|Fan Club, List of Anime Clubs
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An Anime Club is a group of people who get together to watch anime. Most of these exist outside of Japan, where anime was traditionally harder to obtain. Many are organized at the college or university level.
The first recorded anime club in the United States was the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (C/FO) in May, 1977. Branches of the C/FO spread throughout the United States, and there was even one based near an Air Force base in Japan, the "Rising Sun" branch. The C/FO and its affiliated clubs dominated the anime fanbase through most of the 80s. The organization began to decay as groups left in the late 80s. In July 1989, it ended its role as a collection of fanclubs, with each chapter now independent.
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Throughout the 1990s, anime clubs were primarily found in colleges and universities. Many took advantage of lecture halls which were usually empty in the evenings to hold group showings. In a Funimation article, one fan recalls the honor of selecting the anime for each week's showings, trying to balance the number of shoujo and Shounen series as well as present a good mix of classic and new content.
Anime clubs might sponsor any of these activities (or more):
- watching anime (usually subtitled, often fansubbed)
- reading manga (in Japanese, with online text translations, as scanlations, or professionally translated)
- watching anime music videos
- listening to J-Pop (Japanese pop music)
- maintaining a club library from which members can borrow material
- eating Japanese food as a group
- attending or volunteering at local anime conventions
- organizing outings for karaoke or to participate in Japanese cultural events
- sponsoring fansubs (more during the VHS era than today)
- playing video games
- sharing fanart and fanfiction
Each club has its own preferred activities and traditions, though showing anime is nearly universal. Membership is mostly free in the United States and Canada; some clubs in the United Kingdom and Australia charge for membership or showings.
- Sean Leonard. "Celebrating Two Decades of Unlawful Progress: Fan Distribution, Proselytization Commons, and the Explosive Growth of Japanese Animation". Archived from the original on 2022-06-18.
- Kelly Knox (June 7, 2021). "A Look Back at the Anime Clubs of the '90s". Funimation.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2023.