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Nono, Lal'C, and Buster Machine Dix Neuf
(Toppu o Nerae TSŪ!)
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Kazuya Tsurumaki|
|Written by||Yōji Enokido|
|Music by||Kohei Tanaka|
|Released||November 26, 2004 – August 25, 2006|
|Gunbuster vs. Diebuster|
|Directed by||Kazuya Tsurumaki,|
|Written by||Kazuya Tsurumaki,|
|Released||October 1, 2006|
|Written by||Kazuya Tsurumaki|
|Published by||Fujimi Shobo|
|Magazine||Dragon Age Pure|
|Original run||2006 – 2007|
Diebuster, also known as Aim for the Top 2! (トップをねらえ 2!, Toppu o Nerae Tsū!) and Gunbuster 2, is a six-episode original video animation series directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, written by Yōji Enokido and animated by Gainax. It was created to commemorate the studio's 20th anniversary in 2004, and it is a sequel to their 1988 OVA Gunbuster.
A compilation movie, titled Aim for the Top! & Aim for the Top 2! The Gattai Movie!! (トップをねらえ!&トップをねらえ2! 合体劇場版!!, Toppu o Nerae! & Toppu o Nerae 2! Gattai Gekijōban!!), that condenses Gunbuster and Diebuster into two feature-length movies, was released on October 1, 2006.
It was licensed for American release by Bandai Visual USA as Gunbuster 2. Discotek Media has since re-licensed Diebuster as Gunbuster 2: Diebuster and it was released on May 21, 2013. A manga adaptation of the series is available in Japan.
Top o Nerae 2! Diebuster follows the story of Nono, a country girl who dreams of becoming a space pilot (or, to be more precise, "like Nonoriri", the meaning of which is revealed as the series progresses) who, due to a chance encounter with an actual space pilot, finds herself becoming part of the elite Fraternity. Made up of teenage pilots called Topless, and armed with quasi-humanoid weapons called Buster Machines, the Fraternity's mission is to protect the people of the Solar System from attack by swarms of space monsters.
The series revolves around Nono's quest to become like Nonoriri, her relationship with Lal'C Mellk Mal, the first Topless she meets whom she immediately idolizes (to the point of calling her onee-sama, or big sister), and the hard work she believes she has to do to be "worthy" of Lal'C's attention. It also explores her interactions with the rest of the Idols, her efforts to fit in and, ultimately, the truth to her forgotten past.
After dealing with swarms of space monsters, and the personal conflicts of the Topless themselves, the empire discovers a threat of a real space monster when the Serpentine Sisters attempt to awaken something they call "an eternal Topless", which could destroy the space monsters for them and provide them with a way to keep from ever losing their Topless power. This so-called "Topless" is actually a true space monster, as Lal'C learns when she witnesses its vicious attacks against her comrades and, horrified, asks Dix-Neuf (her Buster Machine) what this creature might be. The fact that the monsters Topless had been battling up to this point were merely first-generation alternate Buster Machines, used to protect the human race from true space monsters in earlier generations as a Solar Defense Force, is also revealed. During these events, Nono's potent powers as Buster Machine no. 7 awaken, she and the Topless do battle with the real space monster and are victorious. Nearing the end of the story, they encounter the last of the space monsters carrying a black hole and utilizing it as an energy source to warp from system to system. The empire plans to use Nono's Buster Machine powers and the artificial Buster Machines to destroy the final Space Monster. However, Lal'C and the Fraternity find themselves useless during this time, and one of the Topless is permanently put out of commission when he has finally reached his age. Nono attempts to hold back the monster, but to no avail. Lal'C then brings Jupiter 2 out of orbit and seems to summon it the way she summons Dix-Neuf, causing it to crash directly into the monster- which shows no signs of damage.
The Space Monster warps closer to earth, Nono suddenly departs with the Solar Defence Force, and seemingly vanishes from the system. The empire decides to use Earth as a weapon to destroy the final Space Monster to ensure their survival. Meanwhile, Lal'C for the first time, delves into Nono's past, How she learned to idolize "Nonoriri" and the man who found her in the depths of Space. She and the remainder of the Topless prepare for the Space Monster's arrival and the timely intervention of Nono, who now becomes the mega android DieBuster. However, frustrated with Nono's departure, Lal'C batters "DieBuster" in a fit of rage. Just as she is about to land a finishing blow using Douze-Mille's reformed components as a Buster Machine, her Topless powers suddenly expire. "DieBuster" attempts to attack the Space Monster, with no effect. However, the monster vaporizes "DieBuster's" hands. Dix-Neuf moves on his own to help Lal'C access the true cockpit in his brain, activating his true form, and coaxes Nono to come out of the disintegrating "DieBuster" and fight with her. With the two girls together once more, and Dix-Neuf's new powers, they defeat the final Space Monster with a Double Inazuma Kick.
However, at the wake of their battle, the Black hole tears open due to the Space Monster's death. Nono and Lal'C share one last moment together, their hopes, dreams and futures if they had survived, and Nono finally gives Lal'C a piece of her generator, or singularity, in the form of an origami crane, before using the remnants of the Alternate Buster Machines that comprised "DieBuster" to warp the black hole and herself away from earth. Dix-Neuf saves Lal'C, and brings her back to civilization, where she weeps at the loss of Nono.
Ten years later, Lal'C becomes an environmentalist and her Topless comrades have moved on from their previous life. She stays on a hilltop in the Okinawan coast line, musing about Nono before the city's lights shuts off. She stares in the starry sky, and it is revealed all along that Nono and Lal'C's time line is the setting of the last episode of the first Gunbuster OVA, as explicitly said by Lal'C when she first muses about Nono. Its two pilots, Noriko and Kazumi, descend from the remnants of the first ever Buster Machine, and Lal'C vows to tell Noriko about Nono's life and her sacrifice.
|1||"Please Let Me Call You Big Sister!"|
Transcription: "Onee-sama to Yobasete Kudasai!" (Japanese: お姉さまと呼ばせてください!)
|November 26, 2004|
|2||"Don't call me Big Sis!"|
Transcription: "Onee-sama Nanka ni Naritakunai!" (Japanese: お姉さまなんかになりたくない)
|February 24, 2005|
|3||"I Hate Topless!"|
Transcription: "Topless Nante Daikirai!" (Japanese: トップレスなんて大嫌い)
|June 24, 2005|
|4||"Resurrection! The Legendary Buster Machine!"|
Transcription: "Fukkatsu! Densetsu no Buster Machine!" (Japanese: 復活!! 伝説のバスターマシン!)
|October 28, 2005|
|5||"Mover of Planets"|
Transcription: "Hoshi wo Ugokasumono" (Japanese: 星を動かすもの)
|March 24, 2006|
|6||"The Story of Your Life"|
Transcription: "Anata no jinsei no Monogatari" (Japanese: あなたの人生の物語)
|August 25, 2006|
The music was composed and conducted by Kōhei Tanaka, the composer of Gunbuster.