For a group of 54 students, there is a simple, non-mathematical equation that makes them smile: Thursdays plus room 218 equals anime club. This group meets every week on Thursday after school in Mr. Catlin’s classroom, room 218. Students can sit anywhere there is space to watch colourful anime videos, draw favourite characters, and discuss all things anime. Currently the club has approximately 54 members in total, but only about 30 of them come on a weekly basis. A small group of students, including Shane Reid and Caroline Nguyen started the club in 2011, and currently the student leaders are grade eleven students Amy Osorno, and Angelica Alcobendas, as well as grade 12 student Veronica Mendez.
In addition to their regular meetings, the anime club also has a Cosplay contest at Halloween, and fresh, delicious sushi at their Christmas party before the Christmas holidays. The Cosplay contest contains several categories, such as Club Favourite, and members can win gift cards as well as stuffed animals if their Halloween costume wins in a certain category.
The anime club’s members are dedicated. Most of them, such as Skye De Guzman, Cassandre Bouchard, Veronica Mendez, Angelica Alcobendas, and Emma Grindall have been members for three or four years. They believe anime club is a great place to make new friends, particularly for grade nines, or others who are new to the school. When grade 12 student Skype De Guzman was asked why he liked anime and manga in general, he mentioned that he finds anime entertaining and can even picture himself as the main character sometimes in anime videos. Grade 12 student Cassandre Bouchard added that she liked the art style, which is similar to cartoons, yet visually pleasing.
However, many anime club members agreed that the best thing about it was that it gave students a specific time during the busy week to watch and enjoy anime with other people who do too. The anime club is also always welcoming toward new members, whether they live and breathe anime, or do not know anything about it.