Sunday, March 29, 2009

Conbust 2009 Yuri Panel: Post-Panel Report

Yesterday at about 8:00 p.m., I went to Conbust to set up for my panel. I really needed that hour, because I needed to transfer my PowerPoint and clips from my laptop to another computer (after running back to my dorm to get a flash drive), figure out how to use the DVD player in the room so it would play on the projector screen, etc. I'm really thankful to the con staffer who showed me what to do when I had problems.

When 9:00 rolled around, I was a little surprised to see that, aside from one rather loquacious guy who left halfway through the panel (he only really irritated me when he spoke during my Devil Lady clip...he asked if the ending was as bad as the one in Devilman or something, and I was like, "I don't know, I haven't seen it," and turned back to watch Jun and Kasumi), all of the people there were women. One attendee was even taking notes throughout the panel ^^;; (Ack...pressure...), although I noticed a few others writing when they saw something that particularly interested them. ("What's that series called again?" "Kannazuki no Miko." *scribbles*)

I started out explaining "What is Yuri?" along with the basic history and influences, like Nobuko Yoshiya, Takarazuka, Riyoko Ikeda, Go Nagai, Yuri Shimai, Yuri Hime, etc.

Then I presented, in chronological order, slides of yuri anime series worth checking out, with accompanying clips. The series I presented were: Oniisama E, Sailor Moon, The Devil Lady, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Azumanga Daioh, Maria Watches Over Us (I used the U.S. release title on the slide), Kannazuki no Miko, My-Hime (and even though My-Otome didn't get a slide, I showed a clip of it), Simoun, Strawberry Panic, Blue Drop, and Mouryou no Hako (although I wasn't able to show a clip from Mouryou no Hako). Finally, I gave the upcoming Aoi Hana and Sasameki Koto anime series slides of their own to shamelessly promote them. ^^

Then I presented my top yuri manga must-reads: Strawberry Shake Sweet, Hayate x Blade, Sasameki Koto, Girl Friends, The Conditions for Paradise (I actually like Hanjuku Joshi slightly more, but I decided to use this title instead to weed out any potential panel-goers who watch and read yuri for service instead of stories and characters), Aoi Hana, Octave, Heart-Pounding Excitement At Mononoke Girls' Academy (this isn't really one of my top favorites, but it's still good, and I wanted to include something really weird and different), and Free Soul.

Finally, for fun, the panel ended with a very brief section called, "Yuri To Show To People Who You Despise." :) The two titles that earned the distinction of being placed in this section were Fight! Iczer One and Project ICE. I didn't show any clips of them, but told the panel-goers to feel free to seek these titles out at their discretion. Then I answered any extra questions anyone had, and that was the panel. :)

Honestly, while doing the panel was fun, I wasn't crazy about Conbust. It mostly wasn't the con's fault, though. It's a smaller con than any I've attended before (a grand total of three), which made it kind of underwhelming to me. Plus, while I've gone to medium-large cons like Jacon and Yasumicon (which rocked my socks last summer) before, they've also been anime-only cons whereas Conbust is a mixed sci-fi/fantasy/anime/gaming con, which meant that I didn't get 90% of what people were saying (it felt like). ^^;;

Plus, I've always gone to cons with at least one friend or a group of friends, so going to Conbust by myself was kind of a drag. And I hate to sound like a snob, but I'm going to right now. Earlier in the day, as usual, I took a shower, brushed my teeth, put on a nice, clean outfit, brushed my hair, etc. I was a little repulsed (yes, repulsed) by all of the people who looked like they don't understand basic hygeine or grooming (guys and girls alike). Even though I'm an anime and manga fan, I don't "look" like it, and take pride in looking nice and having a real life outside of my anime and manga hobby.

So, to con-goers and fans of generally nerdy hobbies, feel free to do what you want in your own homes, but when you plan on socializing with people outside, take a damn shower, wear clean laundry, and brush your hair. Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed a lower proportion of those types of people at the anime cons that I've attended previously, and more people who go with their friends to have fun, but look like they have lives. But maybe I was just lucky.

So basically, the yuri panel was fun, but Conbust itself was kind of a bust.

I'm really looking forward to Yasumicon this summer, though.

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