Discovering Daicon IV (1983)

We all have friends that find weird stuff. The kind of friends that are used to the looks. Are you mad or are you genius? Those kind of looks. Well, my friends Tig and Eric who host the Attic Dwellers YouTube show are those kind of friends. Recently on their social media, this image came up:

What else could I do but investigate thoroughly? And it is an amazing tale.

Way back in 1981 there was to be a science fiction convention in Japan, the Nihon SF Taikai which has been held annualy since 1962. Every year’s event also gets a sub name based on where it takes place. Ones in Tokyo are called TOKON for example. Ones held in Osaka are called Daicon. Daikon is a type of radish native to Asia and this word play will come up again.

At the third of these events to take place in Osaka, Daicon III in 1981, fans wanted a calling card to celebrate the event. A group got together to make a short anime. The story of aliens giving a glass of water to a little girl. She takes the water through all sorts of lands, past enemies, through many dangers. Finally she arrives at this withering plant and pours the water onto it. The plant grows and transforms into a giant spaceship that resembles the shape of … a daikon.

Told you it would come back.

That animation still holds up today, but this crew wasn’t done yet. Daicon IV took place in 1983 and this crew wanted to out do everything they did in 1981. Daicon IV took everything that these fans would love and jammed it into a short cartoon. When the world was bigger. Without instant internet news and images. Without any fear of copyright laws.

Star Wars is the obvious and right away one. Alien, Marvel and DC, Playboy Bunny, every spaceship known to pop culture at the time. Because of all these characters it is also never ever going to see a physical media release. Bootlegs existed then and there was a small Laserdisc release which is just unobtainable today. It’s on YouTube for now but that could change any day.

While Disney now owns many of these characters, and who knows what else they might buy up. So there is a world where Disney owns all the characters and could consider releasing a pretty version of this.

Then they would have to buy up music as well. Two tracks from Electric Light Orchestra play throughout the cartoon and not a second of it was approved or licensed.

That seems to be enough build up. Let’s watch the cartoon.

That still holds up today. Great colors, fast animation, incredible detail. It holds up to the best, most creative, and most well funded today.

And it was all done by 12 fans.

12.

No computer technology like today. Just paint and cels and nothing but desire to succeed.

Tony Stark built a suit in a cave, but 12 fans built a legend.

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