BY AMANDA MOSES
Spring Creek Teen Central (TC) is a versatile hub for the Spring Creek Towers’ 12 to 18-year-olds to socialize, receive homework help, and express their creativity. Since the pandemic began in March, the program has run virtually, providing the opportunities participate in daily debates, PS4 gaming, teen talk live/podcasting, trivia, and more. The virtual component also paved way for the creation of an Anime Club, where teens can share their love for Manga and Anime cartoons and comic books (Anime is a televised/film version of a Manga comic).
TC Teaching Artist, Eileen Level developed this new club to provide an outlet for members to share the Anime cartoons and Manga Comics/graphic novels they enjoy most. “I launched the anime club during COVID-19, which allowed me to use multiple online tools to share the latest anime news and to help keep members fully engaged. The best part about the anime club is that we get to share our opinions in a safe space, discovering new things about anime and each other while building new friendships,” she said.
The idea for this new club initially sparked from Level’s own personal enjoyment of Japanese culture. As a young teen, she was enraptured by the anime series, Sailor Moon, featuring a brave middle school student named, Usagi Tsukino, who is the reincarnation of a Moon Goddess protected by warriors from each of the planets (the Sailor Guardians), Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. “Since then, I’ve become hooked to the unique illustrations and thrilling stories. After expressing my interest with my Teen Central colleagues, I was encouraged by them to reach out to our teen members, to discover fans like myself,” Level said.
Members can share their screens to showcase their favorite Anime and Manga studios, and digitally draw characters in real time while discussing their likes and dislikes. One TC members, Eli, described his thoughts on the manga series, One Punch Man. He finds the drawings in the Manga comic books to be richer and more artistic than the actual Anime TV show. “The reason why I like anime is because I get to release all my emotions and it fills my heart with joy,” Eli said.
In addition, the teens can watch episodes together (even Studio Ghibli films such as; Spirited Away and My Neighbor Mr. Totoro) and talk about characters and what they would like to see, and perhaps even story crossovers. “To my surprise, there were quite a few fans that were looking for a fun place where they could share common interests and geek out over anime,” Level said.