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In 1983, young Hideki Anno had just completed a masterpiece promo for the 22nd DAICON Nihon SF Taikai, an event centered on anime and SF.

That work went on to be known as the DAICON IV video.

This, and the preceding DAICON III, were the first works done by a new and talented group of animators who would go on to become Gainax Studios.

Now the feature can be enjoyed in HD remastered goodness:

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If one were to have purchased a Laserdisc copy of the films when they were released for sale in 1988, it would have cost approximately $200, but is now valued at over $1,500 or more (admittedly not the best of such investments, but good nonetheless).

Because of brand use infringements (most notably the DAICON girl’s Playboy bunny outfit) and the unauthorized soundtrack featuring music by Electric Light Orchestra, Gainax was not actually allowed to sell the video disc, so it was bundled as a free bonus with a book, featuring line-art from the making of the videos and other behind-the-scenes material.

This art is visible below:

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The Laserdisc also contained a short animatic from the DAICON III film, featured in the video above.

While the A-side of the disc featured the animations, the reverse side had an additional film shot in live action by the Gainax crew. The film, Revenge of Yamata Orochi: the Eight-Headed Serpent, was screened as an opening video in one of the earlier conventions.

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Alongside Laserdisc, the film also was released in Betamax, both of which were quite popular video formats in late eighties Japan.

Laserdisc and Betamax via here.

The DAICON IV movie has been mentioned, parodied, or alluded to in a number of different ways since its release two decades ago:

  • In the infamous Otaku no Video, DAICON IVis mentioned as a major event in anime history.
  • In episode five of FLCL, the character Haruko rides a guitar through the sky in a bunny-costume, and even yells out, “DAICON V!”
  • In the recent Japanese dorama, Densha Otoko, the anime character Mina, created for the series, is a direct parody of the main character of the DAICON film. The opening theme is also a modern remake of the film.

In case you were wondering, a daikon is a Japanese radish, hence the reason for the taproot-inspired design for the spaceship featured in the videos and drawings…


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