I had my problems with the original cast of Gunbuster, but that was mostly because they didn’t try hard enough to step away from the stereotypes that they would later inspire. It’s also a bit of a matter of flat characterization, but overall I would not really call any character annoying.
Enter Nono, the lead character of Diebuster.
I’ll be honest here: the first half of Diebuster was a bit of a chore to sit through. Nono is not a likable main character at all with her one-sided overacted klutziness and stupidity, and the pointless fanservice actually gets in the way of the story. The drama in this movie also didn’t really impress; the major theme of this series is characters, refusing to grow up. This leads to characters refusing to accept reality, angsting quite a bit and and making a whole lot of dumb decisions. This drama is consistent (in fact, it’s about the only consistent part of this OVA), but it also just wasn’t interesting.
Nevertheless, this was written by Yoji Enokido. He shows this in the second half (and especially the final two episodes) by just going “screw being plausible, we’re just going over 9000 here”. The final two episodes are full of nice and awesome ideas that I very much suspect ended up as the inspiration for Gurren Lagann’s finale. Unlike the first Gunbuster, Diebuster doesn’t try to be physically plausible in the slightest, but that does allow it to to go with some interesting science fiction ideas.
Ideas which ultimately are reflected best into the graphics of this show. Seriously, the graphics look awesome here and are IMO the biggest reason to check out this OVA. They’re really imaginative and make excellent use of the creativity in the plot.
Above I mentioned that this is a very inconsistent series. That’s both a good and a bad thing. I mean, you don’t want to watch this for its cohesive plot, because the story is a bit of an undirected mess, not to mention the angst not being that impressive, but on the other hand this did make this OVA evolve through its episodes, and it prevented Nono’s annoying antics to ruin the entire OVA (she really gets better as the anime goes on).
Oh, and on one final side-note: I keep seeing everywhere that you need to have seen the original Gunbuster before watching this OVA, but I don’t really think that that is the case. You can watch them in any order really.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Not the best at drama, but when it’s on fire it really entertains.|
|Characters:||7/10 – Nono is annoying, and none of the cast really end up making this up.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Gorgeous, full of excellent artwork and ideas.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Not as interesting as Gunbuster or FLCL, but still full of nice ideas and concepts.|