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.)