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Posts posted by CarolineAndJustine

  1. On 8/1/2023 at 5:07 PM, Revan said:

    Sword Lesbians in Anime - This was a bit of irony for this panel and me. I remembered  a panel last year on Phantom Thieves, and thought if the same presenters did this one I would enjoy it. After a few minutes in, I realized that I actually went to this panel last year, but didn't recall it until then. Something that made me laugh was when 3 people came in to the panel, one mentioned not knowing what the panel was about but expected it to be about fan service. I wonder if they were disappointed.

    We had a higher than usual number of people walk out in the first ten minutes of the panel, probably because of this reason! That said, I don't think our Guidebook description was misleading so I suspect these people just didn't read it. 

    I hope you enjoyed the panel even if it's not significantly different from last year.


  2. 1 hour ago, alabaster said:

    There is, unfortunately, a long tradition of people claiming not to have inappropriate content, and then springing stuff on us at the last minute. Some have even gone on to brag about trolling us.  If you felt like the suspicion was a little higher than seems immediately warranted, I'm afraid you have prior bad actors to thank for that.   We are an all-ages event, and we carve out plenty of space for 18+ stuff, but that means we have to be careful about what we put pre-threshold.

    Out of curiosity, what gets a panel flagged for potential inappropriate content? There's too many panels going on to apply this level of scrutiny to each and every one of them, and there's clearly potentially borderline panels (ex: this year's yakuza and yandere panels) that the staff are comfortable with. I imagine the application content is a big part of it?

    EDIT: To be clear, I don't think this is what happened to us (we've run Sword Lesbians at Ota multiple times so it's a known quantity at this point). I'm just curious to know what about the panel(s) that did run into this was likely the issue.

  3. In chronological order:


    Thinking About Anime 102: The Basis of Textual Criticism - I was a bit nervous going into this one, but it was great. The presenter clearly knew his stuff and walked the audience through various angles of criticism in an easy to follow manner that also wasn't boring for people with more existing knowledge in the area. (It was also easy to follow even if you weren't familiar with the series he was using for examples). Fun and informative.


    The History of Magical Girls - I didn't end up staying very long at this one. It felt disorganized and more like a list of shows organized chronologically than an actual history. The panelist was also just reading directly off his slides for the most part. (He also opened the panel with a joke that absolutely did not land, which isn't really his fault but I think threw him off his game.) 


    Pyramid Head Has a Point: Feminine Horror in Silent Hill - possibly the best panel I went to all weekend. I'm friends with the panelists so I'm biased of course, but it was extremely well thought out and presented, plus they did a good job using humor to lighten the mood when discussion got too heavy. (It was definitely the funniest panel I saw, which I did not expect going in.)


    Isekai Prevention 101: First Aid & CPR - Exactly what it said on the tin. The presenter (a firefighter) did a great job presenting basic first aid information in an easy to follow way, with lots of anime jokes and reference images throughout. Also my vote for best panel title.


    Myths and Mortals: Fantasy in Japan and the English Speaking World - this one was middle of the road. It's a great concept, but I felt it was too narrowly applied - the panelist only focused on one classic fantasy story from each culture (King Arthur and Journey to the West respectively), and once she was done abruptly jumped several hundred years forward to WWII era literature without any kind of transition. It was definitely interesting and I learned a lot, but it felt like I wasn't getting the full picture either.

    I also co-ran Sword Lesbians in Anime (again) and Dressing for the Weather: Summer Cosplay 101. I felt those went pretty well but I'd definitely like to hear feedback if people have any.

  4. That's good to hear, and I'm glad they're aware of how it looks. I helped run one of the panels involved in this and we did not request a late night slot (in fact we did the opposite) but wound up getting one anyway. They pushed us forward a few hours when we asked but it was still well after the typical room clear - that combined with hearing other panelists report getting grilled about 18+ content when requesting a schedule change didn't exactly bode well. It's possible that there's a few people involved making less than ideal choices (again, anecdotal grilling) but I'm extremely relieved to hear that the organization won't let it happen again.

    The space issues are a separate thing that I assume is at least partially on the WEWC's end (I swear we used to have more big rooms available? What happened to ballroom C?) so it's frustrating but understandable that it contributed. 

  5. The Good

    - I want to give a massive shout out to everyone running the photo suite this year. I know they were short staffed on photographers but they all worked really hard to make the experience good anyway, and were super transparent about how long things would likely take. Hats off to them.

    - Programming variety was much better this year (as was the panelist experience). There was a lot of variety in general, honestly, since the artist's alley and dealer's room also had good variety and weren't dominated by merch for the same 2-3 shows as it has been in some years.

    - Moving photoshoots to the video game hall was a great idea! The lighting is better and there's no need to deal with the escalator to the Marriott or the crowded hallway. The larger space made it harder to hear the organizers though, and whatever megaphones they have didn't help - I think only having a microphone and speaker setup would fix the problem.

    - The people, as always, are fantastic. I had an awesome time both as a participant and as a panelist, and made a bunch of new friends. 

    The Bad

    - Accessibility was pretty good this year, but several people (both volunteers and red jacket staff) didn't recognize the accessibility ribbons on sight and needed us to explain what they were. We didn't have trouble getting accommodations in the end, but this happened enough to make us wonder if there's more training that needs to be given prior to the event.

    - The screens in Panel 5 and 6 were weirdly low and ended up with the bottom third being blocked by presenters and/or chairs. I don't recall this being a problem in previous years but as an attendee I couldn't read a bunch of info from a few of the panels I attended, and when paneling my partner and I had to keep moving out of the way of important pictures or text on the screen.

    - I feel like way more events and panels were cancelled or rescheduled last minute this year than usual? I get that stuff happens, but there was barely any communication from the con side of things (and none whatsoever if you weren't checking their Twitter/Insta). I was getting Guidebook push notifications all weekend about autographs and dealer's room hours, so they were using that feature, but I would have appreciated if they used that to at least announce cancellations involving industry guests.

    The Ugly

    LGBT panels this year were fewer in number and were all initially scheduled late at night regardless of whether or not they were actually 18+. A few were either added off the wait-list last minute or rescheduled to earlier time slots, but at least one of them had to do extra lobbying to prove their panels were "appropriate" for general audiences despite having already clearly stated so on the application. 

    I'm trying not to read too much into this, but given the current political climate this makes me very very nervous. Gender and sexuality are not inherently adult topics, and there are already rules in place that can be enforced if someone is inappropriate in an all ages panel. Treating LGBT content this way is both a new thing for Otakon and very concerning for a place that is traditionally full of celebrations of LGBT+ identity (and also a ton of crossdressing, which IMHO makes this futile). I sincerely hope this is either a fluke or a one-off. 

    • Like 1
  6. 21 minutes ago, WorldisYours said:

    You say here it was announced, but I honestly have no clue where- it certainly wasn't ever up on the Otakon panel application page on the website

    Honestly I'm not sure where it was announced - I was given a last minute heads up by a friend and I don't know where she got that information. Probably Twitter?

    I agree that the fan panels were unusually weak this year, plus a lot of the usual mainstays were missing (I.e. Bad Anime Bad and New Anime for Older Fans). Hope this gets fixed for next year.

  7. 12 minutes ago, LittleHobbit13 said:

    Content summaries. There were several panels/workshops I attended that seemed like they were going to be about one thing but then ended up being not quite that in reality. I would love if there was a way to get some improved review of those summaries to make sure they remain accurate to the content in their quest to also be attention grabbing.

    (Crossing my fingers that none of my panels are on this list 😨)

    Yeah this is the #1 most common failure mode of fan panels, IMHO. I have no idea how to fix it though since it's not feasible for the con to vet someone's entire presentation ahead of time. Maybe allow some kind of panelist feedback after the con from attendees so at least it can be brought to people's attention?

  8. 10 minutes ago, windseeker said:

    Was a panelist this year, can confirm we had to go and get our ribbons friday morning though we got badges on thursday. Maybe I just got there early but there were approx 10 people checking in when we got there.

    I spent longer than I'd have liked in panel ops Friday morning (my partner ran into a glitch activating her badge... Not anyone's fault, just bad luck) so I got to see how things progressed. Things were mostly under control when I first got there but by the time things picked up there was a lot of confusion about who needed to do what and go where in the process of pick up waiver -> return waiver -> activate badge -> get ribbon, so everyone ended up in one giant line for everything. 

    Honestly, stuff happens sometimes and in the end this bit was relatively minor. If not for the other issues I mentioned I probably would have chalked it up to supply chain issues and gone about my day.

  9. Good: Both photoshoots I attended were amazing. People in general were all really happy to be back after 1-2 years and the atmosphere was excellent and friendly. My three panels for the most part went really well and the audience was great. The AV and panel room staff were also excellent. I also had an awesome time at the idol showcase!

    Bad: Panel ops seemed like it was having a lot of issues this year. In roughly chronological order:

    - The panel application deadline wasn't announced until ~2 weeks before applications closed, and as far as I can tell it wasn't announced very clearly. We found out with one day to spare and many of our friends (veteran Ota panelists) missed it entirely.

    - From what I heard, presenter ribbons didn't arrive in time for Thursday check-in so everyone had to come back Friday morning. This led to a big crowd at panel ops Friday morning.

    - The con was down at least one panel room from last year - I got the impression from one staffer that this was a venue related problem but I'm not sure. It looks like that reduced the overall number of fan panels, though.

    - Panel variety was weird this year. With the more limited number of spots (and possibly more limited pool of applicants) I understand that picking and choosing would be a harder task, but I also counted 4(?) separate intro to 3d printing panels which doesn't seem like a good use of the more limited panel slots. It didn't seem like there was good use made of the late night slots either - maybe not enough people with 18+ panels applied, but I saw a lot of stuff late at night that seemed like a bad fit. 

    - That said, the only gripe I have about my panels is that Sword Lesbians got put in one of the smallest panel rooms after filling Panel 1 last year. I felt really bad for all the people who queued for it in an already queue-heavy con. (The actual panel itself went fine though!)

    Ugly: A staffer wouldn't let my partner use the elevator during the escalator snafu even though she had an accessibility sticker. We were told it was reserved for people with mobility aids or strollers only. Her disability is invisible but very much affects her ability to climb stairs or walk long distances so this was a problem.

    Ota later clarified for us that the staffer was incorrect and she should have been allowed on, but that's pretty poor comfort after the fact. Otakon needs to make sure that everyone on con staff properly understands the policy because messing it up can have a huge negative impact on someone's weekend.

    So yeah, I have a lot of thoughts. I don't think the bad actually outweighs the good for me though - it's just easier to talk about. Overall I had a blast.




  10. 6 minutes ago, Ikano said:

    I had to leave when the Q+A started at the end but I was a bit sad you guys didn't mention Devil Survivor 2 in the "Beyond Persona" panel considering that it's way more popular (or at least appears more marketed) than Devil Survivor 1 (It-meaning DevSurv2- having a pretty good anime adaptation and all). Tho I guess that's a minor personal gripe... the rest of the presentation was great *claps*

    Thanks for the feedback! Technically we did have it on the slide but in retrospect we didn't really make it clear that there was a sequel. We'll definitely rework that part a bit if we run this again - given the number of games we crammed in if that's our biggest mistake I consider that a success 😵

  11. 2 hours ago, Aresef said:


    Concessions needs more vegetarian options. Especially at the grab and go. I'm a pescatarian so I was able to grab the salmon poke salad or whatever but other folks may have been out of luck.

    Can confirm, it wasn't great for vegetarians this year. There were some extra veggie options with the food stalls in the dealer's room, but the lines to get in meant we couldn't actually get in when we were free to get lunch Saturday. I'm not sure why the food (and autographs) weren't separated from the dealer's hall and given their own separate entrance. 

    Also there should really have been at least one vegetarian option at the grab and go places, but oh well 🤷 


  12. Here's the panels I went to and what I thought:

    Veterinary Medicine for Monster Girls

    This one was great! It was super fun as well as super informative. I think it could have benefited from having set specific times for questions instead of just answering them as people yelled them out throughout the whole panel, but that's just a nitpick.

    Bad Anime Bad

    This panel is always a hilarious(ly painful) highlight of the weekend and this was no exception. Happy 20th paneling anniversary, and here's to many more terrible years!

    Genres of Non Traditional Idol

    I got up early to catch this one on Saturday and I'm glad I did! I'm biased because I'm friends with the panelist but I still think this one was a real hidden gem. I've got a lot of new bangers in my Spotify library and a list of artists to check out further once I get home. 

    3D Printing For Cosplay

    This one fell into a weird space for me. I'm pretty familiar with 3D printing (although not for cosplay) so they spent a long time going over stuff I already knew, but it was structured in such a way that my partner (with no experience in 3D printing) had a hard time following it from the start. Technical panels are hard to do but this one didn't live up to my hopes. 

    Sailor Moon: Beyond Eternal

    Another really fun panel! I just wish that we had time to watch the full musical clip the panelist had T.T Otherwise it was a great explanation of all things Sailor Moon and included some stuff I wasn't aware of and I'll have to check out!

    Cosplay 201: Armor Patterning

    This was extremely well done! I have very little background in armor work but I was able to follow it easily, plus the panelists had great chemistry with each other and were really funny. I've always been a bit intimated by armor but this might have given me the boost I needed to get started.

  13. Quote

    We ended with the Persona 5 and Justice panel, which was super informative, although I wish they had a moderator to shut down some of the "color commentary" that kept getting shouted out from the audience. 

    Hi! I was one of the panelists for this one. Glad you mostly enjoyed it - we were also super annoyed by the audience member(s) interjecting during the panel, but didn't really know how to deal with it at the time. This was actually our first panel ever so if we run it again we should hopefully be better at stopping that kind of thing. 

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