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Go to Anime club, they said.

November 14, 2009

rumia_shocked(Source)

There are no words to describe what I’ve just experienced. I feel like Brad Pitt at the end of Seven. I feel like the crying Indian chief in those old “Save the Earth” commercials, just observing the wreckage and wondering to myself “…what happened here?” Right now, I’m cradling my head in my arms; I want to laugh and cry because I feel like I’ve just been prison-raped.

Where to begin?


So I was on my way back to my dorm from a meeting. It was a formal meeting, so I had on my whole yuppie get-up (three-piece suit and leather shoes), looking totally out of place for a Friday night. I arrived on campus at around 7:45 pm. Now, I knew that our school had an Anime club that would meet every Friday at around 8:00 pm. I was never really against the idea of joining an Anime club, so I would occasionally peek my head in to see what was going on but never really summoned the willpower to actually commit to joining. But, retrospectively speaking, I guess I was feeling particularly masochistic ’cause, against my better judgment, I decided to sit in on a meeting for the day and see what it was like.

And, well, you can guess how that turned out.
(I’m sighing as I write this.)

So I found my way to the building that hosted the Anime club meeting. It turns out that in that very same building and on that very same floor, there was also a meeting for some kind of Asian cultural association in a room adjacent to that of the Anime club’s. Admittedly I was a little lost, so I would occasionally pass their room and hear them speaking in hushed tones. They would shoot glances at me as if they were expecting me to join them because of what I was wearing.

I eventually found the room and introduced myself to some of the members who were already there and busily fumbling with a projector. Turns out that it’s not so much a “club” with actual discussion as it is just a weekly screening of some of the Anime they owned on DVD, which I would later realize meant that they were limited to licensed shows usually played in dub. After we were done exchanging formalities, I took a look around the room and found a small snack table comprised of soda and …Pocky and wasabi peas and other Asian snacks. No chips or cookies, just Asian snacks. Yeah. I should have taken this as a sign to just leave, but I stifled that urge and thought nothing of it.

More people filtered in, and mother of God, Steve Urkel was less of a cliché. Every other phrase they uttered was some stupid Internet meme like “It’s a trap!” which they wouldn’t even use in context. One of the members – a guy with a really shrill voice who would always shout when he spoke – would tell what I assumed was supposed to be a joke, and when nobody responded, he would scream “Why doesn’t anyone get my references?!” Another member, a girl, was playing around with Google Maps on her laptop, typing in things like “G-Spot” and “Heaven,” and would proceed to giggle-snort whenever she got a successful result.

The Vice President of the club announced that they would be screening shows based on popular vote. I told him that I had the DVDs for Mushi-shi, Golden Boy, and Cromartie High School, so he added them to the list. In the end, the top three titles were the last 6 episodes of Outlaw Star, Azumanga Daioh, and I think, Claymore. When they were finished tabulating the votes, another member walked in – a guy who looked to be well into his 40s, with grey-speckled hair and deep-set facial wrinkles. It wasn’t enough for him to just give his vote and get it over with, he had to voice his opinion about everything as if anyone gave a shit about what he thought. He skimmed the available choices and said things like “Azumanga Daioh is bad. It’s so slow-paced and badly written” and “What’s Mushi-shi-shi?” Needless to say, I nearly developed a peptic ulcer.

They ultimately decided on Outlaw Star, the dub, which I had no problem with being that I grew up with the dub on Toonami. I was already fed up at this point, but I really wanted to stick it out and see through it to the end, so I took a seat in the back and got out my iPod, preparing for the worst. Thank God for Wi-Fi, I thought. So they pop in the disc, the opening song plays, and what do they do? They proceed to sing and dance to it. First of all, how in the ever-loving fuck do you dance to Through the Night? It’s not exactly club music, and yet they were gyrating their hips and mispronouncing the spoken lyrics as if it was routine for them. The lights were mercifully dim, otherwise they would’ve seen my look of utter shock and disgust. As Joseph Conrad would say, “the horror, the horror…”

Thank God for Twitter, I thought, something I would never admit outright because of my love/hate attitude towards Twitter. I tweeted like mad to distract myself from what was going on. Things like:

animeclubtweetThankfully, angelsharkbite was on and kept me company.

angelsharkbitetweetI should have heeded his advice, but, being the polite bastard that I am, decided to soldier on.

I really, truly believe that I was becoming progressively crazy throughout the course of the screening. They – these Anime club members – continued to shout stupid Internet memes and catchphrases with absolutely no context or provocation. When Gene said “It’s a lizard,” someone would shout “It’s a trap!” and everyone would giggle as if it was the funniest shit in the world. Gritting my teeth and clenching my fists, I kept thinking “shut the fuck up oh god please just stop talking you guys have the most punch-able voices.” The overly-opinionated, middle-aged guy would laugh at completely inappropriate moments, like in that scene where Jim unknowingly kills Hanmyo, the girl he meets and falls in love with but turns out to be a member of the Anten Seven, or the Big Bads of Outlaw Star. What was supposed to be a heart-wrenching scene was completely spoiled by this one asshole, the same guy who would repeatedly state throughout the meeting that “Azumanga Daioh is so bad.” Nobody asked for your input, you horrible creep. I kept thinking “Wow, I hate you. I’ve never hated anyone as much as I hate you.”

After three episodes, we had a bathroom break. Taking this as an opportunity, I quickly gathered my things and briskly headed for the door. On my way out, that old guy repeated once again, as if for good measure, that “Azumanga Daioh isn’t even so bad that it’s good. It’s just bad.” He had his hands behind his head, all smug and self-assured. A girl responded with “It’s a show that more girls than guys would like,” to which he responded “Okay, that’s just what you think” with his nose in the air. I swear to Christ, that simple exchange took years off my life.

When I entered the hallway, I couldn’t help but notice how different the air was, probably from leaving a room that reeked of half-eaten wasabi peas. The Vice President was coming back from the bathroom. I told him that I’d be back next week, maybe. He gave a really half-hearted “okay, nice meeting you” without even looking at or facing me. As I walked down the hallway, I made eye contact with someone in the Asian cultural meeting room. A girl, a normal girl. For some reason, I held eye contact and just breathed a heavy sigh. I saw her giggle as if in response, as if she understood my pain.

On my way back to my dorm, I plugged in my iPod and listened to the loudest death metal track on my playlist, imagining unholy things about the people I hated. If I had a cigarette, I would have smoked it. But I don’t smoke.

angelsharkbitetweet2Never again.

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2009 3:23 am

    FUCKING ROFLMAO!

    See, this is why I was smart enough to purposefully start a ‘film and animation club’ instead of an ‘anime club’. My guys still had some completely annoying and stupid fucknuggets, but between my Nazi–like keep of the class and my teacher being intolerant of idiots, we were pretty fine.

    That said, I still ended up quitting and the club got shut down LOL

    • saturnity permalink*
      November 14, 2009 6:49 am

      You know, it’s funny you should say “Nazi” because I used that word while talking to a club member about sub and dub elitists. And when I did, another girl rudely interrupted me and said not to say that word because she’s Jewish. She then ignored me for the rest of the meeting. I don’t know what it is about these people, they’re just not likeable.

      It’s good to see you had some luck, though, even if it was short-lived.

      • November 14, 2009 11:36 am

        Holy fuck, what a quintessentially stupid bitch. My (abridged) family is Jewish, you don’t see me whining. That bitch didn’t live through the goddamn fucking holocaust! If I’d been you, even if I didn’t have Jew blood, I’d have just been like ‘yeah, I’m a Jew too, you stupid bitch.’

  2. November 14, 2009 3:36 am

    Oh, you poor dear. I had a similar experience in my first year of college. Along with all the noisy social misfits, there was one fellow I’ll always remember, a corpulent giant of a man with wet armpits who I privately nicknamed “Mr. Cheeto Stain.” I turned tail and ran after about an hour.

    But on the flip side, I made some really good friends after giving the anime club another chance in my senior year. The leadership changed, and some people I already knew from lit classes were attending. It was a grand time.

    The key, I believe, is having a designated place for discussion and encouraging some sense of community away from the viewing room. You probably won’t be going back, but if you think you can remember some good eggs in the bunch, try reaching out to them. Channel your inner fabulousness and charm their pants off.

    • saturnity permalink*
      November 14, 2009 6:51 am

      Oh ho, I was almost praying that at least one person was someone I could relate with, but no.

      I mean, it’s not like I need any of them.
      That’s what I have you guys for!

  3. November 14, 2009 4:01 am

    The first rule about Anime Club is that you don’t go to Anime Club.

    • animekritik permalink
      November 14, 2009 7:52 am

      LOL. What’s the second rule?

      • November 14, 2009 9:30 am

        Get ripped like Brad Pitt and beat up beautiful men in the dark. It’s the second rule to everything.

  4. November 14, 2009 5:02 am

    relax, we understand j00

  5. November 14, 2009 6:54 am

    OMG those pretentious bastards! What have they subjected you to?!! *fists in the air*

  6. November 14, 2009 9:33 am

    roflmao. But eh, middle-aged people in a school anime club? Retarded OBs / alumni? o.O

    Now I wish I had the chance to see what our uni’s anime club was like, I’m thinking the members aren’t really that retarded, but eh, guess I’ll never know that unless I saw it myself

    • November 14, 2009 12:35 pm

      They’re not an anime club, they say!

      Never went in, but my friends did. 90% of all the girls there were fujoshi, apparently…

  7. November 14, 2009 12:12 pm

    This makes me feel all the more thankful I joined a film appreciation club instead of the local anime/modelling club. It was a lot more fun too, since every time I passed the club they were either doing something that looked uninteresting, or spray painting gunpla parts.

    Also, if that middle-aged guy hates anime so much (at least that’s the vibe I’m getting through your post), why is he even there? =_=

  8. November 14, 2009 12:57 pm

    Also, my brother is just like that evil annoying man you met–laughing at incredibly sad scenes. We watched the legendary first episode of Cross Game… and HE LAUGHED THROUGH THE LAST THIRD OF IT! ;_;

  9. November 14, 2009 1:04 pm

    I think hinano raged this rage before.

    Nevertheless, well raged.

  10. kadian1364 permalink
    November 14, 2009 1:20 pm

    You probably got the worst kind of club experience, but also the only kind of club experience. The high pitched annoying guy that laughs at everything and only speaks in references? Been there. The super fujoshi, super tasteless girl that whenever you glance over to what she’s doing/looking at makes you cringe? Seen that. The guy that’s way too old to be attending a uni club and doesn’t really know what he’s talking about, but likes to pontificate anyway? I’m only all too familiar. Something about the words “anime” and “club” joined together always seem to bring out the worst, most unspeakable characters from the murky depths.

    I count my lucky stars that I didn’t stick around for enough meetings to see them dance. D:

  11. November 14, 2009 4:07 pm

    So, not an optimal first experience at an anime club.

    I had some good times in my uni’s anime club mainly because: we started to go out for food after Thursday meetings, we watched (and the club still does watch) fansubbed stuff so it’s more recent and relevant to those attending than Outlaw Star, and we were pretty courteous in trying to keep people from being *too* loud during the screening parts and in making newcomers feel welcome if they felt like talking to others during the break.

  12. November 14, 2009 4:21 pm

    I probably have a similar experience. While our club tries to be unique by deviating from watching episodes in club meetings, it compensates itself by having at least 50% of its body made up of gloating self-declared 4channers and human beings whose demeanors cannot be explained logically, as if they were a completely different species.

    It’s sad that the sole reason why I attend their club meetings is to play Japanese mahjong.

  13. November 14, 2009 6:10 pm

    First off, to get it out of the way… wow… just wow…

    More to the point, I don’t understand why anyone would start an anime club just to watch anime. That’s easily something you can do on your own time, and something that even with a group is still a mostly solitary experience (unless your talking throughout the anime, which would drive me nuts).

    I would imagine the whole reason to have a group come together would be to talk about and debate anime. Kind of like what we already do on our blogs, but in person. Or maybe even try to start up your own short animation or manga together as a group. At least, that’s what makes sense to me.

  14. November 14, 2009 8:07 pm

    With all these anime club horror stories that I see, I feel more and more like I lucked out with my undergrad anime club. I think part of what helped was that there was already a community that was welcoming to new comers when I joined (dinners before showing at dining halls/inquiries to help run the club/etc.), a set schedule of shows/OVAs/movies that were voted on the semester before (all licensed, but a good mix of old/new, pure entertainment/more serious/thought-provoking stuff and so on), discussion during breaks in between the showing but none during it (about the shows, stuff other than the shows), an executive board that helped decide how showings were set up and run/budget allocations for shows/equipment/activities, and other stuff like that.

    For some reason I assumed that most college-level anime clubs are like that. :v

  15. November 14, 2009 9:42 pm

    My exact experiences with the only time I went to my school’s anime club. I hated my experience there, both during the screening and meeting some of the most annoying people ever. They don’t even realize or care how annoying they can be…

    Anyway, I wrote my experience here a while back (shamless plug…)
    http://listlessink.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/are-you-enjoying-the-time-of-eve/

    There are definitely parallels to your experience.

  16. Miha permalink
    November 15, 2009 3:40 am

    Anime clubs are a thing of the past. I’m not against the idea of anime fans meeting together, but there needs to be some sort of pressure applied for us to at least act decently. I’ve met my fair share of weirdos, but I can imagine what it would be like if we set up a closed space–like an anime club room–where they could act without any constraints.

  17. November 15, 2009 3:41 am

    Yes, clubs are pointless when we can gather around the internet bonfire!

  18. November 15, 2009 5:53 am

    Heheh, you think just going to an anime club is bad? I run one! Every single fucking problem and drama suddenly becomes my responsibility! Now THAT, is a bitch!

    That said however, that 40yr old guy sounds like a massive twat >_>

  19. November 15, 2009 12:56 pm

    I can only say that what you experienced through was actually better than my anime club experiences.

  20. November 16, 2009 1:32 am

    GO, SATURNITY! YOURS IN THE RAGE THAT WILL PIERCE THE HEAVENS.

    Is it wrong that I want to kinda step in on my own college’s anime club just to slap all of them silly? You should have publicly raged or something. I mean, it’s not like anything of value would have been lost.

    As for the memes? The same thing happens in my cafeteria. There’s this group of idiots that do nothing but talk about One Piece, Yaoi and 4chan all day. Srsly, on day I just shouted at the top of my lungs “Rules 1 and 2, you cancerous faggots!”

    This inspires me to write about my own horrific experiences, like the time the same group argued about yaoi for over an hour. It’s two men fucking, how hard is that to understand? Also, run the fuck away from 40 year old otakus. They tend to try to speak in squeaky Japanese voices and exposure to that might kill you.

    • APOK permalink
      December 11, 2009 4:02 pm

      this blog made me feel not so alone in my hate on anime fanatics and righteous disgust of Anime Clubs – they take something with potential for intellectual or artistic merit, and let it be **** on

  21. November 20, 2009 7:44 am

    Great story! it was hilarious 😀 I feel so sorry for you..I would have never thought of going to a anime club at all because really.. there’s no point 😛

  22. November 20, 2009 3:28 pm

    I assumed as much. I stay the fuck away frm anime clubs. I’d rather go to jail then an anime club.

  23. December 14, 2009 8:11 am

    So what was the death metal track you listened to?

  24. January 4, 2010 9:47 am

    Oh my. *Pat* *Pat*. This is part of why I never bothered going near anime clubs. Some really tend to be THAT horrible.

  25. Tia permalink
    January 28, 2010 4:50 am

    This is kind of old, but I understand your pain so much. As much as I enjoy some anime and manga (especially since I grew up with it), the fandom can be so embarrassing. Whenever someone asks me if I like an anime or something I just say no, because I don’t want to be associated with that image.
    That sounds horrible, thanks anyway for sharing this hilarious, relatable, experience.

  26. February 9, 2010 11:07 pm

    Great read. I used to go to my school’s anime club for two years. I think the reason I stuck around for so long was because most of the people who went to club weren’t absolute idiots, the club president at the time was good, and I liked the shows they put in the lineup. That is, when I was active in my anime club. Everyone voted on shows that we wanted to keep in the lineup for that year. We made sure that half of the lineup were comedies and that the other half were more serious shows. Outside of watching stuff, we did events such as the end-of-the-year sushi dinner and a visit to a local cherry blossom festival.

    It was once the new president took over that I stopped going to club. I disliked the way she ran the club and the shows that she picked for this year. In the end, I asked myself “Why bother going to anime club when I can watch stuff that I like on my own time.” It was for that reason that I left anime club.

  27. Cappy permalink
    January 27, 2017 12:30 pm

    I currently run an anime club and reading this made we want to really try to avoid this kind of carp.

    At the club I run we do an anime giveaway with a game every single week and ave theme nights (Pokemon, historical, magical girl, etc). I try to make club as inviting and entertaining for everyone as I can. Our first meeting consisted of a ton of games (Where we gave away like 10 prizes) and then we watched Voices of a Distant Star.

    If you have any advice for what more I could do, please tell me! I’m always open to more ideas.

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