As one of the oldest clubs at Citrus College, Anime Connection transformed the Campus Center into an anime convention on May 28, by sharing anime’s universal subgenres contained in art drawings, J-pop and J-rock (Japanese) music, and costumes with open the college community.
“Anime is universal to unite everyone from all walks of life to enjoy a simple thing,” said Chelsea Gonzales, fine arts major.
“Its not just cartoons. There’s so many types of genres and you can find any type of theme that you couldn’t find in regular cartoons,” said Rita Rivera, Anime Connections’ President.
Rivera, a business major and first time president and second female president of Anime Connection, took on this project in hopes of spreading the positive feedback anime has given her and members onto interested students.
“It is a stereotype that people who like anime are shut-ins and shy people, which can be true. But the great thing about it is anime opens you up,” said Rivera. Last year ICC awarded Anime Connection club of the, so this year Rivera’s goal is to win the club cup, by collecting points for everything they do. The club with the most points wins the club cup.
By Rivera keeping her promise of hosting an anime convention as president she relied on convention participants to explain many different topics with discussion panels, performances, and guest speakers. GSA president Sara Marie and vice president Denis Riccardo presented “Queer Faces of Anime,” elaborating on the openness of homosexuality in anime, by using Sailor Moon as an example due to the lesbian relationship between Uranus and Neptune.
“I found being involved in a club makes you feel connected to the school and makes you want to try harder. I really believe they are important in general and not just anime club,” Rivera said.
Rivera encourages her members to try different clubs if they cannot make Anime Connection meetings because she feels clubs bring people together and out of their shells.
“Some people call it cartoons and others call it Japanese cartoons but I view it as a way to be a little more involved in international entertainment,” said Naomi Lee, treasurer for Anime Connection.
Anime Connection helps students bond with others and can help find their calling in life.
“It’s an underappreciated art form and America is starting to appreciate it because last year there were 85,000 people who attended Anime Expo,” said Adin Rudd a voice actor
and former Citrus College student who was the Anime Connections’ public relations officer.
During the convention Rudd, had a question and answer panel about working for an anime called “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” and “Magi: The Kingdom of Magic” which can be watched on Netflix.
According to Rudd the differences between Japanese Anime and American animation is that Japanese anime still hand draws characters, and American animation focuses more on perfecting lip motions, therefore limiting what a character can express.
Japanese anime is unique because of a strong dialect used to connect with the audience and creates lifelong fans that get hooked by great storylines that ‘gives you the feels,’ which is a main factor for fans who grew up watching anime like Lee who cannot remember not having anime in her life.
Anime Connection welcomes anyone wanting to expand their knowledge about Japanese culture and to network with people who share the anime passion.
“It is really to each their own and there is always a little niche in our club for someone if you are willing to dig us out and stick with us,” Lee said.
Students interested in Anime Connection are encourage to attend the last spring semester meeting on Thursdays at 12 p.m. in the executive boardroom of the campus center.