A modern classic.
A few days back we looked at the Gunbuster movie, the heavily edited (1.5 hours) version of the original 6 episode OVA that aired back in ’89. Today we have it’s sequel, Diebuster movie which is the abridged version of the ’06 OVA series.
Although one can enjoy both the movies independent of each other, there are some plot elements that continue over from Gunbuster, so it’s good to have seen it before Diebuster. Anyways, the story of Diebuster goes something like this: girl wants to be a pilot and is inspired by an ass kicking ‘onee-sama’. And in the pursuit of her goal, not only does she surpass her onee-sama, she also saves mankind. The exact same premise as that of Gunbuster, but with a little touch of moe and all the nuances of modern animes. Which is not to say that it contains all the basic elements of modern animes either. In fact, Diebuster carries over the same core values as it’s predecessor: a good story with memorable characters in epic situations. Also, big ass explosions.
Both the original OVA series were very emotionally charged, especially towards the final episodes where ultimate sacrifices were given by both the main heroines. What feels lacking in these movies is the growth of the two female leads as well as the supporting cast.
I’m not saying that anything feels rushed, but more like the movie audience is to assume that all of these characters shared epic moments and are now matured enough to get past their teen angst in order to save mankind. If anyone is thinking ‘plot holes’, then I seriously recommend you go and watch the OVA series. They’re only 12 episodes combined.
Then again, the editing of these movies is so tight that much of the unneeded flair, drama and ever-so-slight emoness has been left out in favour of pure awesome!
Trust me when I say this, Diebuster is pure, high grade, eye candy. Everything from the backgrounds to the characters to the mechas themselves is highly detailed. The animation is ultra smooth and watching the fight sequences will leave you breathless gobsmacked. If ever there was a reason to have animes in highdef, this is it. The level of detail is simply astounding.
One can also see the roots of modern Gainax animes in Diebuster. Gurren Lagann owes much of it’s character designs and the animation styles to Diebuster, much like Gunbuster and Evangelion. Also, the epicness. And as much as I’d like to get into how much Nono is like Nia, that is a topic reserved for when we review Gurren Lagann.
Back onto Diebuster, and I will end with this simple statement: Watch it!