Anime is often brushed off as a bunch of childish cartoons. Only those who take the time to watch and enjoy it realize that it is actually a unique form of art and storytelling that can be complex and evocative.
Oushi Anime at USF is dedicated to celebrating that art form.
The club, whose name means “bull” in Japanese, meets Saturdays at 7 p.m. in room 3711 of the Marshall Student Center. It has been at USF for 11 years and is back for another year to gather anime and manga fans alike to hang out, watch their favorite series and maybe get some frozen yogurt.
When the members come together, they throw around fairly dirty inside jokes about various anime, but are ready and willing to explain to an interested outsider exactly what’s so funny. They will spout off the titles of various series like they’re speaking a new language, but are quick to help beginners find a starting point.
They advise newbies to avoid super long series and any sports anime, unless you’re “really into said sport.”
Anime, for most novices, can be loosely characterized by “Pokemon” or “Dragon Ball Z,” but that doesn’t even begin to touch on the variety. An average anime runs between 26 and 52 episodes.
“Anywhere from vampire romance to anime all about cars,” said Michael Klima, a junior majoring in business and the club’s president. “The stuff you see in anime, you most likely won’t see anywhere else. It’s got some unique aspects.”
Unique is a fitting word for the club. Klima said Oushi Anime attracts everyone from athletes to hardcore gamers.
“It’s a place to find new people,” Klima said. “We’re really trying to open it to everyone.”
The club does not limit itself to watching anime. They also read manga, Japanese graphic novels, and attend conventions such as Tampa’s annual Metrocon.
“This year we’re really getting into costume-making — lots of cosplay,” Klima said. “You can come by and we’ll help you out with it.”
Cosplay has become a major part of convention and anime culture and can involve very elaborate and expensive homemade costumes.
Interested students can simply show up to one of Oushi Anime’s meetings or join the club’s Facebook page for more information.
“When people hear anime, they think cartoons, and when they think cartoons they don’t think of deep story lines with relatable characters that you fall in love with,” said Erin Westacott, a junior pre-med major. “A lot of good anime is focused on morals, problems in society, so it can truly open your eyes.”