Aim for the Simulwatch! It's Gunbuster

orgun

Death Scythe
Episode 6

This is such a creative episode with the use of black and white and letterboxed visuals. It's been over 20 years since I first saw this episode and I've seen it countless times since and it is still one of the best final episodes I've seen in any anime and I just love that final scene as Noriko and Kazumi finally get back to Earth and that even after 12,000 years the Earth hasn't forgotten those two individuals that saved humanity.
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
And Episode 6.

Similar sentiments to @orgun, it's all too wonderful to pass comment on properly. The time dilation stuff hits really hard with Noriko coming to terms with the fact that just about everyone she has ever known will die before her and fears of being forgotten, Jung having to let go of her friends too, plus some philosophical waxing in the cable car about whether it's right to destroy the universe fighting against fate. The ending is just incredible, totally unforgettable (and one of the few redeeming features of Diebuster).

The first time I watched the episode I was confused as to whether time or budget had run out, with the episode changing to black and white and the main battle scene being a series of stills. But the more I watch it the more I come to realise they're probably just showing off!

There are too many amazing shots to really post pictures of here, the sheer scale of buster machine 3 is mind blowing, and Gunbuster pulling its heart from its chest to start the chain reaction to name but a few.

So here's a picture of a future space dolphin instead:


Thanks again @Neil.T for organising.

and @WMD, @Professor Irony, @ayase, @ActionFaust, @orgun for watching along!

Gunbuster is most definitely the reason I got into anime to begin with.
 
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Neil.T

Guild Member
Thanks again @Neil.T for organising.

and @WMD, @Professor Irony, @ayase, @ActionFaust, @orgun for watching along!

Gunbuster is most definitely the reason I got into Anime to begin with.
Aw, bless you, dude. I've really enjoyed this too, and it's been fantastic to have everyone involved. It's not over yet, though! There's still another part of the Gunbuster story I'd like to pick your brains about, what with you being a long-standing fan and all. ๐Ÿ˜€

And Episode 6.

Similar sentiments to @orgun, it's all too wonderful to pass comment on properly.
I haven't even done an episode 6 post yet, because I'm getting the same feeling after watching it. It's a quite remarkable piece of work. I need some more time to let it settle before I try to organise some thoughts about it.

I can tell you this now, though: I was so drawn into that episode that I was actually nervous watching it. I'm really not sure if I've ever felt that watching anime before. I really cared about what was going to happen to these characters we'd gotten to know during these six short episodes.
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
I can tell you this now, though: I was so drawn into that episode that I was actually nervous watching it. I'm really not sure if I've ever felt that watching anime before. I really cared about what was going to happen to these characters we'd gotten to know during these six short episodes.
I know exactly what you mean! I get so much out of similar short OVAs like FLCL and the Little Witch Academia short than most one and even two cour series can muster in their runtime. It takes some real skill to achieve, I think it must be something to do with them being more passion than project (or just Gainax being Gainax).
 

ActionFaust

Thousand Master
Episodes 5-6 (time for bad opinion zone)
I'm... mixed. I did enjoy it for the most part with animation, storyboarding and direction being pretty great especially in the last episode. The impact this series has had on Gainax is so clear to see with Evangelion and Gurren Lagann drawing clear inspiration from the imagery and themes present. The music is also really good and the ridiculous nature is just classic Gainax.

My issues lie with how rushed it is and how I generally just didn't care much for the story or characters. Much like time dilation, the events just seemed to pass way too fast for me to enjoy the series proper. Also the Gainaxing really gave me a headache.

That aside this was an interesting watch to see what set the foundation for future Gainax series and can still be seen in more recent works like Trigger's Darling in the Franxx and even Little Witch Academia making reference.

Now that I'm in a Gainax mood I'm gonna go for something more recent and start watching Idolm@ster
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
Episodes 5-6 (time for bad opinion zone)
I'm... mixed. I did enjoy it for the most part with animation, storyboarding and direction being pretty great especially in the last episode. The impact this series has had on Gainax is so clear to see with Evangelion and Gurren Lagann drawing clear inspiration from the imagery and themes present. The music is also really good and the ridiculous nature is just classic Gainax.

My issues lie with how rushed it is and how I generally just didn't care much for the story or characters. Much like time dilation, the events just seemed to pass way too fast for me to enjoy the series proper. Also the Gainaxing really gave me a headache.

That aside this was an interesting watch to see what set the foundation for future Gainax series and can still be seen in more recent works like Trigger's Darling in the Franxx and even Little Witch Academia making reference.

Now that I'm in a Gainax mood I'm gonna go for something more recent and start watching Idolm@ster
But, but, but you must be watching it wrong!

Nah, I kid, I'm totally unable to view the seires objectively anymore. Characters and events probably stuck with me just because how many times I've watched it, now that I think about it.

But you're right, it's at least cool to know where a bunch of current tropes descended from.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
I get so much out of similar short OVAs like FLCL and the Little Witch Academia short
I totally second that sentiment! ๐Ÿ˜€
FLCL is an all-time favourite of mine, and the original Little Witch Academia is genuinely like a little mini-movie with the journey it takes you on.

I think it must be something to do with them being more passion than project (or just Gainax being Gainax).
Again, totally so. And it's great that this spirit of fun lives on in Trigger now. They're honestly the only animation house that makes me want to see a new anime because it's theirs.

Roll on Promare at Scotland Loves Anime and, on that note, I feel duty-bound to take a punt on tagging @anime_andrew. Just putting it out there that this thread demonstrates how much love there still is for Gunbuster. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Episode 6 post to follow.
 

WMD

Hunter
Episode 6

What an emotional rollercoaster this has been!

Starting with a time jump from the last episode and Amano at Coach's grave really sets the theme and tone for the whole episode: Sacrificing your time so others get to keep and live theirs.

At first I thought it was just going to be this intro that was black and white then it turned put to be the whole episode. On the whole it worked well but I was a bit sad not to have the vibrancy of the other episodes. The art and colour were some of my favourite aspects of this show. Do people know if it was an artistic choice or was it a budgetary thing?

Really interesting to see them debate the morality of their actions. Is it ok to genocide another race if they are trying to genocide you? And also interesting that Amano essentially says that future generations will have to work that out if we survive. Given the reception they get on their return it seems like humanity is ok with what they did.

Again the action and warp effects were awesome. Though that was probably the most pointless boob exposure I've ever seen (and I've seen Divergence Eve multiple times!)

The unexplained space dolphin was excellent. I'm also going to share a picture of it.
Screenshot_20190915-174106_YouTube.jpg

The ending was super emotional. The goodbyes were pretty hard to take and the fake out returning to a dark Earth and then the lights coming on was awesome and felt really cathartic. Annoyingly in the version I was watching some copyright claim meant the final few minutes of the video were in silence but oh well.

I've been watching a lot of Mecha animes recently (this, Eva, Nadia, Gundam, Franxx. It also wasnt that long ago that I gave Gurren and full metal panic rewatches) and I have to say it's pretty astonishing just how varied and interesting a genre it is. So many different types of character and story to be told. Gunbuster even with it's short length is up there with the best of them.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
Do people know if it was an artistic choice or was it a budgetary thing?
I don't actually know one way or the other, but I suspect it's another of those limitations that Anno's turned into something artistic. Although... is monochrome actually much of a time/budget saver? It seems like it'd be a separate area of expertise entirely. ๐Ÿค”

Could the episode have even been originally made in colour and then converted to monochrome? I did read on Wikipedia that...

A remastered four disc set was released in 2004 with dramatically improved image, and new extras such as three short animations, a rough cut of episode five and an unmatted version of episode 6.
(Under the heading "Releases")

That means that, interestingly, episode 6 must've been originally made in the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the previous five, before being letterboxed to create a "cinematic" feel. Perhaps that and the monochrome together are Anno's tribute to the early days of Japanese cinema? See also his later use of the old wave-crashing Toei logo...
... at the beginning of Evangelion 3.0. Anno does love his classic references.

So here's a picture of a future space dolphin instead:


Thanks again @Neil.T for organising
The unexplained space dolphin was excellent.
Any chance that this is why there's a dolphin with human intelligence in Mardock Scramble: The Second Combustion? ๐Ÿ˜…

IMG_20190915_203417840.jpg

Writer Tow Ubukata's got to have seen Gunbuster at some point, surely?
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
Could the episode have even been originally made in colour and then converted to monochrome?
This post in the MyAnimeList forum says no:

Although... is monochrome actually much of a time/budget saver?
Again, the MAL forum suggests not:
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
Fashionably late (I was in space for five minutes, for you it's been two days), but I finished the show! Wanted to grind out my own take on it first so I wasn't subconsciously influenced by anything, but I'll have a proper read over everyone else's comments tomorrow.

Episode 5

Yaass, Fly High at last. I always liked that track, although I'm genuinely surprised to find it's just an insert song - I honestly thought it would have been either an OP or an ED.

On a more serious note, I've heard a lot of praise for and discussion of the way Gunbuster handles the passage of time, but it still hits you hard when it actually happens. The scenes of Noriko visiting Kimiko are quite heartbreaking. It's not just that she's changed physically, even the way she addresses Noriko has changed now. I did think Noriko seemed to dismiss the idea of her pulling strings to get Takami on the escape ship rather lightly though.

For the reference spotters, the traditional black robe Coach Ota wears when he gets out of his hospital bed is exactly the same as the one adopted by the Coach in Aim for the Ace under similar circumstances, and the alien infiltration ships that 'bloom' after they strike the Excelion are remarkably similar to the radish ship from the Daicon opening films.

Episode 6

I feel this episode is the most Hideaki Anno thing that I think even Hideaki Anno could possibly ever conceive of. I knew that it was in black & white, but is it not also in Tohoscope? That is a power move.

Maybe I'm just trying too hard to see things, but, with the vintage tokusatsu film-style presentation and time having progressed another fifteen years, I couldn't help feeling the aesthetic of the mechanical designs had changed to look a bit more like something from the 60s. The cable-car type ship Amano travels in and the black hole bomb in particular both have that very rounded look I'd associate with sci-fi productions of that era.

I was also a bit surprised when we got the montage of still frames for the big battle sequence too. Knowing what came later, it would be easy to see it as a bit of desperate cost cutting, or even a determination to challenge audience expectation by avoiding the standard violent outcome, but I suppose it also seems like something you might well have found in a 50s or 60s sci-fi b-movie, when budget and special effect techniques often weren't enough to cope with the grand dreams of their creators.

Then there's that ending. In a way, I wish I hadn't seen Franxx so relatively recently, I think my 'oh so that's where that came from' realisation rather diminished things a little, but it was still quite poignant. As logistically difficult as it is to believe it could be done, the moment the lights came on was rather heartwarming.

So yeah, that's it then. I enjoyed watching this one and it's been great to go through it with everyone else. It wasn't the show I expected it to be, except when it was, but it was also a lot of other things too and somehow it made all that work as a whole. Even if I had finished Gunbuster when I was a kid, I don't think I'd have appreciated it as much - it definitely feels like something you need to have lived a bit more to get the most out of.

Youtube is recommending me an intriguingly silly looking video to do with the PS2 game, but I'll leave that for tomorrowtoo.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
I knew that it was in black & white, but is it not also in Tohoscope? That is a power move.
I was actually looking at the Tohoscope article on Wikipedia while I was finding the above clip of that old Toei logo used in Evangelion 3.0, believe it or not. It says this:

In contemporary popular culture, the recognizable Toho Scope logo prefaced Godzilla: Final Wars, one of many homages to older science fiction productions made throughout the film.


That sounds very Anno, doesn't it? And what was his next film after Evangelion 3.0? Yes: Shin Godzilla.
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
Episode 6

OKAERI NASAI

("Welcome home", the message spelled out in lights for Noriko and Kazumi as they return to Earth, some 12,000 years after they set out to try to secure a future for humankind)

I felt myself suddenly well up a little at that bit. It was unexpectedly touching.


I noticed the great similarity to the end scene of FRANXX that the Prof mentioned as well. The difference in FRANXX, of course, is that the two leads do actually sacrifice themselves to defeat the enemy, and it's their souls, represented by the two globes of light (this time different colours) that make the long journey back to Earth. It doesn't take quite as long as 12,000 years, though, judging by the growth of the tree! ๐Ÿ˜„

Playing around with aspect ratio to create mood is another thing FRANXX director Atsushi Nishigori obviously learned from watching Gunbuster, as the frame shifts into a variety of formats during the course of his show.

There's a bunch of parallels with Gurren Lagann, too โ€” too many to cover here, but one of them is certainly that marvellous glass-breaking warp effect that @NoSurprises mentioned earlier in the thread; Simon achieved something similar with his mighty "burst spinning punch". ๐Ÿ’ฅ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ˜‰

the final few minutes of the video were in silence but oh well
"Toki no Kawa o Koete" ("Crossing the river of time") ๐Ÿ‘
 

WMD

Hunter
I felt myself suddenly well up a little at that bit. It was unexpectedly touching.
Me too. It was a really well executed moment.

"Toki no Kawa o Koete" ("Crossing the river of time") ๐Ÿ‘
I'm guess the music is why though the silence started just after the bomb went off. So their dialogue as they journey and arrive back on earth was also missing. At least the subtitles were still there.
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
In today's random thought I didn't want to try and squeeze into my last post, I read this tweet just shortly before we started the simulwatch and I think it kind of set the tone of the whole thing for me:


Going into Gunbuster, I'd expected it to be more of an action show, but there's not really all that much combat to be seen, so maybe it's fair to say that it is more interested in how its characters lives are affected by this situation that they're thrown into, than the actual war itself?

It's not the only show I've seen that deals with its cast aging, or even some aging when others don't, but it's the only one I've seen do that so affectingly with such economy. Look away for a moment and someone else's life has changed entirely, while yours has remained the same.

On a lighter note, I did have a quick look at the PS2 game on youtube. According to wikipedia, it's a combination of free-roaming adventure and combat scenes that seems to follow the anime's storyline relatively closely, but expands it out and adds some rather curious alternative endings.

There may be more as well, but most notably, there's an option to fly into the final battle with Jung in the Gunbuster instead of Amano, and bafflingly... one where Noriko can marry Coach Ota.


I mean sure, ship it if you want, but seriously, I don't get it...
 

orgun

Death Scythe
The shots I remember involving any nudity that've survived intact on Kiseki's DVD are:
โ€“ Noriko falling back on her bed;
โ€“ Noriko clutching the framed photo of her father;
โ€“ Jung and Noriko talking on the beach;
โ€“ Noriko sitting thinking in the bath;
โ€“ Noriko getting up out of the bath;
โ€“ Noriko turning to face the mirror.

Anything not listed there has presumably gone missing from Kiseki's DVD by being cut out entirely rather than by the visuals being edited like before. If there's anything either of you can add to this, @NoSurprises and @orgun... ๐Ÿ‘

It's all still there in the Japanese Blu-ray!
 

Neil.T

Guild Member
It's all still there in the Japanese Blu-ray!
Yeah, it turns out that only episode 2 was cut for Kiseki's release:

The series was released in English on a single DVD in the United Kingdom by Kiseki Films, but this release suffered from poor video quality and inconsistent subtitles. It was also criticized for lack of advertised extras and the editing of a scene with full-frontal nudity.
(Under the heading "Releases")

It says "a scene", implying just the one. I haven't seen the intact version of episode 2, but I'm guessing it was the "full-frontal" part that was deemed to be the issue.

I'm guess the music is why though the silence started just after the bomb went off. So their dialogue as they journey and arrive back on earth was also missing.
Aw, no. That's a real shame, dude. โ˜น

###

I'll add this here too...
I suppose there is also the option to watch a couple of minutes of the Blu-ray film for each of the first 5 episodes and be totally lost in the dicsussion, then actually watch all of episode 6 with everyone.
Jung Freud . . . is also great, she's cut almost entirely from the compilation film which is tragic.
I also have a bit of trouble getting attached to Smith, considering he's only around for 10 minutes or so (poor guy only gets like 30 seconds in the compilation!).
It sounds like it has all the usual problems of a compilation film. I once read that the way the highlights of the first five episodes are cut together makes it look like Noriko cries at the drop of a hat. Is that true, @NoSurprises? ๐Ÿ˜…

Also, is there new animation used to stitch the scenes together? And is episode 6 included in its entirety?
 
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