Anime Club Opens Eyes, Minds

An example of an anime drawing.

By Jeffrey Cheuk ’17

Anime and all of the different shows in its art form are touched upon in the anime club.

“We do anything related to anime,” said Sabrina Smalls ’17, the club president. “Other than watching anime, there are conventions and cosplay contests that people can go to.”

Anime is animation that’s done in Japan. There are many different art styles and quirks in anime, but all of them can give a glimpse of Japan’s culture. Whether it’s the close family relationships or the wacky commercials, anime does still inform people about Japan.

There were trips to an anime convention in Boston, and recently there was a cosplay contest on October 30. A prize was even given to the winner.

However, not everyone attends these special events. The biggest activity that all the club members take part in is watching anime.

“That’s one of the biggest reasons why I joined the club,” said Sinan Taylan ’17. “Though it’s pretty obvious what you’ll be doing, watching anime is the whole point of the club.”

The club doesn’t just randomly pick an anime series and stick with it until it ends; there are actually different shows presented every meeting. This exposes the club members to a wide variety of different anime shows that they might have not seen or even heard of before.

Joseph Dwan ’17 said that he likes this way of watching anime in the club because he learns a lot. He even continues watching some of the anime that he saw in the club at home.

Ms. Elizabeth Bouiss, the club advisor, also supports this way of watching anime because there is a sense of camaraderie the students get from this method. The students learn from each other because not everyone has seen all the anime ever made. They share their own experiences with anime with each other.

It’s this feeling of interaction with others that most people join the anime club for. There is friendly laughter and jokes are told.

“I get to watch anime with other people that share my interests,” said Taylan. “We make references and stuff when watching. It’s just a good time.”

Smalls said, “I want to socialize with other people like me and It’s just more fun with other people with the same interests.”

The club even gets some shy people to open up.

“It’s my first time here, but I’m already talking with more people,” said Tom Ng ’18. “It’s much better being around people like me.”

The joyfulness of the club reminds Ms. Bouiss why she wanted to be the advisor.

“I like watching them smile and laugh together,” said Ms. Bouiss. “It’s nice to have a place to just have fun.”

People can make suggestions on which anime shows the club will watch in the next meeting.  Sometimes, the club members might even have to vote on what to watch. However, the president will usually have the last say when it comes to choosing what to watch. Students use Facebook to post their suggestions so the president can read them.

“It’s not like we raise our hands and suggest an anime,” said Taylan. “There’s a Facebook group called Midwood Anime Club that we use.”

Only two shows can be presented at every meeting because there isn’t enough time for more. Sometimes, there might only be one show because of technical issues. Occasionally, there may be a common theme between the two shows because of a holiday or special event.

Taylan said, “There are so many themes that I can’t name all of them, but some of them include shonen, mecha, horror, mystery, and classics.”

The anime is usually downloaded to a USB flash drive beforehand and then played through the computer. However, if that doesn’t work, the anime is played from a website. This way of watching anime is inferior because the quality is lower. Sometimes, people bring DVDs for the club to use.

Ms. Bouiss said that since the smart board broke, they are using a projector to display the anime now. Fortunately, she bought high definition speakers beforehand.

The anime club meets every Wednesday in room 483 during tenth period. It’s a big club with over 25 members, but anyone is welcome to join.

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