Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yasumicon 2009!!!

Yasumicon was great!!!!! XD

The joy of attending a good con is undeniable.

This afternoon, I went to Yasumicon at the Florida International University in Miami to set up for my yuri panel. I met up with the panel director in the Dealers' Room and like last year, he was extremely nice to work with. One of the other con staff members kindly offered to show me where my panel room is, so I went with him. Before the panel even began, the room was *packed* with people!! XD

I went through a brief "What is yuri?" segment- which I kept more brief than last year because *everyone* in the room seemed to be a Card-Carrying Yuri Fan. (Unlike last year, when many of the panel attendees seemed to be curious newcomers who were like, "What exactly is this yuri?") Then I covered the broad characteristics of shoujo and shonen yuri, the history of yuri (including Nobuko Yoshiya, Riyoko Ikeda, Go Nagai, Takarazuka, and the yuri manga magazines), and early yuri anime milestones- Oniisama E (first heavily yuri-ish anime), Sailor Moon (first anime with happy yuri), and the Revolutionary Girl Utena series and movie (continuing the move towards positive portrayals of yuri).

Then I had the usual "Yuri Anime" segment, in which I presented slides of different series in chronological order (beginning with Oniisama E and ending with Sasameki Koto), briefly described them, and presented a clip of each one so that the panel goers who hadn't seen this or that series could get a taste of what it's like- a yuri smorgasbord, if you will. Unfortunately, I didn't show clips of Aoi Hana or Saki, because I didn't have time to pull up the videos online. -_-;; But I praised Aoi Hana to the heavens, and told everyone that both Saki and Aoi Hana are streaming for free on Crunchyroll.

Then I did the "Best Yuri Manga" segment, in which I showed off/gushed over the slides for various titles (also noting which authors are particularly big "names" among yuri fans): Strawberry Shake Sweet, Hayate x Blade, Aoi Hana, Sasameki Koto, Girl Friends, The Conditions for Paradise, Rica'tte Kanji!?, Octave, and Free Soul. (I actually like Love My Life more than Free Soul now, but the cover image of Ichigo and Eri, as salacious as it isn't, might raise the hackles of some hyper-sensitive con-goer or con staffer who reacts with "OMG, A BRA!!!!" Like the people who react to the end of the Aoi Hana OP with "OMG, NUDE WIMMINS!!!" -_-;; Grow up, people. But I guess that sort of prudence is necessary to keep the panel okay for people under-18.)

Next came "Yuri To Show To People Who You Despise." :) As in my most recent panel, the titles in this segment were Fight! Iczer One and the ICE OAV. I've been wanting to watch at least a part of the Blue movie because it sounds so mind-numbingly awful that it would probably be perfect for this part of the panel, but I haven't been able to find it online.

Then I ended the panel with a "Fin" slide featuring a cute picture of Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora's Kaon and Himiko, and answered questions from the audience. :)

I was a really fun panel!! ^^ Not only did the audience seem to be a 99% yuri fan crowd, there were more girls at the panel this year than last year- at least 50% in the beginning. I'm not sure why. It was pretty amusing how nearly all of the girls were like "OMG Haruka and Michiru!!" when I got to the Sailor Moon S slide, but a lot of guys were like "...buh? There's yuri in Sailor Moon?" There was a small group of teenage LFBs who expected HLS, but left before the panel finished- no loss. Most of the audience was great, though. :) It was just really fun seeing everybody laughing at the funny/ridiculous parts of the clips and saying things like "They're one of my favorite couples!"

After the panel, I walked around the con, mainly browsing through the Dealer's Room. It was great to see the cosplayers- there are always some great costumes! ^^ I perused the DVD offerings, and saw the different seasons of Marimite being sold, along with the Kashimashi and Gakuen Alice box sets. :) But I primarily looked at the merchandise- like cell phone straps, posters, and key chains. There was a ton of Kuroshitsuji merchandise. I enjoyed watching Kuroshitsuji, but I was still surprised at how much there was- I have no doubt it will be licensed.

Like last year, I amused myself by looking at some of the covers of the stacks of (plastic-wrapped) doujinshi being sold at one of the dealer tables- although nothing this year was as hilarious as last year's glittery pink FMA doujinshi, or the Haruhi Suzumiya doujinshi titled "Baby bam bam!" in which Kyon and Itsuki have a baby, judging from the cover. I saw a few yuri doujinshi, but none that didn't make me weep a little inside. ;__; (Certainly none from the circles I like.) The manga weren't as deeply discounted as I remember seeing in previous years at various cons. Maybe because of the economy. There were a ton of people, though. In the end I bought some strawberry Pocky, strawberry-flavored Ramune, and a giant chocolate Pocky stick, which I'm enjoying now. :3 (I normally don't buy much at cons. ^^;;) There were a ton of other activities- like a spontaneous dance contest-, and in the end everybody seemed to be having fun. Oh, and when I was leaving the con, I heard somebody say "Hey, Yuri!" It was three guys who went to my panel, and they told me that it was a good panel! ^^ Hehe.

Regarding next year: after I finished my panel, the panel director asked me if I would like to return to next year's Yasumicon and do another yuri panel! Definitely!! ^^


Anonymous said...

It sounded SO MUCH FUN!!! I wish I was there! Such a pity that I'm like on the other side of the world...*sigh* Maybe I should arrange a US trip next year where I will very conveniently work it around some of the big name anime conventions!! haha What are some of the best ones you've been to?

Erin said...

Glad the panel went well! Sounds like it was a lot of fun.
If you mean the Blue live-action movie based on the manga by Nananan Kiriko, I can get that to you. I don't know about "mind-numbingly awful"--I've just heard it was boring, which is why I haven't wanted to sit through it yet. I did like the manga, though.

darkchibi07 said...

More girls came into the yuri panel, eh? Hmmm, I curious on how something that's girls' love related ended up attracting a bit more girl audiences than guy audiences.

Anonymous said...

You had a yuri panel? :D Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun. I really have to get out to a con sometime... And I need to check out a few of those things you named. :O

I would add the manga Hen to "Yuri To Show To People Who You Despise"... Reading that has got to be considered a form of torture. ;_;

Katherine said...

@ Sleepy (yasashiisekai)- I've been to JACON in Orlando (it's a good, medium-sized con, but this year is its final year ;_;), Otakucon (a medium-sized one in Miami, which isn't around anymore either ;_;), Conbust at my college in Massachusetts (which is a small con that includes sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, and anime, and particularly focuses on the women who work in those industries), and Yasumicon, which is a free (yay! ^^), medium-sized con. I hate to say it, but I was probably the least "into" Conbust, because I'm not really a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, and didn't get most of the nerd culture references there. At anime cons, I get to mingle with my own kind. :) Yasumicon sweetens the deal by being just as good as JACON and Otakucon, but free. ^^ Plus, Yasumicon has a lot of fun events and the con staff seem to put a lot of care into making the con relaxed and fun each year. :) I haven't been to the really big cons, but I'd like to check out Anime Expo eventually, since it's the largest anime convention in the US. :) My ultimate con goal is Comiket (so I can collect doujinshi from doujin artists that I like) and the Girls' Love Festival in Tokyo (for obvious reasons ;) ).

@ Erin- Thank you! ^^ If it isn't any trouble, I would like to see the Blue movie based on Nananan Kiriko's manga, and if you could help me find it or obtain it (in a way that's convenient for you), that would be great! Thanks! :)

@ darkchibi07- Me too. ^^ Like I said, it was noticeably different from last year. But I have no idea why the makeup of the audience this year was different.

@ Devon (yurigoggles)- Good luck finding a fun con! It's really pretty cool spending (at least) several hours surrounded by fellow anime fans and taking in everything. :) I haven't read Hen. It seems so loooong, and I've heard that it begins with a really tedious story arc where the main character tries to seduce a teacher (incredibly original -_-;;) before moving on to umpteen volumes of trying to get another girl to fall in love with her. I'll probably try it, though, to see what it's like. ^^;

Erin said...

@Katherine: I'll email you the link for Blue.
You can get doujinshi from Comiket through proxy buyers--cheaper than going yourself, but you don't get to meet the doujinshi artists or experience the atmosphere of Comiket, I guess.
If you do decide to read Hen, you might want to start with chapter 8. And if you'd like to "enjoy" it with other yuri fans, you can read it at daily_yuri on livejournal (though you need to have a livejournal account to join the community, unfortunately).

@yasashiisekai: I've been to Otakon (in Maryland), Ohayocon (a small con in Ohio), Onna (a one-time event focusing on women's media), and Yuricon, but my favorite was Yuricon (for obvious reasons, I'm sure). If Yuricon does another big event someday, you should try to come!

Katherine said...

@ Erin- Thank you for sending me the link to Blue! :) I appreciate it. And thanks for the suggestions for getting doujinshi and reading Hen! Are there any doujinshi proxy buyers that you consider particularly reputable?

Erin said...

Deverilin of miseya is the one I always use. Her rates are good, and she's trustworthy and nice--she even threw in a few freebies once. The only downside is that she can't always get to all the circles I ask for, since she deals mainly in yaoi doujinshi; she gets to most of them, though, and I don't know if I'd do any better with the lines and crowds and whatnot to worry about, so I have no complaints, really.

Katherine said...

@ Erin- Great! :D Thank you again, Erin!