It’s still a fairly niche interest despite some big breakout anime films such as Spirited Away, Akira and Ghost In The Shell.
All 3 of which of amazing pieces of work which you really should find time to watch at least once by the way.
But it’s a niche area with a very dedicated and often extremely devoted fan base.
It’s the golden land of collectibles, conventions and cosplay. I mean sure you get conventions for sci-fi fans too, and you’ll see a few devotees dressed up as their favorite characters. But nothing like the anime fans who pour their passion into hardcore cosplay.
These folks live and breath that character and create incredible costumes – they could often pass as being stars on set at some big budget live movie version of the anime. Just check out this Boa Hancock cosplay (from the world of One Piece), or even the Helghast cosplay guide (these evil looking fellows come from the video game world, in the Killzone series).
These guys are making their costumes at home, doing their own make-up and creating their own props. Amazing work and all credit to them.
But I mean, these guys should be working in the film industry. Their talents are so far beyond the odd bit of halloween dress-up. They are serious artists with real skills to offer, even if they don’t quite realise it. In particular because they also tend to know how to innovate and get results with minimal budgetry cost. OK, not really a problem on a big blockbuster movie, but squeezing the most out of the budget on an indie film, or even an art house project – these guys would be like gold. Next time you see one at a convention, make sure I told them so!