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Japanese schools' extra-curricular activities are centered on "club activities" organized by the students themselves. Each club will generally be assigned its own room or other facilities, will have an advisor (who doesn't always appear on screen), and will have a powerful president (kaicho) who'll be a significant character of some sort. For series that revolve around a specific club, the club's president frequently replaces the Student Council president in importance.

The three most commonly portrayed clubs are the student council, the school newspaper, and the Kendo team. For the student council, see Absurdly Powerful Student Council and Student Council President. For the newspaper, see School Newspaper Newshound. For the Kendo team, see Kendo Team Captain.

It's rare for a student to be a member of more than one club -- club activities are generally too time-consuming to allow for it, and characters who do are generally the driven overachiever. The Ordinary High School Student who isn't a member of any club is said to be a member of the "Go Home Club". (Usagi does this in Sailor Moon when she gets to High School, as does Watanuki from XxxHolic. Kagura from Azumanga Daioh accuses the rest of the girls of this.) If there's a female character member of an all-male sports club, such as the baseball or soccer clubs, she's portrayed as the Cute Sports Club Manager. Characters who are a member of more than one club or who are extremely rapid in recruitment and enthusiasm are usually an Extracurricular Enthusiast.

Some schools require clubs to have a minimum number of members. A common theme is, therefore, the Club Stub which will do anything to get more members to prevent getting disbanded. And with anything we mean anything from The Power of Friendship to brutal force.

This is the lowest-ranking authority trope. For the next step up, see Absurdly Powerful Student Council and Landlord.


Anime and Manga

  • All of the teams in The Prince of Tennis are actually clubs, and their captains are basically the club president.
  • Minako's volleyball team in Sailor Moon.
    • In Sailor Stars, Minako joins Juuban's volley team. Meanwhile Seiya is in the American football team, Ami is in the computer club, and Makoto gets offers from several sports clubs (though she wants to go to the cooking club). One-time character Sonoko is the captain of the girls's softball team, too.
  • Miki's tennis team in Marmalade Boy.
    • Ginta is a member of the boys's tennis club, and his cousin Tsutomu is also a member of his school's own. Naturally this seeps in their rivalry, and Hilarity Ensues.
    • Meiko is a member of the literature club and Satoshi's classmate Furutachi is the leader of the broadcasting club.
    • Arimi is a membress of the track team in her and Tsutomu's school.
  • The amefuto (American-style football) team in Eyeshield 21.
  • The Magic Users' Club in Mahou Tsukaitai.
  • The school chorus in Please Save My Earth. (Also, the "moon club.")
  • The Auto Club (and dozens of others) in Ah! My Goddess.
  • The Masculine Competition Society (and the "Megu Group" and the "Society to Protect Megumi") in Tenshi na Konamaiki.
  • The Society for the Study of the Modern Visual Culture in Genshiken. In a subversion, the original Club President is a seemingly powerless nonentity who barely attends. Mysteriously, he seems nearly omniscient at times; it's implied that this is because he has hidden cameras throughout the school for his nebulous research project. He never confirms or denies this, but just hinting at it is enough to blackmail Saki into joining the club.
    • At one point, the president of the student council decides to cancel all non-active clubs which, beside Genshiken, include some ridiculous clubs like "plant watering club", "bucket droppers club" or "kneaders club".
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya Brigade to Bring More Excitement to the World, or the "S.O.S. Brigade", in Suzumiya Haruhiis a deconstruction of the trope as it is not an official school club -- no advisor, no funds, and they meet in the literature club's room (The sole member of the literature club doesn't mind). The reason for the club's conception is because Haruhi cannot find a club that suits her interests (mainly the supernatural). Later on, they become much more "relevant" to the school by offering counseling and investigation services for troubled students (most of which are set up by Itsuki to keep Haruhi preoccupied.)
    • Not to mention the S.O.S. Brigade's wannabe rivals, the Computer Club, and their histrionic president.
  • The go club in Hikaru no Go.
  • And, of course, the Ouran High School Host Club.
    • And don't forget the Black Magic Club.
    • The School Newspaper Club also makes an appearance
  • In Keroro Gunsou, Fuyuki was the president and only member of Kissho Academy's Occult Club until Momoka joined. This was lampshaded in an episode where the school was going to disband the club unless they could turn up something interesting to present to the school.
  • All members of the "Go Home Club" in Kare Kano are forcibly conscripted to participate in a play for the school culture festival.
  • Sakura's cheerleading squad in Cardcaptor Sakura. Meanwhile, her best friend Tomoyo is the star member of the school chorus and at least two episodes are about her having trouble while either practising her songs or getting ready for singing competitions.
    • An episode of the anime has Sakura hanging around a girl from the track club, Rei, who has unadvertedly come in the possession of a Clow Card.
    • Yukito Tsukishiro hangs around some athletic clubs whenever he can, namely the archery club. Nakuru is seen facing and winning against the basketball team.
    • An anime episode has Touya temporarily joining the Drama Club (despite being a TERRIBLE actor) to help its star, his classmate and friend Youko Nakagawa (who has an unrequited crush on him).
  • Nayuki's track team in Kanon.
  • Tamami's Occult Club in Mahoraba.
  • Hitohira focuses on two rival clubs, the Drama Club and the Drama Research Society. As in Genshiken, it seems schools are uncomfortable with overlap, and the two must compete to stay official.
  • The calligraphy club in Kamichu!. The club holds its activities on the school roof, because it has only one member and thus doesn't rate a club room. Competition to get members (and thus stay viable) is a common theme of high-school-club-based anime.
    • Zegapain also has an example of the one-member school club, in this case, the swimming club.
  • Pretty Cure never forgets about clubs.
    • Futari wa Pretty Cure had Nagisa and Honoka as the stars of the lacrosse team and science club respectively, and in Max Heart they were both promoted to leadership of the clubs. Members of both clubs were recurring characters, and Nagisa's teammates Rina and Shiho were regulars.
      • Additionally, Honoka was technically a member of several other clubs as well, although she was rarely able to attend meetings because of time constraints.
    • In Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash Star, Saki is the softball team's pitcher, and Mai eventually joins the art club after dithering about it for a while.
    • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 had episodes focusing on Rin and Karen which showed off an assortment of the school's clubs. Rin is as a founding member of the futsol team, and Komachi is a member of the library committee. Find that combination in another anime. Also deserving of special mention is Nozomi, who joined a number of different clubs and brought disaster upon all of them--Rin won't shut up about how she was kicked out of the drama club for a combination of massive incompetence and mass destruction.
    • All the main heroines in Heartcatch Pretty Cure are members of the fashion club (with Erika as the Club President), though they had some trouble getting it started due to a lack of members. In addition, Tsubomi is also a member of the gardening club, and then there's the Student Council President Itsuki who's a martial artist...
  • Clannad has Nagisa working to reform the school's drama club. She has to work a lot for it since they barely have members, they have no advisor and are nearly as bad with organization and paperwork as Afterschool Tea Time, so the student council has to consider it a non-entity. When they work out the issues (mainly by haring an advisor with an instrument club), they encounter no more external problems.
  • In Gakuen Heaven nearly every character is a member of a different club. The main character is forced to visit every club so he can choose one to join.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Mion Sonozaki is the Class/Club President. The school is so tiny that she can get away with being both.
  • Mayura from Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok has a Mystery Club.
  • Karin Sasamori from To Heart 2, also has a Mystery Club except that what she means by Mystery Club is similar to the SOS Brigade.
  • The Light Music Club from K-On![1]. Yui was noted by Nodoka as having engaged in no after school group at all until high school, and when she did join the titular group, Nodoka initially assumed it was as a manager.
    • In the beginning of the second season, the girls visit other clubs at the school in order to get ideas on how to attract new members. This includes the Judo Club, Go Club, Tea Ceremony Club, and Occult Club.
  • The Mahjong club in Saki
  • The Astronomy Club in Sora no Manimani.
  • The Movie Study Club in Hayate the Combat Butler, aka "YourTube". They don't actually study movies, instead filming funny short films featuring students and staff. This being a Gag Series, and its three main members Those Three Girls, they get plenty of material.
  • The Art Club in Sketchbook.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan: Dokuro-chan forms a student club called the "wood glue club". In this club, you watch white wood glue dry and turn transparent. She wants to make it to the nationals. It's implied that she physically tortured a teacher to approve the club -- the approval form is signed in blood and wet with tears.
  • Eiken is named after the club the protagonists are part of, which is essentially The Club That Doesn't Do Anything.
  • The Yamayurikai in Marimite probably falls under the Absurdly Powerful Student Council it's notable that several characters do double duty with other clubs. Rei is the Kendo Team Captain and Yoshino joins the kendo club in her second year. Touko is also a member of the Drama Club and while not formally a member of the Yamayurikai at the time, her agreeing to help them with their play at the School Festival is a source of some conflict. The Photography Club also gets some coverage courtesy of Yumi's friend Tsutako.
  • Takeuchi in Canvas 2 finds it very difficult to get Hiroki to call her anything but club president.
  • The Paranormal Investigation Club in Tasogare Otome X Amnesia. It has no faculty advisor, it meets in an abandoned storeroom, and its founder and president is a ghost who's trying to find out how she died.
  • The Curry Club in Ame Nochi Hare.
  • The Modern Society Studies Club in 11eyes, founded by the already kind of crazy Yukiko. It makes a convenient cover for the club's activities in the Red Night.
  • The Digidestined of Digimon Adventure 02 have referred to their group as the "Computer Club". It's basically a cover for their afterschool trips to the Digital World, using one of the school computers to get there. An early episode shows that there is a teacher who acts as the club's advisor - but he doesn't know the first thing about using computers and is a nonentity for the rest of the series. (His story purpose was to send Taichi to Not Important to This Episode Camp by forcing him to run interference.)
    • Several Digidestined have their own club activities. Daisuke, Ken, Taichi and Sora are in their schools's soccer clubs, though Sora later switches to the tennis club.
  • In Kimagure Orange Road, Yusaku is a member of the school's karate club.
  • In Vision of Escaflowne, female lead Hitomi Kanzaki is a member of the track team and has a crush on the star of the club, Susumu Amano.
  • In GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class the art club form an extra set of protagonists beside of the main five.
  • In W Juliet the main characters Ito and Makoto meets when the later is joining the Drama Club. The club and it's members often play a role (no pun intended) in the serie afterwards.
  • Yubisaki Milk Tea have a small collection with several friends of the main character, Yoshinori Ikeda, in different clubs in high school. Wataru is in the boys soccer club, Nogi is the captain of the girls basketball team and Kodama is in the art club. Meanwhile Hidari Morii join a newfound girls soccer team on her middle school. Yoshinori himself played soccer in middle school but dropped it when he got into crossdressing.

 Nogi: Which club are you in?

Yuki (Yoshinori): The Go Home Club.

Nogi: Ha. The Go Home Club...! The worst kind of student... One who isn't in any club.

  • Chu-Bra center about the middle school girl Nayu Hajama who create an underwear club since she is a serious fan of all undergarment. Needless to say that many people outside the club have some (false) perverted thoughs about it...
  • Yuru-Yuri starts with three, later four girls who form their own amusement club in the room of the disbanded tea ceremony club.
  • Yuritetsu is about a railway club - consisting of four high school girls.
  • In Oniisama E, the girls from the Sorority can join clubs as long as this doesn't interfere with their duties and grades; i.e. Fukiko Ichinomiya, the Student Council President, is in the flower arrangement and horse riding clubs. Aside of that: Nanako and Tomoko wanted to join the cooking club but only Tomoko managed to since Nanako got swept in the plot itself, Kaoru is in the basketball club plus the team captain, and while Rei isn't in any clubs she's seen helping out the Drama Club (only in the anime) and Kaoru's basketball team (both manga and anime).
  • In Private Actress's Boarding School case, the Drama Club of Ryoukyou Junior High turns out to be vital to the plot. The most talented actress in the club, Kana Juumonji, is not just the Alpha Bitch of the school but the Big Bad of the case. And one of her victims was her sempai and former club star, whom she killed to get her out of the way.
  • Touch has not only Kazuya and later Tatsuya's baseball club, but also Tatsuya and Harada's boxing club and the rhythmic gymnastics club that Minami later joins in the story,

Live Action TV

  • The Kamen Rider Club is the unofficial version in Kamen Rider Fourze. That is, until they get busted by one of the teachers midseason, who proclaims that unauthorized clubs are not allowed - so he'll be their advisor.


Video Games

  • In any Dating Sim located in a school, more than one possible love interest will be a member of a club. To have a bigger chance to get the girl/boy you're intrested in, you can try joining the club they belong to or dropping by when they're reunited, to meet up with them more frequently.
    • I.e.: Tokimeki Memorial 1 has: Saki Nijino (baseball or soccer club's Cute Sports Club Manager), Nozomi Kiyokawa (swimming team), Ayako Katagiri (art club), Mio Kisaragi (Drama Club), Shiori Fujisaki (school orchestra, though she can potentially be a CSCM too), Yumi Saotome (basketball club), Miharu Tatebayashi (reading club), Yuina Himoo (science club) and Yukari Koshiki (tennis club).
  • In Persona 3, SEES is technically a school club with Chairman Ikutsuki as its advisor, but the fact never proves to have any particular significance and several SEES members are members of official school clubs as well: Yukari is in the archery club, Akihiko is captain of the boxing team, and Mitsuru is the Student Council President. The player character can join a number of official and unofficial clubs, including Student Council; these inevitably provide Social Links with the classmates involved.
  • The same is true in Persona 4, in which the Strength Social Link is held either by Kou (captain of the basketball club) or Daisuke (captain of the soccer club); meanwhile, Cute Sports Club Manager Ai is the Moon Social Link, and the Sun social link can either be Yumi (drama club) or Ayane (Music club).
  • Persona 5 has the protagonist's school's volleyball team, led by the Sadistic Teacher and first Major Target Suguru Kamoshida. Ryuuji Sakamoto used to be in the track team, until the terrible abuse he suffered there led him to be injured and then quit.
  • Hourai Gakuen has plenty of these, ranging from normal sports clubs like tennis, baseball, karate, and the like, to weird ones like mad scientists' club and occult club. They function as the game's job system.
  • Player characters in Disgaea 3 Absence of Justice can join after-school clubs for various benefits, including special abilities. Characters can only Magichange successfully with members of the same club. The President of each club gains stat bonuses based on the power of his subordinates and can use their spells when adjacent to them in battle. The only club initially available, the Going Homers, confers no special benefits but has the largest default size.
  • Two of the girls in True Love ~Junai monogatari~ are in clubs: Miyuki is in the art club and Chiemi is the captain and star of the swimming team.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Mutou and Hisao try setting up a Science Club during Emi's route.
    • Rin's THE star member of the Art Club, and if the player wants to romance her, they must make Hisao accept the advisor's offer to join in.
    • Under Shizune and Misha's control, the Student Council suffers from Club Stub. Again, a player aiming for Shizune's path must make Hisao join them.
    • Lilly organises School Festival related activities in Act 1 for her class. Hanako and Kenji take part in them if Hanako's route is being aimed for.
    • Emi and Miki are members of the track team, despite Emi having prosthetic legs and Miki lacking a hand.
    • Two non-romanceable girls, Naomi and Natsumi, are in charge of the school paper. Hanako will join them in Lilly's path.
  • The Literature Club in Crescendo, with Kaho as the club president. It almost gets closed for lack of interest, so Ryou joins in to help out. Kaho and her fellow club members Yuuka and Kyouko are love interests for him, too.
    • Miyu, the local Ill Girl, is the star of the school orchestra and a great pianist.

Notes

  1. which is derived from "keiongaku", which refers to light music
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