Anime Ascendant

An anime club help site that offers advice and support

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New Year’s Paper Fortune (おみくじ) for Your Club

New Year’s is a big holiday in Japan. People sometimes wear traditional robes and go to the shrines to pray for a year of good luck. At the shrines, people usually get a paper fortune, or omikuji (おみくじ). These fortunes tell the person if they will have good or bad luck during the year along with some warnings or predictions.

New Years Fortune ThumbFor your club meeting, you can have members pull their own paper fortune. You can download the PDF or Word document. Each fortune is different.

What happens if you pull a fortune that has bad luck? You fold it and tie it to a tree branch. This will ensure that the bad luck won’t come near you.

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Anime Club Game Idea: Sugoroku (Japanese Backgammon)


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!



There are 2 formats available for this game.

Sugoroku – PDF

Sugoroku – DOCX







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On Power Levels (Anime Club Escapades: 11/22/2014)

This brings up a good issue for anime clubs: looking at your members and seeing what they want to do and what kind of anime fans they are.

Perpetual Morning

We managed to bring 21 people to Little Tokyo this quarter. Meaning, we had more than two people who were able to drive people down to Los Angeles. Obviously this meant that we were going to have a bigger retention rate than previous years, since you can’t really live down the fact that you went with a bunch of strangers through the hell that is L.A. traffic and ate all of the ramen. No, seriously, all of the ramen. There were three notable ramen places in the district and we went to two of them on the same day. For me, however, it meant a larger sample size to figure out power levels.

In anime-related forums, most notably /a/, it refers to the fact that one watches anime or reads manga. It is usually used in the context of keeping it a secret from others.

Urban Dictionary

Secrecy is…

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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.


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: . (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 (a PDF).

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Member Survey for Your Anime Club

A good way to find out what your club wants is by doing a survey. You can plan meetings and events that your club members will like, which means they’ll keep coming to your club. This survey can also be part of a new member’s starter kit to make your club more official and welcoming for newbies.

Member Survey (Word)

Member Survey (PDF)

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How to Spend Little to No Money


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).

I need more help!

If there isn’t an item here you’d like advice on, please comment or you can find Advisor Jd on Skype at handle jeridel.banks on Fridays (US) and Saturdays (Japan).