The Melbourne Anime Society's logo

a Melbourne Anime Society page


This is a page devoted to the M.A.S. (Melbourne Anime Society) of Victoria, Australia. Most of the time it contained the most up to date information of any web page about the MAS, even that on the official home page, because the people doing it were so slow at updating. Then I became the person doing that page too, and had to complain to myself when anything went wrong. Then the MAS came to an end, and this is now a page of what was.

With the end of the MAS came SEA, which meets at a different time and place and is not an incorporated body. If you came here looking for what is happening in Melbourne anime now, click here or on the SEA symbol below to learn more. If the links go dead, (possible, being the former official MAS home page, and may be shut down in the process of that body's wind-down, despite being bequeathed to SEA,) try googling things like South East Anime, Victoria, Australia, etc. There should be something somewhere. The former MAS loan library is now in the possession of SEA, so any link to that is still valid.

South East Anime.
Click here to go to the SEA mainpage

From here you can get to articles originally connected to the Bruce Barnes Home Page. (In fact, they still are, as you can discover by clicking on the "Return to Main Page" links within most of the MAS material following.) Everything accessible from this page is exclusively anime-related, so coming here rather than my other home page might save you some time.

Anime, as you most likely already know or you would not be here, is Japanese animation. If this is news to you, greater details on anime and manga can be found in the article on this link, or if you're in too much of a hurry to read the whole thing, skip directly to the key bits on manga and/or anime. [Go to top of page.]

The Melbourne Anime Society conducted public screenings twice a month, with a DVD loan library available to members. Although the MAS made a habit of showing several long-running series at these screenings, these were mixed with "feature" presentations.
The typical makeup of a four-hour program was:
Lead-in (come in & sit down) show (25 min, typ. short OAV series)
Features (2h 20m including 2 breaks)
Serials (1h 15m = 3 x 25m shows)
Note that the MAS did not feel enslaved to this formula. (One example: The five-hour programmes since Monash changed the hall-hire rates, which policy was kept until de-incorporation in June 2008.)

Full members of the Melbourne Anime Society were able to get discounts at approved stores, reduced admission to screenings, free-of-charge access to the loan library, and the occasional MAS magazine Hajime. The approved stores might still honour a membership card with an expiry date still in the future. Give it a try, but don't blame me if it doesn't work.

One of the more frequently asked questions about loan recordings at meetings is "What's this one about?" Your question may of may not be answered by following this link, to a page which contains information about a number of recordings on the loan list (as well as recordings that used to be on the loan list and have been pulled, and others which have never been on the loan list, and never will be). It began in a fanzine as an FYI article on anime titles, and I have been modifying it off-and-on ever since.

The information on this page can be reached from net addresses in both the USA and Australia. (As yet, only the U.S. version has a guestbook. This has a checkered history of working and not-working. Geocities has been known to change the settings on me without notification, and even revive old settings months later, as I found when a guestbook link I had missed updating, reactivated. At the time I write this the guest-book is totally empty, while I get emails telling me it is too full for anything new to be added.) If the information on the site in one nation is not as up-to-date as you would like, try checking its counterpart. (Intercontinental links are at the foot of most other pages accessed from this one.) I try to keep both sites up-to-date simultaneously, but complications sometimes occur, (usually having to do with telephone or hardware problems with my ISP).


MAS screenings began in private homes, and with expanding membership moved to various theatres and halls. Over time venues ranged from Oakleigh, Clayton, Elwood, and Northcote, but were always on the second and fourth Saturday of the month (excluding the Christmas break, and excluding whenever MANIFEST was on and everyone went to that). The new group does not necessarily meet even on a Saturday.

(A Brief History of the M.A.S.: 1990 - 2008)

The first MAS Home Page was set up by the Society's founders, and run by Robert Thompson, (see a more detailed history of the Society at

The MAS was formed in 1990 by Adrian Pett, Robert Thompson and Ken Stone. It was, as far as is still known, the second oldest continuously existing anime group in Australia. (The first was a group in Western Australia. Age of such clubs is hard to estimate. When a group of friends get together every so often to watch anime, pick up new members, get a regular screening schedule, invent a name for themselves, start charging fees to cover expenses, hire halls because private homes are too small any more, get more and more involved in anime conventions, stop showing commercial titles unless permission obtained to avoid legal problems, become incorporated out of necessity.... When exactly did that club "start"?)

The MAS went through all of this. From 1990 to 1997 screenings were held in a private home. In July 1997 screenings began to be held at a public hall in Oakleigh, with a fee being charged for admittance for the first time. (Difficulties never experienced before now cropped up, such as when somebody closed and locked the main doors while members were still turning up, and another occasion when the hall was broken into and the t.v. stolen from its locked cupboard. After that the MAS used a portable television projector.) From 1998 to mid-2005 all screenings were being held in a suitably-sized hall at Monash. This changed to Ashwood, then briefly to Elsternwick, then to Northcote.

Providing a venue where people could actually see anime, the main goal of the M.A.S. was to foster interest in anime at a time most people had never heard of Japanese animation. (And people who had never heard of it included those familiar with such shows as Kimba the White Lion and Speed Racer). That was then. Now there are anime sections in video libraries and even book stores. Anime movies and t.v. series pop up frequently on SBS. It appears in mainstream cinemas. It can be purchased in stores, with a choice in the menu between subbed, dubbed, and original Japanese. People can and do download anime from the internet. Translated Japanese manga has become so popular that it now sells with artwork unflipped, readers having learned to read from back to front in Japanese fashion...and it outsells local comics. At the beginning the M.A.S. met in a living room, grew so big halls became essential, and in a time of anime-plenty had shrunk to a size where it could comfortably meet in a living room again.

Of course, going back to its origins like that would not be as simple as it sounds. When I first heard the proposal to end the M.A.S., it immediately occurred to me to report: "Melbourne Anime Society to close due to health reasons -- committee sick of work". However, after they explained the legal, financial and other logistical problems of running an incorporated monstrosity which was now losing money, and whose prime goals had already been achieved, everyone saw their point. Deincorporation procedures began, and in June 2008 the M.A.S. conducted its last screening.

Not surprisingly, a new group was immediately in the works, whose goal was simply to get together and watch anime. As it might, in the long run, take over the name, library, and etcettera, I had some idea of continuing all MAS web pages as if nothing was happening. The complexities of de-incorporation alone made it more complicated than that.

The Melbourne Anime Society: Formed 1990. Ended 2008, a victim of its own success.

Hmm. If the new group does take over the name of the M.A.S., can it say it has been running since 1990?

The MAS mailing address (for things like returning DVDs) is -- until at least early 2009:
The Melbourne Anime Society,
P.O. Box 14191
(Yes that is an eight in the postcode and not a three ... no misprint.)

The link to this page on the MAS Main Index, (now being used by S.E.A. for as long as the site remains up) and which is how some of you may have arrived here, is the reason why pages you connect to from this site may contain three "return to" links.

From October 2007, yours truly did the official main page at   which explains similarities in style between these two sites. The page you are currently reading began when there was no official main page, (or if there was one it had never been updated in living memory) and was kept going due to the official main page's tradition of incredible time-lags between updates. Even in the early days, they found it easier to link to my site for such information as screenings than to keep it current themselves.

The following have supported the club and offered discounts to Melbourne Anime Society members with valid membership cards:

Alternate Worlds
* 76 Chapel Street, Windsor VIC 3181 & Shop 1A, 451 Swift St, Albury, NSW 2640
Videos and manga - Japanese and English - and some artbooks.
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
* 28 Young Street, Frankston VIC 3188
10% off everything except DVD's.
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
* 912 White Horse Road, Box Hill
Model kits, CDs, VCSs, anime videos for sale/hire, posters, toys, collectables etc
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
The Crypt
* 193-201 Barkly St, Footscray
Anime/manga/DVD/comics/figurines/artbook shop
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
Hobby Japan
* Shop 14 Mid City Arcade, 200 Bourke St, Melbourne
Model kits, videos for sale and rent, English & Japanese video magazines, posters, keyrings, artbooks, and music CDs
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
Japan Book Plaza
* South Yarra shop (but not, as yet, the shop in the CBD)
5% discount on manga and anime related books if the total purchase is under $100. Discount of 10% if over purchase is over $100.
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
Madman Entertainment
Importers, manufacturers, distributors of anime.
To obtain discounts, orders must be placed via appointed MAS committee member.
Military Simulations
* 134 Cochranes Road, Moorabbin
Computer games, board games, military simulations and role playing games.
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.
Syber's Books
* 38 Chapel Street, Windsor
Bookshop - literature, science fiction, crime.
Proof of current membership required to qualify for club discounts.



Melbourne Anime Society:

Other Anime-related stuff by the creator of this page:

Australia-related stuff:

Links to other anime clubs and societies:

Links to other anime sites:

Frequently Asked Questions:

The link to Australia-related stuff began as a service for overseas visitors to this site, to explain certain Australianisms I may have used. If anything puzzles you, or there is something you think deserves being added, please email me at my e-mail address.

Bruce Barnes          
my e-mail address

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