While more well known among fans of the popular manga and anime series Fullmetal Alchemist, these two fangroups have also gained a certain level of infamy among the attendees of anime conventions and fans of other familiar characters, such as Fai D. Flourite from Tsubasa Chronicles or Ace from One Piece.

Miniskirt army

Miniskirt Army Insignia...why waffles?

The Miniskirt Army (miniskirtarmy.org) is the fanclub for english voice actor Travis Willingham (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Willingham) and mainly focuses on his largest roles, including Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist, where the club got its name from the characters well known ‘Miniskirt’ rant, Ace from One Piece, and Ginko from Mushishi among many, many others.

risemboll rangers

Seems a bit more dynamic than MSA

Conversely, the Risembool Rangers (www.risemboolrangers.com) are the MSA’s ‘enemy’, the fanclub of Vic Mignogna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic_Mignogna),  well known voice of Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist, (thus, where the fanclub name comes from, Resembool being Ed’s home town [the spelling of his hometown was altered in naming the club for copyright issues]). He also voices Fai D. Flourite of Tsubasa Chronicles, Dark Mousy of DNAngel, Tamaki Suoh in Ouran High School Host Club and Ikaku Madarame of Bleach. Both groups have a very large fanbase and both play the part of ‘frienemies’. In other words, they act antagonistic towards one another, but neither actively displays any sort of open disrespect or dislike for the other or their members. In fact, many people who are Rangers are also Skirts and vice versa, simply because they are big fans of both Travis and Vic. Both fanclubs have been gaining popularity in recent years as they began to show up at various anime conventions across the country and run panels to increase their member base.

The most well known story involving the MSA and the Rangers is the story of ‘risemball’ and the first game ever played between both teams at a convention in Tennessee. Risemball is basically a game of dodgeball, played between the MSA and the Rangers. Travis and Vic played in this first, historic game and the Rangers won’t ever let the MSA forget that they lost to the team of ‘shorties’. Vic later recorded a song about this defeat called “The Legend of Middle Tennessee”

I myself am first and foremost a Risembool Ranger and the head panelist of the Ranger panels at Anime Boston and, starting this year, Another Anime Con. However, I am also a member of the Miniskirt Army! Despite the “frienemy” state of things, since AAC is such a small con and because I am best friends with the MSA panelist, instead of having two separate panels, the decision was made that there would be a co-panel with the MSA and the Rangers. Also, there are discussions of a possible game of Risemball, where anyone would be allowed to join in! The Risembool Rangers and the MSA are just two of many, many fangroups for the hundreds of voice actors out there but they are the most well known and popular fangroups. And it’s not surprising since both Vic and Travis are not only wonderful voice actors, but they are wonderful people as well and I am proud to be a Risembool Ranger and a Skirt. =^__^=