Gunbuster is a six-episode OAV series by those wonderful people who brought us Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gainax. It has the distinction of being the series that got me hooked on anime, a short year-and-a-half ago. Gunbuster revolves around Noriko Tayaka, a young female student in the Gun Machine school for women. Essentially a parody, Gunbuster was transformed into its current form after initial audiences expressed their interest and enthusiasm for the initial story. Anyone who has seen mecha anime, Chariots of Fire, or Rocky will chuckle, as the first episode pokes fun at them. If you find Noriko to be annoying in this episode, don't worry. In a few episodes, she grows up. After all, she is just a high school freshman thrown into a very adult situation.
The background story to Gunbuster is essentially a war situation. Earth is at war with an alien race that we had initial contact with six years ago. The aliens are really big and really, really ugly. Take the less pretty features of a spider and a crab and mix them together. Color it green and make it about the size of a large house, and you've got the smallest warrior sub-class of the creatures. The largest confirmed enemy class can be measured in the thousands of kilometers!!!
Noriko's involvement in this war is especially personal for her because the dad she adored had the dubious distinction of being the captain of the first ship to make contact with the alien species. Needless to say, her dad did not return, and Noriko has spent the last six years training to be the best female Gun Machine pilot that Japan can offer!
Aim for the top!