Gaining cultural experience

Laura Lucas

Laura Lucas

When people hear the word anime, they usually think of Pokémon or the shows on Adult Swim. There is a new club on campus, opening doors for students to have a broader experience with anime.

The Japanese Animation and Culture Society (JACS) was started by Treasure Thoreson, a junior global studies major. JACS was started during the 2006 school year and has finally gained a following. This semester they got the ball rolling and officially became a club. Ben Overmyer, an SDSU alum, assisted Thoreson in starting JACS by writing the constitution and bylaws and running the JACS Web site.

“We watch anime, discuss different shows and watch things that represent Japanese culture,” Thoreson said.

Thoreson got introduced to anime in the seventh grade because a friend of hers was reading Magna, a Japanese style of comic books. In high school she started an anime club and thought one would succeed here too.

“Anime spans all age groups. There is stuff for kids, teens and adults,” said Brynne Clouse, a junior sociology major.

Geoff Bonvallet, assistant professor of physics and adviser to JACS, said, “One thing that attracts people is how different it [anime] is. It’s not something we have in the U.S. Visually you can do a lot?. it’s very visually interesting even on a small budget.”

Currently there are about 10-20 people that attend, said Thoreson; Overmyer gives Japanese lessons at the meetings to help incorporate the culture.

“We are trying to branch out into learning about the culture and trying to take trips. There is an anime convention in the cities that would be fun to go to,” she said.

According to Bonvallet, there are three ways to watch anime: watching a movie, Original Video Animation or a series (on T.V.). The difference with anime series and American shows is anime has a distinct ending, with the exception of spin-offs. “When they plot out the series, there is a beginning and ending point. Unlike American shows that will just end or the series is cut off, anime has everything resolved in the last episode.”

Bonvallet also added that there are many genres including romantic comedy and horror.

“My current favorites are Initial D and Hellsing. Initial D is based on drift racing, and Hellsing is very loosely based on the old Helsing and Dracula characters created by Bram Stroker,” said Overmyer.

The club meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in Ag Hall room 100A. There is also a Facebook group called JACS and Web site for more information.