Posted by psgels on 19 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




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.

Suggestions:
– FLCL
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Wings of Rean

16 Responses

  1. gandalf8 says:

    “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.”

    If I’m not mistaken, to really understand the ending in Diebuster, you really need to watch Gunbuster first. Although at first glance there looks to be no connection between Diebuster and Gunbuster, if you really paid attention there are a few subtle hints that pertain to their connection. So, I really advise anyone who wants to watch this, watch Gunbuster first.

  2. Watcherzero says:

    I think your belief that these people refuse to grow up and accept reality is quite poignant as their technology is based on reality distortion and self deception like the Espers in Railgun. I thought the whole humanity evoloution concept was significant too (and something you would only understand from seeing Gunbuster) but theres lots of stuff you need to have seen the first series for.

    Firstly Nono appears in Gunbuster under a different name but you wont realise that unless you saw it first.

    The ending only makes sense if you saw the ending of Gunbuster 12,000 years earlier.

    You wouldnt understand the solar system Defence system and why it was attacking unless you saw Gunbuster first.

    You wouldnt understand why the drive was removed from dix-neuf.

  3. Solaris says:

    I didn’t see Diebuster, but really this time I want to praise the review as it is as insightful as I remember your review were before.
    You just extracted the important pieces of information and presented them without spoilers too. Now I’d like to see the oav. I didn’t feel moved to watch something you reviewed since a long time. (Well except Level E for other reasons here).
    Now the last thing I yet have to understand is the meaning of the hellish rating system. As that same 80/100 given to Gunbuster looked understated, as in, ‘yeah the show is ok but all of these flaws let me lower the grade’, this time with Diebuster that 80/100 looks overrated such as in ‘uhm, the show was mah but it gained substance in the finale, so i0m praising it’.
    Did I get it right?

  4. signorRossi says:

    I agree with Gandalf and Watcherzero, Gunbuster should be watched first. Other than that, an excellent and right to the point review, Nono and the needless fanservice got on my nerves, too.
    But where does Nono appear in Gunbuster? I don’t remember seeing her.

  5. m says:

    Solaris, let me propose a toy for thinking about this, since you seem to spend a lot of time puzzling over the results of the rating system.

    Suppose that you have independent and identically distributed discrete random variables X_1,…,X_4. What is your intuition about the shape of the pmf for X_1 + … + X_4? (easy) Now suppose that the sample space is {7,8,9,10}. What do you think the expected value of X_1 + … X_4 might be?

    It’s a simplified way to look at the problem, but other than quibbling over whether the variables are actually independent, most of the changes we would make to fit our toy to reality will tend to push the curve to the left (to your dismay). For simple combinatorial reasons, the distribution would have to favor 9s and 10s for any given show you think is spectacular to achieve a particularly high score, unless there were considerable overlap between how you and psgels happen to rate things.

  6. Watcherzero says:

    @ signorRossi, Remember the charachter in Gunbuster who was left behind and said she would wait for them to return? The implication is that she volunteered to become the Cyborg so that she could live to greet them when they returned in 12,000 years.

    • DangerousK says:

      @watcherzero this is an extremely late reply and you’ll probably never see this, but what the hell? Where did you get the idea that Jung Freud volunteered to be a cyborg from? Did you make it up yourself? When she says ill be there to say welcome back in the last episode, it’s referring to when gunbuster comes back 12,000 years later and the Earth remembers them and uses lights to say “Welcome Back” meaning she kept her promise after all.

  7. Solaris says:

    Well, thank you M for clarifying. I got the score was the average of the partial ratings, but I can’t see how the review comes to down to that yet. It’s like the two, the textual review and the numerical scores are mostly unrelated.

  8. signorRossi says:

    @Watcherzero
    Ah, thanks! Will check it out in the case that I find the DVD with Gunbuster on it again. :)

  9. Da5id says:

    Already watched them both. I’m oddly glad both got the same score, because they’re both really good for different reasons. But yes, you DO need to watch Gunbuster first.

    Another thing I found odd but pleasing is Gunbuster, being directed by Anno, seems like a proto-Eva, while Diebuster, being directed by his protege Tsurumaki, seems like a post-FLCL. Those are both awesome things.

  10. tk007 says:

    “You can watch them in any order really.”

    I’ve have to disagree with you and agree with everyone else here. The ending of Diebuster WILL lose alot of impact if the viewer did not watch Gunbuster first.

  11. Watcherzero says:

    @Da5id I agree totally.

  12. yojimbo says:

    I don’t remember much about Diebuster other than I didn’t like it at all. Characters in Diebuster are annoying. The original OVA was much better. In addition, these series seem so different so I the order don’t really matter; actually just better to forget that Diebuster exist.

  13. Penguin_Factory says:

    If I’m not mistaken, to really understand the ending in Diebuster, you really need to watch Gunbuster first

    That was my experience with it. In particular, the very last scene of the series was clearly meant to be a huge dramatic “wow” moment for fans of the original, but I had no idea what was happening.

  14. Da5id says:

    @yojimbo

    And so the black sheep rears it’s head…

  15. Anon says:

    Other reviewers often panned Diebuster as being inferior to Gunbuster, but I enjoyed this over-the-top screw-common-sense-and-physics science-fantasy romp just as much as the original. And I totally agree that it was definitely a template for Gurren Lagann, which took the last two episodes of this and upscaled them to a universal level.

    Klutzy Nono did not bother me, but I would’ve been happier had Nono gotten a different ending than what happened here.

    At the end of it all, the only truly negative thing for me was that we did not see Noriko at the end. After a dozen years, it wouldn’t have killed them to show us the two of them disembarking at the end. I really felt cheated out of my happy ending there, it’s like two sides eternally reaching out for each other but never touching – first we got Noriko’s perspective back around 1989 and a decade later the counter-perspective, but no contact :-(

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:50 AM)
    Still would have preferred dorohedero adaptation than gangsta though but I can dream…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:46 AM)
    Reading over the impressions post for Ranpo, reminded me, has anyone read the Junji Itou take on that story?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:43 AM)
    …crap, that post went on a lot longer than I was planning it to. Got a bit excited over the series. =P
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:41 AM)
    Ha, yes the characters are unique aren’t they? How often do you see a deaf gangster.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:40 AM)
    I would lying however if I said I wasn’t keen on that Worick fella though and the prostitute girl.
    I am hoping that the series will go more into their relationship with her.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I think this could be the best of the season and I’m glad it’s being covered on here and thanks for putting me onto it with that season preview/first impressions post.
    Where the scans left off was a frustrating cliffhanger =<
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:38 AM)
    I’d worry about the anime, there might be a chance of censoring later on (although so far that isn’t an issue) and the anime is only 12 episodes long so that’s a problem right there. After a good opening chapter I did feel it took me a little bit before I fully got into it.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    It has a feel of dogs-bullets and carnage, which was an alright manga, this seems like a step up/better thing of it.
    However I’m not that big on the tonal shifts, the comic reliefs not great, slight bit of filler, don’t overly care for the side cast as much, their a bit forgettable some of them.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    The action scenes are enjoyable enough, gritty and gory, its competent, time/boredom killer stuff so long as you turn your brain off. That I like the art style also helps. I liked how in one scene the prostitute at least did try to stand up for herself. I can see that a jormungand/black lagoon fan might go for this however I’d warn people to not have their expectations THAT high.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    I watched the first episode of gangsta, but I decided to go on and marathon all 6 volumes in one sitting. For the most part this has a page turner quality to it, the three central/main characters backgrounds are adequately handled and theres a development they keep teasing I hope they get more into. I’m glad to has a series with adult characters like this. Theres a kind of bromance in there somewhere.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Knights of Sidonia S2: Battle for Planet Nine review – 73/100

The second season of Sidonia makes a number of mistakes that a lot of second seasons do. That namely being that the anime slows down and introduces characters and conflicts that are often resolved in a undetermined to exist, third season. A new antagonist is introduced, whom does very little in the season and only […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 12

Tanikaze’s rendezvous with Benizumie looks to have been cut short as Izana interrupted with some hacker magic. The entire sequence being as uncomfortable and disturbing as you could imagine. I still wonder just what was her goal in doing all this to Tanikaze. Was it some method of killing him or just some really kinky […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 11

It’s quite the coincidence that both shows I am covering have decided to use their last episodes to make up for the season’s shortcomings. This will be a short post as while action packed episodes are great to watch, they make it hard to bring up topics to talk about. Guana look to be imitating […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 24

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 10

Unfortunately this wasn’t the time for Izana to become an ace pilot though she did at least show some ingenuity in her escape from gauna. Instead the spotlight falls once again to Tsugumi and Tanikaze. A lot of the fight scenes before the challenger appeared was to shown that Tsugumi and Tanikaze have great teamwork […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 23

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 9

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 22

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 8

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]