Anime Clubs – How big are they?

This is roughly how my club looks like according to members.

tsukagi-48.jpgThe past Wednesday, as I was supervising my Anime Club at my high school while we were decorating the display case. We were asked by some teachers put some of our own items and drawings there to show how we’ve been doing. Somehow, a few club members and I happened to start talking about other anime clubs in the states and how they’re doing. That made me wonder: How big are those clubs anyway?

In Japan, anime is like a part of their culture. In places like America however, anime is just for entertainment and sometimes looked down upon by other people who don’t understand it. There aren’t many anime fans in my school let alone anyone who even heard about it. There are 7 members in my club (including me) and some only became fans because of anime shown on TV like DBZ and Naruto. Others didn’t know what manga was until a member brought some in. I have friends from other schools that have more anime fans but they didn’t even establish a club because of their fear of being outcasts.

To me, my club seems like Genshiken, the small group of anime lovers that meet around in a club room and talk and watch randomly about anime. There are most likely bigger clubs outside of mine yet I can’t help but think how much bigger. Well, if you’re in or were in an anime club back in your student life days, how many members were in it and how many really knew their stuff? You don’t have to answer but I’m interested. Anyway, while I finish up this post with this thought in mind, I grant best wishes to all the other anime clubs out there.

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11 Responses to Anime Clubs – How big are they?

  1. Kite says:

    Well my high school anime club had around 6 or 7 people on average. I’ve only been to a few meetings but the University of Texas-Austin anime club seemed to have 50 or 60+ people with an unknown number of people who hung around outside the auditorium to chat and trade fansubs. The University of Texas-Dallas anime club where I was an officer for several years fluctuated between meetings with 5 people during the summer to around 15 to 25 people during the regular semester.

  2. dm says:

    MIT’s anime club has varied in size over the years from (regularly) 60-100 people to (regularly) 10. The hey-day was in the late 1990s through maybe 2003. At that time, anime was popular, but people hadn’t had time to amass big anime collections of their own. Digital distribution of anime was just starting to be common, but most “digisubs” were pretty poor video quality. The easiest way to see new stuff was to join a club and swap media.

    We still showed a lot of stuff on VHS, though I think we had stopped purchasing VHS by 2001 or 2002.

    The ready availability of anime now means that one doesn’t have to be in a club to see lots of anime. Netflix and Bittorrent, mail-order and Best Buy can easily satisfy most anime fans’ needs to keep up with anime. So our club has shifted a lot of its focus to cosplay workshops, karaoke parties and more social activities.

  3. Mike says:

    I’m a co-organizer of Anime Souffle here in Los Angeles, which is one of the relatively few anime clubs that are not attached to a school. (Jeremy, one of my podcasters, is the head.) Roughly 40-50 people come to our monthly meetups! We try to watch the very latest stuff so we mostly watch fansubs. Most of our members are in college and/or high school, or not much older than that.

    As dm points out, we don’t really go to club to watch anme as much as to hang out. Most of the stuff we see is stuff I’ve already watched or review–which should be no surprise given that I’m th one who usually brings the anime!

  4. Caitlin says:

    At my college, we had about 50 people. We’d watch 1 series per semester with samplings of newer anime every session.

  5. haruda says:

    My university’s club consist of watching anime (3 1/2 about) weekly. There were 10 to 20 members the last time I went, although that was two years ago.

  6. Onlooker says:

    My High School’s anime club down here in Orange County ranges in attendance of about 10-25 people once a week depending on school schedules and what we’re showing. It can even extend up to 35 if we have an event like Day of the Ninja or Cosplay Day (Halloween)

    Our attendance and membership seems to fluctuate every year, though I think there has been a slow rise due to my advertising efforts. (i.e. Cosplaying as a ninja while dancing the Hare Hare Yukai in the middle of the courtyard)

  7. elezend says:

    I was the one who founded Anime Newsletter in my school with my other friend and it’s usually bout comics drawn by the members because it was under Art Club.

    We even have our own badge ^^” and that anime newsletter is probably the only thing related to anime in the whole city’s schools because you arent allowed to bring anime or manga to school.

  8. kame-chan says:

    Everyone: Thanks for commenting back. According to the comments, there are more anime fans in colleges than in high schools, or it could just be me. I can’t show fansubs at my high school because some of my members can’t read fast enough. We have to watch anime in the dubbed version. Anyway, thanks again for telling me what happens to your anime club.

    P.S. Onlooker: Ninja cosplay + Hare Hare Yukai = awesome advertisement.

  9. I never had an anime club in school or at college at the moment, i guess its just not that popular around here lol 😛

  10. […] 3 years ago, I wrote a blog post on animeacademy about comparing my old anime club to Genshiken and asking how big everyone’s […]

  11. lampton says:

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