Aim for the Simulwatch! It's Gunbuster

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
Yeah, it turns out that only episode 2 was cut for Kiseki's release

I was still curious about why they would feel the need to do this, so I pulled up the BBFC ratings database, but it's not greatly insightful on the matter, only listing 'some versions cut' in regards to that second episode. Interestingly, according to the BBFC data, it was also the first episode to be rated.

It's a strange situation, as there's more than enough nudity remaining in the show that I'm surprised it got passed as a PG, although admittedly, I can't think of another title that would have come out around then that you could make a direct comparison with (most other titles would have shown nudity in a more overtly sexual context). The 12 certificate either wouldn't have been a thing at this point or was only just being introduced, so I can see it might complicate matters on whether it really needs to be a 15 (episode 1 was apparently passed as U), but I can't follow why Kiseki would really be so bothered by this as to go to the trouble of cutting something.
 

NoSurprises

Straw Hat Pirate
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? 😅

Also, is there new animation used to stitch the scenes together? And is episode 6 included in its entirety?
No new scenes as I recall, just jumping from one episode to another. It's not quite as jarring as it sounds, but a lot of scenes lose their impact. Like you read, it does make Noriko seem a little more unstable as a character, as we've not seen half the scenes that got her to where she is. It kinda works if you've seen the entire series already and just want to watch the highlights or something.
Also does that mean the film changes partway through from colour to black and white?
Yup, both the colour and aspect ratio change when the episode 6 effectively starts. Which is shown in its entirety I think.

The compilation of Diebuster works better I feel, as it cuts a lot of the cast who I found to be generally unlikable anyway, and focuses more on the main duo. Think the Diebuster movie did get some new scenes to stitch it together too, I could be wrong though!
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
So here's a picture of a future space dolphin instead
The unexplained space dolphin was excellent.
I finally got around to watching the two extra Gunbuster "science lessons" that were made some six years after the others, and good god: they are explained! 😯

Quote from the subtitles:
"In order to compensate for the weakened causation around the ship [while it's using its 'algorithmic image propulsion' to travel at light speed], they use ESPers and dolphins with electronic brains as navigators."

An explanation several years after the fact!
 

WMD

Dragon Knight
I finally got around to watching the two extra Gunbuster "science lessons" that were made some six years after the others, and good god: they are explained! 😯

Quote from the subtitles:
"In order to compensate for the weakened causation around the ship [while it's using its 'algorithmic image propulsion' to travel at light speed], they use ESPers and dolphins with electronic brains as navigators."

An explanation several years after the fact!
Amazing.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
I managed to binge on Gunbuster last night, worried that a lot of it was already spoilt by the homages/references from numerous later shows, especially Darling in the Franxx that I watched and really enjoyed last year, but fortunately it was quite the experience regardless. Great to catch up on this simulcast thread, and am on board with everything the experts have already said! So anyone, by any chance, not already bored to sleep by these covid times, read on for snoozies in the form of only some of my thoughts and mirrored opinions:

I felt like I was experiencing time dilation throughout the viewing of this seminal, short & succinct series which rather effectively included a number of unexpected tropes as already mentioned, including the campfire ghost stories & romance, love triangles, etc. And to see that iconic gunbuster pose at its inception, the confidence of a machine's creators to send it out with that pose, knowing full well that it will totally kick @$$, absolutely bloody brilliant!

The first episode felt like top gun: the anime but with girls in one piece swimsuits and a grumpy Coachiee Maverick. The robot aerobics were genius I think: if a pilot has that level of control over their Mazda rx-7, they surely possess the skills required to squash some giant space bugs. Which were nicely revealed in the space lessons as city-sized pubic lice and in true shared spirit with their microscopic earthly cousins, able to survive in the most inhospitable of environments. The space lessons were also a great way to fill in useful exposition when working with such a short & packed series. Interesting to see that Amano is the only individual sensible enough to be concerned about a clueless rookie being sent off to get blown to bits in a very expensive war machine. Coachiee was clearly schooled at the same school of thought (St. Clueless-Juvenile-Pilot's-Coach-Development) as best-dad-ever Ikari, but with a converse more pleasant approach to children utilising encouragement rather than derision & abandonment. They were both obviously taught to be seers though, as their kids did manage spectacular feats against all odds! I'm getting distracted, back to Gunbuster: I loved the animation in the battles, especially relating to the warps and cockpit interiors. Also appreciated the realistic use of Feng Shui? principles in Excelion including the deck and Coachiee's quarters: a psychologist was clearly consulted on the design to ensure the occupants don't go insane on extended space trips - eat your hearts out holodecks, etc on just about every other sci-fi ships out there!

Lastly, a fantastic mix of the light-hearted with heavy emotions of loss and the emptiness/vastness of space (beautifully visualised in the midst of a battle involving thousands of ships nonetheless!). It ended with probably the most emotive demonstration of the consequences of time dilation physics in any medium (my previous favourite in this regard was Interstellar - is Nolan an anime fan, surely he must be what with the inception/Kon similarities and this?!) and the return to a civilization that still remembers the debt to its saviours and is still prepared millennia later to roll out the red carpet to celebrate them.


Overall, what a fantastic experience: I absolutely loved it. Onwards now to see how gunbuster 2/diebuster follows on from this classic! Probably best to keep expectations as low as possible to see off the inevitable disappointment?


P.S. the kiseki dvd can be a bit of a mess but regardless at least it thankfully exists, and they have also demonstrated they can count and make executive decisions like changing the title to the far more accurate plural form.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
@Geriatric hedgehog:

Interesting post, dude. Glad you put down your thoughts. 😀
You have no idea how I laughed at...
city-sized pubic lice
😆👍
Genius.

Glad you enjoyed the show, too.

Though I haven't seen it yet, I know that Diebuster is a very different beast from Gunbuster; it's apparently more similar to Gainax's own FLCL, if you've ever seen that.

Stick your thoughts in here again when you watch it? I'll do the same when I watch it once my copy arrives. 🤞

One little thing I'll chime in with about Gunbuster for now, though, is that menu logo on Kiseki's DVD. I'd still say that the plural form is typo, myself. 🤔
If you think about it, come series' end, there are three Buster Machines, but still only one Gunbuster: the super robot formed from the combining of numbers 1 and 2.

I really think that someone at Kiseki simply had Ghostbusters on the brain while typing. 😅
@Professor Irony's VHS box set also says it includes "all three episodes" instead of "all three volumes"...
... so I think they lacked a bit of attention to detail, did Kiseki.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
Heh yeah I thought the alien design was also genius, not only inspire fear in the human mind but also a bout of inadvertent itching over the body!

... so I think they lacked a bit of attention to detail, did Kiseki.
Definitely agree, even remember seeing some distortion in the Coachiee's Excelion room exit scene, akin to VHS distortion I haven't seen in over a decade! I was also thinking that technically there's only one Gunbuster but couldn't resist making a facetious joke heh. The Ghostbusters reference is hilarious by the way! Still, I'm always very grateful to anyone bringing great anime to UK so very thankful this version exists.

Though I haven't seen it yet, I know that Diebuster is a very different beast from Gunbuster; it's apparently more similar to Gainax's own FLCL, if you've ever seen that.
I love FLCL including the sequels, for which I promptly added the US blu ray import to my collection after watching on crunchyroll. I think I saw that you guys already did a simulcast for FLCL already. Love the pillows soundtrack as well! If Diebuster is like FLCL then I'm excited alright! Will feedback after watching tonight hopefully. I'll try to minimise the diatribe though can't promise heh.
 
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Neil.T

Chuunibyou
I love FLCL including the sequels
Yeah, we did indeed do a marathon of all three FLCLs. 😁
I'm a huge fan of the first, and a lot more mixed on the follow-ups, but yeah, the original definitely has one of the very best soundtracks of any anime; I've got the soundtrack CD on order from Anime Limited, actually.


As for the VHS distortion on the Kiseki Gunbuster DVD, you're absolutely right: it's only a bleedin' tape transfer! 😅

(A VHS tape transfer on DVD, eh? Whatever would the BD-only crowd make of it? 😏)


I'll look forward to reading your thoughts on Diebuster as a fellow FLCL fan, dude. I'll hold off until I've seen it meself, but then I'll be back to compare notes with you. 😉
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
Yeah, we did indeed do a marathon of all three FLCLs. 😁
I'm a huge fan of the first, and a lot more mixed on the follow-ups, but yeah, the original definitely has one of the very best soundtracks of any anime; I've got the soundtrack CD on order from Anime Limited, actually.


As for the VHS distortion on the Kiseki Gunbuster DVD, you're absolutely right: it's only a bleedin' tape transfer! 😅

(A VHS tape transfer on DVD, eh? Whatever would the BD-only crowd make of it? 😏)


I'll look forward to reading your thoughts on Diebuster as a fellow FLCL fan, dude. I'll hold off until I've seen it meself, but then I'll be back to compare notes with you. 😉
Good stuff, I'll add that simulcast to my read list when I watch FLCL again. I've got the sequels' digital soundtrack off Google and have to get the original's hard copy from AL now. What's the ETA on your Diebuster? Will keep my rambles to myself until after.
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
What's the ETA on your Diebuster? Will keep my rambles to myself until after.
Dude! 😆

Well, I ordered it (from CEX) on 23 December. It didn't dispatch before Christmas so still hasn't yet, but I've ordered a whole bunch of things from them over the last few months (retro games), and they've arrived very quickly, so it shouldn't be too long.

I'll give you a heads-up here when it hits my doormat, eh?
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
Dude! 😆

Well, I ordered it (from CEX) on 23 December. It didn't dispatch before Christmas so still hasn't yet, but I've ordered a whole bunch of things from them over the last few months (retro games), and they've arrived very quickly, so it shouldn't be too long.

I'll give you a heads-up here when it hits my doormat, eh?
Sounds good. They've been super quick to dispatch: I ordered a bunch as well along with Memories yesterday and they've already dispatched everything today. So now I guess we just wait and hope Royal Mail aren't crazily busy (at least there aren't any boxing Day anime sales heheh).
 

Neil.T

Chuunibyou
@Geriatric hedgehog:

Just a small heads-up that I probably won't be getting my copy of Diebuster after all. CEX have cancelled the order, telling me "Unfortunately, we were unable to source the item you had ordered, and as such we have been unable to complete your order."

In other words, they've misplaced either the disc or the case somewhere within the shop and can't find it in order to be able to send me it. Great. 😩

I tried ordering it again, but given that it didn't dispatch before the end of the day, that'll probably be it now. So much for that.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
@Geriatric hedgehog:

Just a small heads-up that I probably won't be getting my copy of Diebuster after all. CEX have cancelled the order, telling me "Unfortunately, we were unable to source the item you had ordered, and as such we have been unable to complete your order."

In other words, they've misplaced either the disc or the case somewhere within the shop and can't find it in order to be able to send me it. Great. 😩

I tried ordering it again, but given that it didn't dispatch before the end of the day, that'll probably be it now. So much for that.
Oh no, sorry dude, that's a shame! But for what it's worth it's not in the same league as it's predecessor. I watched it over two nights (dozed off the first time around though I think that's probably age catching up with me and a lack of ability to stay up late like I used to, rather than the quality of the show heh!). Not bad but certainly a different beast from Gunbuster. I got my copy off eBay for more than I would've liked, but probably best to get a reasonably priced one from cex when possible.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Brigade Leader
Not as good as FLCL either, then? (Silly question, really.)
Definitely not in my humble opinion, but that's not too say that as a criticism per se. I definitely enjoyed it as it's own thing and it definitely pays a lot of homage to flcl. For me, unsurprisingly given its source, it felt more like gurren lagaan with elements adopted from flcl, or perhaps more of a cross between the two. The protagonist is certainly adorable & charming, and the physical prototype of others that followed including Anemone & Zero two. The main drawback for me was the confused fictional science basis, which did not have the benefit of a space lessons type approach to help clarify, and the tentative connections with the original series, which I didn't see as working (either by being thick or watching when half asleep, or both heh). Still a worthwhile series and would be interested to see what you and others make of it.
 
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