JCC Hosts Anime 101

Chantelle Mitchell loves anime! Photo by Kyleigh Carter

Chantelle Mitchell loves anime! Photo by Kyleigh Carter

On April 4, the Japanese Cultural Collective hosted an “Anime 101” night in The Forum. The goal of the event was to give those who didn’t necessarily have experience with anime some basic knowledge about the medium. They also hoped to cultivate a love for anime by helping beginners get a good grasp on concepts that might have otherwise seemed alienating or overwhelming. Anime is a vastly complex medium. Sometimes just jumping into it is a bit much.

A range of people attended the event, from anime experts to complete beginners. JCC officer Chantelle Mitchell opened with a brief presentation to give attendees a little background on the subject. When putting the presentation together, Mitchell thought back to her own first experiences with the medium. “When I first started anime, I was like, ‘Whoa. This is weird.,’ ” she says. With that in mind, the presentation focussed on the strange nuances that don’t always make sense to someone just starting to watch anime. One of the big focusses was on anime lingo as well as the cliches found in anime TV shows and movies, many of which can be found on Crunchyroll.com

While there were a lot of attendees who already knew much of this information, Mitchell took care to explain each of the concepts for those who hadn’t been watching for that long. With each slide, there was a lot of laughter over how absurd certain parts of anime might seem to an outside viewer, such as the many over the top facial and body expressions characters make.

After the presentation, attendees enjoyed a viewing of the first four episodes of the half hour comedy anime “Ouran High School Host Club.” This was a huge attendance draw to the event. “Ouran” is a widely popular anime that follows the hilarious adventures of a group of high schoolers who run a unique “host club” within the school. The show frequently pokes fun at “shojo anime,” a category of anime that is marketed specifically towards young girls. Mitchell choose to screen the show because it features many of the concepts covered in her presentation. As attendees watched the show, Mitchell pointed out each weird, little nuances such as color failure, “the corner of woe,” and comedic “starry eyes.”

The anime was shown with English “dub,” meaning that an English translation had been recorded over the Japanese dialogue. Many attendees who had seen the anime had never watched it this way, as most fans choose to watch these shows with English subtitles and Japanese audio. Many commented on how strange this was for them but by the end, were laughing at how absolutely ridiculous and fun the show is.

The Japanese Cultural Collective meets every Saturday at 9 p.m. alternating between the Southwest Annex and The Forum. They frequently show various anime TV shows and Movies as well as discuss Japanese culture in general. Their next event will be a showing of the popular anime “Cowboy Bebop held in The Forum.