Celebrities & Anime
Anime has come a long way from when it first surfaced in American society. It’s hard to believe that in the early 1990’s there were only two anime shows in the U.S., but now anime generates millions of consumer dollars. Anime’s growing popularity has recruited some very influential celebrities. Stars such as Kim Kardashian, Michael B. Jordan, and John Boyega have all openly expressed their love for the Japanese artform. The Kardashian beauty mogul stated that her recent hair-do was inspired by Zero-Two, a pink-haired fighter from the sci-fi anime series Darling in the Franxx. Black Panther actor, Michael B. Jordan took to twitter to defend his love for anime, arguing that him being a fan of anime didn’t make him any less of a man. Then there is also John Boyega who loves Naruto so much that he’s become an avid supporter for a live-action Naruto movie.
Although anime has been able to catch the attentions of some of the biggest stars in the U.S. Their public appreciation for the art can be both beneficial and detrimental to anime culture. The celebrity anime fandom has allowed for western media to incorporate aspects of the anime art. One of the most popular examples anime inspiration in western media is the Nickelodeon animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series gained tremendous, national popularity. The influence of anime was so heavy in the show that many viewers thought Avatar was an original anime. The airing of Avatar cultivated a new wave of anime fans who expressed a genuine appreciation for the art. Celebrities can also help to break the ever-present stigma surrounding anime. American society can now realize that the face of anime isn’t necessarily a nerdy, lonesome, 30-year old man. However, publicized celebrity appreciation for anime can also propagate ‘fake’ anime fans. These are people that are forcefully immersing themselves in anime culture simply because their idol enjoys it.
Anime has come along way in the past decade and has now caught the attention of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Celebrity approval has shown to have both a positive and negative impact on anime culture.