Cartoons and Community

CWU's Namakemono Anime Club celebrates Japanese culture and the art of anime

Daisy Perez, Scene Reporter

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Students were comfortably seated in the purple seats of Black Hall. Some of them ate SURC chicken and fries, burgers, and pasta. They all laughed and joked as Jason Dixon, president of the Namakemono Anime Club, played music from different animes before the meeting began.

Dixon is a 33-year-old senior majoring in social studies and history education.

“The club is more of a hobby. Anybody is invited to attend,” Dixon said. “Show up when you feel like it and have fun and enjoy the festivities that we present.”

After the opening music, students introduced themselves and asked questions about their favorite anime show and character.

One of those students was Josie Cuddie, junior accounting major specializing in finance.

Cuddie, a new member to the club, adjusted her purple-rimmed glasses and said that she joined the club “to connect with people with similar interests.”

Anime is a style of animation originating in Japan. Anime Club seeks to explore the various genres, what the members enjoy and how the different shows and films relate to culture. In the meeting, officers and members also discuss other aspects of Japanese culture.

During last week’s meeting, they explained that Japan has Valentine’s Day just like America, but the Japanese also have “Black Day,” which is a day for single people to get noodles together.

The club then started to delve into the differences between American and Japanese culture and how it ties into anime.

Dom Wolf-Jarvis, a junior accounting major and treasurer of the Anime Club, has been a member for the last three years. The club has “a good atmosphere. We don’t expect people to do things, we just hang out,” Wolf-Jarvis said.

The club routinely watches shows together during their meeting and the next show they will watch is “Charlotte,” a series about children who developed supernatural abilities in an alternate reality.

The club will also be taking a trip to Sakura-Con—a three-day Japanese culture convention—that is held in Seattle over Easter weekend. Sakura-Con is a convention for fans of anime and includes panels with directors, animators and voice-actors alongwith competitive cosplay competitions and anime screenings.

Zach Gerken, a senior majoring in communication and Asian studies, is the vice president of the club.

“The event is just a bunch of people who love anime getting together, it is wonderfully extravagant,” Gerken said.

The club hopes to remove the stigma that anime may be perverted or immature. Some anime shows are created for children—these are often seen on Cartoon Network—while other shows are created for a mature audience.

“It’s a diverse type of media,” Gerken explained. “There are certain shows that are geared towards children, there are also shows that are geared towards perversion. There are also certain shows that are adult cartoons [that contain] gore and violence.”

If anyone is hesitant to join the club, members said, “We are an accepting club. We encourage [students] to come for at least one meeting.”

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