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Meagan Cole

Anime Club is precisely what it sounds like—a club centered on the prominent fan base of Japanese animation, and Roanoke College offers a time and place for any manga lovers to unite and read and view various anime flicks. Emily Erwin, the club’s secretary and librarian as well as a senior English major with a communications minor, had even more to say on the club’s interests, “We stand out as a club because we try to involve our members in various aspects of Asian culture, not just in watching Japanese anime.” Nevertheless, their biggest draw and long-term goal stems from wanting “to create an environment where members can relax and enjoy themselves,” and create an environment where it is socially acceptable, relatable, and even appealing amongst a very open-minded crowd.

While the majority of their events are held in the spring, Anime Club meets every Thursday between the hours of 9-11 PM in Massengil Auditorium, with additional viewings for movie coverage and TV dramas once a month. The educational benefits include attending Asian culture events held on campus, increasing members’ knowledge and understanding of the eastern world beyond anime. But, the club’s greatest success comes from their mutually hosted annual event with Battle for Bast called Pirates vs Ninjas, where a fun-filled night of games and exercise is conducting to determine which rival wins overall.  Pirates vs Ninjas will not be held until the spring semester and is open to the entire Roanoke College campus in addition to members of both clubs. Anime Club also attends the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC to honor and witness the significance of the cherry trees in Japanese culture, which is also annually held during the spring semester.

However, Anime Club is not all about one particular cartoon. While the most common anime from our childhood included Yu-Gi-Oh! and Dragonball Z, Anime Club stretches their variety and maturity beyond that of dueling. Often times, the anime are just as carefully crafted and deeply aware of presenting verisimilitude than modern day teenage literature. Then, there’s a broad spectrum of genres as well; Emily mentions action, science fiction, fantasy, comedy, and even history, including titles like “Kaichou wa Maid-sama”, “Gurren Lagann”, “Mushi-Shi”, and so much more.

Last but not least, if none of the following appeals to your particular interests, Anime Club allows members to “bring a series that they wish to watch.”  So, in addition to the already scheduled series Anime Club watches once a week, any member can offer material up for the club’s viewing.  If interested in joining this unique club, contact Emily at emerwin@mail.roanoke.edu for more information.