Anime Club celebrates Japanese art form

Posted on Mar 12 2014 - 4:53pm by Guest Writer

By Natalie DeFord, A&E Writer

Art, Japanese culture, movies, television series and multiple genres can all be enjoyed at Pacific Lutheran University’s Anime Club.

Anime is animation developed in Japan, usually hand-drawn or computer-animated. It is a medium of shows and movies that deal with a wide variety of subject matters and include any genre.

Senior Brendan Farley, Anime club president, is one of the club’s two equal-standing officers. He defined the club as a place to come together and watch anime movies and shows.

“It’s pretty loose as a club,” Farley said. “We just pick a list of series then vote on which series to watch for the next month or however long that series may take.”

Examples of shows the club has watched include “Code Geass” — a science fiction show about revolution in an alternate universe — and “Baka and Test,” which is a comedy series playing up on parodies of various anime.

Occasionally the club holds ‘food nights’ with Japanese dishes to eat while watching. Outside of watching shows, the club typically has a monthly movie night.

Some well-known examples of anime movies include the films by Hayao Miyazaki, such as “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” or “Spirited Away.”

The club also goes to anime films when they’re in theaters, which is rare. Sometimes they go to conventions too — “like Comic Con, but specifically for anime,” Farley said. Sakura Con is a good example.

“Anime is a major hobby of mine, and I really enjoy doing it,” Farley said. “I wanted to manage the club to make it a better experience for others.”

Farley became an officer two years ago, but has been a member since he was a first-year.

Farley said he grew up watching “Toonami” until it was taken down, but he didn’t identify anime as a separate medium until his senior year of high school when his friend introduced him to the anime show “FLCL” — pronounced ‘Fooly Cooly.’

“It was unlike anything else I’d ever seen,” Farley said. “I was like ‘I gotta get more of this stuff,’ and then I joined [PLU Anime Club] freshman year, and I’ve been into it ever since.”

Farley said anime is also appealing as an art form, because it illustrates things that cannot be done otherwise. “It’s just a different way of viewing things you’ve seen before, including sci-fi, fantasy, drama and everything in between,” he said.

“Western animation could have the potential to do that kind of stuff,” he said, “but unfortunately what we see is usually limited to cartoons for children or sitcoms … but anime doesn’t have those restrictions.”

Farley said one of the overall best things about anime is how unique it is compared to everything else.

“It can be beautiful in terms of animation and appearance but still have lots of thought into character detail,” Farley said.    “Even if it’s totally out there and bizarre, which they tend to be, it still grounds in real world themes, and it’s just a great medium to express any kind of concept.”

For more information about the Anime Club, email anime@plu.edu.