Daicon Opening Animations
Released Year : August 22, 1981 to August 20, 1983
No of Episodes : 2
Genre : Action,Adventure,Mecha,Music,Sci-Fi
Plot : A girl is visited by two men from a space ship. They give her water she needs to water her daicon (radish). On her journey to deliver the water, this girl has to fight demons and giant robots. (Source: ANN)
Our Review : The Daicon Opening Animations are two short films that were created for two Sci-fi conventions. They have gone down in history as the first and second titles produced by the infamous Studio Gainax, which at the time was little more than a group of students from the Osaka University of Arts.
Though they may be fairly humble origins for one of the most influential animation studios of the past 30 years, the Daicon films still demonstrate the tremendous potential of the Gainax staff. Both Daicon III and Daicon IV have essentially the same premise; a single girl fighting a battle royal against the Sci-Fi heroes of yesteryear. Deep and compelling storytelling it is not, but one can’t help but enjoy watching dozens of characters, some familiar and some long since forgotten, fighting each other.
Certainly, one doesn’t need to think hard to imagine the faces of the people attending those conventions all those years ago; seeing all their favourite characters in a single film with reasonable production (or in the case of Daicon IV, exceptional production) would have made for quite the kick. Hell, even thirty years later it’s hard not to feel pumped up when you hear the opening line: “Just on the border, of your waking mind”
That brings us to the soundtrack, which in Daicon IV, consists of the songs ‘Prologue’ and ‘Twilight’ by Electric Light Orchestra. It’s a perfect fit; it manages to sound futuristic, yet is still distinctly eighties at the same time. It manages to reflect the period of the films but also the sci-fi and fantasy themes that go with it. But it also conveys a strong sense of ambition, a clear reflection of how the film’s young creators felt at that time.
Because although the Daicon films follow a very simple concept, on technical terms they are on another level; comparable to and perhaps even exceeding the level of professional productions of the time. The animation is incredibly smooth, the backgrounds are detailed.
The cast is largely made up of characters borrowed from other shows, and these are somewhat faithful reproductions of their originals, but this isn’t where Daicon exceeds expectation; one of the most memorable scenes, featuring what appears to be a nuclear bomb going off in reverse, features no science fiction characters at all. It’s clear that the Gainax staff were not content with mere being mere imitators.
The Daicon Openings are certainly an important part of anime history, and one that will not be forgotten any time soon. But make no mistake, they are worth so much more than a pedestal in an anime museum exhibit. The Daicon Openings represent a youthful passion to do something you love; a sense of unity that (sadly) anime fans have since lost; and a studio not content with the status quo. They may be almost 30 years old, but the Daicon Opening animations are as young and fresh as they were at the first screening.