Anime Culture Association focuses on mainstream exposure

Sept. 10, 2012

April Wefler
[email protected]

Dragon Ball Z. Pokemon. Digimon. Yu-Gi-Oh! If you’re a kid of the 90s, you probably recognize these shows as the animes you might have grown up watching.

Although anime, a Japanese animation style, is usually thought of as a genre for children, Sivan Khan, a junior majoring in communication, founded the Anime Culture Association to show otherwise.

“If you’re into horror and you’re older, you can find something – or sports and you’re in high school,” Khan said. “I think no matter what your age, you can ultimately find a show that will live up to your interests.”

Although there are two anime clubs already on campus, Khan founded the Anime Culture Association because he wanted focus on the social aspect. He also wanted to reach out to people who don’t know much about anime.

“I want to open it up to people who see anime as a nerdy thing,” Khan said. “There’s a lot of people that have a passion for it. I wanted to bring it to the surface.”

He noted that anime is something he grew up with. “I think that a lot of cartoons in America are targeted to one audience: children,” Khan said, adding that there are thousands of other different genres.

Khan first became interested in anime when he was in elementary school. “Every morning, every night, it would just be anime. Through the Internet, I could find shows that weren’t being shown in America and still watch.”

Khan’s favorite anime is the Japanese “School Days,” a 12-episode show that is explained on its website as the “ultimate love triangle.” The main character, a boy named Itou Makoto, becomes attracted to the girl who shares his train ride to school.

“The character development is just filled so well into the 12 episodes that it really grabs my attention,” Khan said. “When I first went to college, no one had seen it; I talked about it so much that now people have.”

He mentioned also liking the 1998 “Outlaw Star,” an American anime that featured an outlaw crew of an advanced starship. “That show really opened up my horizon, let me take off,” he said.

The 2006 “Higurashi,” or “When They Cry,” was Khan’s first Japanese anime. “It was so different; I wanted to see if there were any more like them.”

More recently, Khan was influenced by the 21st annual Anime Expo in Los Angeles. The July convention is North America’s largest anime and manga celebration. “It really motivated me,” Khan said.

The Anime Culture Association planned a trip to the Denver anime convention earlier this month as well as a meet-and-greet at a local anime shop. The club is gathering other ideas, too.

“It’s mostly a club decision,” Khan said. He added that although the group does plan to watch anime, there will also be a lot of socializing and discussion.

The first meeting of the Anime Culture Association is today at 3 p.m. in the MOSAIC Office. Students wishing to join can show up or email Khan at [email protected].

If you would like coverage for your club, email [email protected].