Metrocon is the anime show in Tampa, Florida this weekend, now in its fifteenth year! Guests include voice actors Steve Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Scott McNeill, Christina Vee, YouTube stars Caleb Hyles, Jonathan Young and many more, with a turnstile audience number of around 30,000 over four days. It sells itself as a show for fans. However, it is possible that such fans may want to keep an eye on some of the programming they approve from the fans for the fans.
Take what was on offer yesterday at 1pm at the show, a panel hosted by someone called Showharu Norris. He described himself as a scientist.
TOO OP: Girls ONLY
Friday August 4, 2017 – 1:00 pm to 1:50 pm
This is an exclusive panel for the ladys. I am a Scientist wanting to know more about females and how they feel about certain Situations. Do you prefer the shy Guy or the Tough Guy. What color rose doe you want on Valentines day? What anime guy do you feel better represents your style of guy. Help us geeky boys understand you ladies. Nothing is more better then the facts. Single, Taken, ect. Doesn't matter. All the Information gathered will be helpful. Dont be shy. (Sit ins are welcome)
The panel details are still online if you want to check this for yourself. Maybe archive it. So what happened to people who went to the panel, driven if only by curiosity? This account was passed to me:
We arrive, and this overweight man DOESN'T SPEAK AT ALL, he instead makes a whole bunch of gestures and points to a woman to come up and read some cards, we find out this was his intro. Then all the ladies are asked to stand in the middle of the panel room. THIS DUDES LITERAL FIRST QUESTION, THAT THE GIRL READS: "Would you date this man?" AS IN THE HOST. IM ALREADY DONE AND PUSHING PAST CHAIRS AND PEOPLE TO WALK OUT THE DOOR, friends follow. John tells staff about this NIGHTMARE and they (as in four or five dudes) walk into the panel room. I go back in to spectate THE GUY IS SPEAKING NOW. THE GESTURES/ MUTENESS WAS AN EXCUSE TO CALL UP A GIRL TO F-CKING READ HIS INTRO CARDS. There is now a second question, "If a dude that was a 5-10 (in attractive level) approached you and shared his info like phone number and social media, would you take it? The girls would sit in "yes", "no", and "maybe" sections. Everyone is like wtf, concerned, scared. People start to leave, and that's when a staff member walked out, eyes rolled to the back of her head, to get backup and shut it down. I'm so mad that this panel was approved"
Here are the signs he made for the panel:
I spoke to Norris, a young man in his 20s, about the reaction to his panel and the motivation behind it. He told me:
"It was to help guys be able to talk to girls better. Just as an example, nerdy guys have a hard time finding and talking to girls, so the panel was to help understand what girls are more into. Such as, how to approach a woman – don't just run up and ask for their number. Talk to them first, get to know each other. My first question as the note card said was weird but had a point. It was to show that if looks play a huge part in how ladies perceive you before knowing you. I feel bad for offending people iI didn't want or mean it to. I tested these questions before I brought them, with other females to make sure it was appropriate. But the people left before the statement was made. Showing don't judge a book by its cover. I want to bring communication back to men and women and help the little guy find a date and connect. A lot of people come to con for love, but too afraid to speak up cause how they look or afraid of messinng up. They turn to friends who say, just ask them for their number. But it's not that simple, there were a lot of people who gave me a chance to continue but the others instead of knowing what it truly was, stormed out.
I feel bad, I do, and won't do it again. I love the con and would never wanna hurt anyone, just help."
As to his claims of being a scientist, he told me:
"None, just a joke. Meaning to ask questions and document them to bring to a panel for guys. Like I said, to help."
I asked if he could see that what he did and the way he did it came over as really, really creepy. He told me,
Yea, like I said not gunna do it again, so don't have to worry, people just have to figure it out themselves. I think it got approved, cause Metro has dating panels and gay or leabian panels. Why I thought it was ok.
Which is, if nothing else, a fair point. The panel, as described was approved and scheduled by the show – though they did then shut it down ten minutes in. He also wanted to point out that not everyone left and those who stayed were upset that the panel got closed… As for the name of the panel? TOO OP?
"Too op is just a name I came up with but One Piece is a part of it in the beginning."
Am I the only one who thinks that it could end up on t-shirts? Or at least in meme font?