- Best Known for the Fanservice: It did inspire the term Gainaxing.
- Crowning Music of Awesome:The Gunbuster March.
- HSQ: It is commonly held by fans of the series that once the Gunbuster activates in Episode 5, this gets knocked up several notches.
- Iron Woobie: Noriko wasn't iron at all when things started out, but come episode 4....
- Nightmare Fuel: The series' exploration of Time Dilation becomes steadily more nightmarish as the story progresses. Noriko's best/only friend is the same age as her in first episode, by the last episode that same friend has a daughter graduating high school, and Noriko has only aged a couple months at most. Directly noted by Noriko when she realizes that this is why father always returned for her birthday; he didn't want to literally miss his daughter growing up.
- The Woobie: Noriko early on, after she gets selected for the space mission. Poor Noriko - little to no self-esteem to begin with - suffers so much social abuse that she has a short breakdown not long after and ends up begging the Coach to rescind her selection... And this makes the sheer Badass later on so much more satisfying.