You might think it’s a little nerdy — but Anime and Ghibli Movies are actually quite popular! From the regular shounen series to the romantic love fests — to the feel-good movies, there is an anime series out there for everyone! You just need to find it!
One day, unprompted, I decided to take a stroll through the halls. As I was passing one room, with their door WIDE OPEN, I saw what I knew to be Bleach — a show about the afterlife. I knew it really well — I used to get in trouble all the time as a kid for spending so much time watching anime — this was one of my favorite shows during that time.
I brought it up with my manager at the time and said I think I can make a recurring event, back to back — Thursday night ghibli movies, and Friday night anime trials. He liked the idea of giving people the chance to take their minds off of the party life in Madison, and if they wanted a break, some popcorn, and some good company — then they could come and chill with me.
The overall list of what we needed to plan:
- HDMI Cord (adapter to computer port might be needed!)
- A cushy place to chill out
- Flat Screen TV!
- Optional… but helpful: Popcorn Machine with stocked ingredients
In our residence hall, we had a nice spacious lobby with a whiteboard, and space to keep the popcorn machine. The TV (already mounted to the wall) provided a good place to play the anime/movie and there were individual and loveseats arrayed in the movie theater-style. It was damn near perfect!
I actually had all the Ghibli movies in my personal drive. I didn’t need to go searching — but I know that there are free sites that exist. I don’t want to get in trouble, so I won’t link them here, but trust me, a couple of keywords and boom — free streaming. 🙂 good luck!
For the anime, it was a little different — I actually went to CrunchyRoll.com and streamed from there. I had an account so we could watch shows without ads and explore the premium features.
One big thing — IT WAS ALWAYS IN JAPANESE. Japanese culture should be respected and kept in its original form. The meaning and cultural references are lost if you use dubbed. I’m not saying dubbed is the worst thing ever. I’m saying your audience will get used to it. It’s a skill, and we should all appreciate movies and shows in their original setting.
TV was already supplied, HDMI was attached — all I needed was people to fill the room!
We made some cool fliers that helped explain exactly how often people could expect this (EVERY WEEK). I didn’t make any other announcement other than that — because I was cocky at the time and knew that more people had watched anime than they were letting on. I just needed the show, and comfy seats to do their magic.
None at all — I went with whatever title looked interesting — and soon enough there as a queue of interested people who wanted to watch different things. So I took their suggestions and MADE IT HAPPEN.
15 minutes before Anime Night or Ghibli Movie Night, I take the popcorn machine out and start POPPING POPCORN. This is another way to attract people (with the smell of DELICIOUS BUTTERY SALTY popcorn). I roll out the whiteboard and put the information of the Anime/Movie we are watching in this order:
Anime Night / Ghibli Movie Night
Original Japanese Text
Chairs are set classroom style — people who are already in the lobby are notified that an event is happening and they are MORE THAN WELCOMED to stay, and lastly — I sit down, knit, bring my computer to work on, whatever it may be. And I watch and wait for people to role in.
Boom. Easiest Event Ever.
Some people have the stamina to go for more than three hours. By the end of the three hours, I clean up the popcorn machine, clean up any popcorn that might have hit the ground, announce that this is the last episode, and start removing all the appliances. People then get the idea that it’s now quiet hours — and they should start with quieter activities… like SLEEPING!