Abilene Public Library’s Anime Club dissolved earlier this year, but demand from local citizens may revive the club in the near future.
Jessica Reyes and Marianne Vagdney (’05), library assistants at the Abilene Public Library’s South Branch, founded the club six years ago.
The Anime Club closed last year when the company that distributed free anime materials to the library shut down due to pirates illegally downloading their material, eliminating their ability to make a profit.
“We completely understand what the production companies are going through, and advise the people who truly enjoy anime to buy their companies work instead of illegally downloading it, in order for the company they’re supporting to stay in business,” Reyes said.
Anime Club meetings were held at the library auditorium once a month during the school year. Normal meetings would attract about 50-60 people. But during the time when the Anime Club was closing down, there was still a stable support system of 18-25 people at each club meeting.
During meetings they played games, learned the months of the year in Japanese, made origami, had drawing and coloring tutorials, played Anime Jeopardy and watched two episodes a day. They also had a lot of art contest sponsored by Tokyo Pop, which supplied the prizes, but they too also closed due to illegal downloading.
“I have always loved cartoons since I was a child, and I started liking it with a great amount of passion in high school when Japanese cartoons started to air in America. Although I enjoyed American cartoons, Japanese cartoons influenced me more because of the creativity in their story lines compared to American cartoons,” Vagdney said.
According to Reyes, they have thought about resuming Anime Club meetings. Although they will not be able to watch Anime they would still teach about Japanese culture in Anime and Manga. But that thought is still up in the air as of now.
“We want to go ahead and thank the American Distributors of Anime and especially Funimation for everything they have done with the club,” Reyes said.