Anime Ascendant

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


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The Ultimate Anime Club Meeting Ideas and Activities List

“So…what’re we doing today?” The quizzical stares, the deer-in-the-headlight eyes, always haunt me at some of the meetings I held my first few attempts at creating a cool club meeting.

To avoid disastrous moments of awkward silence and “let’s get out of here” whispers, here are a few ideas you and your officers can do:

Icebreakers

Birthday Race – Make two teams. Within a time limit, the members must make a line sorted by birth dates. The team to make the line first is the winner.

Meishi or Business Card Game – Make pairs. Each pair will get a 3 cards. They’ll write their names on the cards. On the back of each card are stamps. Each stamp is worth different points. The members don’t know how much each stamp is worth until the end of the activity. Members will first introduce their friends (“This is Amy”). One person from each pair will janken or play Rock-Paper-Scissor. The winners will take one of the losers’ cards. Members who lose all of their cards must sit down. Once most of the class has sat down, the activity should end. Show the members the points per stamp. The pair with the most points wins.

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.

Suguroku – Give each member a worksheet. The members will play janken or Rock-Paper-Scissor with each other. The winner will become A. The loser will become B. The loser must answer the winner’s question and sign in the appropriate box. Now the winner can go forward by one box.

Truth or Lie – Members will say or write 3 things about themselves. Only 1 of the 3 statements will be a lie. The other members will guess which is a lie.

Parlor Games

Fruits Basket – The members will sit in a big circle. One chair will be removed, so one person will stand in the middle of the circle. The member in the center of the circle will say a statement about themselves (“I am sixteen years old”). If any of the sitting members can say the same thing about themselves (“I’m sixteen years old too”), they will change seats. When the moderator of the game says “Fruits Basket”, everyone will change seats.

The Hot Seat / Taboo – Members will split into teams. Each team will pick a new “hot seat” person. The “hot seat” person will sit in a chair facing their team. The “hot seat” person can’t see the board. The team will pick a category (ex: Japanese Food, Shoujo Anime). There are 10 words in each category (Shoujo Anime might have High School Debut, Ouran High School Host Club, Skip Beat, Honey x Clover, Otomen, Kimi ni Todoke, Lovely Complex, Peach Girl, NANA, Sailor Moon). The team can’t say any of the words in the category. They can only give hints to the word. Give them a time limit. If the “hot seat” person can say the words on the board within the time limit, they get one point per word.

 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.

Ninja – This game has the same rules as Red Light, Green Light.

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).

Activities

Cosplay contest.

Decorate paper fans.

Do a manga or anime swap.

Do a manzai, or stand-up comedy, day.

Do Japanese calligraphy. Get some Japanese calligraphy brushes, inks, and papers and learn to write basic kanji (calligraphy) or your names.

Do Japanese story-telling, or rakugo. You can watch a video, bring in a rakugo artist, or you can do it yourselves (think of it as funny campfire tales).

Have a haiku contest or haiku reading day.

Knit or crochet stuffed animals or mascots (also known as amigurumi).

Learn the borrowed Japanese words used in English.

Learn the dance steps to popular songs from artists like Vocaloid, AKB48, and ARASHI.

Look up popular Japanese fashions from Harajuku, Tokyo, and Shinjuku.

Make buttons with your favorite anime, manga, or Japanese characters.

Make felt animals or mascots.

Make hanging paper koi.

Make keychains with your favorite anime, manga, or Japanese characters.

Make paper lanterns.

Make T-shirts of favorite anime, manga, or Japanese characters.

Make your Japanese name. Find the meaning of your name in Japanese or make up your own Japanese name. Remember, the kanji, or Chinese characters, are important to the meaning of your Japanese name.

Origami cranes are great for cheering up any depressive souls. Japanese people usually make origami cranes when someone’s in the hospital. Did you know 1,000 cranes equals a wish?

Play go.

Play Inaka Basketball.

Play Othello/Reversi.

Play Sengoku. This is an old conquest game played in Japan. You will need a map of Japan with the prefectures clearly defined and a lot of magnets in three different colors. Put the members into teams of three. Each team will pick a Japanese unifier (Nobunaga, Toyotomi, or Tokugawa) and a color as their team name and “armies”. Pick a prefecture. One person from each team will stand up. The moderator will ask an anime- or Japan-related question. The first person to raise their hand and get the answer right wins the prefecture. The team who “conquers” the most prefectures is the game winner.

Play Shingo, or the Japanese chess.

Scavenger Hunt – Make a list of things to find using Japanese words.

Visit the Japanese Consulate in your area.

Movies/Videos

Watch an anime or Japanese movie. Before watching the video, please get the anime company’s screening permission.

Make an anime radio show or podcast.

Make an anime music video.

Guess that Anime Opener/Closer. Members will make teams. They will choose a category (ex: Shoujo Anime, Shounen Anime). The moderator will play an opening or closing song from an anime. Members will guess what anime it’s from.

Cooking

Have a Pocky party!

Invite a Japanese chef to show how to make a Japanese dish.

Make candy sushi.

Here are some more amazing ideas  from Sarah Amazing

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Summertime! What should my club be doing?

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It’s summer! Whoohoo!

Summer’s fun time, no-homework time, non-stop-movie-marathon time–I get it. I was there. I’m still there. But you know what summer time is for club officers and advisors? A good time to plan.

“Eeeeeeh?”

While everyone’s getting burnt on the beach, you and your pals can get a head start on this year’s club activities. I’m not saying you have to crawl out of bed at 8 AM and go to an officer meeting. I’m talking about planning stuff out before everyone comes back, sits in their chairs, and asks you, “What’re we doing today?”

It’s a good idea to plan now so that during the school year you and your club officers won’t be running around, scared that the food you ordered last minute won’t come in time, or the papers you didn’t get a month ago couldn’t sign themselves, or the guest you booked at the thirteenth hour suddenly bailed on you because you couldn’t pay them in  advance. Hey, it happens, but those types of things can be avoided by planning.

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This is what I recommend before bringing your ideas to all your officers:

1. Write down all the events and meeting ideas you want to do.

2. Make a yearly calendar with holidays and your school’s schedule. You can download a yearly calendar from Vertex42.

3. Make a yearly budget or budget each meeting. You can do this with your advisor and/or treasurer. If you don’t know what a budget looks like, you can download Anime Ascendant’s budget Excel file.

4. Make a contact list of all your officers. This should include full name, email address, and cell phone number.

After you’ve done this, you can talk to your officers about ideas and who help with those activities.

Here are a few ideas for what to do on your summer vacation as a club president/officer:

1. Do an officer retreat. This doesn’t have to be in a far away place. It can be at someone’s house for a few hours. Officer retreats are good for group bonding and making schedule decisions.

2. Do a conference call. If all the officers are far away, conference calls brings everyone together through Skype or a phone. It’s not as effective as an officer retreat when it comes down to group bonding, but at least you can get your schedules and duties down.

3. Create a yearly schedule and email it to your fellow officers. Set a deadline for officers to reply. If they don’t reply in time, call them and ask them. You can download a yearly calendar from Vertex42 (http://www.vertex42.com/calendars/).

4. Meet with officers in groups. Maybe some officers are off vacationing in Hawaii and others are on the opposite end of the state. Make an appointment and meet with several officers at a time or one on one. At each meeting, tell the attending officers what others have said about the activities and duties.


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Downloads

Need a document soft copy? Need some useful worksheets to make running an organization easier? These downloads are free and helpful!

Anime Club Contact List

Good for anyone to use as a contact list.

What’s a contact list? A contact list is a list showing any member’s information in case you would like to contact them for future events.

Why is it good to use? Whenever a member signs into a meeting or event, you can contact them for future events (see Marketing), add them to email lists, or use each sign in as a point (see Using a Point System).

Format: Word

Anime Club Event Checklist

A good checklist for planning an event.

I recommend every officer to use this!

Format: Word (to edit) and PDF (to write)

Budget Excel Worksheet

Good for officers trying to plan the year’s expenses.

Formulas are already in this worksheet so that your information can be added up automatically.

Format: Excel

Planning Film Guide (provided by High Plains Library District)

Great for people planning to screen any anime, movies, OVAs, and films.

Library clubs and school clubs can especially benefit from this guide.

Format: PDF

Point System Worksheet

Good for keeping a point system in your club.

Formulas are already in this worksheet so that you can calculate the points per member automatically.

Format: Excel


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Starting Out for Community Clubs

There are many routes you can take to start a community anime club.

1. Find members and meet up! Many times, people just meet friends who are anime fans. Later, more and more people get together, and soon, you’ve got yourself a full anime club.

2. Use online resources. Websites such as Meetup.com help to connect fans with other fans anywhere in the world. Facebook, Twitter, and Weebly.com are other resources you can use.

3. Start your own website and post the times and places of your club meetups.


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How to Spend Little Money on Everything

“How do I do events when there’s no money in the club?” First, you have to think about how to keep costs low. The best way is to plan ahead of time (weeks to months in advance) and ask for help.

 

For meeting rooms

If you’re a school or library club, ask your advisors for help. They can tell you where to reserve free rooms on campus or they may offer their room for use. Recognized university clubs may get assigned rooms through Student Services or they can book rooms in the libraries and around campus.

If you’re a community club, you can ask local cafes or restaurants to hold meetings. This gives cafes and restaurants a chance to get more customers. Mom-and-pop shops and small cafes are more likely to allow your club to meet there.

 

For places to hold a big event

If you’re a university club, there are many places on campus to hold a big party or event. Usually your Student Union is the best place to start because they offer recognized clubs discounted rates for good rooms. However, if you want to keep your costs down, use a classroom or a member’s place.

 

For food

Your club can ask restaurants and businesses for food donations. Make a small solicitation packet (only two pages) that says what event you’re doing and what your club will do for the business if they donate food. It’s better to meet the manager of a restaurant than to email the packet. Sometimes, restaurants give club discounts or coupons instead of a food donation.

 

If the restaurant or business will donate food, you must go through your student government (middle schools and high schools) or on-campus Food Services (universities) to get permission to serve their food.

 

Another option is to do a potluck-style event (best for small events that are not open to the public). Make a sign-up sheet with food categories (appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts) and have members and officers write down food they can bring.

 

For decorations

Banners, signs, piñatas, and labels can be made by your club members with paper, cardboard, paint, and markers. You can also find free printables from event-planning blogs and websites. For food placements (warming trays, cake stands, table covers, and serving utensils), borrow them from a local caterer or ask members to bring them. Flowers, vases, corsages, and ribbons can also be donated by a local florist. For balloons, all you need is helium, so go to a party shop and ask if they can blow up your balloons for a discount.

 

For entertainment

Ask your members or friends to perform or DJ. If you decide to get a performer or DJ from outside of your club, try to find performers from schools in the music department or performers from other clubs (ex: traditional dance performers from the Pacific Islander Student Association). They usually do performances for free or at a very low cost. No matter what performer(s) you go with, always negotiate any prices or pay-rates (money per hour). Also, university clubs can apply to their Student Services or student government (usually Associated Students) for an event sponsorship or grant.

 

For marketing

Use social media. It’s free and fast. The number one free and most effective way to spread the word is by visiting other clubs’ meetings and events and telling their members about the event. The most costly way to market an event is by using fliers. Ask your advisor(s) if they can print some fliers for your club. Another alternative is if each member prints a small set of fliers. Of course, this saves the money bank account, but you don’t want to spend money right out of your pockets, right? Again, use that solicitation packet and go to any local printing shops and businesses for sponsorships or discounts. Usually printing shops at universities tend to give clubs more discounts than chain printing shops. Also, don’t be afraid to go online and find some deals. Just make sure that you have a lot of time to receive the materials.

 

For T-shirts

Getting custom T-shirts made are very expensive. It could be anywhere from $10 per T-shirt to $25 per T-shirt depending on the design, colors, and print style. The cheapest way to make custom T-shirts is making them yourself. You can buy a pack of iron-on transparencies (around $8), print the design on the transparencies, and iron it onto a plain T-shirt ($5 to $10). There are no hidden fees such as design fees (usually $20 per design), color fees (adds $5 per color in the design), T-shirt fabric ($3 to $5 for low-quality cotton, $20 for organic cotton shirts or polos), or print style fees ($10 for heat transfer, $15 or $20 for screen-printing).


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Fundraising Ideas

Auction or Silent Auction

What is it? An auction is a sale, but everyone must bid on items. Only one person will win the item.

How do you do it?

Gather sellable things from members and donors. Set a place, date, and time, and market it. On the day of the auction, put the items in a safe place on or near the stage.

For a regular auction, give everyone paddles with numbers (a plastic fan with paper over it works). An item will be shown and the auctioneer will called out prices. When a person raises their paddle, they bid on the item at the price the auctioneer said. When time runs out, the last bidder will win the item.

For a silent auction, make papers where people can write down their bids and contact information. Write a starting bid for each item. When the time ends (maybe two hours later), announce the winners of the bids. Each winner will pay before receiving their items.

 

Suggestions

A silent auction can be part of any event. Just make sure the items are guarded well!

Interesting paintings, new shoes, clean statues, artistic ceramic, and jewelry usually sell at the highest price.

 

Bake Sale

What is it? A sale of food.

How do you do it?

Get volunteers to make or buy food (for school clubs, you must buy the food and get permission to sell the food). Set a place, date, and time, and market the event. On the day of the bake sale, put the food out and sell it.

 

Car Wash

What is it? A fundraiser washing people’s cars.

How do you do it?

Get a lot of volunteers (10 to 20 people). Find a place who will let you use their parking lot and water (usually a grocery store) and ask permission to use them. Set a date and time, and market the event. Get a hose, clean rags, car soap, tire cleaner, buckets, sponges, microfiber cloths, a table, and a cash box. On the day of the car wash, go to the parking lot with your volunteers and set up your buckets and things.

 

Suggestions

Make big signs and send a few volunteers to the intersections with a lot of traffic. Send a few volunteers to the parking lot and ask shoppers if they want a car wash.

 

Corporate Support

What is it? Any kind of donation from a corporation relating to Japanese culture.

How do you do it?

Make a solicitation packet, and send out copies to different corporations.

 

Dance or Party

What is it? An anime-themed or Japan-themed dance or party.

How do you do it?

Set a theme, place, date, and time for your dance or party. Put officers in charge of certain areas (ex: marketing, room rental or reservations, food, entertainment, decorations, tickets, set up, break down). Get the room reserved, do the marketing, buy the decorations, book the entertainment (DJ, band, performances, photography), decide on the food and get it approved, and sell tickets. Before the dance or party, the set up committee will put up decorations.

 

Suggestions

Make sure to confirm everything before the day of the dance. That means calling or visiting the entertainment, the food providers, and the room rental offices and getting verbal or written confirmation. Don’t sleep on getting that confirmation!

 

Grams

What is it? Grams are small packages or gifts sent from a customer to a receiver.

How do you do it?

Get your officers together and decide on the kind of grams you’d like to sell.

 

Suggestions

Deliver the grams on a holiday such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas time, or Halloween.

 

Raffle/Lottery

What is it? A raffle is a lottery fundraiser where members sell tickets. Usually the raffle tickets are two raffle tickets with the same number (one ticket for the buyer and one ticket for the seller).

How do you do it?

Club members will ask people if they would like to buy a raffle ticket. This will be done until the set date to pull one lucky ticket.

 

Suggestions

Make the prize something worthwhile.

 

Swap/Bazaar/Yardsale

What is it? A swap is similar to a bazaar or yardsale where someone sells used items.

How do you do it?

Collect used items from members. Set a date, time, and place and market the event. Get permits, tables, and price tags. On the day of the event, set up the tables and put price tags on all the items.

 

Suggestions

Send members out to recruit some potential customers.

 

Eating Contest

What is it? An eating contest is an event where five to seven contestants eat one kind of food as fast as they can.

How do you do it?

Get five to seven people to eat the food. Find a food vendor and location to do the event. Set a date and time and market the event. On the day of the event, charge attendees at the door and set up the food.

 

Suggestions

Get a very good announcer. It’ll make a world of difference!

 

Writing Contest

What is it? A writing contest is an event where writers can submit their best written works for a chance to win something.

How do you do it?

Create a low entrance fee (usually somewhere around $5 per submission). Pick a last day to enter the contest and a few members to judge the entries. Market the contest. When the contest closes, judge all the entries and announce the winner(s).

 

Suggestions

When charging an entry fee, make sure that the prize is big.

Market writing contests on Twitter, Facebook, and your club’s website.


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Officers: 6 Ways to Communicate

1. Don’t assume anything. Don’t assume that a job is finished until you have results or proof. Don’t assume someone knows something until it’s confirmed. Meet with officers (individually or as a group) to follow up on tasks, receive receipts or confirmation emails, and see the product that needed to be purchased. Don’t rely on word of mouth confirmations, “Yes”, or “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Get concrete confirmation.

 

2. Create a contact list of all officers and members. For members, have them sign in for meetings.

 

3. Use the contact list. Send weekly emails to officers, and send monthly emails to members. Emails should be the first communication for non-urgent events and news.

 

4. Follow up on emails, especially important ones, by calling the person or asking in person.

 

5. If an officer can’t do a task, give it to another officer who can or do it yourself.

 

6. Don’t force your ideas onto anyone or the rest of the group. Sometimes, when officers who’ve been club members for a while, or they’re just control freaks, try to negate new ideas from others, the atmosphere becomes sour. (From personal experience, I’ve had to deal with presidents who always said, “No” to new or recycled ideas not in use. Not only that, they pushed unpopular and useless ideas onto officers and members, and sometimes, resorted to behind-the-back tactics that betrayed everyone’s trust. Slowly, officers and members found themselves disconnected, and they chose not to be a part of the club anymore. That sourness and disconnection becomes part of the club’s reputation, and recruiting members for the club becomes a bigger hardship.)