My Otakon panel started and ended on schedule at 11:30 P.M. – 12:30 A.M. on 27-28 July 2012. Approximately 35 people were in attendance for the second iteration of my panel. Of these people, about half of them were already familiar with A Kiss For The Petals and played the visual novels before. The other half were familiar with media other than the visual novels. For this presentation, I consulted a veteran presenter who gave me advice on how to radically restructure my presentation. I am trained in meeting-oriented presentations in which the presenter stands for no more than 15 minutes talking bullet points, which have a much different audience from anime conventions where presenters sit for an hour or more showing multimedia. We met several hours before my panel began, at which point they recommended major changes to the format to better entertain the 18+ audience. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to make all the changes they suggested, so my presentation was still not optimal. However, I was able to mitigate the most significant issues — I inserted many more graphics, reduced the amount of text on screen and ensured that the video equipment worked properly so I could show video and have notes on my monitor as the presentation played on the projector. The majority of the presentation was largely recycled from my presentation at Nekocon with new information on Lily Platinum andYurin Yurin inserted accordingly.
With the changes made and the veteran’s advice in mind, I conducted my panel again to much greater success than before. I was able to cover almost all of my material and got a better response from the audience. However, it was still my second time running an adult panel, so I had missed some of my points and momentarily stumbled at times during sustained discussions, but not nearly as frequently as before. The audience reaction was not as optimistic as it could have been; I was told that the detach rate I observed is normal, and during the course of my presentation I counted about 8 people left or lost engagement with the presentation. Despite this, the audience enjoyed the presentation overall, thanks largely in part to preparation for the issues I encountered last November.
The panel started with a brief discussion on the state of the yuri genre as of the summer of 2012. I asked the audience to name strictly yuri works, and of those, to count how many were known for mature material. I counted the latter on one hand, which was the crux of my introduction. I then discussed how a doujin company called Fuguriya was formed in an attempt to correct this and that their success in this endeavor afforded them commercial expansion. This led into a discussion of the characters, where I introduced each couple, briefly described the characters individually, and showcased HCGs as I discussed the couples’ story and appeal. In the last 20 minutes I talked about releases outside of Fuguriya’s output and took questions.
As noted, my discussion was still not as tight as I would have liked, and I neglected to fully cover all the points I wanted to make. I feared in the beginning that I would have an underrun, but I was able to fill 55 minutes of my allotted time, a much better rate than I hoped for. With more refinements to my presentation, I can definitely predict that I will repeat this panel next year, and possibly at Nekocon this 2-4 November.
I used a second microphone connected to my computer in an attempt to avert the audio issues that prevented me from using the video I recorded at my Nekocon panel. I will be able to edit the video and determine if the audio quality of this recording is sufficient after I arrive home.