[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Gunbuster_Cover.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[-Saving the Earth with hard work and guts!-] ]]

->''"A miracle will happen -- we'll ''make'' it happen!"''
-->--'''Noriko Takaya'''

''[=GunBuster=]''; [[FanNickname or, as the fans call it]], ''[[{{Gainaxing}} BustGunner]]'', is a six-volume {{OAV}} from 1988, directed by Creator/HideakiAnno, that really put Creator/StudioGainax on the map, and a series fondly remembered by old school otaku. While it's a bit of a rough diamond, viewers today can still see why it stood out then, where it led Gainax, and where Gainax took the ideas they started in it. It's also considered somewhat of a spiritual predecessor to ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' and ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', as it contains a lot of elements that would later be used in those shows.

''Top o Nerae!'' ("Aim for the Top"), the Japanese title, serves notice that the show will borrow from many sources and genres. It is a mashing-together of ''Film/TopGun'' and a famous Tennis Manga/Anime ''Ace o Nerae!'' (''Manga/AimForTheAce''), that eventually takes a left turn into ''TheForeverWar''. As might be expected from this, episode 1 opens at a girls' high school that trains HumongousMecha pilots to battle the alien monsters that destroyed the Luxion Fleet six years before.

The central character is Noriko Takaya, daughter of the admiral in command of the lost fleet and one of the newest students. Despite having plenty of motivation, she is [[{{Dojikko}} clumsy]], not terribly mature, and completely lacking in self-confidence. Like all the students, she is in awe of OneeSama ("Big Sister") Kazumi Amano, the star pupil of their school -- especially after she defends Noriko from a group of bullies and gives her some advice (and a headband). Unfortunately, school becomes even harder after "Coach" Ohta, their new instructor, serves up TrainingFromHell for everyone. Oh, and Kazumi carries a torch for him, a big one.

Noriko's life becomes harder still when "Coach", who is also the sole survivor of the Luxion fleet (Noriko's father saved his life), sees something in Noriko that no one else does. Because of this, he selects her as Kazumi's partner to graduate early and participate in a secret project -- over ''all'' the other students, and the objections of both Kazumi and Noriko. Days of bullying, several speeches, a couple of {{training montage}}s, and one robot {{catfight}} later, Noriko and "big sister" are shipping out for advanced training in earth orbit. Here they find [[TheRival a rival]], "genius" Soviet pilot Jung Freud, who starts by challenging Kazumi to a duel, then settles into a snippy sort of friendship.

At this point a ''Film/TopGun''/Sports-themed Mecha show [[CerebusSyndrome takes a left turn into]] ''TheForeverWar''. Admiral Takaya's flagship comes barreling through the solar system at near light-speed, and Noriko and Kazumi are chosen to intercept it. It's been years since the battle that wrecked the ship - but, thanks to time dilation, it's only been hours since then aboard the ship. Noriko runs through the ship, hoping to find her father, but jeopardizing their chances of getting off the ship in time.

That's the first two episodes. The middle two show our heroines shipping out with the fleet, tapped to try out the new "Buster Machine" giant robot. If Noriko's angst and fear doesn't derail them first.

Episode Five is Kazumi's turn to get put through the wringer. [[spoiler:She's decided she loves "Coach" Ohta. Unfortunately, he's dying of radiation sickness, and their next mission will take them away for years of earth time. Fortunately, Noriko's grown enough of a backbone to keep her in line.]]

The Final episode is elegiac and deeply angst-ridden (not that the previous episodes were a barrel of laughs). In fact, it's so serious that [[DeliberatelyMonochrome it was animated in black and white]]. [[spoiler:"Big Sis" Kazumi is now "[[ObaSan auntie]]" Kazumi, [[OlderAndWiser teaching the children of her old classmates at her old school]]. She gets the call to go back into space for a final mission to destroy the aliens once and for all (using a bomb built from the planet Jupiter. Yes, you read that right). She rejoins Noriko and Jung, who have been in space all this time and have hardly aged at all. Sacrifices will be made, angst will flow, people will forget how to spell, and you'll know beyond doubt that you've seen something made by genuine ''fans'' of the genre(s).]]

What words can only hint at is the sheer sincerity and passion put into all these rather hoary old tropes. The plotting is not that well paced and all over the place (writer Toshio Okada has commented that he put in EVERY idea he had). Much of the characterization is perfunctory (and the archetypes used are from another age, especially Ohta and the other military men). The science is silly and the dialog hoary, but the big moments pull you in, and the angsty ones will make you cry (the climax of episode 6 can pull tears from some of the toughest otaku). More than anything else, it showed that the team from Gainax could pull off "popular" anime (their debut work ''Anime/RoyalSpaceForceTheWingsOfHonneamise'' had run into a buzzsaw called ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'') and that they would be a force to be reckoned with.

In 2004, StudioGainax released a sequel series, DieBuster, as its 15th anniversary project. [[spoiler:The two series have converging endings]]. This was released in R1 as ''Gunbuster 2''.

----
!!Tropes appearing include (but aren't limited to):

* {{Adorkable}}: Noriko.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Episode 4, especially with the scenes of the ''Exelion'''s interior being destroyed as the battle continues.
* AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle: The science lessons for each episode.
* AnAxeToGrind: Gunbuster was originally set to dual-wield these, ala [[Manga/GetterRobo Getter Dragon]], but they didn't make the cut. They saw use in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' though, with Ryoma himself teaching Noriko how to use them.
** They can actually be seen during Gunbuster's combination sequence, packed inside the mech's shoulders.
* AnimeAccentAbsence: Jung speaks regular Japanese, she's just really snarky.
* {{Ascended Fan|boy}}girl: Noriko's subtly implied to be one in the series proper; in the science bonus shorts, it's played up for comedy. [[note]] She's basically the runner-up poster girl for this, second only to Ryusei Date from ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars''. This makes for some amusing conversation when they meet in VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha.[[/note]]
** There are some not-quite-so-subtle hints, like the poster for ''SpaceBattleshipYamato'' on her wall.
* AuthorAppeal: We have a character named Jung Freud. And you say the director went through therapy? Who'd have thunk it?
* BadassAdorable: Noriko.
* BadassArmFold: So associated with this trope that the gesture in question is commonly referred to as the "Gunbuster Pose" by anime fans.
** Alternately, the more concise "Busterpose/Busterposing".
** And in Japan, the {{Gaina|x}}stance.
* [[BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults Battle Mecha of Overheard Insults]], or rather a harsh critique by Kazumi of Noriko.
* BeamSpam: HOOMING! REEIIIZZAAAAA![[note]]Homing Laser[[/note]]
* BittersweetEnding: On the one hand, [[spoiler:the fact that they are recognized after TWELVE THOUSAND YEARS, that humanity still remembers their sacrifice and welcomes them back, makes some viewers baww like a baby.]] On the other hand, [[spoiler:the fact that twelve thousand years have passed means that all of their loved ones are dead.]]... that's pretty much the definition of a BittersweetEnding.
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Noriko pretty much goes through hell and back directly due to her insecurity and codependency issues before finally shaping up and becoming a HotBlooded badass. Kazumi doesn't exactly get off easy in Episode 5, either.
* CallingYourAttacks: Yes, it's mentioned elsewhere, but it needs its own entry, seeing as Noriko is the [[Pantheon/{{War}} GODDESS]] of attack-calling.
** [[FrickinLaserBeams BUSTAAH BEAAAMU!]]
** [[MacrossMissileMassacre BUSTAAH MISSILE!!]]
** [[ShockAndAwe DOUBLE BUSTAH COLLIDER!!]]
--> And of course...
** [[KamenRider SUPAAH! INAZUMA!! KIIICK!!!]]
*** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' adds three more: [[AxeCrazy BUSTAH TOMAHAAAUUWWK!!]], [[ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks BUSTA TOMAHAAAAUUUWK! BOOOOOMERANG!!]], and [[IKnowMaddenKombat BUSTAH HOOOOME RUN!!]]
* CapedMecha (Bustaa Shieldo!)
* CasualDangerDialogue: When the Gunbuster is about to get crushed between two... big... alien things in Episode 5 and the Buster Beam just bounces off the hulls of each inflicting no damage, Noriko's and Kazumi's response is basically along the lines of "Hm? Oh, that's neat. Not too shabby, giant alien things. 'Course, we're still ten zillion times more badass than you. Gonna crush you now, mkay?"
* CoolBigSis: Kazumi is the very model.
* CombiningMecha: The titular [[SuperRobot Gunbuster]] is the combined form of the first two Buster Machines. Noriko tops, while Kazumi's on the bottom.
* CreatorCameo: Not the creators themselves, but the studio. If you look closely, you see a Gainax billboard in the background of the Japan Air Lines shuttle launch scene.
* CreatorProvincialism: As may be expected from a series created in the halcyon days of the late '80s, ''Gunbuster'' paints a picture of [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld a world dominated by Japan]]. It's governed by a Japanese Empire ruling from Tokyo, protected by a very Japanese Imperial Navy. According to the [[AllThereInTheManual backstory]], Japan bought Hawaii from a declining USA in a very different economy. 12 years later during WorldWarIII, the US [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything attempts to take Hawaii back]]. However America's continuing collapse allows a more militant Japan to confiscate its space program and technology, soon using it to force the rest of the world under its [[TheEmperor emperor]].
** Honestly though, all of anime in a general sense is this...from A Certain Point Of View.
*** Here however, it seems shown that the Empire of Japan is in control, if not makes up, most of the human race, with other nations being in part Japanese colonies.
**** [[HumansAreWhite Humans Are Japanese]]
* CurbStompBattle: A lone Gunbuster versus enough space aliens to span the diameter of ''Pluto's orbit''? Yeah.... the aliens don't stand a chance.
** ConservationOfNinjutsu
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Kashiwara and Jung, although they were evenly matched.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Episode six, to emphasize the serious drama.
** Especially notable in that it was animated in monochrome on ''color film'', which cost the studio a bundle.
* DistantFinale: WAY distant.
* DivingKick: '''SUPER, INAZUMA, KICK!!!!!!'''
* DrillSergeantNasty: "Coach" Ohta.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: ''Jupiter'' Shattering.
* [[EternalEnglish Eternal Japanese]]: Averted in the final scene. [[spoiler:12000 years later, "[=WELCOME HOME=]" is written awkwardly in katakana with the last character backwards. The present inhabitants of Earth were clumsily mimicking the pilots' bygone language]].
* {{Expy}}: The Space Monsters get one in the form of [[VideoGame/AsurasWrath The Gohma]].
* ExtyYearsFromNow: Averted.
* {{Fanservice}}: By modern standards, {{Gunbuster}} contains a strong amount of {{Fanservice}}. The bath scene in Episode Two is particularly notable. For the time? Well, let's just say that it's the TropeNamer for {{Gainaxing}}. And many fans refer to Jung as "Juggs"... Hell, some people like to refer to the series itself as "Bustgunner."
* FinalSolution: It has been speculated that the space monsters are the galaxy's antibodies, and they're out to cleanse it of the human disease. And seeing this as the case, humanity must annihilate the alien threat for them to live on.
* FingerFirearms / HandBlast: "BUSTEEEERRRR MISSILE!!!"
* FoeTossingCharge ([[CallingYourAttacks "Super..." "...Inazuma..."]] '''[[CallingYourAttacks "...KIIIIIIICK!"]]''')
* {{Gainaxing}}: The shot that started it all.
** Ironically, the breast physics in this anime are realistic when compared to later Gainax series like ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', which take their breast physics to ridiculous extremes.
* FullFrontalAssault: Without any censorship!
* FuroScene: In Gunbuster episode #2, completely uncensored!
* GenocideDilemma: One has questioned that if the galaxy is a living being and the space monsters are its antibodies, is it right for mankind to [[spoiler:kill the galaxy to destroy the space monsters hell-bent on wiping out the "human disease"?]]
* GenreShift: From sports anime spoof to ''Film/TopGun'' to ''The Forever War''.
* GodzillaThreshold: It's us or them, so why not destroy the core of the galaxy? Luckily, there is {{No Endor Holocaust}}.
* GratuitousEnglish: File under CallingYourAttacks. "Homingu Reiza!!!" "BUSTAAAA!! MISAIRU!! "Ride on, ride on..."
* TheGreatPoliticsMessUp: All this future tech and there's still a Soviet Union around!!
* HeroicBSOD: Noriko during the fourth episode. Kazumi also gets one in the fifth episode, and at the worse possible time.
* [[HesBack She's Back]]: When Kazumi [[HeroicBSOD breaks down in episode 5]], Noriko gives her a short speech that falls somewhere in-between WhatTheHellHero and GetAHoldOfYourselfMan. After a moment, her eyes take on a [[TranquilFury steely gaze]] and she says, [[HellYesMoment Noriko... let's combine!]] Cue CurbStompBattle.
* HeroicSacrifice: In the final episode, [[spoiler:Noriko prepares to use her Buster Machine's engine to start the Black Hole Bomb, knowing that she'll die, being unable to escape. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] when Kazumi combines their Buster Machines so that they'll have two engines, therefore still being able to leave. And then DoubleSubverted when it takes them 12,000 years to get home, meaning that everyone they know is by now quite long dead...]]
* {{Homage}}: Dozens, maybe hundreds. Including many shows and stories long forgotten.
* HomingLasers: The TropeNamer for it!
* GuiltFreeExterminationWar: The space monsters are seen as the galaxy's "immune system" that in turn sees humanity as a disease that must be wiped out. And with that knowledge, the humans know that there is [[FinalSolution no other choice but to wipe out the aliens for them to survive]].
* HotBlooded: Noriko Takaya may have been one of the first true examples of a female HotBlooded protagonist in giant robot history.
* HumansAreSpecial: Inverted (probably, since this is just speculation made by human scientists) in the sense that the alien monsters are like the galaxy's antibodies, and they see humans as bacteria with no good purpose at all, and must be eliminated.
* HumongousMecha: The "Buster Machines". In fact, the main mech is ''one'' of the largest of the genre at 250m tall, and the largest at the time of its release.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: {{Averted|Trope}} - Jung is only telling scary stories during hyperspace jump. Noriko doesn't take them well.
* IKnowMaddenKombat: The Buster Home Run, which is effectively playing baseball with a ball of energy (see below).
* ImprobableWeaponUser: In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series, one of the attacks never showcased in the series is used - the Buster Home Run. This involves forming a [[SphereOfDestruction ball of energy]], tossing it into the air, and then hitting it with a BAT into the enemy! Notably, this was a secret in Alpha 1 (it was available from the start in Final and Alpha 3), and in that game if you get it (and good luck, [[NintendoHard it has a higher SR Point requirement then the HARD ROUTE CHOICE ten stages later]]), [[GetterRobo Benkei Kurama teaches her how to do the technique]] [[IKnowMaddenKombat using his own baseball skills]].
* IndirectKiss: The medium is a soda she shared with Smith Torren ([[spoiler:This poor sod doesn't make it through the next battle]]). She [[LuminescentBlush gets really red in the face after realization]].
* InSpaceEveryoneCanSeeYourFace: ''Almost'' justified by using fish-bowl helmets with forward-facing lights mounted on top. This gives their bodies a realistic amount of shadow, but their faces are fully visible.
* IneffectualLoner: Jung Freud.
* {{Infodump}}
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Jung.
* LargeHam: Coach Ohta in the science lessons.
** As expected of [[NorioWakamoto who's voicing him.]]
* LensmanArmsRace: We begin with not especially radical vessels capable of accelerating to a fraction of c and of using a fairly sci-fi standard method of FTL travel via wormhole, and robots only a few stories tall. Then we get seven mile long battleship-carriers, aliens who ''eat suns'' to reproduce, a robot bigger than the Eiffel Tower which is capable of killing thousands of alien ships in a single attack,[[spoiler:using the aforementioned battleship ''as a bomb that creates a black hole'' to kill an alien fleet ''eighty astronomical units in size'']], a new battleship ''ten times'' the size of the old one, and capping off with [[spoiler:using the planet Jupiter ''as the core of a Black Hole Bomb the size of the moon to destroy the'' '''''center of the galaxy''''' ''and wipe out all the aliens forever''.]] Even with relativity, on Earth all of this takes place in a timeframe of about fourty years. On the alien side, we go from small skirmish fleets to [[spoiler:the aforementioned eighty AU Earth attack force to a fleet in the Galactic Core of easily ten billion creatures.]] It gets so ridiculous (and awesome) that the characters even {{lampshade|Hanging}} the fact toward the end.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: (BUSTAAAA MISSAIRU!)
* MileLongShip: The Eltreum, which comes in at an impressive 70 km in length.
* MotionCaptureMecha: All the mecha in the series; Gunbuster itself is the "Kung-Fu Robo" variation of the trope.
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: Jung Freud, named after psychologists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
* NightmareFace: Kashiwara during her fight with Noriko.
* NippleAndDimed: Several nipples are shown uncensored and even the downstairs aren't censored away during the FuroScene!
* NoEndorHolocaust: {{Averted|Trope}} when the humans decide to take the [[spoiler:old Excelion warship]] out past the orbit of Pluto to [[spoiler:overload and detonate its degeneracy reactor]] to create a black hole to destroy the Space Monsters, despite the massive distance, shockwaves ''are'' felt on Earth; so strongly, in fact, that they are said to raze cities and change the landscape.
** Strangely, though, this does not appear to be averted [[spoiler:when they destroy the centre of the galaxy]], however, it may be that after [[spoiler:12,000 years]], humanity may have found a way to protect themselves [[ClarkesThirdLaw that we today couldn't possibly comprehend]].
* NorioWakamoto: Coach Ohta.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: Say what you will, but Ohta ''still'' bets the fate of humanity on little more than his gut feeling about the daughter of the man who saved his life.
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: Or non-age-up as the case may be.
* PosthumousCharacter: Admiral Takaya
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Inverted [[spoiler:In Episode 4 the Excelion fleet is nearly destroyed. Capitain Tashiro decides as a last ditch resort to ram the Excelion into the enemy flag ship. When the Buster Machine is finally activated Noriko is castigated that it isn't complete. She responds that she'll ram it if she has to. In the end the enemy flag ship ends up ramming Noriko and is destroyed as Noriko has it where she wants it]].
** Averted in the final battle also [[spoiler:The enemy send a fleet in to ram the Black Hole Bomb. At first the shields hold, but eventually the enemy suicide attacks are so large that the shield fails, setting up the final twist to the BittersweetEnding]].
* RedShirtArmy: All the other battlesuits? And the fleet? And the 50 mile long flagship with a team of psychics and genius dolphins that can rewrite the laws of physics? Windowdressing.
* RetroRocket: The Luxion, and all subsequent Luxion-Class spaceships. Cigar-shaped? Check! Fins? Check! Stripe(s) painted near nose cone? Check! (Extra points for the uppermost stripe being painted in red and white checks.) Then again, Luxions were designed to take off from Earth's surface.
** [[http://www.toponeraegunbuster.com/gunbuster-episode-five33.jpg Buster Machine 1]] also counts, as do the [[http://www.toponeraegunbuster.com/images/gunbuster-extra30.jpg Cosmo Attack Fighters]].
* RuleOfCool: [[WordOfGod Anno]] has said he was more concerned with how scenes worked out for [[RuleOfDrama drama]] and excitement than trying to be realistic.
* RuleOfDrama: The only time actual science is invoked is when it can raise the angst quotient.
* SapientCetaceans:
** The final episode shows an Orca amongst a ship's crew.
** The Eltreum uses cyborg dolphins for navigation, though only one is briefly shown.
* SchizoTech: Displays, uniforms, and other random tidbits are designed to be retro despite technology [[LensmanArmsRace reaching insane levels]]. It does come down to [[HotBlooded hot-bloodedly]] battling {{kaiju}} while shouting a lot, after all.
* ScienceMarchesOn: In the show, the Solar System has several planets beyond the orbit of Pluto, including one that is called Jupiter 2. Sol is also part of a binary system, with the other star, Nemesis, being half a lightyear away.
* SerialEscalation: In-between and after her [[HeroicBSOD occasional]] {{break|TheCutie}}s, each of Noriko's battles is more awesome than the last. [[TearJerker Except episode 3]].
* ShoutOut:
** One scene in Episode 5 with Noriko in her room is full of these, including posters for ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' and ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'' and a Music/VanHalen calender.
** During one of the later Science Lesson episodes (done for the laser-disc release), Coach tells Noriko to name off all of the planets in the solar system, which she does while [[InstantCostumeChange instantly cosplaying]] as each corresponding ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' character (inner planets only, the outer senshi hadn't appeared yet).
** As is usual for Gainax, Gunbuster carries a fair number of references to ''GetterRobo''. The titular mech owes a few design cues to the Getter Dragon from Getter Robo G; the legs and chest are extremely similar in design, the Buster Beam fires from the mech's head, much like the Dragon's Getter Beam (the other Getter machines had their beams fire from the stomach) and, as mentioned above, the Gunbuster was initially meant to dual-wield Axes similarly to the Dragon. Moreover, [[spoiler:the way Gunbuster removes its Degeneracy reactor to kickstart the Jupiter Bomb is heavily inspired by [[http://mangafox.me/manga/getter_robo/v02/c006/9.html Musashi's]] [[http://mangafox.me/manga/getter_robo/v02/c006/10.html legendary]] [[http://mangafox.me/manga/getter_robo/v02/c006/11.html sacrifice]] in the original Getter manga]].
* SlasherSmile: Kashiwara during her fight with Noriko.
* SpaceElevator: Space ''cable-cars'' in episode six.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: At least how Noriko sees it.
* SpaceIsNoisy
* StarfishAliens / EldritchAbomination: The spacemonsters are among the biggest echinoderm/Giger-inspired horrors in fiction.
* SuperPrototype: The Sizzler mechas are based on the titular mecha, and are noticeably less powerful.
** Discussed in one of the Science Lessons, where someone claims that SuperPrototype is just a fictional trope, and the Sizzlers are only smaller because of their more modern, efficient miniaturization. He goes on to say that a feature that ''saved Noriko's life'' is a silly expense necessitated only by the Gunbuster's outmoded design, and the Sizzlers got rid of it.
* SuperRobot: The Gunbuster
* VideoGame/SuperRobotWars: So far, all of the games it appears in are part of a timeline:
** It makes its debut in [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4 F/Final]], the final game in the Classic timeline.
** [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Alpha and Alpha 3]] use it as a cornerstone of the plot.
** Most recently it makes a long-awaited return in ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Z3: Jigoku-hen]]''.
* TannhauserGate: Mentioned as being involved in the series' FTLTravel during one of the {{Infodump}}s.
* ThatsNoMoon: No, it's a [[BigBulkyBomb planet-sized]], [[WeaponOfMassDestruction black hole-generating bomb]] [[WeaponizedLandmark made out of Jupiter]]!
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Used at least twice, though played differently each time. In episode 4, the OP music doesn't start playing until immediately ''after'' Noriko takes out the alien 'command ship' by being rammed and then surviving, and the music then continues for the rest of the episode. Then, in episode 5, once Noriko and Kazumi's halves of Gunbuster combine, we get a proper ThemeMusicPowerUp... except that it's not the series's OP, which didn't play at all in the episode.
* ThemeNaming: In this case ShoutOut. Smith Toren is named (in reversed order) after the founder of manga translation company "Studio Proteus", back before he was famous (the anime version has more hair). Coach Ohta, or "Koichi Ohta", was probably named for [[MDGeist Koichi]] [[{{Genocyber}} Ohata]], who worked as a mecha designer on this OVA. According to the other wiki, several characters - Noriko and Kazumi among them - were named for members of the production staff.
** The Space Monsters are named after more obscure {{kaiju}}.
* TimeDilation
* TimeSkip: Multiple times.
* TookALevelInBadass: Compare the Noriko Takaya of episode 1 with the Noriko Takaya of episodes 4 and 5, and you'll see that she went and pulled a [[TengenToppaGurrenLagann Simon]]. Or rather, Simon would pull a Noriko 20 years later.
* TrainingFromHell
* TrainingMontage: One early fan GagDub ({{Robotech}} III "Not Necessarily the Sentinels") even set it to the trope-naming music.
* {{Unobtainium}}: Eltreum, what the [[spoiler:massive ship of the same name]] is made out of, which is supposedly indestructible to everything known to man, bar annihilation with its antimatter equivalent.
* VerticalMechaFins: The Titular GunBuster's twin rocket boosters.
** They also serve as a StealthPun whenever the Gunbuster crosses its arms. When [[JapaneseLanguage two fires combine to make a flame]]...
*** They also appear to serve something of a practical purpose - the VerticalMechaFins can combine to form a shell over the head like a bullet, allowing the Gunbuster to pierce through objects like a rocket. This is used towards the end of the final episode.
* WaveMotionGun. BUSTAAA BEEEAAAMMM!
* [[WorldOfCardboardSpeech World Of Cardboard Monologue]]: While in the combined GunBuster in episode 5, Kazumi gives a short inner monologue about how she'll fight for the last six months, because that's the only way she can live in the same timeframe as [[spoiler:the dying]] Coach Ohta.
* JustForFun/XMeetsY: ''Anime/MazingerZ'' meets ''Manga/GetterRobo'' meets ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' meets ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam''.
** Or, as descibed above: Sports Drama meets Giant Robots in the middle of ''TheForeverWar''.
* YouAreNotAlone: From the sixth episode, in a situation eerily similar to a comparable scene in ''Film/TheAbyss'', which was released the following year.
* {{Zeerust}}
* ZenSurvivor: Coach is a textbook example.
----