Densha Otoko and Daicon IV

By bluemist on August 26th, 2005

Densha Otoko is a jdorama that actually has an animated opening sequence. While this OP looks kinda pointless (read: a bunny girl riding on a flying train greening the world and then out into the depths of space), it does have its roots.

As many already know, the Densha Otoko OP is paying homage to Daicon IV, a sleek opening animation that was featured in the 22nd Japan Science Fiction Conventions, way, way back in 1983. Some concepts are similar, and the exact same song was used (Twilight by Electric Light Orchestra). Despite its age, I think it stands the test of time. I really felt compelled to write this up because… Daicon IV was AMAZING! I really wondered why it’s just now that I watched this short animation video.

Densha Otoko’s Mina character is a bunny girl similar to the Daicon bunny girl, but notice that Mina has some orange carrots in her costume. Daicon is a word play on “daikon”, a white radish. Well, bunnies like carrots and radishes.

The mix-up of stuff in Daicon IV was amazingly crazy. You see the bunny girl not only kick robots and sci-fi monsters, but also have a lightsaber battle with Darth Vader! Even references to superhero comics like Batman and Robin are there, as well as transforming mechas and sentai stuff. It all mixes together to create imaginative chaos. No less from the masters… the animators of the Daicon videos were actually from Gainax! Gainax was officially founded because of these videos, so thank Daicon for it. Okay, fine, I will watch He is My Master someday… promise.

The part I really liked was the nuclear explosion. My jaw dropped in that, I can’t believe this is 1983 stuff! I guess despite technology animation still needs creative minds to visualize an awesome scene.

Daicon videos here


Posted By: Ronin Animelover On: August 26, 2005 At: 9:35 pm

bluemist, this is Ronin.

This write-up on the Mina character was something I never knew! So the Densha Otoko OP animation had its roots almost 90 22 years ago? You’ve really put a lot of effort into researching on this stuff. Good job!

… and to think I have a biased opinion against Gainax. Keep this up!

Posted By: KT Kore On: August 27, 2005 At: 3:06 pm

I love the Daicon animations. I was amazed to find out that Gonzo was going to be doing an homage animation for the Densha Otoko opening. It’s a fitting homage if I say so myself.

The Daicon animations were animated by Hideaki Anno (director of Gunbuster, Nadia, Evangelion), Hiroyuki Yamaga, and Takami Akai. The three of them alone animated Daicon III. They had a bit more help for Daicon IV. They’re wonderful pieces of work. After that, Bandai Visual saw the potential they had and gave them money to produce an animated feature for them. Anno and the gang went on to form Gainax to complete the project. The project was The Wings of Honneamise. It was one of the most expensive anime films of the time. Unfortunately it bombed and almost killed off Gainax until Anno directed Gunbuster which put them on the map. The rest is history.

Nice write-up Bluemist.

Posted By: am1n On: September 11, 2005 At: 6:28 pm

Very good job !
I never knew that the OP of densha drama,
was a hommage to the animation which’ll creat Gainax.

Posted By: LUCKY On: January 14, 2006 At: 10:00 pm

lol to think i was searching for “mina” after watching densha otoko(tt live jap show)

Posted By: Gugu On: February 04, 2006 At: 8:13 pm

You have to remember that Densha Otoko is a show about Otaku people (in the people who post on the Densha Otoko thread you have a manga-ota a train-ota, a wargame-ota etc…) and it’s Gainax (and specially Hideaki Anno) who “invented” the otakuism with 1982: Otaku no video in the early 90’s were they describe how in 1982 a perfectly “normal” guy becomes an otaku. Three mont later they made 1985: More Otaku no Vidéo where they describe how Studio Gainax was born (The two heroes (in fact Anno and the co-fouder of Gainax) rebels against the world and decide to become Otakings… Kings of otakuism).
With those two animes (Character design by Ken’ichi Sonoda)they implanted the concept of ‘otaku pride’ that some of the guys in Densha Otoko use.
By the way have you seen that one of the member of Densha Otoko is an Evangelion otaku? (He’s even dressed as Rei in the fist episode ^^)
So it’s easyly understandable that the openning has to “talk” to the otaku since the entire show beside his high sugary content(Hey it’s a japanese drama after all) is about defending the otaku.

Posted By: nicky On: October 06, 2006 At: 12:14 am

i’ve watched both daicon and densha otoko and didn’t notice THIS. my eyes are broken