Anime and manga fans come in all shapes in sizes due to its wide reach and greater popularity in recent years. But the industry has been around for so long, it has even earned the adoration and turned people you wouldn't expect into fans of the medium.
Some of these fans include majorly famous stars who recently took part in one of the biggest Star Wars films, Mark Hamill.
You wouldn't think someone as busy as Mark Hamill, as he takes part in both big budget blockbusters and voice over roles for many animated series, would have time for anime, but he's been a fan of the medium for a long time. In a 2005 interview, Hamill talked about his love of the medium after he spent time in Japan:
"...I went to high school for two years in Japanand became aware of anime back then--shows on their television that were much more adult-oriented than what we were getting over here at the time [he cites the series, Speed Racer and Astro Boy specifically]-- and I was always just fascinated with how the Japanese have evolved animation into a medium for adult stories."
Often known for his more adult-oriented voice work, like the Joker in the DC Animated Universe, it's interesting to see Hamill's voice work align with his reason for liking anime. In fact, the reason this interview exists is because he played a role in the English dub versions Studio Ghibli's Castle in the Sky and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
He was overall impressed with the animation risks the anime industry takes with their projects, noting how anime often told a darker type of story than you would have seen in Western animation at the time. Though Western animation has evolved to the point of matching the kinds of tones one could find in an anime series, most fans are drawn to anime for the same kinds of reasons Mark Hamill is.
Now knowing that Mark Hamill is a fan of anime, it could mean that one big fan wish of getting Hamill to voice the God of Destruction Belmod in the Dragon Ball Super English dub could be closer to a reality. What once seemed like a long shot, isn't that unimaginable after all.
Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video.
Studio Ghibli is a prolific animation studio in the anime scene. Not only have eight of its anime films gone on to be part of Japan's fifteen highest grossing anime films, it's most notable release, Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away has grossed over $290 million USD worldwide.