Sunday, March 27, 2011

Conbust 2011 Yuri Panel

Above: The opening slide for my panel.

Another year, another nice panel with the very nice people at Conbust.

My one difficulty this time was that I couldn't find my adapter yesterday (probably left the stupid thing in Florida), but I was able to borrow the use of a laptop from one of the con staffers, who helped with setting it up. (She said, "Anything for yuri!")

I presented the panel on the second floor of Seelye Hall, the class building where Conbust always takes place.

The people at the panel were familiar with Rose of Versailles, Sailor Moon, and Utena (and one person knew Kashimashi and Hourou Musuko), interestingly, but not the other titles, so I had the pleasure of introducing them to pretty much everything else- especially for the woman who was like, "OOOH! I'm writing that down," and jotted down titles and mangaka names from several slides.

This time I showed less clips than usual. Sometimes less is more- and I couldn't pull up everything I'd originally planned because I was on a different computer. As usual, some stuff was changed, but the structure was pretty much the same, and a lot of the fun for me was in seeing how people reacted to what they saw. (What piqued their interest, what they laughed at, etc.) My favorite part of doing these panels, of course, is meeting other people who are interested in yuri.

This time I'm posting the slides I used, in case anyone's interested. You might not agree with everything I've included (or not included), but my objective was to not only include the titles I like, but show a variety for other people to choose what they like. (Also, crappy titles can be fun to talk about- "Yes, this is based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms"- and they make the good titles look better.)

I included my favorite Takarazuka clip to show what they're like. (Oscaaaaar!)

The woman in the photo above is Ikeda.

Just to give people a taste of what Shiroi Heya's art is like.

Whoops- had to note that Anise and Carmilla were around in the 2000's. (In Anise's case, both the 90's and 2000's.)

Had to note the switch to a bi-monthly schedule after the merger.

Ack, didn't mention that it recently went bi-monthly.

Surprisingly, the folks at the panel didn't know that Utena's been re-licensed.

This time I gave away Yamibou's craptastic ending, after I was asked. The panel attendees had the expected "Wtf?" reaction.

After I explained the Chikane-Himeko-Souma love triangle, someone said, "So they're rivals." I said, "Well, he doesn't know that she likes her," and someone replied with, "Of course he doesn't." The panels attendees exploded with laughter when Souma started his victory-scream while Chikane kissed Himeko at the end of episode 1. (That's the scene I showed a clip of.)

I mentioned how the Mai Hime characters show up again in an alternate world setting in Mai Otome, and how the creators of KnM made Kyoshiro/Shattered Angels with Chikane and Himeko as side characters, which the panel attendees thought was pretty cool.

My description of StrikerS got a really warm response.
Update @ 6:20 p.m.: On Twitter, I was asked for a little more detail on the "warm response" to StrikerS. To quote my answer, "I mentioned how, in StrikerS, adult-Nanoha and adult-Fate live together and raise Vivio, and the panel attendees got excited and said things like, "Awwww!" and "Oh, just like in the picture!!""

I mentioned Ikki Tousen also.

Moonlight Flowers was a good opportunity to address some of the long-held assumptions about relationships between women pre-high school graduation vs post-high school graduation in Japan, and how those assumptions have been subverted in this story (and others).
When I mentioned these assumptions to a friend recently, she was not only surprised, she asked, "Is that true for guys too?" I couldn't give her a solid answer. >___> (I should have been able to.) I told her that I haven't heard of that assumption for guys, and yaoi seems to have a lot more adult-centric stories, so I think that relationships between teenage boys are taken more seriously (i.e. not a "passing phase") than relationships between girls. If anyone can chime in with a "yay" or "nay" that would be great.

As expected, the panel attendees got a kick out of the plot description for Love My Life. ("The main character comes out to her dad- her's mom's dead- and he tells her that he's gay too, and so was her mom.")

When I described this series as "This girl, the main character *points with mouse*, and this girl *points with mouse* start attending an elite all-girls' school, and they meet the most popular couple. The main character falls for the popular butch *points*, but her *points* best friend likes her too, and then you still have her *points again* girlfriend," someone replied with, "So it's basically Smith." (See definition 2.)


Code537 said...

Congrats on another good year for you at Conbust...

Thanks for sharing your slides - it's really helpful to have the author's work summarized in each slide. I've added more to my "to read" list after reading your blog. :)

Regarding the "Manga Recommendation" slide, can you please help confirm the manga titles for the Top Left and Top Middle pictures?

Katherine Hanson said...

@Code537- Thank you! :D

The top left picture is from Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan ("Chatting at the Amber Teahouse" in English) by Fujieda Miyabi, and the top middle pic is from Strawberry Shake Sweet by Hayashiya Shizuru.

Sheldor said...

GAH! Why do Australia and America have to be such a great distance apart?!? I would eat my shoes to come to one of your Yuri panels, looks like so much fun!!

No fair! *pouts*

Besides it being awesome, why did you include Hourou Musuko? You shipping Takatsuki and Chiba-chan as well? Haha, no I'm not that much of a delusional Yuri fangirl but it is an interesting idea I think.

I love that you put Husky and Medley in there! Gunjo too. *nod nod*

Ah, I'm gonna make myself upset if I keep looking at all those.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Sheldor- *flattered* XD

Chiba and Takatsuki as a couple would be pretty insane...but I can kind of see it working too. lol

I included Hourou Musuko because of Nitorin's feelings for Anna. (Even though Anna sees Nitori as a guy who cross-dresses, their relationship is still yuri from Nitori's side.)

Sheldor said...

I think I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree with you there. The way I see it is that Shuu and Takatsuki are on a journey and to at this stage consider them male and female, respectfully, diminishes the significance of the end of that journey.

Secondly, I don’t think Hourou Musuko is satisfying from a Yuri fan’s perspective. Personally I’ve never considered Shuu’s feelings for Anna-chan as lesbian. I do appreciate what you mean, especially with the most recent developments in the manga, one could argue that Anna-chan has accepted Shuu as a girl and wants to be with him/her in the future regardless of gender. However, actually being satisfied that I’m reading a lesbian romance has never been the case.

Oh-no I’m sounding like a purist aren’t I?!?! Well I’m not - though I admit I don’t consider Kashimashi Yuri either lol! But that’s the worst I get.

To summarise. I totally appreciate your perspective but for me it’s a step too far removed to consider Shuu’s and Anna-chan’s relationship Yuri. I do love Hourou Musuko, I totally cried like a baby when trying to talk about the most recent episode of the anime. I love Chi-chan!

P.S. said...

You must be sick to death of hearing compliments, but from what I have seen from your slides you have done an excellent job of covering a huge range of shows, all from different genres and decades.

One thing I really liked to know more of was the attendees themselves. Was there an even mix of gender, and did they ask you any questions about shows that were not mentioned, or about yuri in general?

Katherine Hanson said...

@P.S.- Thanks! ^_^V

Surprisingly, the attendees this year were only female. (Although my panels at Conbust have always attracted a mostly female, adult audience, compared to my panels at the cons in Florida, which attract a more even gender mix and some below college-aged folks.)

I wasn't asked about any shows that I didn't mention this time. The panel attendees commented much more than they asked questions, but there were some general questions like "How similar is the usage of 'yuri' and "Girls' Love' in relation to each other to how 'yaoi' and "Boys' Love' are used in relation to each other?" and "What's your favorite?"

Lilyvess said...


Well to be fair, some of us that are even in America wouldn't have been able to reach it. Massachusetts is a long ways away from California.


I love this slide show. i think you did an excellent job representing Yuri, both in it's evolution and it's variety.

Katherine Hanson said...

@Lilyvess- I'm glad you think so! That's what I aim for at each panel.

Lilyvess said...

You had Yamaji Ebine, Gunjo and Mist magazine on this! That is too cool for words!!

granted, I do agree with Sheldor that Hourou Musuko doesn't belong. I love the series but calling Nitori and Anna Yuri is a little too soon in my book.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Erica Friedman said...

Katherine - Great colorful slides!

I have to say that I also don't think of Shu-chan and Anna as a Yuri couple, but for a completely different reason. They are not, in fact, a romantic couple. Anna clearly likes unusual things and feels attracted to Shu's personality, and Shu feels intrigued by Anna and comfortable around her but there is no romance between them.

The one couple I am fascinated by (and I use "couple" very loosely here) is Saori and Yoshino. It appears (to me, at least,) that Saori has become infatuated by Yoshino and in her typical grumpy way is showing it. Whether that will go anywhere - or even exists at all - is open to any number of interpretations. ^_^

Katherine Hanson said...

Just for some (late) clarification, I replied to Erica via Twitter instead of here.

My response was basically:
"Thanks a lot for the panel feedback! :-) I appreciate the points about Hourou Musuko also."
"I couldn't agree with reasoning based on the question of Nitori's gender identity,"
"but the feelings of the characters in question are valid (to me) as a basis for reasoning."
"I do like the Chiba x Takatsuki dynamic quite a bit, also. :D They make good foils."