Libraries all over the world offer anime clubs and the benefits are endless. As a library worker, you are offering a space for teens with similar interests to meet and create new friendships. Anime clubs provide opportunities to provide unique cultural experiences while never leaving town. Anime clubs can also lead to other programs such as drawing, cooking, and using cosplay as a STEAM activity.
In the beginning, offering a monthly anime club was difficult because we were novices to this world. We began by checking our circ stats to discover the most popular mangas and used those titles as themes. Once we had a dedicated group of teens, we allowed them to facilitate their club and we offered support such as purchasing supplies and assisting with setup/clean up. By allowing the teens to take over the club, they gained confidence and as a result the club grew in attendance and enrichment.
Below you will find a list of our most popular themes and activities.
Sailor Moon-This was our most popular meeting. The teens watched Sailor Moon and made t-shirts using stencils and bleach. We purchased a Crunchyroll membership with our Apple TV but you can purchase Crunchyroll online.
Pokemon-We hosted Pokemon several months before Pokemon Go but this was also an extremely popular theme. Activities included a Pikachu ear craft, mini Pokemon tourneys, and Pokerap karaoke.
Studio Ghibli Movie Marathon-Teens tried Ramune and mochi ice cream while watching anime.
Dragonball Z-Teens learned how to make bobo tea and we had a scavenger hunt. Someone hid a Dragon Ball while everyone watched the Superman vs. Goku video.
Attack on Titan vs. Tokyo Ghoul-Teens made buttons that represented which show they liked the most, they discussed/debated the pros and cons of both shows, tasted Japanese Oreos, and made eyepatches out of felt and yarn.
One Piece-Teens tried weird fruit and used the green screen to pose in wanted posters.
Made March-Teens watched Kaichou wa mai and Maid Latte Team. Teens also watched Youtube videos of people who visited the Maid Cafe in Japan. The craft of the day was maid headbands.
Other Anime Club Themes:
Bento Box challenge-For the challenge, we supplied a variety of vegetables, fruit, rice, and candy. Teens had 60 minutes to make a Bento Box.
Christmas in Japan-We ate KFC because that’s what Japanese people eat on Xmas, and watched Christmas themed anime.
Valentine’s Day in Japan-The teens made chocolate cups and took pictures of Kabe–don, “wall-pounding,” which is when a guy suddenly thrusts his hand against a wall, pinning a girl to it. It’s one type of situation that’s widely desired by various females and featured commonly in manga.
Manga Drawing 101-We invited a local artist to teach teens the basics of drawing manga and anime characters.
Field Trips-Many cities have Japanese grocery stores that sell all types of food, books, and toys. If you have a store nearby, rent a bus and take a field trip.
Dawn Abron is currently reading-The Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller