Gunbuster 2, AKA Diebuster is the sequel to the 1988 series, Gunbuster. To read my review of the original series, click here.
Nono is a country girl, and her one dream is to be a Space Pilot, to control a powerful Buster Machine. Unfortunately, she's a bit of ditz. Eventually she finds herself in contact with an organization of teenage pilots, called Topless, and she has a chance to realize her dream. Will she be a successful pilot, or will she flounder pathetically?
The story of Diebuster is very different from that of Gunbuster. The sequel is much less serious, more fun and playful, than the original. The story of Diebuster is also much simpler, without the interesting twists and turns brought on by Lighstpeed travel like what was seen in Gunbuster.
The Mecha, now called Buster Machines, play a much larger role in Diebuster, so Mecha fans will probably have a bit to look forward to in this one.
The animation was completely different from that of the Gunbuster, with much more vibrant colors. The change reflected the time-gap between the two series (12,000 years), and made it easy to see Diebuster as taking place in a much different world than the original series.
The character designs were much more wild and stylistic than in Gunbuster, another difference between the two. Pink hair and wildly colored outfits are commonplace in Diebuster, so don't expect as realistic an experience as you get with Gunbuster.
There is a lot of fanservice in this series. I think it might actually deserve an Ecchi tag. If you like that kind of stuff, you'll enjoy this series more than other might.
Like all other aspects of Diebuster, the music and voice acting have a much lighter tone than those of its predecessor. The music was light and cheerful for the most part, and the opening was absolutely wonderful. It puts you in a good mood right away.
Nono's voice, in contrast to Takaya's voice from Gunbuster is childish and whiny sounding, which can get a bit annoying after a while.
Characters were much more shallow in Diebuster than Gunbuster. There isn't enough development as the series progresses, and you are left wanting to know more about the characters at the end of the series.
Nono, while very cute and sometimes loveable, is an idiot. Many of you will have problems watching an anime where the main character is stupid...just a warning.
This Anime Is... A Tribute. Rather than an actual sequel to Gunbuster, Diebuster felt like a tribute to the original work. It used many of the same themes, but twisted them into a playful little thing rather than a deep, dramatic work. It could've been a lot better I believe.
Should I Watch This Anime? Maybe. If you really like Gunbuster, I would watch it. Otherwise, there's not much reason to, unless you really want to see the fanservice, and feel like you can sit through Nono's idiocy to get to it.
Yay! My first review!
Story - Okay, so anyway Gunbuster 2/ Diebuster takes place many many MANY years after Gunbuster and is the story of Nono and how she becomes a space pilot. Er, tries to become a space pilot. It's more interesting than it sounds, I swear. In just the first episode you are told that it's been quite a long time (try OVER 10,000 YEARS) since Noriko and Kazumi left to finish off the aliens attacking Earth, in which an organization called Faternity takes on special people called "Topless" that can summon giant robot suits with their foreheads (FLCL much? Lovely.) just by removing a sticker. Nono decides she's going to become a "Nonoriri"/space pilot (play on Noriko's name, obviously) and quickly dubs Lal'C, a highly respected Topless, as her "onee-sama."
So, Fraternity must fight these ominous swarms of aliens to protect humanity and such. You know, the usual. It's not the most original, but it's still highly enjoyable. Well, except for the boobs every two episodes, but it's sort of relevant to the story, and at least Gainax can do it right (animation for most ecchi is disappointing).
The story reminisces a good bit of what Gunbuster is, even down to it's music that has been redone. There are lots of nods to other works from Gainax as well, and it's truly a well played out story. They even stayed in budget! Good job, guys (Seriously, watch Gunbuster and you will understand).
Animation - It's Gainax. Need I say more? Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Okama do beautiful art/character designs for the show as well. I'm in love.
Sound - I found the music to be well suited to the scenes and the overall mood of the show. Even when it starts getting to the more serious end, the oh-so-happy OP theme is cut and the ending theme is just peppy enough to cheer you up while the message is still melancholy. In short: Music = WIN.
Characters - Throughout the series, just about every character changes somehow, which is fantastic. Nono finds who she is and becomes a stronger person, Lal'C becomes more compassionate and definitely less selfish, Tycho also becomes a nicer person, and Nicola becomes a jerk, which is really my only problem, but it shows that even these powerful beings (the Topless) can fall from their high horse and be like everyone else again. Hey, I didn't say the changes were good :\ Even so, the characters have a loveable personality (and such awesome voice actors!! Nono is "MOE MOE DESUUUUUU!!!") and even the Buster Machines are memorable. I can always picture Lal'C in my head saying "Dix Neuf!" and then that BEASTLY ARM coming out of her shadow. I'm seriously in love with this show.
Overall - Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. If you hate mecha you will still love this show. The characters, the art, the music, it's just really well done and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I recommend this to any and everyone.