Monday, December 5, 2011

Anime Club at PPU

For Brittany David and Alex Campbell, Point Park’s anime club has provided them and many others with a place to share their love of the Japanese-style animation.
“Everyone is really cool. It’s the most I’ve been able to relate with people since I’ve got here,” said Campbell.
Point Park’s anime club had its first meeting on November 10 and now meets every Thursday in Room 304 in the University Center.
Anime is the Japanese term for “animation.” In America and most other areas of the world, the term is usually used to describe animation from Japan. Anime consists of many genres, including comedy, horror, romance and more. There are also live-action anime TV shows or films, which are based on the original cartoon.
Isabela Jones, a sophomore cinema major, got hooked on anime at a young age, starting with Speed Racer and Sailor Moon. She became more and more interested with anime as she got older and discovered the entire subculture that goes with anime.
After Jones transferred to Point Park and realized they didn’t have an anime club, she decided to start her own.
Jones was a member of the anime club at her old school and she had some of her own ideas about running a good club.
“I thought maybe I should start my own club and do those things,” she said.
At a typical anime club meeting, members handle business matters such as events planned in the future and funding of trips. Then they watch anime movies, specifically ones that have not been show on TV, which they pick as a group.
Since anime encompasses the entire Japanese culture, the club is not just about the movies and TV shows; they also want to focus on different cultural elements such as food, music and literature.
The anime club already has plans for the future including a Japanese-style bake sale, hand-drawn art displays on campus, anime convention trips, an anime show marathon, and a festival, which could be similar to a “Golden Day.”
“My last club we had a Golden Day which was sort of like a town festival for the campus,” Jones said.
The festival would have Japanese food and games she hopes to get other local colleges involved in the event.
Campbell, a freshman acting major, is newer to anime but really enjoys the “art style” of the animation.
“Something about the way that it’s set up, it really just captures your attention,” he said.
He is also really looking forward to going to some of the anime conventions the club has planned. Their first trip is to Tekkoshocon, a Japanese pop culture convention taking place March 21-25 at the Wyndham Grand in Pittsburgh. The convention features panels, workshops, dances, concerts, an art show, and more, all relating to Japanese pop culture.
David, a freshman digital arts major, travels to conventions frequently and meets a lot of new people this way.
“It’s kind of hard to find people who are into anime,” she said.
What David likes about anime is that she believes it’s different than most cartoons.
“It actually has a plot and they deal with certain themes that cartoons would never deal with,” she said.
Vice president Katie Castelli, a freshman mass communications major, said there’s a lot of stereotyping and misconceptions about anime. She said people don’t always realize how in depth anime can get and there’s more to it than just the style of art.
Anime has a variety of genres just like movies and Castelli said “there an anime for everyone out there.”
But it’s not just the anime that is enjoyable; it’s the entire culture that comes with it that’s also fun to explore and learn about. Those who like anime are often interested in the entire Japanese culture and customs, such as holidays, foods, music, and other types of films, books and shows.
They don’t just limit it to TV shows, movies, or books; they immerse themselves in all of it. Whether it’s anime conventions, online role playing games, cosplaying (dressing up as anime characters), or merchandise, there’s much more that comes with anime.
“Anime is so much more than a form of media,” she said. “In anime there is culture and in culture there is anime.”
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