Make a friend in anime

The school’s anime club was started by a student, mainly run by students, and is a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests

Anime club is proof of two things: 1. there are so many types of clubs at FHC, you are bound to find one you’d like to join, and 2. if there isn’t one you like, start one! That’s precisely what senior Jocelyn Sanders did at the end of last school year.

Sanders knew there wasn’t any club like the one she envisioned yet, and figured there’d be plenty of people who would be interested. She simply found a teacher to sponsor, Mr. Winningham, then talked with activities director Scott Harris to get it approved. But, since it was formed near the end of a year, there was not much opportunity to get the word out.

At the start of this year, Sanders was able to advertise it at freshman transition day. This got a lot of kids interested, including freshman Deanni Guerra. With the help of posters and morning announcements, there are now about 20 members from all four grades.

“I have been in anime club since the beginning of this year,” Guerra said. “I joined because I love anime, and it was a chance to make friends.”

Guerra said anime is Japanese animation, meaning it is on tv or in movies. There are many different genres within it and many different voice actors. Some have target audiences, such as being aimed toward kids or adults specifically. And for the most part, they have a plot.They get together every Wednesday that they can, and meet in the cafeteria or a classroom and watch a series on a laptop provided by Winningham. After, they discuss voice actors, directors, studios, musicians, favorite parts, and they vote on what to watch next week.

“We exchange manga [which is like anime on paper], draw, eat the snacks brought by others, or sometimes play video games,” described Guerra.

At Halloween, the club attempted to organize a dress-up day, but due to a lack of communication it didn’t work out. They expect it to be successful next year.

While anime isn’t something well-known to everyone, it is definitely widespread. Besides the 20 members of FHC’s club, there are fans of this Japanese art form all around the world.

“There’s certainly a lot of people interested in anime and manga,” Sanders said. “There’s a convention coming up out in Collinsville, and I’m extending the offer towards the rest of my club members to attend if they want to.”

Sanders explained that many people start to become a fan of anime through shows like Naruto, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon.

“It takes a bit of getting used to,” Sanders said. But, she is welcome to introducing it to anyone who would like to learn.

“People who don’t know anything about it yet are certainly welcome to join, because they can learn and they can grow to like it.”