Club invites students to learn about Japanese culture

Brittany Smyth, Staff writer

Anime club seeks to expose students to the language and culture of Japan through their animated arts.
The club meets every Thursday to watch anime and then discuss episodes. Connor Link, president of Anime Club and a Biochemistry major, is excited about this year and has many plans for those who want to join the club. Link plans on incorporating “facts of the day” about the Japanese culture for those who want to learn more.
Link is teaching himself about this culture so he can introduce it to others. He started watching anime his first year of college. Now a senior, he attributes his love for it from his friend, Jessica Kuehne, who is also a member of the club.
“She begged me to come to the club and check it out,” Link said.
Link plans on fundraising and going to Pittsburgh, Pa with the club to partake in the “Walk of Peace,” in an effort to promote peace. Link believes that this would be a great opportunity for all members. These plans are to help club members give back to the community.
Anime club meets every Thursday in Hirt 213, unless instructed otherwise. It is composed of about 15 students who all have strong passions for Japanese culture and anime.
The history and character development in each film are brought up and discussed at the end of each meeting.
Link has to approve the series before watching it during the meetings. If the series has sexual or rude content, he automatically denies the request to watch it.
Series suggestions from the meeting include, “Tokyo Raven,” “Spice and Wolf” and “Gotchaman Crowds.”
Brandon Reale, a member of the club, did not start watching anime until being introduced to “Dragon Ball Z.”
“It was the first anime show that I watched,” Reale said. “I’ve loved anime since I was a kid.”
As an active member, Reale enjoys talking about the deconstruction of mecha anime also known as robot anime.
Amanda Gunkle is another active member in the group. Her passion for anime started at the age of five. She enjoys attending various conventions around the area.
“There’s a sense of unity” said Gunkle. “They are always there for one another.”
Gunkle has attended Techno, a convention held for people passionate about anime for the past seven years. Her passion for anime has opened up doors for her.
She was recently recognized for her passion and was asked to be on the committee of the convention by the CEO.
“He came up and asked me if I would be interested,” Gunkle said.
Those who are interested in the club may be in luck. Future plans include organizing meetings two days during the week for those who stay for J-term. Link invites all anime lovers to come and join them.
“Take time out of your day to come stop by these meetings to relax from your stressful week and watch anime films,” Link said.