By Alejandro Aguilar
Anime is a common word that can be heard all around the halls at Umatilla High School.
What does it mean? Anime is actually something that a lot of people can relate to. Anime is a category of animated Japanese cartoons typically aimed at teenagers and adults. It is incredibly popular in Japan. There is also Manga which is an anime form of comic book.
Umatilla High School junior Tira Wyckoff is a typical anime fan and the President of the UHS Anime Club. “I enjoy the Anime Club a ton but the best part about the Anime Club is the conventions where we get to have fun with people from school,” Wyckoff said.
What drives a person to join the UHS anime club?
“I get to watch anime with my friends and even make new friends in the process. It’s really fun,” Alexis Sheets, a UHS junior and the club’s Vice President. She said the club doesn’t just revolve around watching anime, they read it, play games and learn the culture around anime.
“I was first introduced to anime by my mom at a young age, she would show me shows like Sailor Moon on DVD, and we would watch it all the time together. After watching the show it got me interested into looking up more about anime,” Wyckoff said.
The UHS Anime Club has big plans for the upcoming school year. They want to go to conventions where they get to see anime creators and even chat with them. They also get to see people cosplay – which means they get to see people dress up as their favorite anime characters. It’s like Halloween on a random Saturday in April.
The UHS anime club gets to go on field trips. These field trips are usually funded by the members helping with fundraisers and also them having to do community service. “Well, it is quite some work as you do have to do community service and fundraisers to make these trips come to life”.
Anime is so popular in some places there are internet arguments revolving around it. One example was when a popular YouTuber criticized certain anime fans that caused him to receive lots of hate but also send out a lot of hate. People show their love for anime a lot on the internet, and videos made about anime have gotten some people to hate anime. Popular Youtube entertainer FilthyFrank started this trend he however has claimed multiple times “Do not take me and my show seriously if you do, you have a problem.” Yet fans and critics alike, have done the exact opposite.
The anime industry is growing quicker than ever before recent studies from the Association of Japanese Animation showed that in the 6 years of recording data each year from 2010-2015 there were more and more people watching anime yearly.
There are however debates on whether anime is appropriate for children or not. In recent statistics, one in particular from escapistmagazine.com, a community driven website, the numbers show that most people who watch anime are teens to adult males aged 18-25.
That can change how anime is presented and shown to the public audience. These stats and polls were made by the anime community and almost all if not all were leaning into anime fans being, older aged. Other websites showed similar results but not many people took part in the survey. Still Anime production is big. Around 1960-1965 is when anime first did its big debut in america. In 2017 it is as strong as ever, bolstered by the support of the almost three dozen members of the UHS Anime Club.