Hentai Panels - How To Make It More Exciting

Disclaimer: The content below is intended for readers 18 and over!


Being over 18 is a very different experience for anime con-goers for a number of reasons. Now you can go to events that happen after a certain time, especially ones where alcohol might be involved or more adult themes are free to be discussed. But some of the biggest reasons why over 18 wristbands are needed is because of one very specific thing that anime, as a genre, seems to be known for; hentai. Whether your local convention has panels dedicated to it or an entire lounge, it's one of the most popular things you can go to if your legally an adult.


Most hentai panels are fan-made, which makes them a little different than your typical event. Some of the most popular panels typically come from being hosted by famous guests, like voice actors, or more interactive panels where guests can play games together. For obvious reasons, it's very rare to see popular hentai creators show up for a panel and no, we're not going to have an interactive hentai panel. When it comes to fan-made panels, they're usually made for a specific fandom to enjoy. Obviously, those going to a hentai panel are looking for something more adult... But surely we can do better than just showing porn on a screen?


Out of my various years of attending cons, and the few where I've been able to go as an adult, I can remember a variety of adult panels; both the ones that tanked and the ones that did really well. Here's a few ways to make a good hentai panel that's not awkward or downright boring.


There's Nothing Wrong With A Little Humor


For starters, making something hilarious is never a bad idea - it's also a great way for your audience members to loosen up if they're clearly nervous about being in an adult panel. One memorable panel that comes to mind was a group of guys who did voice overs to hentai, making various jokes that succeeded in being funny without being degrading or gross. Let's be honest; a lot of animated hentai is hilarious. From the voice acting to the situations these characters find themselves in, they can be both unrealistic and mostly absurd. It was relieving to find a panel that actually showed just how unreal hentai can be.


The Trick: Don't let your jokes be sloppy. Be creative with them. It's always a cheap shot when you make fun of the characters, but it's important to not degrade them. I've heard a lot of distasteful jokes at hentai panels and while, yes, hentai is unreal and ridiculous, it can turn your audience off if you're being too crude.


Include Women


I only add this because I haven't seen it enough. Women out there who are huge nerds and love hentai are a great addition to any panel. Seeing a few panels where the panelists were only female had a very different vibe than ones that were all-male. It broke the stereotype around porn in general and gave you a different perspective and variety on what's out there. If you really don't want to be that panel that's pegged as "full of sweaty dudes watching porn," I can promise adding diversity to your hentai panel will do you good; extend this to queer peoples, POC, disabled people and other groups outside your own identity. I promise we're just as much fun.


The Trick: Don't include people to be a punchline and always be respectful. They're there to have a good time, just like you are. Take their opinions and ideas seriously and you'll have a better time with a panel that will appeal to a much larger, more diverse, audience.


Have A Variety


Whether you're reading hentai, viewing it, critiquing it or just making fun of it, you should always have a variety; whether that's in art style or even story line. Piggybacking off of the last tip, the more you have to offer, the more people will enjoy it. Going to the classics isn't always a mistake, but there is a chance that everyone's already seen it or isn't really impressed by it. Change it up!


The Trick: If you find that one of your choices hasn't really been well-received by your audience, you can always change it. That's why it's important to consult among your fellow panelists and come up with multiple options in case one flops. The healthy medium I would say is don't go down the really obscure route, but don't be afraid to deviate from vanilla hentai.


Let Your Audience Help Out


An interactive hentai panel sounds... A little weird. However, having your audience participate is one of the most key things you can do to have a successful panel regardless of topic. Letting them help out with voice acting or even picking out the hentai could be an option, depending on how you've structured your panel, but it certainly is something you would need to be vigilante about.


The Trick: There's always the chance you're going to get a really rude member who wants to participate; whether they're serious about the panel or not. However, you have to be ready to steer attention away from them and give it to someone who isn't being distasteful. Audience participation can always go both ways, so this isn't something entirely unique for a hentai-themed panel. There is, however, more room for error.


If You're Critiquing Hentai, Make It Fun


I've seen more and more hentai panels that have to deal with looking at hentai from a more serious lighting. This is fine, and I actually encourage it, but it can also be a little plain for your audience. Try to be more upbeat and encouraging when it comes to panels like this. Even if you're not talking about hentai, having a change in attitude is really important. Being open, maybe even funny, can help your attendees relax and feel like they're in a more welcoming space.


The Trick: Don't push yourself to be someone else. People enjoy authenticity when it comes how you behave towards them. Even if you're shy by nature, just putting a little bit of yourself forward can go a long way into how your panel is perceived.


Following these few steps will go a long way in making your panel more well received. If you really want something that the adults will enjoy, kicking up your game even a little bit will definitely be beneficial to you.

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