Careers in anime are a lot like their counterparts in video game design were 25 years ago. These days, it seems like everyone who loves anime or manga is looking to begin a career as a content creator. If that sounds like you, go for it. Just don't expect it to come easy.
Nothing worth achieving is easy. It wasn't easy for us to establish the Umai brand. As an online seller of anime clothing and accessories, our brand is pretty well established. But it wasn't always that way. Umai struggled as a new business. Every new business venture does. But we stuck to it and worked hard until our company was strong enough to stand on its own.
You could have a great career in anime ahead of you. The question is this: do you have what it takes? A successful career in any field is not just going to hand itself to you. You need to go out and make it happen. Here's what it takes:
1. Genuine Passion
The first thing you need is genuine passion for the art form. We say that for the simple fact that there are a lot of people working in careers they either do not like or downright despise. That is not a career, that's a job. A career spanning decades of fulfilling work is hard to come by for most people. The secret is passion.
If you have a passion for what you do, you will love your work. You will look forward to getting started every day. You will look forward to creating anime series, manga books, or even anime t-shirts and sweatshirts. Your passion will make what you do a career rather than just a job.
2. In-Depth Knowledge
You do not necessarily have to go to college to work in anime or manga. But you do need in-depth knowledge of the two genres. You need to understand the different types of anime, for example. You need to know and understand the elements of good art. You also need to be able to replicate the style.
Some companies require that their artists have a degree. So if you do plan to go to college, it could help you land a job down the road. Try to get a degree in anime or manga if you can find a college that offers it. Otherwise, a degree in graphic arts will do the trick.
3. A Willingness to Work
Landing a job in anime or manga is merely the starting point of your career. A career is built over many, many years and multiple positions. Along the way, never be afraid to work. The anime business is no different than any other in the sense that those who give 100% are the same ones that get the promotions and name recognition. You need to be willing to put in the time and effort to be successful.
Along the same lines, be prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up. That's the way the working world functions. You need to prove your worth to advance to a better job with better pay and opportunities.
The anime industry certainly needs more content creators. Whether you want to work in streaming anime or films, manga books, or something else – like designing t-shirts and hoodies – there is a career waiting for you. Just make sure you have what it takes before you start down that road. No need to be unnecessarily disappointed.