How to Get Paid to Watch Anime

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Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by Daniella

Anime is one of those unique hobbies that crosses continents and cultures to bring nerds together. Whether that’s over swords, love stories full of heart eyes and sweet romance, or a plucky hero who wins the battle with the power of friendship. But can you actually get paid to watch anime?

Your knowledge is much more valuable than you realize, and you can build a serious side hustle or career with your anime obsession! 

Let’s discuss some popular and effective ways of making money with anime that can last well beyond the a series finale episode.

Looking for more side hustle ideas? Take the free side hustle quiz to find your perfect match (and get tons of free resources to help you start it)!

Theory Crafting

If you love anime, tiny details, and finding connections that no one else can see, then there’s a way to show off your crack-pot theories and make money while doing it. Theory crafting is a serious career, despite how unserious the theory material might seem, and there are plenty of successful theory channels on YouTube devoted to the craft! Here’s how you can make money doing it!


How to Make Money

Start by creating videos with your best theories and post them on YouTube. Get your creative juices flowing, share those wild theories, and before you know it, you’ll be racking up views. To make money with YouTube, you’ll need a decent following. YouTube requires channels to have at least 1,000 followers before they can place ads on their videos, but you can monetize through a paid YouTube community at only 500 followers.

From there, you can grow your income by exploring sponsorships, setting up a Patreon, and letting your fans support you directly. 

How To Build Your Community

Get in on those social media platforms – X (formerly Twitter), YouTube comments, and Reddit – and start chatting with fellow anime lovers. Share your teasers, your insights, and your craziest theories to get people talking about your channel!

What Skills You Need

Quality videos are key in the theory-crafting space, so brush up on your video editing skills and invest in some decent recording gear. Start learning about evidence organization and scriptwriting as well. It’s going to take a lot of carefully planned hooks, persuasion, and connecting the dots to convince folks your theories are solid–which makes them keep coming back for more when you theories are right!

YouTube/Twitch Reaction Channels

Creating reaction channels is the perfect remote side hustle. For the anime watchers who want to make a career out of hyping up your favorite shows, YouTube and Twitch reaction channels are the way to make your dreams happen. 

How to Make Money

YouTube and Twitch reaction channels work in a similar way to theory crafting channels in making money. Make interesting videos and build up your community with content that makes them feel like they’re a part of your journey while watching their favorite shows.

You can monetize your channels using the following systems:

  • Patreon memberships
  • YouTube ads
  • Sponsor ads like little commercial breaks in your videos

Start there and you’re on your way to a successful and thriving channel with money pouring in!

Related: Twitch Review: How to Make Money on Twitch

How To Build Your Community

Your followers love the shows you’re watching, but the real reason they’re here is to see how YOU react to the plot. So make sure you’re up front with them about your style of reaction. Is it theatrical and over-the-top? Or chilled, laid back, and analytical? Get to know yourself by recording your reactions and think about how you can better relate to your audience’s excitement. 

It always pays to be yourself, and that doesn’t have to change when you start a reaction channel. If you are over the top, you’ll find lots of people who have the same excitement level as you. If you’re laid back, you’ll find people who enjoy the calm commentary just as much. 

What Skills You Need

Have you ever had to keep a live show audience organized, on task, and mollified so they don’t turn into a rowdy mob? Imagine having that job, but every person in the crowd has their own megaphone — that’s the chat box. AKA how your followers connect with you during videos and streams.

To be a successful reaction channel, you’ll also need to entertain the chat, and that means having skills in performance art, crowd control, and quick-witted commentary on the anime’s plot.

Comedians are a great place to study crowd control that balances entertaining jokes. Watch how they interact with the audience, and shift course according to the energy in the crowd. Learn how to go with the flow, commit to the bit, and be quick on your feet to win their loyalty forever. 

Also make room to learn about livestream setup. If you’re not much of a tech head, then there’s a learning curve to setting up a live channel. Pros know how to manage the setup, and keep cool when a technical difficulty happens while you’re live. It’s not an if, but a when scenario all serious reactors have to face.

Professional Cosplayer

If your closet was always covered up in costumes as a little kid, and the games you played were always about pretending to be a character in your favorite stories, you’ll thrive as a professional cosplayer! A combination of costume design, source material knowledge, and performance art are the three keys to a successful cosplay career, and here’s how you get in. 

@cosplay.kaiser on Instagram dressed as Cloud from Final Fantasy.

How to Make Money

Professional cosplayers make money in the same way as other performing artists. Doing shows at conventions, events, and private gatherings. People want to see their favorite hero/heroine come to life, and it’s your job to put on the most convincing act to make them believe their favorite character just stepped off the screen. Don’t be surprised if you get booked for conventions, as well as birthday parties for kids and adults alike.

How To Build Your Community

X (Twitter) is the best place for all anime related careers, as well as Instagram and Tiktok. That’s where all the anime lovers hang out on the internet. You can also do some live networking at conventions. Grab a ticket, and come to the event dressed and ready to sell your performance. You’ll be taking pictures all day with excited convention attendees, so have your business card ready to hand out as well with your name, website portfolio, and social handles. You never know who you’ll meet in the crowd, so be prepared!

What Skills You Need

A portfolio website is going to be necessary in the long run, but a series on TikTok/Instagram will do in the meantime. You just need a place to show off your skills, and breadth of characters you can portray. Having a roster of different characters to choose from will make you more appealing to convention organizers, and it will broaden your opportunities to get more gigs, but stick to the characters you know well!

Brush up on costume design too. Those rigs will start adding up quickly if you rely on costume designers to make all your costumes. Start your YouTube college degree by watching all the how-to’s, tips and tricks videos, and convention vlogs you can find to start. You’ll be amazed what you can learn from hobby cosplayers, and the innovation behind some of their designs.

Related: How to Identify Your Skills (& Turn Them Into a Side Hustle)

Voice Acting

Ever fantasized about breathing life into your favorite anime characters with your voice? Becoming an anime voice actor lets you pursue your passion and making a buck doing what you love. Whether you’re mimicking legendary characters or inventing new ones, anime voice acting is your ticket to break into animation and beyond. 

Rebecca Forstadt | Voice Actor for anime and film. See her profile @rebeccaforstadt on X (Twitter).

How to Make Money

Scoring gigs in on 3rd party platforms like, Fiverr, and is great for making money as a new voice actor. If the gig goes well and you think it’s a client you’ll want to work with again, invite those clients to contact directly through your email so you can become their go-to VA. 

Keep your ears perked for casting calls from studios, production houses, or talent agencies specialized in voice acting. Payment varies, depending on the gig’s size and your experience. Don’t stop there—expand your horizons by lending your voice to fan-made animations, video games, or even audiobooks (get paid to read books that some anime is based on) to build up your earnings. By spreading your wings across different projects, you’ll be broadening your portfolio as an anime voice actor.

How to Build Your Community

Take to social media battlegrounds like X (Twitter), Instagram, and TikTok to give peeks behind the curtain into your voice acting journey, mingle with fans, and promote your work to build your portfolio. Attend conventions, workshops, and industry networking events to make connections with other voice actors so they can send work your way. Making waves in the community and 

Related: How to Make Money on TikTok

What Skills You Need

Hone your vocals to tackle a wide range of characters, from heroes to villains and everything in between. Don’t forget to showcase how you deliver emotions and quirks through your voice and style. Brush up on different acting techniques to nail scripts and embody characters like a pro.

Professional voice actors understand that is this a serious business, so you’ll need an air-tight system on the back end for invoicing and customer service that keep clients coming back to you. Set up a portfolio website, invoicing software, and ways to manage all your clients work that makes you look like a professional.

The most important skill you’ll need is designing your own pro recording spot for quality audio. You can get recommendations for setups on Reddit, YouTube, and other blog posts. 

Selling Merchandise and Commission Fan Work

Here’s where we come to crossroad in the anime monetization world. Selling merchandise and commissioning fan works is highly lucrative, and highly disputed on it legality. 

Some mega fans develop their skills to sell merchandise on platforms like Etsy (physical and digital products), or sell at conventions. Others commission fan art and fanfiction through a private sale on Patreon and other membership-only platforms. 

However way you stick it, there’s space for artists and writers to celebrate their favorite shows and make some extra cash by selling their fan work. 

Related: 20 Best Things to Sell on Etsy

Pochita rubber keychain sold on Etsy by HighDesertGoodsLLC


These two ideas for getting paid to watch anime come with a MEGA huge legal disclaimer. I’ll write another blog post in the future that dives into the complexity of this topic, but for now just know that you need to do your due diligence before committing to these income ideas. It’s illegal to sell intellectual property that you don’t own, but many artists make a lot money doing it. It’s up to your own discretion, and I am not responsible for what you choose to do. 

Reselling Merchandise

When you don’t want to worry about the legalities of creating and selling merchandise, you can make money reselling official merchandise from your favorite shows. You could sell things from a collection that you might already own, or buy merchandise online with the purpose of “flipping” them. Flipping means to buy something with the purpose of reselling it for a profit. 

Inuyasha dvd set for sale on ebay

How to Make Money

The first step to be able to successfully make money by reselling anime merchandise is to do your research. I usually use eBay for this, and search for keywords related to my favorite anime shows. From there, you can see what’s in demand and how they’re priced. You’ll also be able to see if there are any items that are severely underpriced based on similar items you’ve viewed online, and determine if you could potentially buy those items and resell them.

In-demand anime merchandise that sells well include DVDs, action figures, manga volumes, and other collectibles. These usually do well on reselling apps and classified sites like Craigslist.

The best selling apps to do this include:

How to Build Your Community

The good thing about reselling anything online is that you don’t need a community to do it. However, you do need to keep a positive seller profile on whatever reselling app you end up using. This means shipping your items quickly and neatly, and keeping a good communication stream with the buyer when they have questions.

What Skills You Need

If you have the skills to hunt down your favorite anime collectibles, you already have everything it takes to be a successful reseller. However, you’ll need to learn a few basic photography skills to take clear photos of the merchandise. You’ll also need to be able to identify and use the correct keywords in your items titles and descriptions so people can find them easily. For some help, look at how other successful sellers word their item descriptions.

Write About Your Favorite Shows

If you love talking about your favorite shows, write about them! You can start freelance writing about anime or work for a company and write content for their website(s).

How to Make Money

You can make money in a variety of ways as a freelance anime writer. You will have to put together a writing portfolio which you can do easily with putting a few articles together on your favorite shows and adding them to a Google Drive to quickly get started. Also think about setting your freelance rate and making sure you save enough for taxes since this is usually done on a freelance basis.

Several websites hire freelance anime writers, such as:

How to Build Your Community

You don’t need much of a community to be a writer but getting on sites like X/Twitter and following other writers and anime website editors can help you find more gigs.

What Skills You Need

Writing and editing skills are a must but if you don’t think those are up to par, brush up on those skills on sites like Coursera. You will also need good critical thinking skills if you want to write articles that focus on analyzing a certain show or genre. An eye for detail, knowledge about shows and characters, and storytelling skills are other must-have skills to have.

Anime Jobs and Career Options

There are tons of ways that you can create a business around anime, and even some options that don’t require you building a personal brand before you start making some money! Here are a few career and gig ideas that can get you into the anime industry from a different angle.

Animation Studio

Working in an animation studio is a dream come true for many anime enthusiasts. The challenge is that it’s a highly competitive dream too. If you want to stand out in this field, you’ll have to spend a lot of time developing your drawing skills, and building a solid portfolio showcasing your artistic skills and storytelling abilities. Go to school if you afford it, attend animation workshops, and network with industry professionals to land internships or entry-level positions.

Once you’re in, your passion and dedication will be your greatest assets in climbing the ranks.

Event Logistics for Comic Cons/Conventions

Serious organizers and people who thrive on behind-the-scenes action can build a career in the logistics of anime events and comic cons. These roles involve planning, coordinating, and executing large-scale events that bring anime fans together. You could work on everything from scheduling panels and managing vendor booths to managing the smooth flow of attendees. To get started, gain experience in event planning or project management, and volunteer at local conventions to understand the inner workings.

Networking with event organizers and building a reputation for reliability and efficiency can open doors to more significant opportunities in this exciting field.

Convention Worker

For those who love the convention scene and want to be near the fan interactions, working as a convention staffer can be an exciting gig. Staffing agencies often hire temporary workers for conventions, providing roles like registration, security, and customer service. This job offers a chance to experience the high-energy atmosphere of anime conventions while gaining valuable experience in event operations.

Apply through staffing agencies specializing in event staffing, and be prepared for long hours and dynamic environments. This gig can be a stepping stone to more permanent positions within the event management industry.

Anime Theme Music Composer

If music is your passion, writing anime theme music could be your ticket to success in the anime industry. Iconic theme songs are a staple of any anime, and talented composers who truly understand the anime they’re writing for are always in demand.

To get started, hone your composition and production skills, and create a portfolio of diverse musical pieces. A fun way to showcase your skill could be rewriting an older anime theme song in a style you think would suit the show better. Collaborate with independent anime creators or participate in music competitions to gain exposure.

Networking with anime studios and music production companies can also lead to pitching opportunities. A unique sound and a deep knowledge of anime’s emotional and narrative needs will set you apart in this competitive field.

Finally get paid to watch your favorite anime shows!

Your passion for anime can be much more than a pastime. Whether you’re diving into theory crafting, reacting to the latest episodes, bringing characters to life through voice acting or cosplay, or even exploring behind-the-scenes careers in the anime industry, there are countless ways to turn your anime obsession into a thriving side hustle or full-blown career.

When you dive back into your favorite series, remember that every episode watched, every detail noticed, and every character loved is a step closer to your dream career. Embrace your passion, unleash your creativity, and turn your anime obsession into a thriving reality that can make you money along the way!


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