Gunbuster vs. Diebuster
Aim For The Top! The GATTAI!! Movie
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Gainax Studios has been busy as of late. Back in 2003, the company was celebrating its 20th anniversary and a sequel to
Gunbuster (which had been rumored about for a few years), was officially announced to the anime community. What was
to become known as
Aim for the Top! 2 Diebuster would become one of Gainax's first projects heralding their 20th year.
Released in 2004, Diebuster did remarkably well with fans of the original series, but as it is with most things, some diehard
fans hated it. The series retained the motiff of a dedicated girl determined to succeed at life by becoming what she most
wanted, and that was to be a member of the elite
Topless squadron within the Fraternity. The girl, whose name is Nono,
also shares a bond with fellow pilot Lal'c, which she calls her
"Oné-sama". Throughout the six episode series, Nono learns
a lot about herself and her friends and achieves what she most desires.

Pleased with its success, Gainax decided to combine
Diebuster with its fellow series to create a film which told the story of
both generations. Both series were edited down to run at 95 minutes each, and released as a double billing under the title
"Top O Nerae! & Top O Nerae 2! Gattai Gekijōban!!" Gunbuster's original voice actors were brought back in to read
new lines, and the more mundane and silly items presented in the original series were removed. What transpires is a film
more focused on the lives of its main characters which subtly evolves into a deeply moving story about the price of
growing up and the cost of protecting those you hold most dear. The ending of the film still remains extremely emotional
and will surprise some viewers who have never seen the original series.

The second feature begins after an intermission, which is exactly how Gainax wanted the film to be shown.
takes place many thousands of years in the future. Mankind's war with the
Uchuu Kaijuu is still being waged and Earth's
defenders are teenagers with special abilities known as
Topless. As it is with the first part of the film, Diebuster retains a
lot of the dramatic points of its original release. And as with
Gunbuster, the film's ending has an emotional outcome and
manages to do a decent job of tying in the two series together nicely.

Below is a series of cards taken from the North American release of Gunbuster vs Diebuster. They give a fascinating
glimpse into the differences of the two series. Click on them if you would like to see a larger version.