Giving panels at anime conventions feels like coming full circle. At 19, when I attended my first anime convention, I could not believe the sheer range of topics I could hear about for no extra cost. It felt like a fun, niche version of college symposiums I’d attended.
I was so inspired by Otakon 2006, my very first convention, that I went home and wrote a short story based on a panel on the schedule that I didn’t attend, but which had a title I couldn’t stop laughing about: “Do It Yourself Bukkake.” It’s about a group of old friends reuniting and ending up having a blow-out fight in a room lined with painters’ tarps. Eventually an audience appears, mistakenly thinking they’re watching the prelude to the explicitly titled panel.
That isn’t even the cringiest part of this anecdote, which is that I wrote it for school and read it out loud to my creative writing class. Sorry for the mental scars, classmates.
The point is: panels were a major, formative part of the convention experience for me and now that I’m a decade older, they feel like giving back. So when Vince Avarello, the 2018 con chair for AnimeNEXT, encouraged me to submit some panels this year, I was all in. In fact, John and I submitted so many panels, we were invited to attend as guest panelists!
You can catch John and I at the following:
39 Years of Gundam Anime
Haven’t watched all 39 years of Gundam yet? Do you feel overwhelmed and not know where to start? Join us as Gunpla 101 covers the best and worst of Gundam-detailing those awesome highlights and unintentionally hilarious lowlights-to get you caught up.
He Is A Char: A Tribute To Gundam’s Most Famous Masked Man
Who is that masked man, anyway? Join Gunpla 101 in a deep dive into the enigmatic aliases, identities, and motivations of Gundam’s most iconic antagonist. Learn about how one character resonated so strongly with fans that he inspired dozens of copies and clones. Come to watch comedic, tragic, and inspirational clips as we appreciate Gundam’s most interesting man.
Gunpla is Freedom!
You don’t need to be a master builder or a big spender to create great looking Gunpla. At Gunpla 101, we give you a crash course in the basics of building good-looking Gunpla—and it’s easier than you’d think! We’ll give you clear, detailed instructions that will show you how to build kits at any skill level—and get you ready to start building yourself!
Otaku Journalism: How to blog about and report on the anime industry
Lauren writes about anime for Forbes, reviews shows for Anime News Network, and reports on the occasional industry controversy. This panel will go behind the scenes on how your anime news gets made while providing tips on how you can blog about and review anime—and even get paid to do so.
We will also be participating in the AnimeCons TV panel, and whatever else we can do to make it worth AnimeNEXT’s while. I have never been a featured panelist before so I really want to make my time there helpful and entertaining.
Let me know if you’ll be there!