With nearly 13 years of history at Weber State, the Wyvern Anime Club continues to be a place for diverse and creative students to come together and share their love for anime.
Starting in an unused basement with only a few members, Wyvern has grown from its humble beginnings and is opening this year with several new changes.
One of those changes came when Jules Britt, a member of the anime club, was nominated to be president.
“I’ve been in the anime club for about four years,” Britt said. “I’ve been sort of the AV man for two years until I was nominated.”
For Britt, carrying around his bulky desktop and setting up audio is a thing of the past. Being the president, his new focus this year is getting the anime club more recognition across campus.
“I’m thinking we might want to try and get our name out a little more,” said Britt, who added they get roughly 20 to 30 students to participate in their weekly gatherings.
Sometimes packed to the brim, room 404 on the fourth floor of the Shepherd Union building is home for the anime club.
Meeting every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., these anime lovers gather to watch and discuss several episodes of anime. They focus on adult-themed anime, but for the most part anything goes.
“You’ve got really wide ranges of anime,” Britt said. “I like the older anime, but some people like to put on the kiddy anime.”
Anime is a form of Japanese animation that is primarily derived from manga, Japanese comic books. However, for some members, it isn’t just about watching anime, but also for talking about the meaning behind every episode.
“I mainly enjoy discussing the anime and what goes into it,” said Andrew Hanney, WSU freshman and club member. “We even talk about what’s going on underneath the surface to see if there’s anything deeper there.”
This is Hanney’s first year as part of the anime club. He said he’s really excited to be part of the anime community and is looking forward to watching new anime.
Christopher David Ekstrom, club president for Doctor Who in Utah and a former member of the Anime Club, believes that anime can also be a way of life.
“I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and the animation style was just different. It wasn’t until anime started becoming more popular realized what it was,” said Ekstrom.
However, according to Jonathon Taylor, four-year member of the club, anime isn’t all they do. They also cosplay, which is designing costumes based on fictional characters.
Along with these weekly activities, the club is also treated to a monthly anime movie at the Wildcat Theater.
“For those who can’t make it for six straight hours of anime, there’s always movie night,” said Taylor.
However, along with watching anime, members of the club also participate in other activities such as popular table-top games like “Dungeons & Dragons,” board games and console games.
According to Taylor, the games can get a little intense depending on who’s playing. But for Taylor, there’s more to the games than just winning. For him, it’s a creative outlet to express himself while having fun with friends.
“Those (games) are a lot of fun and another great way to meet like-minded people,” Taylor said. “This is probably the most fun club I’ve had at college.”
According to Britt, working on getting the website updated and getting all the events scheduled and organized is their main goal.
Ekstrom said getting all the fan groups in Utah into one central database for people to find is also one of their goals.
Although no huge plans are going to be implemented, Britt is still excited to welcome new people to the club.
“It’s an open environment for anybody who wants to come and have a good time,” he said.