Anime and manga always seem to attract large crowds of people together. An instant connection is made when an Otaku meets another Otaku and many times a beautiful friendship is born. Sometime Otakus go to anime events not just for anime, manga, and some video games. Sometimes we go to be around people who are like us. This said, a great way to feel accepted at your maximum Otaku capacity is to join an anime club. The University of Texas at Austin has an anime club that any Otaku would want to join. If you've never been part of an anime club keep reading to get an idea of what one would be like.
The anime club in Austin, TX has a really simple name, UT anime. This club meets on Fridays in the Welch building in room number 1.316 at 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
|The Welch building at The University of Texas at Austin (photo courtesy of possible missions)|
Once the lights are turned off the room is transformed as two huge screens spurt to life with the images of whatever anime is scheduled for the night. The animes continue showing for about an hour and a half which is the scheduled intermission time. This is the opportunity for socialization. Now you can talk to anyone about what you just watched, about what you are watching on your own, or about anything. After the intermission is over the anime start up again
Every once in a while the anime club will have interesting and random social events. The soonest event will be a Halloween costume contest where anyone can show up and compete to see who has the best cosplay during the intermission. (a great list of ideas for such events can be found here ^_^ http://chibitalkatx.blogspot.com/2011/10/kawaii-halloween.html). Events like this, and perhaps a up-coming renaissance fair field, trip keep the anime club not only fun but also tightly knit.
A surprising thing about this club, and the justification of why I’m writing about this club in particular, is that it has been active in The University of Texas for 24 years! This means that this anime community jumped on the anime craze almost as quickly as Japan itself did.
The biggest perk however of an anime club that has been around for 24 years is very simple; it has been collecting anime for many, many years. What really makes it necessary to join this awesome club is the 'DVD Lending Library' which is available to all regular members. This library boast of over 790 DVDs (you can check out the anime titles at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~anime/library.php) of which to choose from some of which have not been shown anywhere in the US for several years.
Unfortunately as a student organization it must follow university rules, and it is restricted in who it can officially call a member. Only members can rent out these DVDs. Membership is just available to students and faculty who pay the $10 dollar fee.
The anime club could be thought of as a historian of anime; it is preserving many of the finest anime series since the creation of anime. Or it could be thought of as the best source of anime media that is available. All of the club's anime is in clear resolution without tampering of any kind from a 3rd party and all of it legally licensed. Perhaps the anime club could be thought of as the best place for an Otaku to be able to be completely themselves without the dirty looks or the blank stares.
Whichever reason you think is most convincing for not letting these clubs die out just make sure to support your local anime community and let me know in the comments what your community does to show its Otaku colors!