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Anime That Doesn't Suck: Diebuster

Is awesome.


Reviews where we hate stuff are funny-- and there's a lot of generic anime and manga to hate on out there. But we're going to try and aim you towards that next hit of "awesome." So with that in mind, let's talk about an anime that DOESN'T suck

Info:

Title: Diebuster
Studio: Gainax
Licensee: Bandai Visual/Entertainment  
Year Produced: 2004
Number of Episodes: 6  
Available Online: No
First Price I found online: $37.49 (on Blu-ray)

In a future where the Space Monsters resume their invasion of the Sol System, the abilities of young men and women known as the Topless, and their Buster Machines, are mankind's final line of defense! One day, runaway girl Nono sets out for the capital to become a space pilot and meets the fighter ace Lal'C... neither realizing that the future of humanity rests on the both of them! --- Official description

Opening Animation

Plot:

Full disclosure: Diebuster is a sequel (in the loosest sense of the word,) and yes, I do recommend checking it out without seeing the original. Gunbuster was directed Hideaki Anno, and is considered the prototype for Anno's Evangelion, the project where he and Diebuster's Kazuya Tsurumaki first began working together. Diebuster bears only the lightest similarities to Anno's original, and seemingly reflects more of Tsurumaki's runaway hit, FLCL. That said, the series is weird, yet engaging. Once again children are thrust in roles of importance, yet we spend our time riveted by the effects this has on their development.
 
Basically, "Space Monsters" threaten humanity. For untold centuries we've been under fear of their attacks, and have relied on our advanced technology for security. The catch, of course, is that this almost sentient mechs can only be piloted by a special group of children, called "topless." These children can communicate directly/control the machines, yet will inevitably lose said ability as they grow older. 
 
Thus, the major tone... being told to be responsible, yet being afraid of growing up.
 
Not that this is an entirely original concept, yet its execution is fairly remarkable. Since this cycle of children saviors has been going on over a hundred years, these children are publicly accepted, and coddled by officials. The topless are some of the single more important people in the work, yet barely past puberty. Even more so, it is not a position they did anything to earn, or have any ability to keep. Granted celebrity status, they struggle to grasp the importance of their assignment, yet fear the concept of the inevitable... that they will age and have to give up this prestige and power.
 

Things you might like:

+ Incredibly over the top mech action
+ Yuri undertones without being fan
+ Complex, motivated characters
+ Good soundtrack
+ Its only 6 episodes long, so the devotion of time to watch it is very small.
+ Strong, Canadian heroine. How often do you get to say that?
 

Pictures:

Recommend this to friends who enjoyed:

FLCL
Gurren Lagann
Gad Guard
Eureka Seven
Blue Drop
Hades Project Zeorymer

Conclusion

Despite pulling only themes and loose concepts from its "source material," Diebuster stands up on its own merit. In only 6 episodes, the viewer is subjected to a series of exploits and character development that many 26 episode series fail to find. Of course, people who aren't fans of mecha, or at least over the top mecha might find it hard to see past its colorful surface, but hey, at least it doesn't suck.

Nikoon March 24, 2010 at 10:21 a.m.
I loved Gunbuster and Diebuster, and you can really watch them in either order. I watched Diebuster first, and then watching Gunbuster and didn't feel lost at all. I'd still recommend anyone who liked Diebuster to check out the original, but you don't have to. They're both pretty different and products of their time but still go well together.
Count_Alucardon March 24, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.

Hmm...might check it out.

GoblinTownon March 24, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
I just finished watching Gunbuster and then Diebuster a few days ago.  Both are a great watch.  I am glad I watched Gunbuster 1st as it made me enjoy  Diebuster a bit more I think.
 
I totally agree though...very much worth seeing.
pathogenon March 24, 2010 at 11:13 a.m.
Weird I just watched this a couple of days ago when I was cleaning up muh drive. Forgot how great it was.
hipalbatrosson March 24, 2010 at 11:34 a.m.
seriously my favorite anime ever, just nothing tops it for me
JackSukeruon March 24, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.
One question, are there any characters in the story who were previously Topless, but have grown up and act as like support or something? Cause if there isn't thats a missed opportunity.
HeeroYuyon March 24, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
Also, it has Maaya Sakamoto voicing a kuudere (= +50% more awesome than base value).
 
But yeah, Gunbuster and Diebuster both are excellent series.
constanzadellarosaon March 24, 2010 at 1:46 p.m.

 Granted celebrity status, they struggle to grasp the importance of their assignment, yet fear the concept of the inevitable... that they will age and have to give up this prestige and power.

That looks like a metaphor for every former child star's life. Really.
hipalbatrosson March 24, 2010 at 2:25 p.m.
@RockmanBionics: yea there is, casio and seiko, were both topless and ones a mechanic for the buster machines the other a general, its really a fantastic story, along with Gunbuster
@Herroyuy: I'll watch any series just to hear Maaya Sakamoto <3
JELEINENon March 24, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.

I  didn't make it past the first episode of 2. 
 
I also call into question your statement that Top wo Nerae!/Gunbuster was a prototype for Eva considering that both thematically and story-wise they're completely different.
John_Martoneon March 24, 2010 at 5:23 p.m.
@JELEINEN said:

" I  didn't make it past the first episode of 2.  I also call into question your statement that Top wo Nerae!/Gunbuster was a prototype for Eva considering that both thematically and story-wise they're completely different. "

Jung Freud = Asuka prototype
She's a spicy, hot tempered foreigner that was cultivated to fight the "Space Monsters," which are another nearless faceless foe that seems bent on the destruction of humanity.
 
Sure, "Space Monsters" and Angels aren't 1:1, but they set up the premise that these children, piloting their incredibly dangerous suits, are what stands between us and the destruction of the Earth. Also, like Evangelion, the story is considerably more focused on the emotional toil that such responsibility has on these kids. While considerably more polished and refined, I'd say that the entirety of the series was a playground for themes and devices he'd use later.
 
@constanzadellarosa said:

"

 Granted celebrity status, they struggle to grasp the importance of their assignment, yet fear the concept of the inevitable... that they will age and have to give up this prestige and power.

That looks like a metaphor for every former child star's life. Really. "
Which is totally super interesting/engaging/depressing if you ask me.
Lydian_Selon March 24, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.
I'm not quite sure what I just saw but I think I want to see more of it.
hipalbatrosson March 25, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
@JELEINEN: also hideaki anno wrote both of them and has said that eva was his broader vision that he was working out with Gunbuster before he moved on to it
MetalGearFlaccidon March 25, 2010 at 1:47 p.m.
No lie: I prefer this 100% over GunBuster.
 
But the ending in DieBuster is much more touching and powerful if you have watched all of GunBuster first. 
So, you kinda got to get through the boring original to truly appreciate the creative and interesting sequel.
 
(InB4 massive hate for putting down the original series.)

Dig Deeper into Diebuster

In the distant future, a young girl named Nono sets off to become a space pilot so that one day she can meet the legendary "Nonoriri."

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