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Love Of Anime Unites Elmwood Park Students

Elmwood Park sophomore Nicole Appel draws an anime style character on the board. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma
Members of the Elmwood Park Memorial High School anime club come together once a week. Photo Credit: Joshua Jongsma

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. — Elmwood Park teacher Matt Borchers is infusing Japanese culture into high school instruction with an anime club.

Twenty-five to 30 student gather each week to watch the Japanese animation.

"A lot of these stories are based on high school, so it's something they can connect with," Borchers told Daily Voice. "A lot of the time people watch anime on their own, but why not watch it together?"We can laugh together, we can sometimes cry together."

The club watches three different series together, "Noragami," "The Pilot's Love Song" and "Blood Blockade Battlefront." All three are shorter shows. The group would never have time to watch some of the longer, more mainstream series, such as "Dragon Ball Z," Borchers said.

Junior Ryan Robinson said he wouldn't sacrifice the anime club for any other one at the school.

Classmate Ivan Arias said he wanted to watch more anime after attending a meeting.

"It's a lot of good stories," Arias said. "Some people like to read books, I like to watch anime because it's just as good."

Borchers, a longtime anime fan, joined a similar club when he was in college. He even received a discount at a car wash once because of an anime T-shirt he wore.

The club turns into a entire social experience, Borchers said, complete with snacks and discussion after the show.

"It's like an escape from reality," Arias added. "You just come here to chill with your friends and watch something that all of us like."

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