Bangalore Anime Club

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BAC

It is generally assumed that cartoons are for kids, and yet there so very many adults who prefer watching cartoons over other genres of television entertainment. Cartoons are just animated figures which mostly are based on a loose script and aimed at children for the most part. Its apt to say that if there are adults who like cartoons, it means they like things that are designed with a much younger generation in mind.

There is one excellent form of ‘cartoon,’ if that might help first-timers understand, which suits all sorts of mindsets, genres and to simply put it, is just fine to be watched by people of all ages—although some (or many) have ratings which are best to be carefully observed and considered.

Our generation may be familiar with some popular animated shows that used to be aired on Cartoon Network channel before with the Beyblade and the Dragonball series, and of course, the globally known Pokemon series. These three shows have something in common and that oneness is not that they are mere cartoons, or that they garner a huge population of fans, but its just that they are all anime.

Googling on what anime is would give so much of technical terms perhaps, if read on Wikipedia which is usually the first link that pops up on Google search. So the question as to how to define anime without the Greek-and-Latin would be to ask an anime fan, who would always enthusiastically tell you to your face that anime is life. If that answer is too straight-forward and overwhelming to a beginner, then perhaps this might help: anime is short for the word ‘animation’ in Japanese, and all Japanese-produced animated shows are called so, and anime itself is a unique category; it is not to be viewed as a sub-sect of cartoons. Common features in all anime can be distinguished on how the characters look, dress and talk, and also the setting in the shows are based on Japanese environments making anime to be easily identified.

Anime is currently an ultra large movement in the world and there are innumerable fans, and it might be fair enough to say that each one is a die-hard fan. It is quite common that in places where good populaces of anime fans reside, there forms a club and with that club do they strive their best to further propagate anime and its sub-cultures.

With its inception on the fifth of February, 2006, thanks to the wonderful will of two anime enthusiasts in the city—Anand and Vishnu for its co-founders—the Bangalore Anime Club is now a vibrant, and bustling association comprised of anime fans here in the city. As all start-ups, this club was small at the beginning, but as word spread, and more people became interested, it gave way for the modest club population to slowly expand and swell out. A blog was maintained in the beginning with detailed entries as what happened on every meet, and is a wonderful read, for the energetic spirit of the members to keep the club going on though there were less people is shown outright in it. The blog is a must read and is inspirational for the mentioned reason. The link is: http://goo.gl/oyHzpx

To best relate to explaining about the Bangalore Anime Club, I think it good to narrate my experiences with them since my initiation into the club. It was at the Japan Habba (Japan Festival) at the Bangalore University’s auditorium that I chanced upon the knowledge of the club’s existence in February 2011. To say I was excited and happy would be an understatement. There were very few anime fans back then to the best of my knowledge and to find another anime fan, with whom I could scream in joy and fan-girl with was a rarity. That being said, it was a monumental moment for me to see a stall erected by the club at a corner of the auditorium selling anime merchandise in the form of posters, postcards, and to know what anime fans think about the genre, they had a survey going on and I faced some detailed quizzing by a member, following which I was given a chocolate whose strong outer covering was emblazoned with an anime girl’s face. I bought a poster, and happily left the stall after I was told my name would be enlisted for a raffle by the club.

It was another milestone for me to win the raffle at my first BAC meet, where there were a good number of members assembled. I recall there were talks of what the members’ opinion of this anime they’d recently watched, a role-playing game where everyone took part in, and the meet concluded after there were half-hearted discussions of how best we thought we ought to promote the club. While that day being my first, I was excited a little too much and volunteered to be active for all things discussed when the President—Red Ronin—came up to me and told me gently that he wanted to keep my priorities right, that I being a student should focus on my academics and anime when I’m free. It hit me then that there was a man of good sense and views to manage the club.

It was thanks to BAC that I snagged an all-paid scholarship to Japan—the holy land of all anime fans—for two weeks in the same year that I joined the club and this is how BAC is very close to my heart on a personal level. There were regular meets, and the birth of our very own band where we tried to cover anime songs, but the band had to submerge soon for the ones involved in it were not available to be frequent enough for the band to go on. My story with BAC is pretty much in a standstill after this venture owing to academics.

The Bangalore Anime Club as of now is an amazing success, and its growth is rapid on all accounts. Garnering more members over the years, who have remained steadfast to promoting the club, and mainly to spread awareness of anime is one thing that is almost a blessing for the club. These members have helped to branch out BAC in all the sub-cultures of anime. Currently, BAC is into cosplay, has a new and improvised anime band going on great and much more.

Cosplay is where fans dress up as their favorite characters and enact them, and a few members of BAC have went on to win international recognition—with one person having won a free entry to the Comic Con held at New York for having the won the Delhi Comic Con in India. More cosplay enthusiasts are being born who just about bring the hobby on another level. Members trade things like wigs, or props if another needs it, and though this hobby is quite tough to retain, it is going on with good grace in the club with a large number practicing cosplay.

BAC has now a proper, and most wonderful anime band who simply rock. Their debut performance at the Japan Habba 2014 was a huge hit, and really left people asking for an encore. Furthermore, the band also performs while in their full-fledged cosplay gear, showing they’re not just another garage band out there. The band covers popular anime songs, and themes.

An interview by two Japanese people from an East Asian television channel took place last year; the small crew of two apparently had got wind about BAC somehow and wanted to know all about the club. A date was fixed upon which the interview took place, and thus BAC is now international, too.

Some members are skilled at art, and the art they produce based on anime is printed onto posters of different sizes, postcards, bookmarks and such which are sold at the Club’s stall at the Japan Habba every year to promote anime and encourage and members at anime art, and the fund raised is used for the Club’s expenditure. It is to be noted that all artwork in the materials created and sold are the members’ own artistic creations, for copied artwork is not encouraged in BAC.

A Facebook page where most members are active exists, and so there are accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Orkut, too for BAC for the fans to follow the club’s news and activities, with each member handling a social platform each. The club has meetings whenever possible to discuss anything and everything about anime, and also to convene talks on the progress of cosplay or other club activities. The Facebook page is the most active and here is the link for it: http://goo.gl/VKB0v1

BAC is now gearing up for the upcoming Bangalore Comic Con, to amaze and stupefy everyone on their home turf, where they will be a bigger and better Club, with enough zing in them to show the world what they have got.

 

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