Monday, October 22, 2012

Six Years Later, We're Stronger Than Ever!

What you see above is the very flyer for the first ever Propeller Anime event that occurred on this day six years ago. A whole lot different from what we use now to promote. We didn't even have a webpage or any social media going yet. Not even a logo!

It's funny to look back on that and remember that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya used to be a thing and that Death Note had just started airing in Japan. We never did show Castle of Cagliostro on that day due to lack of availability and nobody who attended that meeting ever ended up being a longtime member.

Except me, that is.

When I planned to start the club, I had no idea what I was doing and, truth be told, I never planned for it to go this long. With this unintended plunge into the insanity that is running an anime club, I've had a lot of fun, learned many lessons, and made tons of friends.

At the time Propeller Anime began, were a club at Full Sail University and I was the faculty sponsor. For many years that worked but with the short duration of the school's degree programs, it was really hard to keep members around for long. Especially reliable ones that could help me do awesome stuff.

After the first year, I was almost ready to kill the club. It wasn't going anywhere. But then I got some awesome regulars in Waldo, Noah, Emilio, and even Roger. They were longtime staples for Propeller Anime and they made things really fun and we did a lot of cool stuff. (Remember when Orlandia at AFO was good?)

They've since graduated and moved on with their lives and careers along with many other members; however, I appreciate them being a part of the club and my life. I feel like once they left, things started to get sour with doing things at Full Sail University. It stopped being fun and the support needed to do bigger and better things began to dry up.

A transition began in Spring of 2011. Aaron Haaland of A Comic Shop gave me the opportunity to do a monthly anime event in the space known as "The Geek Easy." I thought it was best to see if Propeller Anime could grow beyond Full Sail.

Over time, while the Full Sail meetings started to suck for many reasons, the Anime Nites @ The Geek Easy were a lot of fun. Not only that, some good people from anime community and other parts of the local geek culture began to be a part of Propeller Anime.

The biggest change of the last year was leaving Full Sail University altogether and making The Geek Easy at A Comic Shop our main base of operations. It kind of makes me wish I came up with a name that's not related to Full Sail University but we built it ourselves and now we are independent for all anime fans in Orlando to enjoy.

Since then, running Propeller Anime has been great again. Not only that, a new generation of members are in place to make things bigger, badder, and better than ever! While writing this, a lot of feelings and memories of the last six years have flashed before my eyes and welled up in my heart. I am truly grateful for where we are now.

With that, I have many people to thank for the success of this past year. First off, George Spanos and Jean-Louis Jabouin have stuck it out over the years and, through the good and the bad, are still a part of Propeller Anime.

I'd also like to thank Shane, Alison, Chozo, Neal, Megan, Glitch, and Crandall for being a big help this year. Then there is the crew at A Comic Shop with Aaron, Oral, and Eric for always helping out and being nice to those who come out to Anime Nite @ The Geek Easy.

Last but not least is Anime Spot, who after over 2 years are still our BFFs in the community! It is tremendous that two local clubs can get along and depend on each other while providing fans in Orlando places in the community that aren't completely fucked up.

In the next year, we're looking to establish more great connections in and out of the community while being an organization that the anime industry can trust and depend on. Our goal will always be to showcase really great animation from Japan to our community, but we do want to do other amazing events in addition to that.

That's why our 6th Anniversary Halloween Party this Friday is important to attend. Not only is it a celebration of all the good times of this past year, but it will also be a christening of the great things that will come after. It will be proof of whether or not we can be a better anime club.

We plan to be a bigger force in the community in the next year and set an example for other groups, new and old, to follow. Perhaps Propeller Anime will become the premiere anime club of Orlando, if you will.

For those of you who have come out to our Anime Nites, parties, panels, and anything else we've done these past twelve month, we thank for supporting us. It has been quite the party and we hope to keep it going!

Kent Ward
Propeller Anime

Propeller Anime is Orlando's mightiest anime club! You can like Propeller Anime on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and keep us in your Google+ circles!

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