For our May gathering, the Leeds Chapter decided to try something a bit different. Instead of a typical pancakes-and-toast brunch, we instead went for a group meal at a Japanese restaurant, Little Tokyo – our theme for the gathering being our favourite characters from anime and manga. In connection with this topic, our chosen #GGBDoBetter charity was Aid for Japan, which supports orphans of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
After settling down in a beautifully candlelit area with our starters of gyoza, dim sum and miso soup, our first activity of the day was to invent a pitch for a new manga or anime series. These were created using a generator, where an individual’s initials determined the title of the work. Consequently, we look forward to seeing Neon Moon Detectives, Bravo Moon X, Sushi Zombie Robot and many other great series like these very soon.
Main courses included a various assortment of noodles, curries and bento boxes, along with a few small cups of sake shared between us. With our appetites satisfied, we all had a good laugh taking part in our second activity: origami. The goal was to fold a paper crane – inspired by the legend that whoever folds a thousand of them is granted one wish.
After a few false starts – and mini paper hat alternatives being made – one Brunchette, who’s something of an expert in the subject (and also generously provided the paper), began to offer demonstrations and assistance to the others. Afterwards, she also kindly showed us a few more basic structures, such as paper tulips. We had intended to give a prize for the best crane, but in the end, it was decided that she would be given the reward in return for her help.
To round off our meal, we shared a selection of Japanese snacks. Sweet items included Pocky and mochi, whilst the savoury wares on offer included dried seaweed and crab-flavoured crisps. After clearing away our attempted cranes and paying our bill, we then walked around the city centre for our usual geeky group shop.
The day was an interesting change to our usual events, and everybody had a lot of fun. We look forward to seeing everyone again in June – and perhaps some new members, too!