Well, the San Diego Comic-Con is over for another year, the banners and booths all taken down. After all the excitement of the show, it can be sad to walk through the San Diego Convention Center as everyone is breaking down and getting ready to go home. But we’ll be back again next year!Comic-Con is, of course, a very different convention from Anime Expo, which was held two weeks ago. While there are plenty of hardcore fans of anime, manga, cosplay, Japanese games and so on at AX — everyone is more or less the same “tribe” — there’s an incredible amount of diversity at SDCC, with fans of superhero comics and sci-fi and Dr. Who and My Little Pony all mingling with Japanese pop culture types. Since I’m most familiar with the visual novels and eroge that we’ve been publishing for years, I was manning that part of our booth, explaining what they were to fans who passed by, for example describing the difference between a basic “harem” type eroge in which a single male character is surrounded by a number of cute girls for him to interact with, and games with much more depth and character development (our favorite examples: 1 2 3 4). I had some interesting discussions with fans who hadn’t played H-games directly but who knew what they were since they’re a common plot device in anime series like I Have Few Friends, Genshiken and Welcome to the NHK. One of my more interesting customers was a married couple, with a wife who was drawn to one of our popular yaoi games while the husband picked up a more traditional school dating-sim to gaze at the beautiful characters. They looked at each other, each saying, “I didn’t know you liked this…?” then walked off happily with their purchased games tucked under their arms.
I had fun explaining eroge at the SDCC!