But that’s not the point of my shpeel. The reason why I bring up Hetalia is the fact that occasionally (By I mean once a year at a local convention) I host some form of a Hetalia panel. I’m new in the paneling game and for a newbie panelist I’ve gotten several compliments on my works.
Last year at this convention I hosted my very first panel and I thought it went kind of badly due to the fact that my small audience went complete ADD and began merging into the outer halls to fangirl over the passerby cosplayers.
But I realized that compared to this panel I went to months later made made my first panel look like a speech by Ghandi or something.
I have two guy friends in college (I was a sophmore going to junior at the time) and they were huge into Black Butler. They weren’t just casual fans of it they loved the characters and recited lines from it and all that. I’m not too huge into it because personally, some of the characters in the series are kind of dull to me plus the fact that a majority of the fandom I know is really annoying.
Anyways, I met up with my two guy friends at this convention (I’ll call them A and S) My friend A is probably the biggest BB fan out of the three of us and he heard somewhere before the convention that there was going to be a panel on Saturday. We all had our panels we were stoked for. A had this black butler panel, S wanted to go to this Assassin’s Creed exhibition thing and I had a Touhou panel I was ABSOLUTELY excited for on Saturday night.
As Black Butler fans, we all decided to go to this panel for shits and giggles. Also because at the time I had a small crush on A and plus I wanted to be a nice friend to him.
When we walked in, I decided to study the panel for experience and to take some mental notes and such for my future panels. To expand my horizons if that sounds appropiote.
The panel started pretty normal. People were coming in and me and my friend A as aspiring cosplayers praised several of the Ciels that came in. (As long as I’ve been in the cosplay game, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a bad Ciel cosplayer)
But then the actual panelists showed up. Two slightly greasy girls who were late to the panel and had really high pitched voices that immediately raised a red flag to me. (and my eardrums)
They claimed that they have been paneling for the past five years and that made my eyes widen slightly for I’ve only been into anime for the past five years so I expected these girls to have a high game and rock this panel.
Oh boy was I dead wrong.
To start off, they were late to their own panel by about ten minutes. This wasn’t a panel early in the morning where commute would have been a trouble. It was in the middle of the day where usually EVERYBODY’s already there. They could have looked over the map of the con to make sure where they were going but god knows what the reason was for their absence.
They were so loud second of all, with voices of an equivilent decibels of ten hair dryers going off. At the time I was wearing my Rilakkuma pajama suit or kiragumi so I just covered my ears slightly with my hood to drown out some of the noise since I’m prone to migraines. Once A and S noticed this, they began to feel kind of sketchy about staying for the entire thing.
These panelists did a terrible job with staying on subject with what they were supposed to be doing. They brought up one of the early arcs in the story and then went onto a speech about tea or something that made S mutter ‘Do people just assume all Black Butler fans love tea or something?’.
The thing that really began to get to me was how they started showing suggestive pictures on the projector of Ciel and Sebastian (Which to me will always be a disgusting a ship. No offense to anybody of the opposite party) As much as A slightly shipped that, he felt kind of disturbed by images where S was on the same mental boat as me (Both believing that Ciel is a twelve year old who’s betrothed to a woman who cares about him)
Not only that but as the result of these images, the audience began to scream and squeal in delight and that made my eardrums go on overdrive ringing. As a panelist, you should have a spectrum of controlling your audience for sensitive attendees and also to be courteous to the events surrounding your panel room.
The screaming began to make my head hurt and S realized that this screaming was getting the best of me. He tells A that we should leave and surprisenly he agrees so we both just left and went outside the con to get Mcdonalds.
It wasn’t just the behavior of these panelists that disgusted me, but the fact that they claim that they’ve been paneling for ‘five years’ yet have such terrible manners to their surrounding events and audience. Both S and A were disgusted as well and when we went to our other panels (The Assassin’s Creed and Touhou) they were much more enjoyable. There was interaction with the audience, they kept their audience calm, and had nice power points and just did an excellent job. But this panel will always remind me that my first panel could have gone a lot worst than it did.