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The Anime Club is back. Here they are in costume. Summer Smith | Courtesy

The East meets the West at the revived Hillsdale College Anime Club.

The club meets Mondays at 7 p.m. in Lane 337 to watch and discuss anime, a form of Japanese art. Members said the club looks to bring a taste of Eastern culture to a college that has heavy emphasis on the Western tra­dition.

“We noticed there wasn’t that much rep­re­sen­tation of Eastern culture on campus,” Sec­retary Eric Rygh said. “We tend to get caught up in this insular echochamber with Western media.”

Although right now the club is mostly watching episodes of anime shows, Pres­ident junior Summer Smith said she hopes the club will grow and do more cosplay and take trips to con­ven­tions.

“Anime is Japan’s version of our Hol­lywood,” Smith said. “They use ani­mation, because live action costs a lot more to have special effects. It com­bines ani­mation and sto­ry­telling in a way that’s unique to Japan.”

For one of the club’s recent meetings, members attended a cosplay event at Hero’s Nest, Hillsdale’s comic book shop.

“It’s about anime, but there’s a lot more culture that’s involved in that,” Smith said. “One aspect of the anime culture is dressing up as char­acters from your favorite TV shows.”

Rygh said many people have a neg­ative per­ception of anime, since Western media uses ani­mation dif­fer­ently.

“I think the reason why people have this not-so-great impression of ani­mation overall is because car­toons haven’t been used to tell stories to the extent that they have been in the East,” Rygh said. “Anime has really well fleshed out char­acters, a strong plot, really good rela­tion­ships, a lot of good themes — any­thing you would find in a novel worth your time.”

The club’s members revived the group, after a pre­vious anime club became inactive. Reviving the anime club meets a need on campus, Vice Pres­ident sophomore Natalie Nickel said.

“We have the Sci-Fi/­Fantasy Club on campus,” Nickel said. “They don’t fill the gap of anime. It’s similar, but there are a lot of things that aren’t quite the same.”

And with many genres within the artform, anime always has some­thing unique to dis­cover, Nickel said.

“From what I have learned, anime is not what you ini­tially think it is,” Nickel said. “There’s so much variety. There’s some­thing for almost everybody.”