The Magical Music of Harry Potter

The Nottingham Anime and Manga Society Meet Every Week for Special Screenings, Events and More

3 February 20 words: Emilie Mendham
photos: Tom Morley

Nottingham’s anime and manga society, aka NAMSOC, invited LeftLion to come to one of their weekly meetups to talk all things community, anime, and identity...

Meeting in Lenton, right by the QMC at the Dunkirk community centre I was met by the groups treasurer putting together the cinema styled room. They meet every Tuesday at 7pm, with snacks and a projector set up to show this week's episode of anime. Keith Brown, treasurer of NAMSOC, tells me it’s an hour of socialising, and two hours of watching. There is also an open invite to the pub after for beers and more talking. It’s £2 a week, and the first two sessions are free. 

The first surprise to me is just how long NAMSOC have been running, with almost twenty years under their belt; they’re all getting ready this September to celebrate another anniversary; though they’re yet to confirm what they’ll be doing. Started from a society in university, they welcome all people from all walks of life, and are quick to tell me they welcome new friends.

Emphasising the best place to be is here – as it’s somewhere “people can cut loose” – their advice to newcomers is to “be open minded, and don’t come here with a preconceived idea”. I ask the group what makes it so different to watching anime alone, and they say it’s because it’s a much more cinematic way to watch anime and debate with friends, making it a social affair. The two episodes they were watching this week were Sailor Moon and the Seven Deadly Sins – they all do a poll before the end of each series to vote on the next one.

NAMSOC really is at the heart of a community I hadn’t expected to find in Nottingham. When I tell them this, they’re surprised – Nottingham is overflowing with comic book stores, board game cafes, and ways to get involved within their community. 

As I spoke with the longest running member and now President for twelve years, Phillip Watson, he tells me “it’s a community he knows he’s a part of”, and you can see the pride they have in the society they’ve built pouring out of them.The Social Sec tries to put on one big event a month, and I also meet one of the organizers of a  Pokemon Go competition they run sporadically. Previously, they’ve put on events such as adventure golf and games day; where everyone brings a console to play together. 

To join NAMSOC, get involved on their facebook group or turn up to one of their socials. They’re happy for newcomers over the age of sixteen to get involved. 

NamSoc Facebook page

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