A new club that struggled to become officiated is now taking Tennessee State University by storm. The special interest club, Otaku Anonymous XIII, had their first informational with over 20 newcomers in attendance.
Senior computer science major and president of the club, Kamden Jones, said they are trying to keep the club going after all the hard work it took so they can leave a legacy.
“There was a lot of blood, sweat and tears and lots of paperwork. We had to go through a few shifts within our ranks, but we managed to get all the paperwork turned in. We became official not too long ago,” said Jones.
Jones continued by telling the story of how the idea for this club came about.
“The first person was a man named Benjamin. He gathered together a group of students, like you and me, just to watch anime, discuss mangas and stuff like that. It wasn’t a lot of us at the time, but eventually we started to do more activities like play card games with each other and videos games. It eventually grew to what you know now as Otaku Anonymous XIII, a full-fledge club. We hadn’t seen a club like this on campus in the past four years that we’ve been here. We just decided, ‘Hey, why not make an official club for everyone to gather together to discuss their likes for anime, manga, music or anything that they want?’”
The word “otaku” (OH-tok-KOO) is a Japanese word for someone who has a deep love or passion for something. However, the word is usually associated with people who are socially withdrawn or stay on the computer too much. Jones say they chose that word specifically because it fit so well to their group, and he wants to help get rid of that stigma.
The vice president, senior computer science major, Jeremiah Cooper, says they are striving to encourage people to join who may not have found their niche at TSU yet.
“I know a lot of clubs and organizations have turned people down in the past because they thought, let’s just get real, ‘Oh, that’s white’; ‘that’s lame’ or ‘that’s too nerdy’. Now, it’s cool to be a nerd. Nerds get all the girls. Nerds get all the money nowadays, and nerds are calling the shots. It’s really cool and fun to finally see that we have a real nerd/geek club because otaku also means to just geek out for something you really have a passion about. So we have a whole bunch of geeks in here for different reasons, and people don’t understand what geek actually means,” Jones said.
Jones added that Otaku Anonymous XII is somewhat of a safe haven for those who want to be free to like what they like without scrutiny or judgement.
The club also has a lot of plans in the works, including a guest speaker for their next meeting to speak about career opportunities in animation. They also talked about DJing for Courtyard Wednesday with different types of music as opposed to the basic mainstream that is everywhere, if the chance comes.