This is how Gainax begins: three students attending the Osaka College of Art move into the same cramped apartment in Osaka, enduring each other's smells and revelling in their shared passion: anime. The roommates, Hideaki Anno, Hiroyuki Yamaga, and Takami Akai, buy an 8mm camera (a Fujica ZC-1000) and begin filming a short animated film, drawn by hand and shot frame by frame.
This short, five-minute film was shown at the opening ceremonies of 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention, nicknamed Daicon, in 1981. Set to a soundtrack of snippets from famous anime shows, Daicon III narrates the tale of a young school girl given a mysterious glass of water by two travellers from outer space. Sci-fi creatures and a giant robot are determined to steal the little girl's glass, but she fights them off with inexplicable super-strength and the help of her schoolgirl's backback, which doubles as a jet-pack and missile launcher.
The animation is crude, but crackles with the enthusiastic creativity of youth. In the film's final minutes, the little girl launches an all-out missile barrage that destroys not only Godzilla, but the spaceship Yamato, USS Enterprise, and a Super Star Destroyer! These three smelly otaku had thrown down the gauntlet, declared war on the entire history of sci-fi with this little homemade anime, Daicon III.
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