Thursday, July 10, 2014

Anime Review: Diebuster

Considering that the last anime I reviewed was Gunbuster, I figured it was only fair I follow it up with a review of that show's sequel series. As such, it's time to check out some more crazy-awesome mecha action with Diebuster.

Diebuster was made in 2004 as a part of Studio Gainax's 20th anniversary; since Gunbuster was one of their earlier works that had helped put the studio on the map, it was decided that a follow-up series would be made. However, this series was not handled by Hideki Anno like the original and was instead directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, Anno's protege and the director of the popular series FLCL. The story revolved around a girl named Nono, who is very interested in becoming a space pilot (or as she puts it, to become "like Nonoriri") and ends up joining a group of teenage pilots named Topless. Once joined, she quickly devotes herself to being able to hone her skills as a pilot and hopefully manage to impress one Lal'C Melk Mark, a fellow pilot who Nono quickly idolizes.

Like its predecessor, Diebuster is a six episode OVA that devotes a substantial part of the series to both action and character study; several aspects of the protagonist are brought up early on that are gradually expanded on as the series continues and her character develops through interactions with the rest of the cast. Also like its predecessor, the series bears a lot of the distinct style of its director; whereas Gunbuster shared elements with Anno's later work Neon Genesis Evangelion, Diebuster has a fair number of similarities with Tsurumaki's previous series FLCL, sharing both its style of animation and general hyperactivity. Unfortunately, like with my last review of Gunbuster I can't really go into any more detail with the plot, since anything more would constitute spoilers considering how short the series is.

As with the last show, I can recommend Diebuster to just about any fan of giant robots or sci-fi in general; unlike the last show, I'd also add a definite recommendation for anyone who enjoyed the wackiness of FLCL. Being far more recent than Gunbuster, this series lacks any issues related to age; the animation is, naturally, far more up-to-date and the general plot and dialogue are fairly up to snuff. However, it is worth noting that this series can get a fair bit more silly than Gunbuster, so while it shares a lot of the same tones and themes of that show, the general atmosphere is substantially lighter for a sizable amount of time. Regardless, I'd still definitely consider it a worthy follow-up to Gunbuster and a cool way for Gainax to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

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