A long time letterer shares how she joined the industry, and what fans can do to help the industry she works for grow

How fans can help the anime and manga industry growTo kickoff 2017, it’s time to get a sense of what we can do to help the anime and manga industry succeed. While the signs have trended up for both anime and manga success in the West over the past few years, piracy still exists, titles you’d think would get licensed still are unlicensed, and companies continue to navigate uncharted territories in a streaming future. So the best question is: how can we help?

Well, let’s ask industry people!

From a long-time editor of a weekly Japanese magazine to a brand new shoujo and josei publisher, a few industry members took time to explain how fans can support the industry and help it continue to grow. So expect during the month of January you’ll get to find out why these people decided they wanted to work in the industry, and share what fans can to do to help them out.

Today’s industry member, Annaliese Christman, has been lettering manga since 2004, and isn’t really interested in stopping anytime soon. From World Trigger to My Monster Secret, she’s helped us read a good amount of manga without us having to struggle reading it.

My reasoning for wanting to work in the industry was… incredibly arrogant. I didn’t like the things that were changed when anime and manga were being brought over to the states. There was a lot of censorship (in manga, mainly) back then. I figured I would work hard, get a job in the industry, and slowly work my way up and “fix” things. Once I got an internship, I quickly learned that there was good reasoning behind a lot of the changes. I mean, some are even requested on the Japanese side of the industry! I quickly changed from wanting to change the industry to wanting to get people to understand the industry better so they wouldn’t be as ignorant as I was.

On another note, the industry has evolved a lot and now censorship is pretty rare! Huzzah!

The quick and easy answer for fans to help continue this is by supporting the official releases. We are in an age where most anime is available to stream legally and a huge amount of official English-language manga is being released. Crunchyroll subscriptions aren’t that expensive. It’s worth it. English-language Shonen Jump is usually over 200 pages of manga a week for something like 54 cents an issue. That’s a bargain! Subscribing to these and buying official releases supports the creators.

Please also refer to series by their English titles. When the My Hero Academia anime started, I saw many a tweet encouraging people to check out “Boku no Hero Academia.” Yes, that’s the Japanese title. Yes, it’s a correct thing to call it. But when someone suggests a series in that way, people will search for that title and likely get scanlations and fansubs. Viz and Funimation don’t call it that, they use the English title, so searching for the Japanese title will probably not bring up official releases. Perhaps the people searching just don’t know any better, but as fans, it’s an easy thing to change. Just refer to it like the official releases do. When you suggest it to people, maybe show them where they can legally read or watch it. I don’t think people that pirate anime and manga are all terrible people, I’d like to think a lot of them just don’t know better.

So please, as fans, share your favorite series with others by leading by good example.