Josh Falcone – Staff Writer –
Brian Bickford wants Southern students interested in the university’s anime club, the Anime Society, to know that the group is about more than just Japanese anime.
Bickford said the Anime Society does spend a fair amount of meetings on anime, but also covers much more.
“Some students have only been in that area [anime] their entire lives,” Bickford said. “So we bring them into the club giving them that but then also showing them other aspects of Asian culture.”
Bickford said that the club has sushi-making meetings and also a meeting where a Southern professor comes in and gives an Asian culture lecture. Bickford said that the Anime Society takes trips as well; including heading to Chinatown in New York City to see the Sakura or Japanese cherry blossoms bloom in April and May.
Bickford said that every other Wednesday the club has an anime screening separate from the meeting, for the Southern students who want to partake in watching a movie, but he reiterated that anime film watching is not the main activity of the Anime Society.
“Anime watching is the minimum of what we do in official meetings,” he said.
Bickford said that along with the sushi making and the Asian culture lecture, the group does even more broad activities. The club had a card and board game night last week and this past Monday, the Anime Society had an origami night, where someone came in and showed everyone how to create origami. Bickford said that the club also has a bake sale every other week. Another event that Bickford said is popular is a ramen eating contest.
The Anime Society attends the northeast’s biggest anime convention Anime Boston in Boston, MA every year. The convention will be held May 24 – May 26, 2013. Bickford said that this year the group is going to attempt something special in regards to cosplay (costume play).
“We have a goal this year,” he said. “We picked a single anime show we want everyone to cosplay as a group.”
Bickford said that the Anime Society will have meetings before the convention to give members tips on creating the costumes and help them out if they are having problems making the costumes.
One event from last semester that Bickford and the Anime Society are proud of was a charity card game tournament called Card Games for Cancer.
“We made $600 or more,” he said. “And we donated that to This Star Won’t Go Out, a fund that helps children with cancer.”
Sophomore Keli Ramalho, the Anime Society secretary, loves that the club leads to a lot of friendships.
“You make those friends,” Ramalho said. “And you hang out with them outside of clubs.”
Bickford agreed with Ramalho on the Anime Society’s ability to form bonds amongst people who share common interests. He said that before he arrived at Southern and the Anime Society, he was quiet and shy, but his involvement with the group and the friends he made throughout it changed him. He always attempts to give that to others who might be similar.
“I like to notice people who are like I used to be, shy and timid,” Bickford said. “And try and get them to meet people who have their interest. This is what the Anime Society is really good for.”
The Anime Society meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:45 in the Adanti Student Center meeting room 301.