French aspiring writer and interviewer. Pop culture and paranormal connoisseur. Overpowered by curiosity.
Paris Manga & Scifi has been welcoming manga fans, nerds and geeks of all kinds for years. Each event tries to renew and reinvent itself by presenting a wide range of activities and new guests. The last convention took place on the 25th and 26th of March in Paris at Portes de Versailles. It focused on the release of the new Nintendo Switch and on the 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy Celebrates 20 Years At Paris Manga
It was the perfect occasion to fall back into the Buffy mania that had taken hold of teenagers in the late 1990’s to early 2000. These youngsters have grown old now, but the nostalgia is still present.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, an all around feminist show, followed the misfortunes of a small tubby blond girl fighting the supernatural happening in Sunnydale, a town infested by bloodsuckers. By choosing a woman as a main character to his audience, Joss Whedon took a risky bet at a closed-minded time. However, against all odds, the show was a huge success that even exceeded its creator’s expectations for seven consecutive years. Buffy has revolutionised the television industry by discussing mature themes such as homosexuality, masculinity and by airing torrid sexual scenes. Choices that have set a high standard for the modern television series.
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It’s been already 20 years! 20 years since the first episode “Welcome to the Hellmouth” landed on the WB television network. Yet, the actors don’t look a day older… Well, almost…
Buffy Panels – 25th & 26th of March
After that Buffy theme was played, giving rise to a general hysteria in the room filled with wide-eyed fans, Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase) et James Marsters (Spike) went on stage to thunderous applause.
They took their places on the quilted armchairs, waiting for the questions that were bubbling forward. The actors entered into the spirit of the Q & A with kindness and simplicity, grateful for the luck they had to play roles in such a successful series. The show had changed the life of each one of them.
James explained the precarious situation he was living in before his role as Spike. This contract was the opportunity he needed be able to feed his young boy, aged one year and a half at the time. The audience was deeply moved. The questions kept on coming to finally tackle the eternal debate: Spike or Angel? James laughed. Joss had always been clear on this matter, Angel was and will always be Buffy’s true love, even if Spike had gradually taken an important place in the heart of the fair-haired star. James added that ten years after the finale, with more maturity, Spike would have been the perfect lover for Buffy. After all, he has earned his soul back just for her.
A smile here, a wave there, the four guests were very sensitive to their public. Especially James, who seems to attentively scan every face one-by-one.
Of course, at some point, the possibility of a sequel was mentioned. The actors sound enthusiastic at this idea, but on one condition only, that Joss Whedon holds the reins again. We didn’t expect otherwise.
Other interesting points were approached during the two panels that took place over the week-end. I highly recommend you watch the full recorded videos on the Paris Manga & Scifi Facebook Page.
Without a doubt, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains an unassailable pillar of the modern pop-culture. The adventures of the Scooby Gang continue to fascinate crowds. This craze won’t fade away soon if the number of people who attended the conferences is anything to go by.
So Happy Birthday Buffy & thanks for everything! We miss you.
I also would like to thank the organizers for this wonderful and unforgettable experience.
More pictures available here.
Elodie Cure is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter @Elodie_Cure.