Last updated on October 1st, 2010
Daicon III and IV Opening Animations
"It's either real, or it's a dream, there's nothing that is in
between." -- ELO, "Twilight"
The Daicon III (1981) and IV (1983) Opening Animations were fan-produced animated shorts, debuting at the 20th and 22nd Japan Science Fiction Conventions, respectively. The amateur animators who made the Daicon anime went on to form Gainax, the studio behind Evangelion, FLCL, and other famous titles. Both shorts are frenetically animated and parody well-known anime and science fiction icons who fight and fall victim to the little schoolgirl in the Daicon III anime who grows up to fight once again as the famous Daicon Bunny Girl in the Daicon IV anime. Many consider the Daicon III and IV Opening Animations to be crucial moments in the history of otaku culture. Irreverent celebrations of science fiction, jam-packed with references, and propelled by a do-it-yourself attitude, the Daicon anime represent the hopes and dreams of the first otaku generation, born in the 1960's, and they continue to delight whole new generations of otaku.
Gainax manager's autobiography talks about the birth of Daicon Film and Gainax
- In July 2005, ADV Manga released an English-language version of The Notenki Memoirs by Yasuhiro Takeda, who has been an important figure in Gainax since its earliest days. Amongst other things, the book discusses both Daicon III and IV and the animations for each. See my full review here: The Fans Who Would Be Kings
Daicon tribute in the opening of a live action Japanese drama
- The opening sequence of Densha Otoko (Trainman), a live-action Japanese drama about an otaku who finds love on a train and who asks for dating advice from other otaku online, features a tribute to the Daicon IV Opening Animation. Animated by GONZO and featuring designs by Okama, the opening to Densha Otoko features the ELO song "Twilight" (just like the Daicon IV Opening Animation). Other elements are similar as well. See the trivia page for more information.
Daicon IV and otaku culture in NYC
From April 8th - July 24th, 2005, the Japan Society in New York City ran an exhibit called Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture, curated by Takashi Murakami. The art of Murakami and his collaborators is inspired by otaku culture and also serves to critically evaluate its role in contemporary (mainstream) Japanese culture. Their work is simultaneously entertaining, cute, and provocative, whether you are new to otaku culture or a seasoned veteran. In addition to contemporary Japanese art, a good deal of the exhibit focused on the history of otaku culture and its most important icons. The Daicon IV Opening Animation was featured prominently in the gallery, running on a constant loop, accompanied by literally hundreds of original Daicon IV cels and sketches on display (covering a large wall)--a magnificent collection that you're not ever likely to see again. It was definitely worth checking out.
Also, the exhibition catalog--a beautifully bound book full of photos, illustrations, and essays--is now available. The book also includes some Daicon IV screenshots and original art, as well as discussion of its significance.
[The Daicon III and IV Opening Animations are the property of Gainax Co., Ltd.]
[This fan-created site is not affiliated with nor endorsed by Gainax Co., Ltd.]