During her freshman year, Kailey Prior, now a senior in fine arts, attended the Kansas State Anime and Manga Society, as a friend of hers was running the club.
“I wasn’t really popular in high school, it was a rural high school, and nobody really listened to me,” Prior said. “When I went to this club, I would say a little joke under my breath and then everyone would laugh.”
Prior kept returning because of the environment — now she’s the co-president.
“It’s such a good atmosphere for people,” she said. “We don’t really judge a whole lot.”
About 20 people usually show up to each meeting, but club members often show up an hour ahead of time just to hang out.
“I really do like it,” Prior said. “We have a lot of autistic people in club. I have two brothers with autism, and I feel like that makes things a little easier for me to run, because I can be accommodating. We have a lot of people who like anime who are also autistic and I feel like that’s a safe place for them as well.”
Co-president Justin Wright, senior in journalism and mass communications, said his favorite aspect of anime is the stories.
“The way that they tell stories in anime — anime and manga — it’s different than the way that a lot of Americanized TV shows will do it,” Wright said. “They’re just able to do things that we can’t really do that well here.”
For Prior, it’s the shock factor and the expectation of the unexpected.
“I think it’s just fun because you don’t expect a lot of things,” she said. “Right now we’re watching an anime called ‘Fire Force,’ and it’s about firefighters with pyrokinesis. So, they’re literally fighting fire with fire. The main character is this devilish guy who just kind of flies with his feet — with fire feet — and it’s so obnoxious and I love it.”
Wright said his favorite anime show is “Trigun,” an older show from the ’90s.
“It was one of the first shows I ever really watched, and I kind of just got attached to it,” he said. “At that time, I had no idea what anime was and it’s funny, but also entertaining and it actually has a really interesting storyline in the end.”
Similar to Prior, he said his favorite aspect of the club is the people.
“Most of the people there just like to have fun and that’s like the best part about the anime club, is that everyone there is just having fun watching this stuff,” Wright said. “There’s arguments that happen about various anime, people will argue about different stuff and their favorite shows, why one show is better than the other.”
Despite the arguments, Wright said the atmosphere is fun and a good place for individuals who are into anime.
The K-State Anime and Manga Society meets at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays in the Big 12 Room at the K-State Student Union.