By J1 Reporter Bailey Kollasch
During the week of March 21, Fandom Club held its first March Movie Matinee of Spirited Away in the Haddix Academic Center, and the positive response from both faculty and students proved the club to be a step closer to accomplishing its goal: to provide a safe environment for girls to express their opinions.
Fandom Club is only one of the many extracurricular activities offered. However, what sets it apart from the others is its inclusivity after the members decided to expand and accept multiple fandoms, or categories of fans associated with a specific product of entertainment, about a decade ago.
“It’s a group of people that come together and talk about the various TV shows, books, or fandoms that we’re in. We discuss the latest news that is going on in said fandoms,” junior co-leader of the club Anna Krupka explained. Krupka worked with her junior co-club leader Lillie Devine to compose the list of films for the March Movie Matinee while taking into account multiple genres for Fandom Club members to decide from. Votes rushed in the last week of February, commencing a close battle between My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away on the Google form’s demographics. A day after the form was sent out, the latter was announced as the victor.
Spirited Away follows the adventures of a young girl named Chihiro when she and her parents are trapped by spirits. Since the animation was created by Studio Ghibli, a well-known and prolific animation studio in Japan, Fandom Club members like freshman Sophia Reinhardt were especially excited for the movie’s showing.
“I have seen a couple of other Ghibli movies and have heard from other people that it was a very good movie, but Spirited Away definitely surpassed my expectations,” Reinhardt said.
She wasn’t the only one who thought so. The Marian girls who came to the Haddix during the after-school matinee were entranced by Spirited Away. Little by little, they moved closer to the projection screen; some girls scooted their chairs forward while others got up to settle in a seat with a better view.
“That’s the cool thing about Fandom. Somebody might not have ever watched Spirited Away, but now they’ve gotten to watch it all and see how adorable it is,” Librarian Mrs. Molly Raabe, Fandom Club’s moderator, said. She, too, was entranced by the film, one Raabe would not have normally seen without the club’s suggestion.
Not all interests are deemed “normal” in the eyes of others. Before Fandom Club was a part of Reinhardt’s life, she was concerned about who would accept her fandoms.
“Being a huge fan of anime, I was nervous about going to a big school where I’m not sure I’m going to find people who are into it since you could get made fun of for liking anime…I think it is a great thing to have a space where all of us can just meet, have fun, and enjoy the different shows, books, or series that we’re into” Reinhardt said.
As a result of the club’s dedication to their likes, the members develop into the confident young ladies Marian hopes for them to become. Why? Because it allows the girls to express their opinions freely on topics they are passionate about. The club also caters to their ideas of fun; for example, Fandom Club members cosplay, or dress up as a character, for their Halloween parties. Events such as these allowed the girls to convey their interests publicly and in their own way.
The showing of Spirited Away, with its fluid animation and soothing soundtrack, was a success; it was able to reach an audience outside of its members and, hopefully, inspire Marian girls to branch out into new fandoms.
To get on the Fandom Club email list, contact Mrs. Molly Raabe in the Haddix Academic Center.
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