Ranked #530
Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster

Alternative Titles

English: Gunbuster
Synonyms: Top wo Nerae!, Aim for the Top!
Japanese: トップをねらえ! GunBuster


Type: OVA
Episodes: 6
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 1988 to Jul 7, 1989
Duration: 30 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.001 (scored by 17543 users)
Ranked: #5302
Popularity: #1012
Members: 35,303
Favorites: 824
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.

Popular Tags

action drama mecha sci-fi


In the very near future, a race of huge, insect-like aliens is discovered traveling the galaxy. These aliens seem dedicated to the eradication of the human species as it takes its first steps away from the solar system, and they are getting closer and closer to Earth. Humanity has responded by developing space-going battleships and giant fighting robots. These robots are piloted by the best and brightest of Earth's youth, picked from training schools around the world.

The story begins in the year 2023, not long after the first battles with the aliens, and centers on young Noriko Takaya. Although Noriko's father was a famous captain in the space fleet who was killed during one of the first battles of the war, her own talents as a pilot are questionable. Nonetheless, she has entered a training school. Through the series Noriko, joined by the beautiful and talented Kazumi Amano, will fight to overcome the trauma of war, the doubts of her peers, and her own lack of confidence.

(Source: AniDB)

Add episode | More episodes Episodes

Episodes  6 / 6
Aired  Oct 7, 1988 to Jul 7, 1989
Status  Finished Airing

Related Anime

Adaptation: Comic Gunbuster
Sequel: Top wo Nerae 2! Diebuster
Alternative version: Top wo Nerae! & Top wo Nerae 2! Gattai Movie!!
Summary: Top wo Nerae! Kagaku Kouza, Kaette Kita Top wo Nerae! Kagaku Kouza
Side story: Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster Specials

Characters & Voice Actors

Amano, Kazumi
Amano, Kazumi
Sakuma, Rei
Sakuma, Rei
Oota, Kouichirou
Oota, Kouichirou
Wakamoto, Norio
Wakamoto, Norio
Takaya, Noriko
Takaya, Noriko
Hidaka, Noriko
Hidaka, Noriko
Akai, Takami
Akai, Takami
Fuchizaki, Yuriko
Fuchizaki, Yuriko


Watanabe, Shigeru
Anno, Hideaki
Director, Storyboard, Key Animation, Screenplay
Masuo, Shouichi
Episode Director
Okada, Toshio
Script, Theme Song Lyrics, Creator, Screenplay, Planning

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

May 29, 2013
Gunbuster starts with a fairly simple formula. Monstrous alien life forms are threatening the Earth, a young and inexperienced pilot must rise to the occasion and use a super-powered mecha to lead humanity's counterattack against the enemy and save the planet. The execution of this premise, however, is among the best in the genre, and the seamless way this merely 6-episode OVA covers the main character Noriko's growth from student to hero while escalating both the stakes and scale of her battles is nothing short of masterful storytelling. From schoolyard bullying, to losing loved ones in battle, to shouldering the responsibility of the entire human read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Nov 21, 2014
Top wo Nerae or Gunbuster was created by Gainax in 1988 and was Hideaki Anno’s debut production. Though the show is only 6 episodes long it is regarded as a work on par with his much more famed Neon Genesis Evangelion. Top wo Nerae’s title was inspired by both “Aim for the Ace” (Classic tennis anime) and “Top Gun” (Hollywood Film). When watching Gunbuster some aspects of the show can almost immediately be drawn as similar to that of Neon Genesis, such as both protagonists having practically the same character archetype. The art, soundtrack, etc. can also be viewed as similar but that is read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Jan 4, 2009
There is an ongoing controversy about Neon Genesis Evangelion and it's status as an iconic anime. As much as I dislike the main characters, I have to agree that NGE is a classic anime for many reasons. However, many diehard fans of the show become blinded to NGE's superior onee-chan, the show which marked the directorial debut of Hideaki Anno in anime - Top wo Nerae!

In the simplest terms, if Top wo Nerae! didn't exist, the NGE would never have been made. Many of the themes from TwN are key themes of NGE, and although NGE took a more metaphysical route with it's story, Top read more
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Jun 3, 2008
First and foremost, I should mention this is my first review for MAL.
Secondly, I am surprised it took me so long to see this Anime through to completion.

The story itself was well done. While the actual content can be summarized to "Giant Robot destroys an army of aliens," it is multitudes deeper than that. But just as important as the content itself, the pacing to this Anime is wonderful. It zips right along with just about nothing that seems like it could have been omitted, and yet never felt too fast. It was the perfect length to keep myself fully engrossed into the plot. read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful


Apart from both being made by GAINAX, Gunbuster shares the same similar method of using absolute force of will to save the day.

You may also find a lot of references to Gunbuster within Gurren Lagann.

reportRecommended by BusterMachine0
I'm amazed that no one has actually made this recommendation yet.

Top wo Nerae is the Onee-chan of NGE by a good seven years. Both are works by Hideaki Anno, but NGE gets all the glory for being more recent (which is a shame in my opinion).

Top wo Nerae is a truly groundbreaking, character driven, Sci-Fi anime that is better NGE in many respects. If Top wo Nerae did not exist, then NGE may never have been made... 
reportRecommended by Archaeon
Gunbuster is the original pretty girls in mecha with heart wrenching emotions anime. VoaDS updates this theme to post Eva levels of teen angst. If you've seen one, you must see the other. 
reportRecommended by rocket
Aliens that threaten the existence of humanity (they also appear very similar in both) and the development of mechas to fend off against the aliens is present in both. The setting of both is similar and deals with top notch students training to become pilots of the mechas, who live in some sort of spaceship. 
reportRecommended by retii
Another 1980s series which has a similar romanticized, upbeat, and theatrical feel to this space military drama about young adults trying to make sense of the situation (and themselves) as they face an overwhelmingly unknown enemy. 
reportRecommended by MelonSama
Ace wo Nerae! (Aim for the Ace!) heavily inspired the idea behind Top wo Nerae (Aim for the Top!) It's near enough the exact same thing; but Aim for the Ace is about Tennis, not giant mechs fighting aliens. Hell, just look at the names!  
reportRecommended by GloriousHawk

Opening Theme

"Active Heart" by Noriko Sakai

Ending Theme

"Try Again" by Noriko Sakai

Recent News

New Short Anime of Top wo Nerae To Be Bundled with Blu-ray Box
9 replies by Mr_Gutts »»
08-08-11, 8:17 AM

Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Top wo Nerae! Episode 6 Discussion ( 1 2 )
94 replies by vigorousjammer »»
05-27-15, 4:19 PM
Poll: Top wo Nerae! Episode 5 Discussion
35 replies by vigorousjammer »»
05-26-15, 7:40 PM

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