by Emily Birnbaum
There is one themed house on campus where students can immerse themselves in the vivid, colorful world of Japanese animation, dubbed “anime” for short. Students can access this world via New Apartment A4, which, through the theme housing program, has become Kenyon’s Anime House. Although this New Apt is the farthest student apartment from the center of campus, its residents claim it’s worth the trek.
The six residents — Taylor Geu ’16, Liam Hackett ’17, Graeme Earle ’15, Andrea Lindquist ’17, Tennessee Sundermeyer ’17 and James Hutt ’15 — started the house this year as an extension of the Kenyon Japanese Animation Society (KJAS).
“We started the house because we really enjoyed what we did in Japanese Animation Society meetings, but we wanted to create an extension of that and have a base to hold some more activities outside of our anime viewings,” Lindquist said. “We wanted to have a way to interact with Kenyon as a whole.”
The society itself meets every Thursday from 9 to 11 p.m. in Higley Auditorium. Although the Anime House only has six live-in residents, the KJAS has about 30 members. During their weekly meetings, the anime enthusiasts come together to watch four or five episodes of the shows they are currently watching, such as Samurai Champloo and Dirty Pair.
“We watch the show then generally go hang out at Nite Bites afterwards,” Sundermeyer said.
In order to decide what shows to watch over the course of the year, Hutt, who is president of KJAS, composes a committee of club members based on their seniority in the club. Together, they preview the first couple episodes of shows and vote on which shows the club would enjoy.
“Ultimately, I have final say on what we’re going to watch,” Hutt said.
On Oct. 23, the Society finished watching the show Samurai Champloo, an anime about samurai graffiti artists. At tonight’s meeting, they plan to begin their next show, an anime called Dirty Pair.
“Dirty Pair is an anime from the ’80s,” Sundermeyer said. “It’s a science fiction, buddy-cop comedy about two women who cause more harm than good whenever they try to solve problems.”
The house also holds events about every two weeks in order to further involve the community. Sundermeyer, who is in charge of event coordination, said that about five to 15 people usually attend these events.
A few of the events they’ve held thus far this year are a Japanese Curry Rice Night, where Anime House members served homemade curry rice; an origami event in Olin Library; and a back-to-back film showing of Pacific Rim and King Kong vs. Godzilla held in the Gund Gallery’s Community Foundation Theater.
“For our showing events — for the house, not the larger club — we like to get the Gund Gallery,” Hutt said.
Earlier this month, they held an instant-ramen-noodle-stacking event.
“I spent $16 on ramen,” Hutt said. “Considering ramen is 20 cents a piece, that was a large amount of it. At the event, we all competed to see who could stack up the largest amount of ramen packages, and someone ended up stacking 12.”
During Family Weekend, Anime House hosted another film screening in the Gund Gallery of an anime movies Porco Rosso and Spirited Away, which were both directed by the acclaimed Hayao Miyazaki.
“The next event we are planning to have is a Pokémon tournament, which is tentatively planned for Saturday, Nov. 1 in Peirce,” Lindquist said.
In order to advertise their events, the KJAS sends out campus-wide emails and hangs up posters.
“Students can keep up to date on events by checking [their] emails and looking for signs about KJAS every week or two,” Sundermeyer said.