Troy University Anime and Manga Enthusiasts (AME), as the name indicates, is an organization on campus for fans of Japanese animation and comic books.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anime as a style of animation originating in Japan that is characterized by stark, colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots, often with fantastic or futuristic themes.
According to Brigham Schellinger, a senior political science and criminal justice double major from Mobile and the president of AME, anime is a highly stylized form of animation.
“It has a great following in the United States, mostly through popular shows like Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon,” Schellinger said. “I myself got started by watching shows on Cartoon Network growing up.”
AME meets every Monday when school is in session at 6 p.m. in Patterson room 302.
According to Schellinger, the club has a different theme for every month. This February, all activities of AME will be revolving around romance.
AME also has a rotating schedule. There will be an anime night, a movie night, a topic night where members spend time discussing a specific topic like the history of anime, anime culture or cosplay and a manga night.
Nik Knighten, a senior computer science major from Troy, said anime night is his favorite.
“We arrange each anime night by genre and put up a poll for everyone to vote for what show we want to watch,” Knighten said.
He said he loves watching anime with a group.
“I enjoy watching it by myself, but being able to see someone else having an emotional response to something is much more enjoyable,” Knighten said.
“At first glance, people will think that anime is for kids; however, anime has much more to it than that,” said Schellinger. “There is a diverse variety of genres that you can basically find anything you like, from dramas, romances, to actions, schools, etc.”
Schellinger said he got into anime because of the animation quality and the fact that anime doesn’t treat viewers like children.
“They are not simple or episodic like normal cartoons,” he said. “They all have diverse plotlines continuing from week to week that I really enjoy.”
Knighten said he likes anime because it allows the creator the freedom to portray scenarios they couldn’t achieve with live actors or even spending millions of dollars on special effects.
“They can take something as mundane as office work or school and embed them with funny scenarios and plot twists.”
Schellinger said he learned about Japanese cultures in several ways through watching anime.
“There are certain shows that are more informative than others with snapshots of Japan and its culture in them,” he said.
Members who were once just strangers sharing the same passion become close friends.
“AME was really just friends turning Monday get-togethers into a club,” Knighten said.
Anyone interested in anime or manga can find more information on its official Facebook page: Troy University Anime and Manga Enthusiasts.