Japanese Pop Culture Influences HFCC Student Club


That was the response from Paige Knox and Brandon Reed of the Anime-tion Club when I approached them about an article for this issue of the Mirror News. Paige, the founder, seemed excited enough to spring through the roof. I don’t think I could’ve chosen better candidates.

When I asked what got them into anime, they just looked at each other and smiled. They both said they have been into anime since they were young. It was a refreshing alternative to the American norm of simple super heroes with repetitive plots, or the seemingly simple and poorly organized opposite.

“I was more interested in shows like Robotech and Outlaw Star because they were different,” said Reed.

Paige seemed to agree. “Shows like Sailor Moon and Transformers had way better animation, and it started to seem like American creators were making characters that they could sell on the market and not for our entertainment.”

The Anime-tion Club was founded in 2008 by Knox. He came up with the idea, obviously from his love of the art, but also from his lack of enjoyment as the president of the Multi-Cultural Club. “There was no excitement. It was too serious,” he said as he began to tell me of his journey to get the club up and running. Knox didn’t have to try hard, as evidenced by the 55 names on multiple sign-up sheets from day one. It seems everyone would be “drawn” (pun intended) on the basis of the club alone, not to mention the many colorful flyers and their most successful Welcome Back Days. The fact that the club was started for the purpose of fun and to make long-lasting connections with people of all different backgrounds isn’t too shabby either.

Reed got to play a major role in the making of the club also. Since Knox was already the president of the Multi-Cultural Club, Reed got to be president of Anime-tion for a year. At the time, they told me, they were NOT very well organized, no board was established, and they were kind of everywhere, but since then they have become the most active and populated club at HFCC, with up to 40 active members and many planned events. Though getting members was never a problem, they say they are the most difficult club here because they are a strictly social one with no formal system, like mandatory meetings or dues. The only requirement is to regularly attend meetings.

“The whole purpose was to not be your typical club, and to strive for events more fun for the student body,” said Reed.

Knox believes the school should also give the club its own room. They have no suitable place to meet because they are considered too noisy but, Knox said, “When you have twenty-five or more members all together in one room, even talking quietly will be too loud!”

The club’s anticipated participation in Detroit FanFare 2010 was also addressed, as Knox expressed that they were never suppose to be a part of the event. Phi Theta Kappa requested that they participate and provide support for HFCC, but the club declined because Youmacon 2010 will be at the same time. Knox also intends to ask Stan Lee to make an appearance as a treat to all the convention-goers.

The Anime-tion Club has many upcoming events, including an animation screening, movie day, Tekken tournament, Dance Dance Revolution tournament, as well as convention trips, such as Youmacon 2010, one of the biggest around. They also welcome interested people to attend meetings, held in room T-141 on Tuesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and room P-204 on Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In the end, I finally got my chance to ask the defining question of the night, to me anyway: “Is anime a hobby or a way of life?” Knox and Reed both said, “Neither! It’s a culture that will go on for eternity.”