In the early 21st century, insectoid organisms are invading the galaxy, searching for new stars to house their young. Mankind's only defense lies with space cadets such as Takaya Noriko, daughter of a celebrated admiral killed in battle, and Amano Kazumi, the top of her class. With their skill and the power of the mecha known as GunBuster, the girls must help fight to protect the galaxy from total annihilation...
Nagamine is a young high school student who lives a fairly typical teenage life: hanging out with friends, attending class, and falling in love with a wonderful boy. But when she enlists in the galactic army, who is desperate for candidates to fight an alien war, she finds herself drifting farther away from her first love, Noboru. In the depths of space, where a simple email takes eight years to be delivered, will their love truly flourish, or simply fade away?
Another anime that will amaze you with the consequences of near lightspeed space travel is Voices of a Distant Star. This short OVA is condensed and focuses very strongly on the characters, while humanity is once more caught in a battle for survival.
While the atmosphere is different in both anime they both share the plot of a young girl being sent out in space, away from those she loves to fight an unknown alien force. Both stories deal with the insecurities and loneliness of the main character and the effect of being send out away from one's home has.
Voices of a Distant Star does take a bit more of a mature and romantic (and short!) spin on that setting, while Gunbuster gives you all the action and interaction, beyond just text messages being send back and forth through space as voices... do.
Top wo Narae and Hoshi no Koe are both very short anime, but are very worth watching. Despite their short running time, they tell big stories about love and the distance of space.
The main protagonists in both series have to deal with the concept of time dilation (but voices is a bit more realistic, as realistic a FTL drive can be), ride big Mechas in outer space. The enemy in both series is not well known to the officers in charge.
Gunbuster and Hoshi no Koe are stories about space, distance and time. They deal with space-travel and its consequences in a very similar (almost identical) way, and it's exactly that what makes both of them stand out above the crowd of sci-fi short stories. Hoshi no Koe lays more emphasis on the romance aspects, and Gunbuster on mecha, but the two share the aspects that made them so fantastic. If you enjoyed one of these, definitely check out the other.
First of all, they have the same basic plot: teenagers selected to pilot mechas in faraway space in order to defend Earth from aliens.
More importantly tough, they both deal with being separated from your loved ones and the sense of loss and pain that their mission brings. If you liked one of them I suggest you watch the other one.
These two titles not only have mecha but also long distance Galaxy hop aliens that take years to get to to fight.
But that is not the biggest connection. The big one for me is the huge expanse of time that happens to our main heroines in both titles as it shaves off years of thier lives as they pit themselves against bad aliens.
Voices, is not all action, and Gunbuster is not all drama, but both have a touch and a lot in similarities.
In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.
Gunbuster and Evangelion are both anime featuring giant robots directed by Hideki Anno. The style and feel of both are very similar. The protagonists of both series deal with their issues in similar ways as well.
You can feel that both series have the same father. Some of the characters have similar issues (Noriko and Shinji both unsecure and lack of confidence in themselves, Jung Freud is like a prototype of Asuka Langley Soryu). It looks like Gunbuster layed the foundation to Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Both are among the darker and melancholic mecha shows I've seen with heavy focus on the characters and their development as opposed to the fights (though none of them are lacking in that department). If you liked either of them do yourself a favour and check out the other.
Evangelion and Gunbuster are mecha titles starring young adults. Aside from focusing on the giant robots and the battles, each series also equally explores the emotional turmoil of the characters and the effect that such a big responsibility has on them. Also both series put me to sleep, but that is rather more indicative of my distaste for the genre than the quality of the shows.
Both Evangelion and Gunbuster are very emotional-based, psychological mecha series that throw a lot of scientific terms around. The feel of these two anime are very similar, being directed by Hideaki Anno. The main character struggles with self-doubt throughout the anime. There are also similarities amongst the rest of the casts.
Simon lives a boring life in the underground village of Jeeha, where his main job day in and day out is to dig tunnels. His close friend Kamina, however, longs to bust out of their oppressive existence and reach the surface world where open skies and adventure await! One day, during his usual digs, Simon discovers a robot with a big face buried amongst the rocks. No sooner has he shown Kamina his mysterious find when two beings from the surface crash land into Jeeha Village - one is a gun-toting woman calling herself Yoko and the other is a terrifying mecha piloted by a Beastman! Seeing their chance to escape village drudgery, Kamina rallies Simon and Yoko to defeat the invader using their new robot, Lagann. However, upon breaking out onto the surface world, Simon, Kamina, and Yoko encounter enemies more powerful than they could have envisioned. Their fight for adventure just turned into a war for the survival of the human race - will their lust for freedom hold out against such terrible odds?
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Gunbuster are basically one and the same, Gurren Lagann was made as a tribute to Gunbuster, as Gunbuster is the most recognizable hot-blooded mecha series. If you enjoyed the hot-blooded mecha pilots of either anime, you are bound to like the other.
These shows both build on overcoming the odds through friends, effort and spirit. They both have lots of screaming while giant robots save the day. The ends of both the show are bitter sweet yet highly satisfying. Remember that TTGL is an homage to all super robot before it.
TTGL: There won't be any anime that isn't greater (as in larger) like TTGL. Gunbuster comes close but yet it's thousands and millions and billions and trillions and [...] of kilometers away! Though it's close. Leaving size aside, these two anime are pretty similar: Characters and plot shows many similarites and not to mention it's freaking EPIC. And awesome gigantic battles!
Seriously: WATCH! NOW!
Gunbuster has a younger brother, and that brother's name is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
There’s no denying the similarities that exist between TTGL and Gunbuster. Everything from the motivational speeches, calling out the special attacks, the fights, the space setting, the mecha designs, and the emotionally charged characters are all similar.
Any fan of either will want to check out the other.
Both of these anime revolve around two young mech pilots who use personal loss to fuel them to fight harder. They are fueled by the knowledge that somewhere, someone wants to kill humans, and that makes them mad. The hot-headed mech pilot is kind of a thing in both. Gainax produced both, and while the plotlines are different, the feel of these anime are very similar.
Gunbuster is essentially the prototype for Gurren Lagann and is Gainax's first take on the mecha genre. While it's more serious in tone and has a very different plot, the themes, fight scenes, and overall feel of both of these series means that a fan of one should check out the other.
It is the year 2356 AD, 189 years after a shockwave from a distant supernova decimated the Earth. Since that fateful day, humanity has begun training for a final mission to protect the planet from the inevitable oncoming 2nd shockwave - a mission whose failure means the annihilation of mankind. For Katase and her friends, their training at the foundation Stellvia is just the beginning of an adventure that could lead to saving the world, or seeing its end...
More than the shared mecha theme, Stellvia and Gunbuster are similar in that both have a relatively humble female protagonist battling singlehandedly against forces of immense scope and importance; the notion that the character is being swept away by events that are beyond her control can be felt in both series. Also, the two anime share a kind of heartfelt sincerity that has become so rare in today's anime.
In both series you can see High Scholl girls piloting an unique big mecha in space, overcome there fear and save the day so the human kind can still exist in the future
It's been a thousand years since the Gauna, a strange alien race with no known method of communication, destroyed the solar system. A portion of humanity managed to escape using enormous "seed ships" like the Sidonia, which have allowed them to maintain the population while drifting through space. Nagate Tanikaze is a young man who has been raised deep in the bowels of the ship. When he goes into training to pilot the huge robotic weapons known as Gardes, Nagate is entrusted with piloting the legendary unit known as Tsugumori. Nagate and his fellow pilots put their lives on the line against the Gauna, in the ultimate battle for the survival of humanity.
When your alien foe is in another galaxy, or at least far enough off that you have to make plans to meet them, then you better be prepared in a mecha that can take them down.
Gunbuster is a bit more super robot with thunder kicks than Sidonia which has century old mecha to fight with.
It is an early recommendation but one I had a feeling could work.
Both mecha shows feature non-humanoid aliens that pose a very serious threat to humanity's survival, and it's up to the brave pilots to defend us against these alien horrors!
Like Funkgun noted, Gunbuster is much more of a super-robot show whereas Sidonia has more of a gritty, "hard" sci-fi feel, but they are certainly similar enough to warrant a recommendation.