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Anime / GunBuster

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Saving the Earth with hard work and guts!

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


Aim for the Top! GunBuster (トップをねらえ! GunBuster — Top wo Nerae! GunBuster) is a super robot OVA, released in three VHS tape volumes from October 1988 to July 1989. The directorial debut of one Hideaki Anno and what put Studio Gainax on the map, GunBuster is a loving mish-mash of homages towards old school otakudom, a den of gorgeous animation and breathtaking background art, and as much evocative melodrama and emotional catharsis as could be crammed into six episodes. One of the most well-known titles among old school otaku, and a spiritual predecessor to much of Gainax's later work; without GunBuster, there would probably be no Evangelion or Gurren Lagann.

The Luxion fleet has been destroyed by an unknown race of space monsters. Noriko Takaya (Noriko Hidaka), daughter of the admiral of the lost fleet, has enrolled at the Okinawa Girls' Space Pilot High School. Marred by her own self-confidence issues, a distinct lack of talent in machine piloting, and bullying from other students looking down at her as the "Daughter of Defeat," Noriko's hopes for the future seem more than a little forlorn. Yet when the school's two candidates to leave Earth behind to combat the space monsters directly as part of the multinational Top Squadron (and secret "Buster Machine" project) are announced as none other than Noriko herself and her idol, Kazumi Amano (Rei Sakuma), Noriko is forced to contend with her self-doubts under the training of "Coach" Ohta (Norio Wakamoto), who sees something in Noriko that nobody else does. Days of bullying, several speeches, a couple of training montages, and one robot duel later, Noriko and Kazumi are shipping out for advanced training in Earth's orbit. Here they find a rival, genius Soviet pilot Jung Freud (Maria Kawamura), who starts by challenging Kazumi to a duel, then settles into a snippy sort of friendship with the two.

What starts as a fanservice-laden, tongue-in-cheek soft parody of super robot anime, Top Gun, and Aim for the Ace! takes a gradual turn into themes of coping with loss, returning to a world that's no longer what you remember it as, and Noriko struggling to grow as she deals with her crushing anxiety... in between all the uproarious battle screams and beautiful, over-the-top battle sequences against eldritch space monsters.

As part of the studio's 2004 20th anniversary, Gainax released a sequel series in DieBuster. This was released in the west as Gunbuster 2. A third entry in the series has been reportedly in production for decades. Additionally, a little known work known as Aim for the Top! Next Generation (consisting of novels and manga) bridges some gaps between Gunbuster and Diebuster.

Just in time for the show's 35th anniversary, Discotek Media released a new Blu-Ray in 2023, sporting an English dub for the very first time.

You can aim for the top yourself and watch the whole show, both subbed and dubbed, on Crunchyroll.

See also Getter Robo and Aim for the Ace! (the primary inspirations for GunBuster), the Daicon III & IV openings (where Noriko's character design is partially borrowed from), Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gainax's later super robot productions that echo a number of GunBuster's themes), and Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (a much different six episode mecha OVA also written by Hiroyuki Yamaga, roughly concurrently with GunBuster).

No relation to the Taito arcade game.

Aim for the Tropes!

  • Action Girl: Noriko is one of the bravest and baddest women in the history of fiction. She has the astronomical killcount to prove it.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Episode 4, especially with the scenes of the Exelion's interior being destroyed as the battle continues.
  • Animation Bump: The first four episodes (the first two VHS volumes) were recorded on 16mm film, while the last two episodes (the final volume) were on 35mm. There's a marked jump in picture quality and color depth starting with the fifth episode.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Jung speaks regular Japanese, she's just really snarky.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Noriko's subtly implied to be one in the series proper, what with the posters for Space Battleship Yamato and The Castle of Cagliostro on her wall; in the science bonus shorts, her otakuness is played up for comedy.
  • Atrocious Arthropods: The space monsters are a race of Insectoid Aliens bent on eradicating humanity.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Gunbuster's default stance, one of several homages to Getter Dragon. The most prominent appearance of the stance, and one of the most famous shots in anime history, is when Noriko strikes it herself during the climactic battle sequence of episode five, signifying her confidence and completed character arc since her victory in the previous episode. It's been homaged many times since, to the point the exact stance itself — back straight, legs spread, head held high — is often referred to as the "GunBuster pose" by anime fans.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: While practicing with the controls on her mech, Noriko overhears a rather harsh critique of herself from Kazumi, only further sending her floundering self-confidence down the drain.
  • Beam Spam: One of Gunbuster's attacks is an enormous, palm-fired sweeping laser.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The space monsters are defeated, and Noriko and Kazumi return to a changed Earth after twelve thousand years. Their sacrifices weren't for nothing, with Earth welcoming them back with an enormous "WELCOME HOME".
  • Bland-Name Product: Noriko directly compares Gunbuster to "Get-P Robo" in the fourth Science Lesson.
  • Book Ends:
    • Noriko's climactic mecha duel from the first episode, and one of her first steps on the road to growing into the hero Coach sees in her, concludes with her delivering an Inazuma Kick — it gets the job done, but it's messy and results in Noriko's mecha crashing to the ground even after nailing the hit. In the battle sequence in episode five, Noriko, now the confident Gunbuster pilot Coach knew she could become, teams up with Kazumi to bore through countless space monsters with a Super Inazuma Kick — this time, the mecha lands straight on its feet.
    • The flashback that opens the second episode has Admiral Takaya open a holographic photograph of his daughter, lamenting he won't be able to return for her eighth birthday. In the final episode, Noriko receives a similar photograph of her best friend's grown-up daughter, the same age as Noriko herself due to the effects of time dilation. The realization of how much of her own life has passed her by is enough to make Noriko burst into tears.
  • Bowdlerized: The original Japanese videotape release is notorious for a blatant shot of Noriko's pubic hair in a bath scene, subsequently trimmed in future releases by cutting out a few frames.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor Noriko goes through hell and back directly due to her insecurity and codependency issues before finally shaping up and becoming a Hot-Blooded badass. Kazumi doesn't get off easy in the fifth episode, either.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Happens several times when fighting the Space Monsters.
    • First when the fleet is ambushed upon returning to the Sol system, resulting in a desperate battle with roughly 90% casualties for the human side. In the end, Noriko defeats the aliens by allowing the titular mecha to take a ramming attack directly to its abdomen before zapping the bejeesus out of the enemy flagship.
    • In the next episode, humanity destroys a far larger fleet under even more terrifying conditions by creating an artificial black hole that swallows the enemy fleet but which also takes down 3 planets and throws the Earth's axis off tilt.
    • The Space Monsters are finally defeated for good when humanity replicates this with an even larger black hole created by crushing Jupiter, which they lose thousands of Exelion-sized ships defending and which ultimately only works when Noriko and Kazumi plunge into the black hole's heart and activate it manually with one of Gunbuster's two core reactors.
  • Calling Your Attacks: A few times with the RX Machines, but it steps up considerably once a hot-blooded Noriko is behind the controls of the titular Gunbuster in episode five.
  • Caped Mecha: Gunbuster equips a cape from absolutely nowhere to deflect an enormous volley of space monster rounds. It looks an awful lot like Getter Wing.
  • Combining Mecha: The titular Gunbuster is the combined form of the first two Buster Machines. Noriko tops, while Kazumi's on the bottom.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • There's a Gainax billboard in the background of the Japan Air Lines shuttle launch scene.
    • The names of the staff on a training ship in the second episode are actually Gainax staff member names.
  • Creator Provincialism: The setting is not only in Japan, the whole world is effectively under Japanese cultural, economic and political dominance.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A lone Gunbuster versus enough space aliens to span the diameter of Pluto's orbit? Yeah... the aliens don't stand a chance.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kashiwara and Jung, although they were evenly matched.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Episode six, to emphasize the serious drama, with color only returning as Noriko and Kazumi head home. Rather than simply filming with a grayscale camera, the episode was shot on color film, meaning character model sheets had to be redrawn and the episode itself contains a staggering amount of beautiful subtlety in its use of shades. This, reportedly, cost the studio a bundle.
  • Distant Finale: 12,000 years distant, as Noriko and Kazumi finally come home.
  • Diving Kick: Noriko's Inazuma Kick is a Rider Kick homage.
  • Eternal English: Averted in the final scene. 12,000 years later, "オカエリナサイ (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: Kazumi's Onee-sama relationship with Noriko stands-in for Reika and Hiromi's from Aim for the Ace!. Noriko and Kazumi even borrow their counterparts' headwear with their headband and enormous hair bow, respectively. Meanwhile, Coach Ohta is heavily based on the similarly-grueling Coach Munakata.
  • Failed Future Forecast: In the GunBuster universe, the Soviet Union is still alive and kicking by the 2020's. In the real world, the USSR would dissolve just two years after the final episode's release.
  • Fanservice: With plenty of conventionally-attractive young women in highleg leotards, a whole lot of jiggle, and a surprising amount of uncensored breasts, GunBuster is arguably the zero point of modern anime fanservice.
  • Final Solution: It's speculated in-universe 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.
  • Finger Firearms: Impossibly-numerous volleys of missiles are fired straight out of Gunbuster's fingertips.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Besides the infamous case of Noriko's pubes, carefully watching the Gunbuster's Transformation Sequence very briefly shows a battle-axe and a baseball bat stored in its shoulder. If you've ever wondered why, of Gunbuster's massive All There in the Manual arsenal of weapons, the Buster Homerun and Buster Tomahawk are the ones that keep showing up in Super Robot Wars, that's the reason.
    • The Yamato appears in a group shot of spaceships in episode four.
    • When the Eltreum is being constructed in Earth's orbit in the fifth episode, its parts are stored on gigantic sprues, as if it were a plastic model kit being built.
    • Noriko's room in the final episode has blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos of the Yamato and a Z'gok, in the form of model kits on Noriko's shelf.
  • Furo Scene: In the second episode, where Jung starts her catty friendship with Noriko and Kazumi, and again in the fifth, where Noriko bathes while pondering Coach and Kazumi's relationship.
  • Genocide Dilemma: One has questioned that if the galaxy is a living being and the space monsters are its antibodies, is it right for mankind to kill the galaxy to destroy the space monsters hell-bent on wiping out the "human disease"?
  • Genre Shift: From sports anime spoof to Top Gun to The Forever War.
  • Godzilla Threshold: It's us or them, so why not destroy the core of the galaxy to create a black hole in the final episode?
  • Gratuitous English: File under Calling Your Attacks. "Homingu Reiza!!!" "BUSTAAAA!! MISAIRU!! "Ride on, ride on..."
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: 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 no other choice but to wipe out the aliens for them to survive. However, it is averted in Episode 6 where there is a discussion of whether or not humanity is right in taking these steps. It's ultimately hand-waved given that humanity's only options are to either survive at any cost, or very certainly die off.
  • Heroic BSoD: Noriko during the fourth episode. Kazumi also gets one in the fifth episode, and at the worst possible time.
  • He's Back!: When Kazumi breaks down in episode 5, Noriko gives her a short speech that falls somewhere in-between What the Hell, Hero? and Get A Hold Of Yourself Man. After a moment, her eyes take on a steely gaze and she says, Noriko... let's combine! Cue Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the final episode, Noriko prepares to use her Buster Machine's engine to start the Black Hole Bomb, knowing that she'll die, being unable to escape. Subverted when Kazumi combines their Buster Machines so that they'll have two engines, therefore still being able to leave. And then Double Subverted when it takes them 12,000 years to get home, meaning that everyone they know is by now quite long dead...
  • Homage:
    • The first episode is an extended, tongue-somewhat-in-cheek tribute to Aim for the Ace!, swapping out tennis for giant robots.
    • The moment Gunbuster itself finally shows up, the series lovingly embraces its over-the-top super robot influences, with Gunbuster's monstrous power level and an arsenal that pays tribute to various installments of Getter Robo.
  • Homing Lasers: Gunbuster's own are the very trope namer, an enormous, space monster-annihilating laser barrage that stretches over hundreds of miles when used in the fifth episode's battle sequence.
  • Hot-Blooded: Noriko Takaya may have been one of the first true examples of a female Hot-Blooded protagonist in giant robot history. Not only that, she remains as one of the most Hot-Blooded mecha pilots in history, to the point where only one hailing from her own studio can claim to surpass her.
  • Humans Are Special: 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.
  • Humongous Mecha: 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.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Averted - Jung is only telling scary stories during hyperspace jump. Noriko doesn't take them well. Double Subverted, when space monsters manage to perform a precision strike on the fleet within hyperspace, where, normally, no sensors work, and wipe out most of the ships.
  • I Know Madden Kombat: The Buster Home Run, which is effectively playing baseball with a ball of energy (see below).
  • Indirect Kiss: The medium is a soda she shared with Smith Torren (This poor sod doesn't make it through the next battle). She gets really red in the face after realization.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: 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.
  • Infodump
  • It Can Think: Despite their downright monstrous, inhuman and bizarre appearance, Space Monsters are implied to be quite intelligent and well organized. Their attacks are well coordinated and have a sense of strategy to them, behaving less like animals and more like a military assault fleet, capable of surprise attacks and prioritizing certain targets, like how in the final episode they warp onto the battlefield way ahead of schedule and go for the Black Hole Bomb while ignoring the rest of the fleet.
  • Japan Takes Over the World: As may be expected from a series created by a Japanese studio in the halcyon days of the late '80s, Gunbuster paints a picture of 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 backstory, Japan bought Hawaii from a declining USA in a very different economy. 12 years later during World War III, the US 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 emperor.
  • Lensman Arms Race: 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, 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 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 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 the fact toward the end.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The Space Monsters are frightfully powerful and alien creatures that are speculated to be "antibodies" of the universe itself, which regards humanity as a disease to wipe out. They reproduce by laying eggs in stars and can shrug off the elimination of a fleet the size of Neptune's orbit. Despite all this and the desperate measures humanity is led to to keep them at bay, humanity does manage to succeed at defeating the monsters (at least temporarily), so the story still comes down favorably on humanity's side.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: (BUSTAAAA MISSAIRU!)
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Eltreum, which comes in at an impressive 70 km in length.
  • Motion-Capture Mecha: All the mecha in the series; Gunbuster itself is the "Kung-Fu Robo" variation of the trope.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Jung Freud, named after psychologists Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
  • Nightmare Face: Kashiwara during her fight with Noriko.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Several nipples are shown uncensored and even the downstairs aren't censored away during the Furo Scene!
  • No Endor Holocaust: Averted when the humans decide to take the old Excelion warship out past the orbit of Pluto to 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 when they destroy the centre of the galaxy, however, it may be that after 12,000 years, humanity may have found a way to protect themselves that we today couldn't possibly comprehend. As the center of the galaxy is about 25,000 light-years away, the effects may also just be less than halfway to Earth by the ending.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: 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 the dying Coach Ohta.
  • Omniscient Morality License: 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.
  • Parasites Are Evil: While one of the scientists describes them as galaxy's antibodies that are defending it from the virus that is humankind, the space monsters seem to fit the "parasite" or virus label more accurately as they destroy healthy stars in order to reproduce. Those stars could've been hosts to planets that could potentially harbor living organisms, and by destroying said stars the space monsters are ensuring that no new life besides themselves is born in the universe.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Or non-age-up as the case may be.
  • Posthumous Character: Admiral Takaya
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • Inverted 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 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 Bittersweet Ending.
  • Randomly Reversed Letters: In the ending, when Noriko and Kazumi return to Earth after over 12,000 years, and the Earth lights up into a giant "オカエリナサイ (WELCOME HOME)" sign, the final katakana is reversed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain Tashiro. Strict, but level-headed and caring towards those under his command. He frequently shows his more casual and friendly side when interacting with other characters, like informing the crew of Exelion in episode 4 that they'll be passing right by the Halley's Comet upon exiting warp (knowing how much the cadets will be excited to hear the news) and having lunch with Jung and Noriko in episode 6 while briefing them on the mission status. While willing to sacrifice himself and others if it means protecting humankind from Space Monsters, he will refuse to do it if he feels there might be another way, as he tries to talk Noriko and Kazumi out of their intent to manually activate Black Hole Bomb, knowing that by doing so they're sentencing themselves to death or centuries-long voyage home.
  • Red Shirt Army: 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.
  • Retro Rocket: 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.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: While the translation itself is good, the subtitles for the 2007 DVD release are filled with typos. Barely ten lines will go by without a misspelling, absent punctuation mark or most commonly, random missing letter.
  • Rule of Cool: Anno has said he was more concerned with how scenes worked out for drama and excitement than trying to be realistic.
  • Rule of Drama: The only time actual science is invoked is when it can raise the angst quotient.
  • Sampling: Episode 5 actually samples audio from Ghostbusters of all things, several times. really.
  • Sapient Cetaceans:
    • The final episode shows an Orca amongst a ship's crew.
    • The Eltreum uses cyborg dolphins for navigation, though only one is briefly shown.
  • Schizo Tech: Displays, uniforms, and other random tidbits are designed to be retro despite technology reaching insane levels. It does come down to hot-bloodedly battling kaiju while shouting a lot, after all.
  • Serial Escalation: In-between and after her occasional breaks, each of Noriko's battles is more awesome than the last. Except episode 3.
  • Shout-Out: Enough for its own page.
  • Skyscraper Messages: The entire planet is shut down then lit up to give our heroines a warm welcome back after twelve thousand years.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The next mecha show made by Hideaki Anno basically took everything Gun Buster held dear and smashed into tiny pieces then smashed the pieces.
  • Spiritual Successor: Let's just say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
  • Starfish Aliens: The spacemonsters are among the biggest echinoderm/Giger-inspired horrors in fiction.
  • Starship Luxurious: The Eltrium.
  • Super Prototype: 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 Super Prototype 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.
  • Tannhäuser Gate: Mentioned as being involved in the series' FTL Travel during one of the Infodumps.
  • Tempting Fate: In final episode, Captain Tashiro notes how the Imperial fleet will have some 12 minutes of advantage over the Space Monsters to activate the Black Hole Bomb and safely warp out before it goes off, since it's believed the Space Monsters, due to their current position, can't warp over short distances and thus have to travel at sub-light speed. Not even few seconds later, much to his shock he is forced to eat his own words when Space Monsters warp in way ahead of schedule and begin the assault.
  • That's No Moon: No, it's a planet-sized, black hole-generating bomb made out of Jupiter!
  • Theme Music Power-Up: 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 Theme Music Power-Up... except that it's not the series's OP, which didn't play at all in the episode.
  • Theme Naming: In this case Shout-Out. 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 Koichi 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.
  • Time Dilation: A major plot point later in the series. In the final episode, alone, Kazumi becomes fifteen years older during her stay on Earth while Noriko barely ages in comparison to her due to the effects of time dilation when travelling at FTL speeds.
  • Time Skip: Handled in an interesting way due to the aformentioned Time Dilation. With several years for some characters being mere hours for the main cast..
  • Took a Level in Badass: 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 Simon. Or rather, Simon would pull a Noriko 20 years later.
  • Training from Hell: This anime heavily averts Hard Work Hardly Works and makes it clear that training and hard work are just as important as potential, if not more so.
  • Training Montage: One early fan Gag Dub (Robotech III "Not Necessarily the Sentinels") even set it to the trope-naming music.
  • Unobtainium: Eltreum, what the 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.
  • Vertical Mecha Fins: The Gunbuster's twin rocket boosters.
    • They also serve as a Stealth Pun whenever the Gunbuster crosses its arms. When two fires combine to make a flame...
      • They also appear to serve something of a practical purpose - the Vertical Mecha Fins 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.
  • Wave-Motion Gun. BUSTAAA BEEEAAAMMM!


Video Example(s):



Noriko kicking through an enemy ship and lands on another ship below with a badass arm fold.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadassArmFold

Media sources: