Anime Ascendant

An anime club help site that offers small sponsorships, useful downloads, club ideas, and advise


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How Do I Keep My Anime Club From Falling Apart?

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How Do I Keep My Anime Club From Falling Apart?

I’m trying to make my club better. We’re halfway through the year and our club is basically tearing apart. It was going well at the beginning of the year but now it’s getting boring (and people are leaving).

Besides, “What do I do?”, the real question here is, “How do I keep my club from falling apart halfway through the year?”

Why It Happens

Usually when that happens, it’s because there isn’t structure (consistent and interesting screenings or officer presence) or there aren’t any new ideas coming through the regular meetings (same thing every week in and out).
One other thing: usually when a group falls apart, it may be because there is someone or something that is really negative. People don’t want to feel any negativity since they’re using your group as an escape from it. Pinpoint that negative piece and take it out, even if it is an officer, because that negativity will drive members away for at least 2 or 3 years.

What to Do

After the Officer Meeting: Once you’ve figured out what’s making your group so boring, negative, or complacent and you’ve talked it over with your officers, send out an email saying that things have changed and why. Apologize for the hiccup and show how you’re changing–and how they can become active members to make your anime club the best club at your school. An example of this type of communication is Domino’s, who used study groups to make new and better pizzas, and sent out flyers and emails apologizing and saying how they’ve changed. Now Domino’s is on the same playing field as Pizza Hut and Little Caesar’s.
Activities: Change how a meeting is run like putting a loyal member in charge of a regular meeting or do mini activities like scavenger hunts, guest speakers, and parties. Check out “Fundraising Ideas Inspired by Japanese School Festivals” and “The Ultimate Anime Club Meeting Ideas and Activities List“.
Marketing: The way to get people to return is to also look at your marketing. Are you guys putting up flyers and talking to friends? Are you emailing folks about your meetings and events? I would sit down with your president and the other officers and see how you can get people interested in the club and/or anime again.
If you don’t think these will work or it’s too late for them to work, still do them and come up with a game plan for next year to prevent this from happening. Planning ahead will fix many hiccups along the way.
Hope this helps!
Do you have some other ideas for solving this problem? Leave a comment!
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Activities for Shy Members

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Activities for Shy Members

Imagine looking at room of 10 or 20 excited club members who are painfully shy to get up and do Interview Bingo for a game. What do you do? How do you move to a different activity without losing face?

Here are a few activities to get shy yet adamant club members into activities.

1. Give or Take

On the board, create a 4×4 or 5×5 grid. Number each box.

Club members will be teams. Make sure to group each team by number (ex. Team 1, Team 2, etc.).

Each team will number off their teammates. #1 teammates will stand up. Ask a question anime related. Whichever team raises their hand fastest and gets the correct answer will have a chance to pick a number on the grid.

2. Hungry Monkey (adaption to Hungry Santa above)

Make teams of 4 or more and give them a team number. Write 1-6 on the board, or if you plan on using this game more times, make flashcards. Next to the odd numbers (1,3,5), draw pictures of monkeys. Next to the even numbers (2,4,6), draw bananas. On the side, number off by how many teams there are (ex. 5 teams means numbering 1 to 5). Give each team 5 points.

Each team will number off their teammates. #1 teammates will stand up. Ask a question anime related. Whichever team raises their hand fastest and gets the correct answer will have a chance to give points to a team or take points for themselves. Once that’s decided, the team rolls a die. If the die lands on an odd number (1,3,5), it means minus points. If the die lands on an even number (2,4,6), it means plus points.

If a team rolls a one (1), it means minus all that picked team’s points.

If a team rolls a six (6), it means either plus 6 points, a prize, or roll again for plus points–it’s up to you.

The team with the most points wins.

3. Karuta

Make many cards with Japan-related pictures (kimono, chopsticks, rice, sushi, sashimi). Put the members in small groups. Each group will get a set of the cards and they will spread them out evenly on the tables. The caller (whomever is calling out the Japanese words) will say the words in Japanese. The members must hit the correct picture card to get a point. The member with the most picture cards is the winner.

4. Pass the Present

Wrap a small present with 6 to 10 layers of wrapping paper or newspaper. Play a Japanese song as the members pass the present around. When the music stops, the member holding the present must answer a question before unwrapping a layer. The game ends when someone finally unwraps the last layer and claims the present.

5. Shiritori

One person says or writes a title or word from an anime, manga, Japanese video game, song, or movie. The next person will say or write a word starting with the last letter from the first person. For example, if Person A says “Dragon Ball”, Person B will say a word starting with L (Love Hina, Legal Drug, Loveless).

Do you have any activities or games for shy club members? Leave a comment!


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Back2School Back2Anime: The First 3 Meetings

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Figuring out how you’re going to start your anime club is part of the fun as an officer–but not when you’re scrabbling for ideas. The first 3 meetings are the most important meetings of the each semester. It’ll let your members know whether or not they want to join or disappear.

Here is an outline for your first 3 meetings to guide you:

Meeting One: The Introductions

-Ice Breaker: Get to know the members and let them get to know you.

Try Anime Bingo as an ice breaker: Anime Bingo 4×4 (docx) (for smaller clubs) and Anime Bingo 5×5 (docx) (for bigger clubs)

-Officer Introduction: Each officer introduces themselves.

-Club Introductions: Talk about what the club does, member dues, and how they can help make the club better

-Activity: Play a game that will have information about the officers and what the club does.

-Member Survey or Feedback Cards: Have each member finish a survey or feedback card.

 

Meeting Two: The Re-Introductions

-Ice Breaker: Get to know the members and let them get to know you.

Use this ice breaker to review or reintroduce the club information from the first meeting.

-Introduce what the club will do

-Activity

-Feedback or Suggestion Cards: Have each member finish a feedback or suggestion card on what the club should do next meeting.

 

Meeting Three: The Sell

-Ice Breaker: Get to know the members and let them get to know you.

Use this ice breaker to review or reintroduce the club information from the first meeting.

-Introduce what the club will do

-Activity or Special Guest

-Announcements or Open calls for committee members: Use this time to announce upcoming meetings, fundraisers, conventions, or events. Also be sure to include members in sub-committees and groups for special projects.

-Feedback or Suggestion Cards: Have each member finish a feedback or suggestion card on what the club should do next meeting.

If you need more ideas, please go to The Ultimate Anime Club Meeting Ideas and Activities List. If there is something specific you’re looking for and can’t find it, comment below or contact us.


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How to Get Businesses to Donate to Your Club or Event

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How to Get Businesses to Donate to Your Club or Event

Looking for a business to donate to your club or event? Here’s a letter for you to take or send to businesses you want to donate to your club or event.

  1. Please fill in and review the information in the letter (see below for template). Make sure to un-bold all of the <bold areas> with your current information.
  2. Make a list of all the restaurants and stores in the area (see below for template). If you are looking for specific things (ex. science stuff, geek gear, cooking supplies), try to target specific businesses. If you’re looking for art or craft supplies, put your local Michael’s, Jo-Ann’s Fabrics, and Dick Blick on the list.
  3.  Once you’ve completed the letter, make several copies, and put each one into envelopes addressed to each restaurant or store.
  4. Go to the restaurants and stores on your list. It’s always better to go in person if you can. It’s better for you and another officer to visit these places together. When you go to the restaurants and stores, ask for the manager, tell the manager about the event (do NOT say party), and give them the letter. If the manager or owner is not present at that time, tell the waiter/clerk to give it to them. It’s best if you and whoever is going with you knows most of the details of the event in case the managers ask you questions. Also, it’s good to know exactly what you’re going to do for their business if they sponsor you.
  5. Follow up before the form submission deadline (you’ll decide that).

Please keep in mind that being organized and having all of your event details sorted out. If you don’t have the date, time, venue, and expected number of attendees, you most likely won’t get donations. It’s a give-and-take world, and you have to know how to play it.

Do not send this letter 2 weeks before your event. It’s better to send it 4 weeks before your event so that if the business has to mail back the form, it’ll reach you in time.

If you want to step up your game, you can also put a self-addressed envelope in the letter as well. On top of that, if you’ve sent out the letters to businesses and you haven’t heard back after 2 weeks, give the manager a call or send a thank-you card to them as a reminder. Maybe the letter got stuck underneath a pile of snail mail (which is why it’s better to hand the manager a letter).

Letter_to_Vendors – Excel (.docx) format

List of Vendors Template – Excel (.xlsx) format

Need a hand? You can contact me through email or find me on Skype at jeridel[dot]banks. Please make sure to indicate that you found me through Anime Ascendant, or I’ll decline any requests and emails.


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Anime Club Game Idea: Sugoroku (Japanese Backgammon)

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Anime Club Game Idea: Sugoroku (Japanese Backgammon)

A fun way to get to know your members is to play a Japanese game called Sugoroku. We also included the Japanese version of rock-scissors-paper, janken, so your anime club members don’t scramble around looking for their dice.

What is Sugoroku?

Sugoroku, which translates to “child’s dice game” or “Japanese backgammon”, is a game similar to American board games. Players usually throw dice and move around a board. Because we’re short on dice, we are using janken or rock-scissors-paper to decide who gets to move to the next boxes.

How to Play Sugoroku

❶ Play janken, or rock-paper-scissors.  Winner will be A. Loser will be B.

❷ A (Winner) will ask B (Loser) the question.

❸ B (Loser) will answer the question and sign their name on A’s paper.

❹ A (Winner) can move to the next box/question. Sorry, B, try again!

Worksheet

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There are 2 formats available for this game.

Sugoroku – PDF

Sugoroku – DOCX

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Fundraising Ideas Inspired by Japanese School Festivals

School festivals are central to all manga and anime centering around Japanese schools as well as Japanese society.

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Everyone participates in the school festivals, even the foreign English teachers like myself. Last year, I was faced with the school festival, and though I wanted to do something as typical as a cafe, rules kept the maid outfits at bay. “There are only two places where food can be made, and they’ve already been claimed,” a teacher told me with a sympathetic smile. “You’ll have to come up with some other idea for the English Club.”

Great. I guess my anime dreams of doing a maid cafe couldn’t come true. Ideas, I thought, I need ideas. Of course, my students couldn’t come up with anything. You’ll find that unless you offer Japanese kids ideas, you won’t come up with anything concrete.

For those of you in the same situation or you want to do a fundraiser, here’s a list of ideas you can do with a small club (3 to 5 members) or more.

1. Cake Walk (Musical Chairs + Raffle): Use Daiso vinyl tape and make footprints or circles on the floor into one big circle. Put numbers in each circle. Participants will stand on the circles, and when the music starts, they will walk to each circle. When the music stops, a number will be called. The participant on the called number will win a cake or a prize. For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cakewalk_(carnival_game) . (A similar game in Japan is called Fruits Basket.)

2. Costume Booth (Halloween Japanese traditional wear or costume + Photography): Get a lot of costumes and props. Designate someone who will print pictures and put them in cellophane holders. Participants will pick what costumes they want and the theme of their photograph.

3. Skit: Pick a Western Japanese-origin plays or skit such as Momotarou (“Peach Boy”), Tsuru no on-gaeshi (“The Crane Wife”), Issun-boushi (“The One-Inch Boy”), or Kobutori jiisan (“The Old Man with a Lump”). Adjust the script, pick the actors, and perform the skit on stage.

4. Names in Cursive Japanese: For more artistic people, participants will get their names written in pretty cursive. If you’re into graffiti, do names in graffiti.

5. Dance: Do a traditional dance from a different country (i.e. Philippine’s tinikling or binasuan or Mexico’s folklorico) a Japanese prefecture such as eisa (Okinawa) or the Lantern Dance (Kanagawa).

6. Western Eastern bazaar: Get lots of new knickknacks (stickers, posters, bilingual books, toys, stuffed animals, bracelets, snacks, etc.). Set up a booth or room with the items all tagged with prices. Get a register or cash box and put someone responsible for it.

7. English wanage (Ring Toss): Make rings and stands out of cardboard and tape. (I would use Daiso colored tape to make the rings and stands more interesting, seeing that cardboard is pretty ugly.) Use vinyl tape as a distance marker. Give participants the rings and prizes after they’ve gotten the rings on the stands successfully. For an English Japanese-involved ring toss, put pictures on the stands. Show the participants an English Japanese word. They will throw the ring onto the matching picture of the English Japanese word.

8. Basket Toss: Make balls out of tape and set up cardboard boxes. For an English Japanese-involved basket toss, put pictures on the boxes. Tell the participant an English Japanese word, and they will throw the ball into the matching picture. You can also do this with teachers’ pictures and tell the participants a teacher’s profile (where they’re from, the subject they teach, the homeroom they’re in charge of).

9. Western Anime Cafe: Pick any theme for your cafe. Get refreshments (cupcakes, brownies, muffins, breads), drinks, utensils, table clothes, napkins, and props that fit the theme. Set up nice tables and have the club members be waiters (make shifts!). Customers will come and order food and drinks from an all-English Japanese menu. The waiters will take the orders in English Japanese as best as they can. For the non-food option, still set up the cafe the same way but make a separate table with different candies, knickknacks, and lots of gift wrapping materials (ribbons, wrapping paper, tape, scissors, cellophane bags, hole punches, and stickers). Customers will look at a menu of themes and make a gift for their friends, parents, or lovers. The waiters will only clean up after the customers and offer suggestions to them.

10. Movie: Make a movie with the club before the school festival (summer vacation is the best time to do this if your festival is later on in the year). Sit down with the club, write the script, schedule times to film, practice all the scenes, film, edit, and add Japanese subtitles.

11. English Japanese Scavenger Hunt: Give attendees a scavenger hunt paper with tasks such as “Find three married teachers” (3人の結婚したの教師を探してください). If they complete the task, they get a stamp on their paper. They can show their stamps at one location (if you have no room, use a kiosk or table-top cart) and get prizes. If you’re looking for examples of this kind of activity, it has been done at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Okinawa for their annual festivals (おきなわ国際協力・交流フェスティバル[English][Japanese] ).

If you’re having trouble coming up with school festival ideas for your anime club, just think of a fundraiser or carnival event and try that.


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Fundraising Ideas from a Charity

Looking for some more fundraising ideas? Need some volunteering help? The Water Project, a non-profit organization that gives clean water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa, has a list of fundraising ideas for you and your club. Some of the fundraisers include 2-week water challenges, water races, and water parties as ideas that can help your club and give to the charity.

For ideas, please go to http://thewaterproject.org/resources/fundraisingideas_2012.pdf (a PDF).