A look at Anime Club: Expanding and branching out

Evelyn Shue, Arts Writer

Some have heard of RM’s Anime Club in passing, and of those, some probably have their own preconceptions of its members. However, as with many clubs, just exactly how the Anime Club operates remains an enigma to most of the school.

The club of around 15 members hosted their first meeting on Sept. 25, starting off with an episode of “Jojo’s Bizarre
Adventure.” The attendees were engaged in the storyline; intense moments drew reactions from the members. The meeting concluded with a vote on which anime to watch at the next meeting.

Most meetings consist of an anime episode and a discussion and vote on what to watch next. The club leaders are also trying to branch out in terms of activities during the meetings. “We’re also going to have a costume contest for
Halloween, and we’re planning on doing collabs with the gaming club, and Japanese language,” junior Sarah
Prakoso, the co-president of the club, said.

The club also occasionally plans trips to anime conventions and is currently arranging a trip to Katsucon in mid-February. “We’re trying to do more than just watch anime,” senior and club secretary Treshea Slaughter said. “We’re hoping we can make it more comfortable for everyone by doing different activities.”

The anime club provides a space for people who share a common interest in anime. ”We get together to watch anime,
sometimes go to conventions, get together,” Aiden Excell, senior and co-president of the club, said. “I think the main purpose is just to have a period where we can discuss and watch anime, just talk about it with friends and whatnot.”

“A lot of people see us as being odd or weird for watching anime,” senior Daniel Porquin, a member of the club, said. “But we love watching shows together and talking about it. It’s a way to connect us.”

Photo by Trisa Saha
Anime Club watches “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure” at the first meeting.

Moreover, it offers a community for those who are in need of it. Excell said he decided to join Anime Club because he
was looking for a community to belong in. Now, the club leaders are able to provide that same safe space for others. “It’s pretty chill, and it’s not a stiff place. It doesn’t have tension, it’s really comfortable,” Slaughter said. “Most people aren’t on their phones, and they’re also actually engaged in whatever we’re watching. It’s nice that people aren’t just sitting because they need somewhere to be.”

Beyond that, Slaughter said that the club was also a way to help her grow as a person. “I really started to come more this year since I need to make more friends, learn how to organize better and I need to open up as a person,” she said.

As for the stigma surrounding anime, several members have faced judgement from their peers for the shows they like. “People in my class have called me a weeb for playing a game called Touhou Hisoutensoku on my laptop when I had no work to do,” senior Zale Tlemsanix said.

Junior Kaiden Tlemsanix shared similar experiences with being judged for his anime-related interests. “I still remember being called out in English for playing an anime fighting game, and that fact spread like wildfire,” he said.

Despite facing judgement, however, Porquin said that it did not matter to him. “There are people who make weird faces at us whenever they pass our room,” he said. “But I don’t really care since I go with my own flow and no one can change that.”

The members also expressed disagreement towards people’s stereotypes towards anime watchers. “I don’t think you should generalize people who watch anime,” Slaughter said.

“Give anime a try,” Excell said. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”