Since beginning school at NFA, Amanda has made some new friends that she has been spending just about every weekend with as of late. I can't say that I blame her, I usually work 16-hour days on Saturdays and then turn around and go back in for an 8-hour or more day on Sunday so it's not like I'm home to do anything with. And even if I were here, chances are real good that I wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun as Laura, Rachel, Victoria, or Nicole despite the fact that I have been called a "cool" parent. After all, I am her mother and that's as it should be.
Nicole isn't a "new" friend as she has been Amanda's friend since she was in 6th grade over in Plainfield but they have managed to maintain that friendship now despite the distances that have cropped up between them (sounds like she took a page from the book of my friendship with Cyndi!). Nicole fits right in with Amanda's new friends as they are all crazy about Japanese anime and even call themselves "Naru-tards" because they're such fans of Naruto, one of the more popular Japanese anime shows on Cartoon Network.
Amanda, Rachel, and Victoria have all joined the Anime Club at NFA which meets every Thursday after school. They get together with other anime fans and watch, draw, talk about, and act out various types of anime, which has apparently become quite popular here in the United States. I think it all began with Pokemon fever and has progressed since then.
Amanda talks non-stop about Anime Boston, which she hopes to go to in April with the other members of the Anime Club. To that end, she has been nagging me non-stop about a costume for cosplay which is apparently something they do a lot of at Anime conventions. The object is to dress up and play-act as one of your favorite anime characters and Amanda hopes to go as Itachi Uchiha, a member of the Akatsuki, a fictional criminal organization in the Naruto series.
I guess I should find it a little disturbing that my daughter wants to play-act a male character from an animated Japanese criminal organization but I look at it this way - there are so many worse things that she could be wanting to do at her age that I'm not going to get upset about this sort of thing. She's obviously NOT alone in wanting to dress up as an animated character; Rachel wants to be Sasuke Uchiha, Laura wants to go as Arashi Kazama the 4th Hokage, and Nicole wants to dress up as either Naruto or Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist.
These kids have great imaginations, great personalities, and I'm glad that Amanda has found friends who enjoy the same things she does - even if myself and all of the other girls' parents are shrugging our shoulders and just not getting it!
However, were it I going to Anime Boston in April, I'd want to go as Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes from Full Metal Alchemist! Now there's an anime character I can appreciate ... rrrrrr!