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mellow-osity

Panels, Panels, Panels

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Alright, let's get to reviewing panels! 

This is what takes up most of my time at Otakon and other cons, I love going to as many panels as possible. Please discuss what panels you went to, which panels were great, which were not-so-great, suggestions for improvement and etc! I'll be adding my break down later today, but just wanted to get this topic going. 

:D

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Probably the best one I went to was Awesomely Bad Japanese Music Videos. The presenters always have great enthusiasm. And of course the videos were awesomely bad, as advertised

Does the AMV contest count?  There were technical issues at the Saturday simulcast but the staff had a great sense of humour about it which helped. 

The one about dogs in anime could have been more organized but I can forgive that because dogs. 

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Great convention over all. Attended a bunch of panels.

The Great:

The Bravest Robots: Sunrise's Brave Series: Interesting discussion of a series I knew little about outside of Gaogaigar.

The Worst Anime of All Time: Awesome as usual. Sad this will be the last time Mike Toole will be doing it.

Discotek Media: Once gain the best industry panel of the con.

Gattai! Giant Robots of 198X: Gave me lots of great ideas of things to watch in the future.

Gundam Thunderbolt w/Q&A: Awesome show.

The Good:

70s Anime Funtime: Could have used a little bit more discussion of the shows but otherwise good.

Japan Still Loves Evangelion, Entirely Too Much: Interesting things presented though it probably should be more updated with the more recent products in the actual presentation instead of leaving it to go to the files in his pc or webpages.

Awesome Women Making Anime: While the information presented was interesting and presented well, was a bit too dry at times.

Animators and the Animation They Create: An Intro to Sakuga: Interesting discussion on a topic I really don't think that much about with regards to anime.

The bad

How Meta Destroyed the Anime Industry: Started well, then it devolved into a screed about what the presenter didn't like about modern anime. Not sure he really understood the basic thesis of his panel, the nature of reference, allusion, and self referential. Also I'm not sure his examples were truly on topic.

The other panels were I went to were just ok or I have nothing noteworthy to say. Do have one gripe though. The Canon Busters premiere was put in way too small a room for both a premiere and a guest panel.

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iOh for the love of folklore a fan's perspective on Rumiko Takahashi

     Overall the panel was pretty good as it was a bit of a recap of some of her major works and how different aspects of folklore are used in her works.  The only real comments I would have are is make sure the second presenter is also awake and ready to go.  Also I would probably only do one or two of her works and really examine the mythology behind them instead of the 6 that they tried to cover.  A more focused approach could be more interesting and meaningful in the long run.  Oh and more images of the items being discussed.

 

Anime of green gables: adaptation of anime

     I came in about halfway through I think looking for something to do and it was better than I was expecting.  Who knew japan loved the novel so much and I would have gotten more out of it had I actually read anne of green gables.

 

You are an AMV pirate

     Only caught the tail end but the AMVs were enjoyable.

 

Port town to the stars: spacecraft navigation

      Loved this panel and it was excellent.  While the space craft navigation was only at the end it was great.  I really can't say anything else other than the presenters really nailed it.  The quantum physics bit was a little over my head but they did a good job in explaining it.

Gentle and not so gentle arts combat sports and japanese culture

    Did the presenter know his material, yes, did he know how to present it, not so much.  The material was interesting and the demonstrations were great.  However the overall presentation was a little dry and boring.

 

Bon voyage! a look into epic space journeys and other space operas

     A well run panel, but the audience should have heard more from the other presenters instead of just the main one.  I also felt there was to much focus on non anime science fiction shows, mainly star trek and BSG.  Not that these shows didn't fit the theme of the panel, but otakon is an anime convention.

 

Japan still loves evangelion way to much

     I can't really say anything that hasn't been said by trickthetm, 

 

Science in Anime

    The presenters were great, and used good examples for the most part.  I would have liked to have seen more slides with the formulas, math, and pictures on the science behind the scenes they picked.  The explanations were good, but some visuals would have been nice (aldnoah zero).  My main gripe would be the computer science stuff as I was lost there and I would recommend they drop it in the future.

 

Mecha or how i learned to worship the gundam

    A fun and interesting panel about mecha and mecha tropes.  I have nothing bad to say about this one.  I really enjoyed it.

 

Victorian Japan

    A very knowledgeable and well run panel.  I think that the panelist did a pretty decent job breaking down the era and what culturally defined the era along with anime that highlighted these qualities.  I was not the person who brought this up in the panel nor do I think he should have, but the video trailer for her new book (set in the time period) was a bit over the top.  Nothing wrong it doing it.  I mean its no worse than the hey here is my (insert relevant item) that other panelists do, but it was a bit over the top.

 

Folk culture of modern japan

   Charles Dunbar delivers as usual in his over the top bombastic style, which is a bit loud for my tastes but it was excellent none the less.

 

How meta destroyed the anime industry

     While I will agree with trickthetm on the fact that the panel was not very good, I do like the presenter knew what he was talking about.  The presenter spent to much time on the history of anime.  It was very interesting, but it did not need to be nearly as long for the topic at hand.  The example and definitions were spot on, in my opinion.  The main issue was he ran out of time and did not really go into detail of how meta really damaged the industry or used any more recent example.  The presenter needs to update his panel as he said it was basically from 2011.

 

Answering the call to adventure the road to becoming a magical girl

   My only real complaint is that the panel used the same old shows for examples.  I know they are the trope namers for a reason, but something other than sailor moon, and utena, would have been nice.

 

Panelist boot camp

    A good panel, that should have been more of a Q and A session.  Still it was informative even if I wasn't the target audience.

 

Lastly if anyone went to the panels I presented Anime chemistry 101 and anime physics 101 please let me know how I did either here or shoot me a PM.

    

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Christianity in Anime panel: Was pretty good, but I wish it had spent more time delving into the history of Japanese-Christian relations and how it impacted the portrayal of the religion in Japanese media. It started off strong but towards the end of the panel it started to turn into a big list of the Christian symbols/imagery in various well-known anime such as Hellsing and Chrono Crusade. That's not a bad thing, but I hope they spend more time on the historical aspects. The panelists themselves looked a little nervous but were very neutral and devoid of bias (which was nice) and the audience comments and questions were civil and respectful, which was also a nice change.

History of Vocaloid panel: At least I think that's what it was called.... A friend took me to it but I was only modestly interested at first. EmpathP did a nice job of including plenty of information as well as door prizes. :) Afterwards I had a much better understanding of the Vocaloid phenomenon and am considering going to the Vocamerica concert premier at NekoCon in November.

Worst Anime of all Time panel: CHARGEMAN KEN!  Mike Toole did a wonderful job as always. The line management for this panel was very well done and having it up on the fourth floor near the snack stand helped. I hope someone picks it up for next year. 

Alexis Tipton: I said it earlier but she is an absolutely wonderful guest. Bubbly, sweet and very funny! Her Sunday afternoon panel only filled about half of the room but the atmosphere was very laid back and friendly. She answered her questions with grace and professionalism and the audience was also very respectful (minus the one person who snapped their fingers at her.) The panel had the feel of a Laura Bailey panel, minus the awkward questions.

Con Feedback panel: I'm glad they ran it past 4pm to make up for the lost time due to the Closing Ceremonies starting late. Predictably, it turned into an "Otakon DC" Q&A.

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The panels I went to this year were all pretty good! Leaving out VA After Dark (covered elsewhere), and other VA panels (because I don't know that they're really looking for critiques)

Unsettling Pokemon Questions and Answers

My friends and I had some reservations about this panel, since we're all somewhat familiar with some of the weirder aspects of the Pokemon 'verse. The hosts made the decision to focus on how weird the questions were without actually trying to answer them, and it worked to their benefit. One could talk about the theoretical technology that would allow Pokemon bank transfers, but it was far more fun to question the somewhat cavalier and flippant attitude Pokemon takes to its own mysteries (Congrats, you "traveled through time and space": here's your sticker!). Of course, this panel was particularly relevant because of the recent Pokemon revival; but there's definitely room for them to ask/answer more questions in the future -- especially if they tackle the show

Weirdest Japanese Commercials

Hilarious. The host did a great job organizing all the clips together so that they flowed well together. It was great watching a round of unrelated clips, and then get a "favorite" like Tarako or Wonder Core. As far as I can remember, all the commercials were funny and a good length, and the host did a good job of offering commentary where it was necessary or humorous.

Beyond the Tentacle Chronicles

The actual content of this panel was so-so. A lot of it was difficult to watch and not all that applicable to anime (most of the fetish-related clips weren't hentai or even Japanese). I don't know that the fetishes presented were particularly Japanese - as the description suggested - and I kind of wonder if they were selected more because they are shocking and less because they're particularly prevalent in hentai and ecchi. That being said, the moderation of the panel was absolutely perfect. The panelists were engaging, energetic, and funny. The games were a great way to start the panel off and break up the somewhat overwhelming nature of the clips. The panelists seemed to have a great sense of what would entertain the crowd - even in somewhat mundane things like their "rules". They also seemed like they had made an effort to actually understand the fetishes they were talking about, rather than just make fun of them for our entertainment. With all that in mind, I'd love to see it next year with one minor tweak: find the hentai clips first, and then investigate the fetishes in those clips. It will come off as much more relevant to Japan and anime.

OMG!...WTF Did I just Watch?

My friends and I really wanted to see this, which is why we ended up attending "Beyond the Tentacle" in the first place (there was no room clear, which we confirmed with staff before we went in). The panel started off on the wrong foot for us when the panelists proceeded to berate everyone who sat through the previous panel (and the line for it) and remained for OMG. Does it suck that there were people who couldn't get into the panel because it was full? Yes. Would it be better if there were a room clear before every popular panel? There's room for debate. Maybe the panelists were trying to be funny about it, but to us it seemed a bit rude and misdirected. Anyway...whether because of the off-putting start or the actual content, we didn't end up enjoying this as much as we expected. The "clips" were often too long, and the commentary was sparse, meaning there were large stretches of time where no one was laughing. There also seemed to a significant lack of 18+ or WTF -- though there were a few gems (like the creepy-crawly gameshow video). I think the panel would really benefit from a few panelists with good chemistry that can comment on the clips in a way that enhances them during the less engaging moments.

Kimono Self-Dressing Workshop

Not a panel, but I'm gonna comment anyway since Kanawa-sensei said she's bringing it back next year and there are a few things I hope Otakon does differently next year. Anyway...the panel was great. Kanawa-sensei is knowledgeable, incredibly competent, and well-known in the area for her skills. She also normally charges $90 for two group classes, so being able to register for free was an absolute steal for those that were able to participate. I sensed that this year Otakon staff was really deferring to Kanawa-sensei in terms of how the panel was run; however, maybe next year they can work with her a bit more in advance to make the process run more smoothly. I'd asked in advance if there was anything specific I should wear, and never received a definitive response. To be safe, I brought along other clothes but never had a chance to change. In retrospect, a sports bra and leggings would have been a godsend in getting the right shape for a kimono. There was at least one woman who came in cosplay and had to strip down to her underwear -in the middle of the room - in order to wear the kimono (which she didn't seem to mind, but you can't count on that for everyone). Flip-flops and certain hairstyles would also have helped create the right esthetic during the photos at the end. So...next year it might be helpful to have "suggested attire" for participants.

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I got to see a few panels this year, though not many.

Girl Power:  Feminism & the Magical Girl Genre [F] -- One of the first panels of the 23rd Otakon, and a pretty good one too!  Alice Miller delved into the key aspects of how magical girls are portrayed both here in the US & in Japan.  She even threw in the infamous DiC Sailor Moon promo reel (not the Saban live-action promo pitch), which was a nice surprise.  Being a fan of the genre, I found it quite interesting.

Lesean Thomas/Cannon Busters Premiere [G] -- This should not have been in the room it was.  The show itself was really good.  Then, Mike Sinterniklass dropped by for a bit to help Lesean Thomas talk about the project, and the voice acting.  I don't believe they had time for Q&A, but I'm looking forward to seeing more of this project.

The Discotek Panel -- This may have been the best Industry panel.  Once again they pulled out some pretty cool announces, second in scope to FUNimation.

FUNimation Industry Panel -- Speaking of which, they were good too, and though they didn't touch everything I was hoping for them to discuss, they did make some exciting announces of their own.

Aniplex Industry Panel -- This one didn't have any big announces, but it also had a fun Q&A.

Otakon:  The Road to D.C. [O] -- This was worth waiting for.  Quite informative given what they could announce at this point.  Some of the questions however were repeated during the Feedback Session, which annoyed me a bit.

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I in conjunction with the rest of the Anime World Order did the following panels:

Greatest Forgotten Anime Openings

(18+) Anime's Craziest Deaths

Thirty Years Ago: Anime in 1986

(18+) Anime's Appearances in Non-Anime

Here is a listing of the anime titles shown along with contact information and where to read our print and online writings. Note that Anime's Appearances in Non-Anime is omitted because well, those were NON-anime titles!

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Otakon is great. I love it!  My Otakon is the panel roster.

 @BerserkHat   - If you want to discuss

 

70's Anime Funtime!

I quite enjoyed this panel, maybe because I liked many of the anime. Presented well.

Legend of Galactic Heroes

Presenter talked too fast and couldn't focus. Not sure if anyone who never saw the show got much out of it.

When Gundam Goes Bad

I usually like this panelist, but this seemed like, “Here are some quirky things I am amused at.”

Greatest Forgotten Anime Openings

Anime World Order knocked it out of the park with obscure but interesting anime openings. Along with their set ups to the clips I might have some new shows to check out.

Crunchyroll Simulcast Preview Panel

Basically a highlighting of the new season of shows. I took it as a primer and quite enjoyed it dispite some tech issues.

Buddism in Death Parade

Dunbar's panels are typically great. This was entertaining and I like Death Parade....but Dunbar seemed like an evangelical Buddist shouting and running the aisles.

Shin Giant Monsters

Great. Well prepared for and informative. One of the highlights of the panel roster.

The Christian Relegion and How it is Portrayed in Anime and Manga

Not bad, but narrow in scope. The best part was the Q&A at the end where more interesting topics and anime was discussed and the panelists seemed to come to life.

Anime's Craziest Death's

Another fine volume by Daryl Sarat, always amusing. Delivered on the title.

Japan Still Loves Evangelion, Entirely Too Much

Awesome Panel! Presenter was well spoken and went to the obscure often. Decided I would attend another panel later by same presenter. Good even if you never saw Eva.

Worst Anime of All Time

Toole did his thing, dipped into his old bag of tricks (Chargeman Ken). Got tiresome by the end, but was impressed when he said he was done with this panel.

Cannon Busters Exclusive Screening with LeSean Thomas

Otakon, Cannon Busters is your new favorite thing. I hope he gets all the support he needs to make this into a series. He gave us a behind the scenes look at the show and its mythology.

Gattai! Giant Robots of 198X

Solid panel. Found some new shows to enjoy. Two nitpicks: The panelists would over talk each other and the show title was not on the show description slide.

Anime in 1986

Sarat gave an overview of anime released in this year. Pretty good, clips would go on too long.

Satoshi Kon & The Mystery of Me

Biggest panel disappointment this year. The panelist did an overview of Kon's anime only. Played almost an entire episode of Paranoia Agent and said this panel was started because he liked Millennium Actress a lot. Never discussed was his manga, unfinished movie or even his death. He said at the end he read none of the books written on Kon and his work. He asked for questions at the end, and then immediately shout down the panel with time left.

Worst panel of 2016.

Under the Bed: Horror in Anime/Manga

Brilliant. Showed many genres over many years. Didn't focus on one type of horror but many. I am not a huge horror fan, but this panel had a great presentation. The presenters seemed interested in making punny jokes, but the research was strong.

The Life and Works of Hideaki Anno

Same panelist as the Japan Loves Eva panel (EvaMonkey.com). Great panel many obscure live action works and biographical shows presented. Might need to learn to make a presentation and not just dig out files when needed.

Answering the Call to Adventure: the Road to Becoming a Magical Girl

Dunbar seems like he threw this together with a few friends. If you have seen his other panels on similar subjects, this is nothing new.

From Orientalist to Weeaboo: A Short History of Obsession with Japan

USA using Japan's ideas = BAD, Japan using USA ideas is fine.

That seemed to be the idea of this panel, avoid.

American Anime: The History of American Animation in the Anime Style

Presentation of an old panel, and it showed. Was interested in the technique of animation and how Japan and America trade styles. Interesting panel, let you make the call for yourself.

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Hey everyone, I'm Viga! I ran the panels Weirdest Japanese Commercials, The Idolm@ster: Panel For You, Anime of Green Gables: Adaptation of Anne and Digimon: Digital Movies with my co panelist Blitz the Comic Guy. Tell me what you thought!

Panels I went to:

Greatest Forgotten Anime Openings

Loved! I'm love vintage anime songs so this was a fave. I didn't get to see the whole panel, but what I did was so fun.

Steven Universe and Anime: Anime References, Tropes, and Themes as seen in the popular show Steven Universe

I knew a lot of the references, but they even showed some I didn't know! The slides could have been designed better, and it was basically like a long list of references, a few jokes maybe and not much talk about them, but was pretty good. I'm glad it was accepted despite being mostly about a western animated show.

Such Dog. Much Anime. Wow.

I hope they talk about cats next year. This was fun and introduced me to Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin and Dogtato.

Anime's Appearances in Non-Anime

I knew this would be different and awesome and I'd come away with something strange to show others. Great panel!

When Gundam Goes Bad

Only got to see half of this. Funny host, funny clips and gives a little more education on Gundam.

That's Gay! Anime and Manga for the LGBT Audience

Talked about positive examples, stereotypes and more in LGBT manga and anime. Very well run and inclusive.

 

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Jojo's Posing School - Unfortunately I couldn't make this one due to a very full line 45 minutes out.  But I'm sure it was a blast as usual.  We were really surprised that it wasn't first thing in the morning like it usually is.

Let's Make A Hero - I have a renewed zeal for writing original content lately.  The first half was exactly what I was looking for and it gave me things to chew on, especially regarding the relationship between a protagonist and antagonist.  The second half not as much but I already knew the second half was not going to be the part I came for and it is NOT a slight on the panelists at all.  The panel was extremely well presented and I wish I could have made it to the "Villian" counterpart on Saturday.

Japan Still Loves Evangelion, Entirely Too Much - Aaron delivers again.  That shaving campaign in particular was really something special. 

The Worst Anime of All Time - It will be sorely missed.

Awesomely BAD Japanese Music Videos - Missed out on the last 25% of it last year but this time we got the full effect.  It was great to see a lot of new content in additional to some of last year's most entertaining work.  I feel like we have gone through a type of hazing ritual after being exposed to Fish Fight.  Keep up the good work!

Getting Real About Fantasy Writing - This probably was the workshop I was looking the most forward to.  I have mixed feelings about the presentation of the content.  I'm afraid I didn't care much for the occasional slipping into roleplay and the inside jokes between the presenters.  Having fun with it is good I couldn't help but feel the banter and the pregnant pauses wasted a far bit of time.  HOWEVER when the presenters were on, they were ON.  I learned something from this panel, which makes everything I said about the presentation worth sitting through.  And even if nothing changes in the following years, I would still like to attend this workshop again in the future.  Maybe I'll be brave enough to submit a writing sample.

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I enjoyed the panels this year for the most part, but one was not as described in my opinion.  The Burlesque, Fandoms, and Cosplay: Anime meets the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  It turned out to just be a reenactment cast for the movie with audience participation.  It didn't appear to be anime-related at all.  Once this became clear, about half of the panel got up to leave when we did.  Now I'm a fan of RHPS, but I've been to plenty of reanactments, and could have saved myself some time in line if this was indicated in the panel description.  I know Otakon does it's best to screen panels, so I just wanted to put this one out there as one that fooled some of us.

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Some of the panels I went to:

The Legend of Zelda (18+ Panel) - I did lose my patience with this one. It started at 1 AM and I was wondering what about Zelda could be made into an 18+ panel. Well, time passed and I didn't get an answer to that. I up and left to go sleep.

Skin Deep: Diversity in Anime - Let me make it clear I have seen this panel a few times before and really enjoyed it. Its both funny and informative. However, this year it seemed...off. Like more of a lecture than an interactive fun panel. I also didn't get the same sense of enthusiasm from the presenters. I think they're increasingly jamming too much content into the given time, which limits the discussion on topics that I found so enjoyable in years past.

Spiderman has a giant WHAT?! - I just love this panel. Hilarious and so enlightening.

What if Wolverine Had a Sweet Mullet - I didn't stay for the whole thing, but I did take note that a good chunk of the content mirrored the "Spiderman has giant WHAT?!" panel - american tv shows that Japan adapted - which is to be expected. It would be good for someone who missed one or the other, but this one panel had too many bullet points they simply read over rather than really discussing it.

Steven Universe and Anime  - Very well done panel! I learned a lot. I knew there were a good number of anime references in Steven Universe, but I really had no idea about the extent of it, plus the show really references some very obscure anime.  

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I got to see these:

Visual Kei is Dead... - The only "bad" panel in the fact that the presenters never showed up. Some other enterprising people got up to talk about/take questions about Visual Kei to fill the void, which was great, but still disappointing that the panel didn't actually happen.

Beyond Visual Kei: J-Metal - Decent panel that introduced me to some metal acts I hadn't heard of, but he seemed a little disorganized. Like he'd mention a band and then waste time looking for an example video when that should have been right at his fingertips to begin with.

A [Brief] History of Detective Conan - Good panel and the presenter definitely knew her ---- when it came to Detective Conan.

Hayao Miyazaki: A Storyteller's Journey - Run by the always excellent Charles Dunbar, definitely my favorite panel of the weekend. The marriage proposal in the middle of it was fantastic as well!

Japan and the Great Bear - I enjoyed this panel, but the description was a little misleading. It was basically a crash course in the history of Japanese-Russian relations and barely covered how that translated to the anime/manga medium. For a history enthusiast like myself I was still fascinated with the subject matter, but I could see someone who isn't as interested in the history of it being disappointed.

Anime and Manga for the LGBT Audience - Very well done panel with lots of examples, both positive and negative.

Such Dog. Much Anime. Wow - Again, awesome panel with lots of dogs, definitely delivered on the premise! I was just a little miffed Dog and Scissors didn't get a mention.

Victorian Japan - Like the Russian Panel, it was a little misleading in the content, which the presenter was straight up about right at the beginning. I don't think the panel would have been any less crowded (and it filled the room) if she had just named it what it was, which was Meiji Era Japan. Any fan of Rurouni Kenshin already knows what that is, and people who don't and are curious would still come to find out. Anyway it was a very well presented panel with a lot of interesting information, which again, a history enthusiast like myself found fascinating.

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As usual I ended up not hitting nearly as much as I wanted to. -_-


Anime of Green Gables: Adaptation of Anne

I didn't know anything about Anne of Green Gables prior to this panel, but my wife is a big fan of the series and wanted hit the panel up. It ended up being highly informative, and well put together. Definitely made me interested in checking out the series more in-depth after the con


Funimation Industry Panel

Full house to be sure, and definitely one of those situations where you were sitting on somebody and somebody was sitting on you. Not too much to really say, good presentation, and made me interested in trying out their streaming service


Voice Actors After Dark

Really fun and funny. People need better questions. Dude who tried to steal the mic, I totally thought he was going to get beat down and thrown out the window. It's been mentioned everywhere else, but that line getting in was abysmal. This is definitely a panel that will need a bigger room next year.


The Worst Anime of All Time

Very entertaining, and really sad to hear that it was the last time the panel will happen. Hoping someone else picks up the torch on this one, and does an equally good job.


Crunchyroll Industry Panel

Not much to say about this one. I've been a premium subscriber for some time now, and was aware of everything currently on the service, so I was a good rehash of stuff I knew.


Weirdest Japanese Commercials

Great mashup of commercials put together by Viga (also did Anime of Green Gables). Was funny from start to finish. Another situation where the line was massive and we were all sitting on each other, so maybe more room next year. 


Transformers: The Birds and the Bumblebees

Admittedly I came into this half way in, only because Road to DC was immediately after, and we found there'd be no room clearing afterwards. Ended up being pleasantly surprised and entertained. 


AMV Contest

Not technically a Panel. But always a must-attend event every year. I think I was sitting on three people and at least 12 were sitting on me for this one. 


Opening Ceremonies/Road to DC/Closing Ceremonies/Con Feedback

Figured I'd just lump all these together. Wish I could have hit up the Financials Panel as well. But all of these were good (though the seating for closing ceremonies took about 9 hours). Not sure how many people got turned away outside, but it seemed like road to DC and going forward had tons of people who didn't manage to get in. Probably need a bigger room for these going forward. I always find these informative, and it always makes me interested in volunteering my time to help get more involved with the machine that is Otakon.

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Here's what I attended! 

70's Anime Funtime! 
I thought this was really well run and had great clips of shows I'd never seen before. Was entertaining and informative. 

From Aarzak to Street Combat: Altered Anime Games
I really loved this one! The presenter was great as well as the content. 

Mechapocalypse
So this one got off to a little of a rough start but ended up being okay. I really dislike when the panelists on stage start talking to each other and making jokes to each other rather than talking to the audience and that was happening alot. They were also a little hard to understand - like not speaking clearly. The guy running the laptop was really easy to hear and understand though and really enthusiastic, so if he led the panel more, I think that would work. 

Man At Arms
This was great as I'm a fan of the show. The cast was really entertaining and answered questions. My only gripe was that there were no images included on screen. For example, they were talking about some of their swords in detail, it would be great to have reference images up so the audience knows what they're talking about - especially if they haven't seen a certain episode. 

Is Marth in This Game? A Crash Course in Fire Emblem 
This delivered exactly what the description said. I've always wanted to jump into FE, so this was perfect. Panelists were really excited about the topic and it was super informative on the whole series. The "Is Marth in this Game?" was a fun way to go through all the games. A+ 

Beyond Visual Kei: The Asian Underground Metal Scene
Was bummed this was scheduled at the same time as the Punk panel - I think the presenter was as well. Anyway, really good panel and some great recommendations for Japanese Metal bands. 

FOOL JAPAN: The ABCs of Tetsudon (Video Programming) 
This was a series of shorts that were AMAZING. All of these were hilarious, weird, interesting or a combination of all 3. I had to leave a little early, but wished I could have stayed for all of it. 

Funimation Peep Show 18+ 
So, I ended up attending this while waiting for Anime's Craziest Deaths, but it was really hilarious and awesome! The presenter was FANTASTIC and made the panel really fun. The twitter wall was also a nice touch. FRONT TAIL! :D

Anime's Craziest Deaths 18+
So, this panel is always amazing. Lots of new clips that I hadn't seen before and is something my group always tries to attend. 

I REALLY wanted to attend the MegaTen panel! But there was overlap with other panels. :(

Under the Bed: Horror in Anime/Manga 18+
Really wish I had caught all of this panel because I love horror manga! I only caught the last 10 minutes. If anyone has a list of the titles they talked about, I'd really appreciate it! 

Artist Alley 101/201 Combined: The Art of Srs Art Business
I thought this was really informative, but unfortunately I wasn't feeling great during this panel and had to step out. Annoyed that I missed the end and Q&A session. :/ 

That's Gay! Anime and Manga for LGBT Audience
So, I thought that this was a really great discussion and panel. There was one audience member who left the panel screaming about something at the beginning, but the panelist handled that really well. I really like how they discussed not just LGBT+ represented in manga/anime, but when it's used in a good way, when its used in a bad way, and who the audience is. There really is very little targeting the LGBT+ community or not alot that is available state side. Gave some really good recommendations. One recommendation I remember is "What did you eat yesterday" published by vertical. I can message anyone the others if they want - I have them written down somewhere. 

Also, I wanted to recommend Paradise Kiss anime/manga as a positive LGBT+ example. George is Bi and I believe Isabelle would be a good example of an Okama in a positive light (everyone respects him and he's incredibly talented and beautiful!) 

Fractured Persona: Identity in Persona Games
Another good one by Study of Anime. 

Manga by Vertical Comics
So, I was really looking forward to this because I really like the content that Vertical publishes: more indie type comics. The guy presenting was really unenthusiastic. I think he may have just been tired and he mentioned two other panelists who were suppose to join but could not. Sooooooo, this was so-so. 

Otakon Game Show
So, I LOVE the game show. I attend it every year I go to Otakon. It's so much fun that the audience gets to play along. It's just super entertaining and fun. It'll be interesting how it's handled in the future as the current lead for the show is stepping down, but I'm sure it'll be in good hands. 

I REALLY wanted to attend the Ugly Manga but could not! Anyone have the titles they recommended? 

OMG! ...WTF Did I Just Watch? 18+
Another good panel the specializes in WTF Japanese video. The highlight of this for me was the game show where the contestants pass living creatures to each other with their mouths! OMG! Was SO funny. Was really happy I attended this. 

I REALLY wanted to attend 20 Manga Reccomendations for Adults, but was dead tired at this point! Anyone have the titles they recommended? PLS?

Panelist Bootcamp
Very straight-forward. Good information and well versed panelists. Inspired me to finally pitch my panel idea to cons. 

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I also want to mention the Manga Library! I always stop in there when I have some down time and just need to take a breather. I only stopped in for a little while and read the first vol of Berserk, but I love that this is always at Otakon. 

Also, for those asking, YES! Please post any workshop comments in this thread as well. 

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Fan panels I went to over the weekend: (not counting guest/industry panels)

Gundam Shorts
Out of all the Gundam panels this year, this one was the most interesting to me. Mainly because the content being featured was fresh material (for me at least). Over the course of the last several years at Otakon, I always feel like the Gundam panels follow the same type of formula and aren't really engaging to me (being a long-time/die hard fan). Anyways, the panelist had a lot of tech issues (not his fault at all, it was the projector in the room and the wires) but when the tech staff finally got it working, the material from the panel was good and well presented. I would really like to see this panel again with the full run through for time.

 

Metal Gear Solid: "!"

First panel I saw for the 2016 convention. Metal Gear is a pretty big franchise with tons of characters and games. I thought the people running the panel did a good job for people new to the franchise but they also kept engaged long time fans of the series. Overall a good panel, and singing Snake Eater at the end was a funny touch.

 

Otakorp's Financials and Q&As

I already talked about this panel in a couple other threads. Needless to say, I hope it returns for 2016!

 

What if Wolverine had a sweet mullet...:Unfortunate Japanese Adaptations of American IP

Interesting panel for sure. Learned quite a bit about Japanese adaptations. My only complaint was the panel slides were cropped wrong, and you couldn't really read them.  

 

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Going over what I attended will have to be done later, but...

@mellow-osity

I should be able to list what I remember being shown in the 20 Manga Recommendations for Adults panel...

In alphabetical order (I don't remember the actual order):

Black Lagoon
Detroit Metal City
Disappearance Diary
Fuku-Fuku Nya~n
Gangsta
GATE - Jietai Kare no Chi nite, Kaku Tatakeri 
Golden Boy
Great Teacher Onizuka
Helter Skelter
Kami no Shizuku
Kantoku Fuyuki Todoki
Mail
Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou
MPD Psycho
Mushishi
One Punch-Man
Ookami no Kuchi: Wolfsmund
Pink
Seizon
You're Under Arrest!

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FAVS

KUMIHIMO BRAIDING WORKSHOP - love learning a new craft.  Panelists were great and patient teachers!

SHIN GIANT MONSTERS A GO GO - I will GO GO to anything with A Go Go behind it, and I have so said to the panelists.  Their film knowledge and clips make it a fun and funny panel.

70s Anime Funtime - hey! my era.

Skin Deep - Diversity in Anime - learned a lot:  L is British, Mr. Po is not in blackface.  But best observation is how we in the US reinterpret anime from Japan through US racial attitudes.  I also wish I could remember the Japanese word meaning "stateless" which basically means that all anime characters are considered Japanese UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

Cosplay Props - GREAT INFORMATION including new stuff that's out there and prices of materials so you can get an idea of how expensive things are.  Panelists well-informed.

OTHERS

Road to DC - kind of informative, considering "things could change" but it was nice to let people get a chance to voice their concerns.

Worst Anime - I guess I'm the only one who thought the updated version would have worse anime than last time, but I was actually getting bored toward the middle, but it picked up again toward the end

Building a Ballgown - good tips

Shinto Shrine - I LOVED the idea, hopefully in a MUCH LARGER room if done again.

Most Disappointing

Japanese Confectionery - as stated by someone else, the panelists seemed to spend a little too much time being unhappy about not being able to give samples out and other snips at con and BCC.  That *is* 50% of why I was disappointed, the other 50% was them reminding me about it.  Otherwise, they presented some interesting facts, like how one of my favorites, Hi-Chew, came into being.

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Did anyone attend "Fukushima Then and Now, 5 Years Later" on Friday night? This struck me as an odd and kind of out-of-place discussion. I noticed it because I'm a journalist that covers the wholesale electricity industry, and I attended a similar discussion at the National Press Club (obviously an entirely different kind of setting than Otakon). I didn't catch it because it was late on Friday and didn't feel like doing anything related to work.

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Man, what did I see this year? Hmmm..

Discotek-I went to a lot of industry panels, actually, but Discotek's was by far the best. It had nothing to do with Righstuf's computer failing on them either, Discotek had 5 announcements and just went right off the bat with Captain Harlock: Arcadia of my Youth (for those who are unaware, they started with a pretty big one on that one, people definitely wanted it). Frankly, their industry panel was just the most fun. Funi and Sentai tried to be hip and cool to the crowd, but Discotek has their panels run by Mike Toole for a reason, man! Only negative was that they didn't really have time to get to questions, but they did take them afterwards on the side at least. It wasn't even too crowded, since people don't seem to know how good their panels are or something. It also doesn't help that advertising for this panel was limited, since it took over MAPAA's spot.

Steven Universe and Anime-glad they avoided spoilers, they did have a cut off date on that (keep in mind, a 4-week steven bomb was ending during Otakon week). I didn't quite stay to the end because I was tired after running around all day, but it was a simple but fun panel.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes-I was already a fan of this series going in, but I did drag a friend. For a series like LoGH, it is handy to have someone to help you at the start, but I also feel most of this info could've been found in a blog post. Still, the presenter did clearly love the show, always good.

Teen Wolf & Japanese Myth and Folklore-I was only in here because it was before Steven U, but when my friends wanted to take an extended bathroom trip, I happily joined them. Part of it is surely me not caring about Teen Wolf, but it couldn't capture my attention whatsoever.

Cannon Busters premiere-I really enjoyed this pilot short. It is a genuine shame that it was in such a damn tiny room! I mean, Teen Wolf got at least 3 times the space and it didn't even need it. I enjoyed seeing the "making of" sort of thing afterwards, I'll just be really upset if this isn't picked up as an actual series!

Fractured Persona-I was a little late for this one, but I was pretty well enthralled as soon as I got there, I really want to know what I missed now! I did learn some more things about how Japanese and world folklore ties so heavily into the Persona series and how well thought through those games are (a lot of which I know tends to go over Westerner's heads through a mix of misunderstanding world myths and simply not caring to learn about the myths of Judeo-Christian accurately).

I don't think I went to any on Sunday.

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I don't think I went to a "bad" panel this year, but the absolute highlights was:

P.A. WORKS Anime Live Drawing - while they are difficult to pull off, events like this that let you actually observe the creation process in action are incredibly interesting (in addition to the banter between guests and picking their brains)

Japanese Game ShowsAnime's Craziest Deaths, and OMG! WTF Did I Just Watch were all solid. The Life & Works of Hideaki Anno was very informative and well presented. Thirty Years Ago: Anime in 1986 was informative, but a bit dull, and Funimation Peep Show felt like a long commercial (though the Twitter feed projected on the side wall wound up being a source of cheap amusement).

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The Bravest Robots: Sunrise's Brave Series: Great panel. It was informative, it was on an obscure subject, and the infodump format worked -- something I often don't like (because I've seen Gundam and don't need to hear the basic summary, but I never saw these). It mixed clips and talking points, and traced the development of the series. I wouldn't have minded a little better pacing, to cover more of GaoGaiGar and maybe a little more about the plots and casts of the shows... but I also see how time was a thing.

Great panel. I hope you do more!

OCRemix: An Otakon tradition for me. I liked hearing about the new albums, liked the sample music, and WOO! Seiken Densetsu 3 album's coming soon! I can't wait. Great work, and I hope they're there in DC!

Anime's Craziest Deaths: I finally had to attend this. I'd meant to before, but something (often sleep) always came up. I loved it; I'd never seen most of this before, and just seeing Thunderbolt Fantasy before the panel made it all worth it. The panel didn't disappoint; Daryl Surat is a natural speaker and communicates his enthusiasm very well. I know it was knocked from 2 hours to 1 hour, but I felt like 1 hour was right -- it gave me everything I was hoping for, without getting long in the tooth.

Hope to see it next year!

Worst Anime of All Time: Always great. I can see why it's being retired, but I appreciated the last trip down memory lane courtesy of the always awesome Mike Toole. Can't wait to see what panels he cooks up next year! Also, maybe I'll buy Charge Man Ken. After years of seeing the highlights reel, I feel like I need to witness glory.

Cannon Busters: My friend insisted we check this out; I'd never even heard of it before. I was amazed. This was an awesome pilot, and I really hope that the creators pull this off and make a full series. It's got what it takes. I'll echo others, too: the room was too small. For a headlining guest, I felt a little bad, but it was great that it got so much interest. I see a lot of potential, here, and I'd like to see Otakon draw in more guests like this; we really got to hear about the creative process that made this show, and that's fantastic.

Thirty Years Ago: Anime in 1986: Another Daryl Surat panel, and another awesome one. I liked the run through, the touching on both known and unknown anime, and showing us lots of amazing clips. I also have an expanded must watch list from that. I wanna see next year's version of the panel.

Answering the Call to Adventure: The Road to Becoming a Magical Girl: I hate to say it, because Charles Dunbar and his co-hosts (whose names I sadly didn't catch) did all the right things as presenters, but this one needed work. It was framed around a thesis involving Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces (IE, the monomyth) and magical girls. It... didn't really talk about this. They said they made it over the weekend and it showed; there was a lot of time spent on Sailor Moon (which was good!), Kill La Kill (kinda-sorta magical girl...?), and Nausicaa (...uh, not... really). A lot of magical girl shows weren't mentioned at all -- the most egregious being Pretty Cure, which feels to me like having a Japanese mecha panel and not even saying the word "Gundam" in it -- and shows that were only arguably mahou shoujo were included.

It was interesting, but it could have been more. I think more research, more development of the idea of the thesis, and clarifying the thesis and making a concise argument early on so we understand that would be best. I felt there wasn't a thesis statement offered, and that the examples weren't solidly rooted in the classics of the genre; including Kill la Kill is interesting, but I think it needs explanation to connect it explicitly to the genre being discussed. I didn't feel that was adequately offered.

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 0:47 PM, kinch417 said:

Skin Deep - Diversity in Anime - learned a lot:  L is British, Mr. Po is not in blackface.  But best observation is how we in the US reinterpret anime from Japan through US racial attitudes.  I also wish I could remember the Japanese word meaning "stateless" which basically means that all anime characters are considered Japanese UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED.

 

"Mukokuseki"

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For anyone who did go to them i would like to know what you thought about anime physics 101 and anime chemistry 101

(I was the presenter)

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The DH and I attended; to be honest we wanted to see whether it was going to be a repeat of a workshop we attended several cons ago (anyone remember the "Full Metal Alchemist" panel which was waaay off the mark?).

You were definitely better prepared, though after a while, it got a little too technical for me, (a good thing, really; it meant you discussed what you promised to) and even though I left; The Husband (an actual Chemist) stayed and he told me he enjoyed it.

I don't remember seeing a lot of anime clips to prove different points, but I think I might have stayed if there had been some earlier on.

 

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Winning Panel of 2016 - Beyond the Tentacle. Without a doubt they decimated last years high bar they set (though I would've loved another improv writing!). The addition of the webcam was phenomenal at keeping things smooth no matter where you got seated. The line was handled masterfully. I think I've been fully converted into a +2 Comedy fanboy.

OMG WTF - Was pretty good! I didn't know what to expect, but I really enjoyed it. I felt like some of the clips were a bit too lengthy / repetitive (the wrestling ones, for example), but on the whole I enjoyed it.

AMVs were good as always. Can we get the 18+ version though in the ACTUAL AMV theater? The big room with plenty of seating?

WORST Run Panel of 2016 - Voice Actors After Dark. No need to dwell much, I've made my thread. The tl;dr is that for the 4th? Year in a row the room was comically small compared to the turnout they know they were going to get, the line was handled by irate staffers who continuously made vague threats and made things worse than just letting a line form (not their fault, I know) and Cards Against Humanity was introduced as a crutch for actual content once again. That said, as always, Jay's MCing was great the the ASL employees were amazing. Maybe less guests next time too...felt like too much at times.

Undertale / Otatale Photoshoot - Not technically a panel but well ran on the Saturday morning one. Great job!

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17 hours ago, kinch417 said:

The DH and I attended; to be honest we wanted to see whether it was going to be a repeat of a workshop we attended several cons ago (anyone remember the "Full Metal Alchemist" panel which was waaay off the mark?).

You were definitely better prepared, though after a while, it got a little too technical for me, (a good thing, really; it meant you discussed what you promised to) and even though I left; The Husband (an actual Chemist) stayed and he told me he enjoyed it.

I don't remember seeing a lot of anime clips to prove different points, but I think I might have stayed if there had been some earlier on.

 

Thanks for the review.   I don't remember the full metal alchemist panel you mentioned, but I get the idea.  I was worried about the technical stuff as it is a risk, and I'm glad your husband enjoyed it.  I will work on incorporating more video clips in the future.

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Friday:

  • Digimon: 15th Anniversary [F] - Good panel, which I got into simply because as an Otakonveteran I know that when the staff says "You can't stand at the back, find a seat or you have to leave", it's not the time for indecision, lol. They went through the history of Digimon, both screen content and merchandise goals. They threw out some tasty lesser known fun facts, one of which got that classic "Ooooooooo" from the audience, which is always hilarious. Overall a well-presented panel.
  • Kimono as Costuming: the Hidden Language of Clothing in Jidaigeki [F] - Incredibly fascinating. I love learning about historical Japanese fashion, so I was excited when I saw this listed. The presenter was very well prepared and her presentation was very well researched. She came armed with good examples, video clips, and good observations. I was really impressed and came away feeling educated. I'd love to see more content like this.
  • Battle Damage for Cosplay: Weathering 101 [F] - When your presenters start talking about creating burnt effects by actually lighting stuff on (controlled) fire, there's a certain sense of expertise in the air.  There was one dip in the presentation when some girl interrupted to ask about suggests for untangling long wigs (like the one she was currently wearing), but otherwise there were some great tips about how to get the right weathered effects on your cosplay. It was impressive what they showed could be done with even the cheapest of materials like craft foam.

Saturday:

  • DiscoTek - Got to this one a little late, and yes, decided to sit in this one as a way to get my seat for the next. This panel was one of those serendipitous moments I live for at Otakon, considering I haven't gone to Industry panels for the past few years. First off, the panelists were super funny. At one point they showed a clip of Rayearth footage they received, super grainy and fuzzy and spotty audio, and followed it up with the "After" they worked on it clip...my god it was like MAGIC. If I didn't know better I would've thought they'd just redrawn the whole thing from scratch, it was so clean. This is the kind of industry content I love to see, all that work that happens behind the scenes to get us the beautiful anime releases. I was really glad I sat in this panel. Also, discovered down in the Dealer's Room that DiscoTek licensed the LupinVsConan movies. Not really relevant to this panel, but certainly seeing them take on the less "mainstream" titles is motivation to seek them out at future Otakons.
  • Cosplay Prop Materials 101 -  An Intro to the World of Foam, Worbla and Beyond! [F] - This was a really well put together presentation. The panelists were very knowledgeable about the different materials used in cosplay props and how they're best used, and they were able to answer questions attendees had at the end with ease. My one recommendation would have been to include some information on how to use the materials. Some video clips or something. It's one thing to know what to use, but actually know how to work with it is often the bigger mystery for new props cosplayers.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne Dub Premiere presented by Funimation - Whatever opinions I had about the new dub, the panel itself was good. Everything ran pretty smoothly and everyone was polite with the guests. It was cool to see a premiere at Otakon. Everyone was really into it, and it was fun to get to see an old favorite. The worst part of the panel for me was honestly, as someone who can speak Japanese, just hearing "Yukari" be butchered down to "Yukri" which made my whole face twitch in agony.
  • Thirty Years Ago: Anime in 1986 [F] - What a hysterical panel! I was laughing so hard by the end! The panelist really knew their older anime, I'll give 'em that, and were able to give good thoughts on the different things they were showing. My one hangup is that they didn't adjust the audio between the mic and the video, so when he rolled a video clip, you couldn't really hear what he had to say about it too well. I can't wait to see what he's got for 1987!

Sunday:

  • Digimon Movies [F] - We ran late packing out of our hotel room, so I went to this panel because it was closer than my other interest. I like that the presenters were well-informed on the details of the different Digimon properties. My only disappointment is that they didn't leave more room at the end to discuss the newer Tri movies since they're the hot topic right now.
  • Answering the Call to Adventure: the Road to Becoming a Magical Girl [F] - Overall a great panel. I think they were a little too hung up on their select handful of favorite magical girls, and it would've been nice to see some more comparative exposition about different kind of magical girl examples, but the purpose of the panel itself still came through. They covered the idea of the Joseph Campbell Hero's Journey as it pertained to the Magical Girl genre, and I thought the examples made sense.
  • Otakon: The Road to DC - As I said in the other thread, I came away from this panel feeling pretty confident about the move to DC. Staff did a great job answering questions, and it was nice to hear they were prepared for even less obvious things like how late metro might be open or making sure police would be cosplay-aware.
  • Funimation Favorites - Incredibly disappointing. I've been an anime fan since Funimation: the Early Years, basically when it was first founded, and I'm pretty familiar with their best hits. Admittedly I was killing time before Con Feedback with this panel, thought it might be nice to just sit and see some of their timeline highlights. Imagine my disappointment when the first thing we were shown was "My Hero Academia", just one of their latest releases, and then several promos of non-anime programs. I lasted about 20, maybe 30min before I decided sitting in line for Con Feedback reading manga would be more interesting. I wanted to see an hour of clips of Yu Yu Hakusho, Fruits Basket, FMA, BECK, etc, and there was none of that by the time I left.
  • Con Feedback Session - Always good to hear what people thought, though admittedly I'm tired of hearing about things like whether or not Staff can just add "18+" to the badges when the answer is the same every year. It's nice to hear how people though the convention went, but I guess I would just ask Staff to remind people at the start that it's one question per customer.

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