This week, The Gryphon spoke to Becca McDonald, treasurer of Anime & Manga Soc, to find out more
Have you ever heard of Attack on Titan? Sailor Moon, perhaps? Surely, you must have heard of Dragon Ball Z? All of these are examples of popular anime and manga, and Leeds University Union’s Anime & Manga society is dedicated to appreciating these titles and more. Anime is Japanese animation, and manga are Japanese-styled comics. The society offers weekly anime screenings, an impressive manga collection and even cosplay workshops, making it the place to go if you are a seasoned fan of the art form, or just curious what all the fuss is about.
When did you join the Anime & Manga Society and what is your current role?
I’m a second year student currently and I joined the society towards the end of my first year. I’m the treasurer for the new committee: we’re in the middle of the handover right now, which is an exciting time for us as a committee, as well as a society.
Why did you join the society?
I joined the society primarily to make new friends. I’ve always found general interest societies to be great places to find similar people to yourself, since you always have a common interest with the other people in the room.
What normally takes place during a society meeting?
Most meetings involve an anime screening and then a trip to the pub. We allow members to bring in their own anime and vote on what we watch, and afterwards, we walk to the Hedley Verity together for food, drinks and conversation. It’s the highlight of my week, personally, and I know much of the society feels the same way.
What is your favourite anime and/or manga?
My favourite anime is probably Revolutionary Girl Utena. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and I personally have a real weakness for shojo anime, especially ones that focus on empowering female characters. I don’t read a lot of manga, sadly, but my current favourite is Uzumaki by Junji Ito. It’s an excellent horror series in three volumes, and would definitely be an interesting starting point for anybody that wants to get into manga, if perhaps a little disturbing.
What are some of your best memories from this year?
My best memory from this year has to be our bowling trip a couple of months ago. It was a great night with some wonderful people, and all of us failed miserably at bowling together. Some people came in cosplay as well, which always leads to a fun time. I’ve also formed some incredible friendships just from our weekly showings, which has to rank pretty high on the list of good memories.
What would you say to people who think anime/manga are just ‘childish cartoons’?
I’d say that people are, of course, entitled to their opinions. However, dismissing ‘cartoons’ – be that anime/manga or more Westernised forms of art – is to miss out on an exciting, ever-growing form of media that is only going to grow in popularity and relevance over the coming years.
If you had to be a yandere or a tsundere, which one would you be and why?
I think I’d rather avoid being either of the two. I’d probably be a yandere if given the choice though, being both murderous and adorable at the same time sounds like an excellent way to get what you want.
shojo – Anime/manga “for girls”, which typically include romance and drama that appeals to females.
yandere – An anime character, usually female, who is romantically obsessed with another character, to the point where they use violent and psychotic means to be with the person.
tsundere – An anime character who masks his/her feelings for another character by acting hostile and cold to them.
For more information, visit the society’s Facebook page.