Tear Jerker: GunBuster

  • The sheer social abuse Noriko goes through in the first episode as a result of being selected for the space mission is brutal. She breaks down into hysterical sobs for a while.
  • Episode 5 reveals that Noriko and Kazumi's Coach is dying of cosmic radiation poisoning. To make matters worse, Kazumi had fallen in love with Coach. As a result, she suffers an emotional breakdown when a mission causes them to travel out several months away from earth due to Time Dilation, with Coach possibly dying before she could return. Noriko helps her snap out of it, and what follows is one of the biggest ass-whuppings inflicted upon the Space Monsters. As an added bonus, by the time they return to Earth, Coach is still alive and kicking. He and Kazumi marry by the next episode.
  • GunBuster's final episode - "Welcome Home". It never fails to make this troper cry. When our heroines go down into the Black Hole Bomb to activate it manually, Jung, their last remaining friend, promises to give them a big welcome home when they get back. But they're in the center of the galaxy, and with Time Dilation in full effect, they don't make it back to earth until 12,000 years later, only to be greeted by a dark, silent Earth. But as they're thinking that they are the last humans left... the entire planet lights up in a continent sized "Welcome Back" sign. Jung kept her promise.
    • And of course, the corresponding scene from the opposite side in the sequel Diebuster, bringing the epic full circle.