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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

UCJAS stands for "University of Chicago Japanese Animation Society," which is a long-winded way of saying "your very own anime club." We get together once a week for about three hours to watch anime, usually four series at a time, including a mixture of Anime of the People selected in totally nonrigged democratic elections and other anime forced into the schedule by the officers' Fists of Tupperware. We try for a mix of genres and epochs; in the past couple years we've shown everything from ancient mecha to dramatic shoujo to ultramodern suspense.


UCJAS also puts on a bunch of recurring events. We begin at the beginning with our famous first screening of the year, wherein we show things like movies and short OVAs that we normally couldn't or wouldn't screen. We also end each quarter with a more modest selection of movies, from the sublime to the ridiculous.


The heart of UCJAS, however, lies in the opportunities for -- gasp! -- social interaction! Each year we throw a midfall Garden Party -- a tradition now almost a year old! Last year the theme was sakurae. (Japanese is basically Latin with funny squiggles.) In the winter we somehow overcome vast logistical obstacles to host an anime convention called UChi-Con, a traditionally free event now entering its third year. On top of anime, it features academic speakers, often flown in from parts of the United States as far-off as Canada, lecturing on topics like the feminine in Ghost in the Shell and responsibility in Paranoia Agent. The anime we show at UChi-Con tends to be of questionable quality, so it's probably best to stick to the speakers and eat free Pocky in the lobby.


The highlight of the year comes in the feats of hilarity and organization that are our ACen skits. Anime Central is THE Midwestern anime convention, taking place a long drive from campus. Every year we buy a ridiculously small number of rooms to house a ridiculously large number of people and drive our contingent to ACen, either giving them proper chairs or covering them with large costume components in the back seat. ACen's keynote event is the Masquerade, featuring the presentation of dozens of anime-themed skits put on by attending groups. UCJAS traditionally dominates the Masquerade. In 2005 we took first place with our Katamari Damacy-inspired tour de force (Jono and Jeremy built a 1.5-meter katamari out of aluminum piping and duct tape, then hid Vivie as Fujiko inside it). We proceeded to top ourselves in 2006 by claiming second place with our "What is Love" skit, featuring Mario getting clubbed by Shounen Bat, and first place with our "Matrix Samurai" skit, a contest between Kenshin, Jin, and their stage ninjas. (Jin won. Feel free to write letters of protest.)


Come play with us. Forever and ever and ever.

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