed to keep the trend of hotblooded epicness going after they finished Diebuster with Gurren Lagann, which doesn't relate to Top wo Nerae at all, but they all share the same principles. Plus, the ending to Diebuster was zomg-awesomeness, I surprisingly didn't see it coming.
All in all, I give Diebuster, rather Top wo Nerae! 2, a solid 10 out of 10. The catagories may not be all 10 out of 10 quality, but it was made up by the sheer enjoyment this series provided me. Watch it. read more
Made by the same team, awesome mecha fights, amazing characters, great plot, has the same feel as Tengen does.
Alot of action, insane mech designs and good mix of comedy and drama. Yes, Diebuster and Gurren-Lagann are much the same.
Similar animation, feel, mechas, cool sunglasses, both from GAINAX and a lot more of similarities.
Both have ridiculous, over the top fights with the same epic feel. They're also both made from the same company.
Both are pieces of work from GAINAX, have similar art styles (though TTGL's style is a little less polished), and share similar themes. They both deal with humankind's external struggle with a mysterious, alien enemy as well as the internal struggles of the characters as they develop and deal with confidence and identity issues.
same type of epicness and robots fights.
Both can guarantee you astonishing mecha action. With very similar art styles, you can expect crazy fluid animation. Diebuster is much shorter than Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but both are stories of epic proportions.
Gurren Lagann and Top wo Nerae 2 were in essence tributes to the mecha genre as it progressed, blending classic over-the-top courage and passion with modern, realistic characters. If you liked either Diebuster or Gurren Lagann, you'll want the see the successor/predecessor for a lot of the same intense action, epic moments, and great characters.
both are over the top crazy fun Mecha animes both animated by Gainex,Diebuster 2(AKA: Top wo Nerae!) is the sequel to the 80's classic Gunbuster(AKA: Top wo Nerae),however,unlike the first gunbuster anime which the animation and story style was similar to evangelion which a main female lead grew from a crybaby to a strong woman, the sequel Diebuster however,pays more homage to FLCL(Fooly Cooly) and is very similar to Gurren Lagann in style and humor,Nono(Diebuster),Nia(Gurren),and Yoko(Gurren) are very similar to some of the female cast in Fooly Cooly
Over the top action sequences, cool-looking mecha
Gurren Lagann are inspired in Diebuster. Both are super robots animes produced by Gainax with epic moments. Story are alike, both deal with humanity trying survive against beasts/monsters.
You can see clear similarities between the two series. You can see resemblance between the mech in Diebuster and those in TTGL; especially in the later parts of both series. Massive flashy fights and speeches are recurrent in both. Both series have themes about saving humanity. The whole feel of Diebuster reminded me of TTGL (and vice versa); HARD WORK AND GUTS! Both series have gone for the 'epic' route, and I must say they achieved them very well.
Although TTGL is similar to Diebuster, that isn't to be said the same of Gunbuster. It is best if you also watch Gunbuster before Diebuster for absolute viewing pleasure though. However, Diebuster on it's own is still a very good series, and if you enjoyed TTGL, you'll definitely enjoy Diebuster!
This 6 episode OVA contains many of the same themes that Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann built and expanded upon. Like in TTGL, the mechs feature a very heavy fantasy feel vs. straight up science fiction, though not to the same extent. And it shares the same core message of reaching for the top and saving the universe by believing yourself. This was Nia's voice actor Yukari Fukui's first starring role, as one of the 2 protagonists, Nono.
Both have the same feel as it seems as if TTGLs style came from Top wo Nerae 2.
Same director, same style and the same over the top action. Both titles feature crazy mech designs and similiar humour.
Honestly I had a hard time thinking of an anime that was similar to FLCL, since it stands out from the pack so much. I didnt quite get the same feeling from watching FLCL as I do from watching Dead Leaves or TTGL as suggested by the top suggestions. I finally settled on Top wo Narae 2 being the closest to FLCL. It seems to have the same sort of crazy comedy and over the top action as FLCL. Even though they aren't quite the same, this was the closest I could
crazy scifi stuff with an energetic female lead
Same director and draw style.
Another 6 episode OVA by the same studio and director, which shows through very clearly in the animation style. The plot is more comprehensible but it follows FLCL's practice of showing first, and explaining later, so many things only make sense in hindsight.
It's highly recommended to watch Gunbuster (Top wo Nerae!) first, as Diebuster builds off the plot of its predecessor.
Opening Theme"Groovin' Magic" by ROUND TABLE featuring Nino (eps 2-6)
Ending Theme"Hoshikuzu Namida" by ACKO (eps 1-6)
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