Anime, the Japanese style of animation, is possibly more popular than it has ever been, with anime shows entering mainstream Western pop culture.
At Mercyhurst, the Anime Club celebrates anime as well as creating a safe haven. Anime Club meets weekly to watch and discuss anime. Club president Maxwell Oziomek, senior Psychology major, who is in his second year as president, has been involved with the club since his freshman year.
“People show up, we have conversations, we watch the shows and then afterwards we have a lot more conversation. It’s like a movie night like club, only we watch multiple different shows over the course of the semester,”Ozionek said.
At the beginning of each semester Anime Club members will vote to select the three shows that will be watched in the club that semester. This semester the club is watching, “My roommate is a Cat,” “Mob Psycho 100” and “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.”
“What people need to understand is anime is a lot more than what they grew up with as kids, it’s not just “Dragon Ball” and all of these kids shows,” Mitchell McQuaid, junior Psychology major said.
“It can go over like mature content, it can be hardcore comedy, it could be drama that brings people to tears, anime isn’t much of a genre it’s more of a style which has every single genre you could possibly imagine.” The club aims to watch a variety of shows each semester, so that there’s something for everyone.
They typically watch four episodes each meeting and watch three shows over 13 meetings each semester. Besides being a chance to watch anime, Anime Club offers a chance to meet people and explore other interests.
“A lot of these people, we like anime and that’s the first connection, and then after that we learn we like “Magic the Gathering”, we like “Dungeons and Dragons”. . . it’s a branch out thing because you can come here loving anime . . . you meet people that you either have one thing in common with or nothing in common with and you’ll find plenty of new things to bond over,” a freshman Cyber Security major,Trent Garvey, said. Club Vice President Katherine Draeger, a senior Biology major, says that at Anime Club “you get to relax for two hours, and don’t have to deal with school or drama and you also get to meet new people as well and they may have different interests from you and it’s a good mix to expand your own anime horizons.”
Anime Club is commonly a way to escape the various pressures of student life.
“To me Anime Club is a place where you can get away from being a full time college student for a few hours and just have fun with people who share your interests and watch some cool things that you may have never seen before otherwise.” a sophomore Applied Forensic Science major Kaylyn Grzadzieleski, said.
“I’d say it’s especially good for someone who’s new on campus because there’s a lot of people to talk to and we’re kind of just a big family. Were a very close group of people and it’s pretty awesome,” senior Biology major and club secretary and treasurer Layne La Riviere, said.
For students looking to relax, watch some anime and meet new people, Anime Club meets each Tuesday in Hirt 214 at 8pm.