While it is still considered a niche interest by some, anime fandom has grown worldwide over the past 30 years. With anime subs available throughout network and cable TV along with anime streaming sites like Crunchyroll, the anime fanbase has grown into more than just typical otaku. There are even celebrities who like anime and some, like Michael B. Jordan, are enthusiastically vocal about their fandom.
You'd be surprised which major stars in TV, film, sports, and music are just as into Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pokémon, and other anime staples as you are. Some of these famous anime fans have even had their fandom influence their work. Take a gander at this surprising list of celebrities who are into anime.
Michael B. Jordan is very vocal about his love for anime. He even launched a collection inspired by his favorite anime - Naruto: Shippuden - for a collaboration with Coach.
Jordan also produced and starred in gen:LOCK on Rooster Teeth. He even styled his Black Panther villain after Vegeta, from Dragon Ball Z.
"Anime is something that was a big piece of my childhood, my adult life, and my creativity," Jordan said.
Nighy was selected for the role of anthropologist and entrepreneur Howard Clifford in 2019's highly anticipated live-action Pokémon film, Detective Pikachu. Prior to his participation in the film, Nighy told The Guardian, "you could have written what [he] knew about Pokémon on the head of a pin." In order to prepare for his role, the English actor says he studied the world extensively, he even bought the notably verified Pokédex which he later donated to a boy in Victoria, British Columbia.
Now Nighy says he is deeply imbedded in the Pokéfandom and has been consumed by his love for the world. In the same interview with The Guardian he disclosed that he has an extensive collection of old school Pokémon art and even says his favorite character is ancient Mew.
Just after midnight on October 14, 2018, billionaire Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame tweeted that he loved anime Your Name and attached the trailer. An hour and a half later, he tweeted that "it's time to create a mecha," referencing the giant fighting robots in popular anime shows and films. The robots usually sport large guns, lasers, or other sci-fi weapons.
To some, this may seem like an offhanded joke, but these kind of blasé social media posts have turned into something in the past. While talking to Joe Rogan on his podcast, Musk revealed that the Boring Company, a subsidiary of SpaceX, started off as a quip and then turned into a reality.
On August 28, 2018 singer Ariana Grande unveiled a new tattoo: a line drawing of Chihiro from Spirited Away. In her Snapchat story, Grande explained the character to her followers:
Chihiro’s growth into a capable individual is a core factor to the movement of Spirited Away’s plot. During her adventure in the Spirit World, she matures from an easily-scared girl with a child-like personality to match her age to a hard-working, responsible and brave young girl who has learned to put her fears aside for those she cares for...
To protect her friends and rescue her parents from a spell that has turned them into livestock, Chihiro sheds her former personality and adapts to her environment to become a courageous, quick-witted and reliable girl.
Grande got a second anime-related tattoo in January 2019. The pop star revealed a tattoo of the Pokémon Eevee on an Instagram story, adding the caption, "i've wanted this for so long thank u sm [so much]."
The singer also told fans that she played a lot of Pokémon: Let's Go Eevee! over her break. On her last day before getting back to work, she claimed to have played the game for a whopping 15 hours.