Anime thrives in art and club

Alexi+Day+draws+a+picture+in+an+anime+style.+Photograph+by+Olivia+Goldstein.
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Anime thrives in art and club

Alexi Day draws a picture in an anime style. Photograph by Olivia Goldstein.

Alexi Day draws a picture in an anime style. Photograph by Olivia Goldstein.

Alexi Day draws a picture in an anime style. Photograph by Olivia Goldstein.

Alexi Day draws a picture in an anime style. Photograph by Olivia Goldstein.

by Ryan Stark, Reporter

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/ymHFu

Anime is a Japanese style of animation featuring simple lines, minimalistic frames of animation, distinctive facial features, and very long and involved storylines. With more than four dozen members, the Anime Club continues to grow. Contrary to expectation, anime enthusiasts enjoy watching shows in a foreign language with foreign concepts and voices.

“I started [watching anime] when I was 7,” said senior Kennedy King. “I got into it pretty early.”

Anime started developing in Japan in the early 1900’s, and modern anime took form in the 1960’s from the work of Osama Tezuka. The form started to pick up popularity in the United States in the 90’s and early 2000’s with the advent of the internet, which allowed for easy distribution of the material and a large resource for the subtitling of the Japanese language into English.

Ms. Thompson, advisor of the anime club, recounted how she started it “…10 or 12 years ago [the beginning of the 2000’s]. LHS did not have an anime club at the time.”

Several factors draw people into the form. King says, “I think it’s interesting to see how [the figures] are animated and to see the artwork in it. They’re beautiful like that.” The minimalistic animation coupled with very detailed and often colorful backgrounds appeal to many: they’re like eye candy.

The phenomenon has a surprisingly large following at Linganore. Most would expect those who watch it and enjoy it to be few and far in-between, yet the anime club is among the largest.

“[It’s] pretty popular,” said Thompson. “We have 52 students on our roster. For the first club meeting, it was standing room only in the Media Center.”

In the club, members do activities such as watching the shows or reading the publications, discussing the Japanese culture prevalent in them, and competing in contests to draw or write stories. Having so many members, the club is diverse as well; there are students from all grade levels, with “…no average person,” according to Thompson.

Not only are they diverse in who they are, they’re diverse in the anime they prefer as well. King, for instance, lists her favorites as Death Note, Chobits, and Dragon Ball Z; senior Chaney Relgis lists Naruto and Bleach among her favorites.

There are also numerous conventions that are popular; animecons.com lists over 100 that were scheduled all over the United States in 2013, including Baltimore’s Otakon in August. People attend these to meet like-minded people to discuss the shows, meet producers and popular actors, and generally be in an atmosphere that appeals to them.

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