Scheduled to start at 23:30, in fact the kickoff was two hours later due to earlier projector problems. Luckily we had the Manga Wall and a selection of fruit-scented marker pens to entertain us; I drew a passable husky in the anime stylee and indulged in some guerilla marketing for muskehounds.com.
Everything you would expect from anime was here: characters with huge eyes, schoolgirls in minute skirts, and of course giant flying robots. (These may actually have been 'mobile suits', or 'labors' in the case of Patlabor, but for the sake of convenience and fun I prefer the former term.)
First up was Nadesico: The Motion Picture, with giant flying robots aplenty and far too many characters to get a grip on. There was some kind of intergalactic conflict going on in which the side which could master the technology of 'boson jumping' first would be the victor. And a guy who was dead, but came back, and a sinister conglomerate with a cheery cartoon mascot, and much jailbait. Also a surprising amount of humour; I loved the scene where two characters on a flight into space are pressing themselves back into their seats screaming "5G! 6G! Aaaargh!" What are they doing, asks one of the other passengers who is sitting perfectly comfortably. Why, they're reenacting space flight in early anime!
Best film of the night, and shortest, was Voices from a Distant Star. Haunting music and beautifully atmospheric shots (composed on a Mac, incidentally) accompanied the story of a girl who goes into space to fight aliens in her giant flying robot, the boy she leaves behind, and the text messages they send each other which take eight years to wing their way between Sirius and Earth. Everything You've Got Mail was not.
Kai Doh Maru was set in Japan's feudal past, and so disappointingly broke the streak of giant flying robot appearances. Unusual in style, like a line drawing in appearance with barely any colour (except when someone got killed and bright crimson blood gushed unexpectedly out), it featured a large cast of deeply noble and honorable warriors of indeterminate gender, and swordfights.
Ghost In The Shell is a classic of the genre, and I was eager to see it. Unfortunately by this time I was having to close one eye to read the subtitles or they went out of focus, so I may have missed some of the subtler nuances, but there was a rockin' fight between the heroine and a sort of walking tank, which I shall claim was a giant flying robot, in a natural history museum.
I was able to bag some sugarfree Red Bull in the final intermission, which got me through most of Patlabor. This was a lighthearted offering with English audio track (thank God), comic cops, a software virus and more giant flying robots than you could shake a stick at.
Given doughnuts. Home 9:00, go to bed, phone rings for Owen at noon, back to bed, phone rings, it's wardy, tell him to bugger off, back to bed, up at two, go to Tesco and the Red Cross shop where I purchase a furry Simba rucksack and Owen gets a tie with DNA helices on. What an odd day.