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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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    46 Comments
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    Comment by バカも一芸
    06:55 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Worst remastering job ever. Seriously. It looks like shit. The crappy old mpeg version I have looks better.

    That said, the Daicon IV animation is some of my all-time favorite animation. Especially the city scene. Those explosion effects were ridiculously detailed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:55 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    This should be the minimum standard of AMV's. If you can't make something that good. Don't bother at all.

    Avatar of ppayne
    Comment by Peter Payne
    03:48 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Heh, thanks for this post. It is teh awesome.

    Avatar of RiderFan
    Comment by RiderFan
    04:33 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The Bunny Girl: Truly one of mankind's greatest accomplishments.

    Comment by jhwood9
    04:55 24/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Thanks for sharing. The Daicon films are possibly some of the most influential anime ever made (Gainax and products would not have existed without it).

    I have a discussion in my own forum, too:
    http://www.snowbuni.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1106245394

    Avatar of nj21
    Comment by nj21
    22:59 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >most notably the DAICON girl’s Playboy bunny outfit

    and then I see Darth Vader, the Death Star, and what looks like Optimus Prime.

    Comment by neobunny
    22:14 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love DaiconIV, I remember seeing it for the first time around 3 years ago. All I could think was "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE!?" XD
    Then I went and doodled fanart for it. :D http://neobunny.deviantart.com/art/Daicon-IV-43277345

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    21:44 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Legendary Epic~

    Avatar of DieHardjagged
    Comment by DieHardjagged
    04:17 13/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol, even the Enterprise was included :D

    Avatar of Heavyoak
    Comment by Heavyoak
    07:16 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ELO - Twilight - best song ever

    The visions dancing in my mind
    The early dawn, the shades of time
    Twilight crawling through my windowpane
    Am I awake or do I dream?
    The strangest pictures I have seen
    Night is day and twilights gone away

    With your head held high and your scarlet lies
    You came down to me from the open skies
    Its either real or its a dream
    Theres nothing that is in between...

    Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile
    Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind
    Away from me.

    Across the night I saw your face
    You disappeared without a trace
    You brought me here, but can you take me back?
    Inside the image of your light
    That now is day and once was night
    You lead me here and then you go away.

    Its either real or its a dream
    Theres nothing that is in between...

    Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind
    Away from me.

    (you brought me here, but can you take me back again? )

    With your head held high and your scarlet lies
    You came down to me from the open skies

    Its either real or its a dream
    Theres nothing that is in between...

    Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile
    Twilight, I gave you time to steal my mind
    Twilight, I only meant to stay awhile
    Twilight, twilight, twilight, twilight.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of misterchef
    Comment by Riot Gear
    11:52 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow,brings back the memories.If i remember,they used ordinary plastic laminations for the cels and waaaaay too expensive to produce that time.

    Avatar of iD_Entity
    Comment by iD_Entity
    21:20 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    XD she is fighting Darth Vader.
    +1

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:55 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Grammar Nazi nitpick: the DAICON III video is not a prequel to the DAICON IV video. The proper use of "prequel" is for a LATER-produced volume that is SET earlier in the time-line of the series - it is NOT simply the opposite of sequel (in fact, a prequel is a TYPE of sequel). The Star Wars prequels, for instance, are true prequels. To use "prequel" to mean an antecedent volume is incorrect, though a fairly common mistake.

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    13:56 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    For the sake of brevity.

    "The film which preceded..." is neither quite as snappy or makes as much sense.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    16:10 17/06/2009 # ! Transparent

    But it is not correct.

    Comment by Anonymous

    FUCKTAAAAAAAAAAARD!

    Avatar of Bokusatsu Tenshi
    Comment by XSportSeeker
    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    19:26 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Neat! I imagine they're making enough bank that they could buy whatever rights stood between them and a DVD re-release today, what with Yoko from Gurren Lagann having her own single. And the merchandise from Neon Something-Or-Other.

    Comment by Derp
    19:37 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    That "Neon Something-Or-Other" earned them more money than all their other anime combined. :>

    Avatar of Narcissist
    Comment by Narcissist
    21:43 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would rather prefer a delicous Laserdisc release for my LD player.

    Comment by OO saver
    19:31 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That version's not so HD.
    It's exactly the same as the version I found 3 years ago, just with slightly adjusted saturation and a black border to avoid scaling by youtube.

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    20:50 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Go click the video open.
    It has a higher aspect played at YouTube proper.

    This video has been cleaned up and the audio has been retouched with copies of the songs.

    I was blown away, especially by the improved quality of the third part of the video.

    Comment by Tyris
    21:06 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. I prefer the original tbh; a little washed out, but the "remastered" one is horribly over-saturated... a poor effort imo.

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    21:12 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Today was the first time I noticed the bunny girl sweats after she throws Dynaman up and over her head, the first time I could really see pick people out of the montage at the end...

    It's not perfect, but it is a stunning improvement in most areas. I suspect the artifacts and grain that is left is probably lasting from the quality of the source material. I still applaud the effort.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:39 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i've always loved Anno's key animations.

    Comment by tragic comedy
    Comment by Anonymous
    19:08 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I approve of this

    Avatar of Techeese
    Comment by Techeese
    Comment by Anonymous
    18:37 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    DENSHA~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by King of Hentai Gods
    01:54 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Otaku 1's opening w0000t!!!!!!

    Comment by SenseiSyaoranLi
    11:40 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Otaku no video, nice

    Avatar of Chogiebear
    Comment by chogiebear
    Comment by 4-4-2-1
    Avatar of h8GWB
    Comment by h8GWB
    16:42 17/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've nutted my pants with historical significance.

    Comment by Akihira
    19:00 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably one of my favorite videos to watch ever since I found out about it a few years ago.

    Comment by Echo
    20:14 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    THE VISIONS DANCING IN MY MIND
    THE EARLY DAWN THE SHADES OF TIME
    TWILIGHT CRAWLING THOUGH MY WINDOW PANE

    so epic...

    Comment by jaxom
    20:18 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    playboy actually owns rights to "the bunny costume"??

    wtf..

    Avatar of Kip
    Comment by Kip
    21:12 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    They sure think they do.

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    21:16 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I remember this coming up in discussions online when people were guessing at which publishing companies would license Haruhi for US distribution, too. ^^;

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:02 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    sweet, i didnt know nihon sf taikai until now, i have more events i want to attend in japan now.

    also, i find it inspiring that a group of students can form such a high quality and respected studio. makes me want to form 1 of my own too.

    Avatar of kornpone
    Comment by kornpone
    20:40 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Starship Radish".

    Waaawsomeness.

    Avatar of Leon
    Comment by Leon
    20:19 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't exactly understand, but this is interesting... maybe.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:29 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seriously there're Anons who didn't even know about this Gainax first jewel?! The Anonymous here knew it more 10 years ago.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:40 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now we know what Strike Witches would have looked like if it was made in 1984!

    Comment by Waterfall Towers (The Envoy)
    21:16 16/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah...history. Styles look so different from the current mainstream ones.




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