Members of the club ‘cosplay’ as some of their favorite anime and non-anime characters. COURTESY OF GRIFFIN WILLINS

Anime lovers unite at the Neo Anime Club

The Neo Anime Club began in March 1994, with the purpose of teaching members about Japanese animation, manga and informing them about cultural awareness through networking and creating a fun and educational environment for all members. 

There are 20 to 25 active members who attend weekly meetings and social events. 

Members can pay an annual fee of $25; it is not required for membership but highly recommended. 

Those who pay the fee will receive a number of perks including: a free club T-shirt, club prizes and even birthday packages.

Third-year electrical engineering student and Neo Anime Club President Griffin Willins explains a typical Thursday night meeting where members watch anime and play anime-themed games. 

“The first hour of our meetings are dedicated to ‘randoms,’ which are three randomly selected first episodes meant to expose our members to anime which they might have never heard of and then we play social games such as anime-themed Pictionary or trivia,” Willins said.

Members of the club ‘cosplay’ as some of their favorite anime and non-anime characters. (Courtesy of Griffin Willins)

“In the last few hours of club we watch our ‘recurrings,’ two shows which the club watches throughout the semester until we complete the entire series.”

A lot of the shows that are picked each week are random and serve as a way for club officers to recommend shows to members.

When a new season of anime airs, it will be shown during a meeting, to give members an idea of what is currently being aired in Japan.

Sixth-year English education student and Neo Anime Club Vice President Guillermo Sanchez said there were ideas of having discussions to motivate members to communicate with each other.

Typical Thursday evening meetings often include watching anime and playing anime-themed games. (Courtesy of Griffin Willins)

“In the past, there was an idea of incorporating discussions after each episode but the idea was quickly scrapped as it did not fit with the format of the meetings,” Sanchez said.

Both Willins and Sanchez were exposed to anime from a young age, watching “Dragon Ball Z” on TV. 

Throughout the years, both grew a deep admiration for Japanese animation and have continued to show their passion through anime merchandise and collectibles. 

Willin believes that anime has a unique way of telling stories through its animation, and anime creators create an engaging form of visual media. 

“There’s just something so unique about the medium, in regards to both production and storytelling, that simply doesn’t exist here in the West and it lets people tell stories that would be impossible to tell in any other form of visual media,” Willin said.

Second-year electronic systems engineering student David Sumadsad has been an active member of the Neo Anime Club for two years and remembers the first time anime was introduced to him.

“When I was younger, I would watch anime and that’s where my interest for Japanese animations began, and when I was in high school I joined the anime club there as well,” Sumadsad said.

“My girlfriend Jizelle introduced [me] to Neo Anime Club on campus when [we] were freshmen and probably one of the most memorable experiences since joining was our trip to Little Tokyo.”

If students are interested in learning more about Neo Anime Club or have specific questions, they can visit the website at or email the club at

The website gives information on membership perks, upcoming events and getting to know the club officers. 

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