Gunbuster (Japan 1988)

Rating: ****

Divided into six installments

Excellent character designs, outfits, mecha, and monsters! (Amano Kazumi is wonderful!) A fun and gripping space drama full of action and emotion. There are also some cute little "Aim For the Top!" science lessons at the end of the episodes that describe the world of Gunbuster in the super-deformed style.

Earth is being threatened by a race of giant space critters, so a giant combat robot called Gunbuster is constructed to fight in Earth's defense. A young and perky cadet named Noriko Takaya is paired up with a beautiful upperclasswoman named Amano Kazumi to train as fighter pilots for the war against the monsters. After much hardship and despair, the two of them finally get to pilot the Gunbuster robot and save mankind from annihilation. Unfortunately, the show starts to fall apart during the last reel as the war with the aliens gets really out of hand and escalates to a laughably excessive state, but up until then it's top notch space opera.