Odds are, you’ve googled “How much do cosplayers make?”. Most don’t make a TON, but this mastermind has basically reached the level every con-attendee has always dreamt of.
Between her good looks and perfectly recreated outfits, Japanese cosplayer Enako is used to having a lot of eyes on her. Not only is she incredibly popular, but she’s incredibly successful – regularly earning more than one million yen ($9,090 USD) a month.
We all know it; cosplay is a mercilessly hard field to conquer. There’s a high premium placed on youth, and spending your professional life transforming into fictional characters can make it tough to establish your own identity. Plus it’s a SUPER saturated industry, which in turn makes it difficult to build lasting loyalty within a fanbase…
But Enako has managed to keep her adoring fans in thrall.
When serving as a booth spokesmodel (selling merchandise at anime or other otaku-oriented events), lines of up to 1,000 customers form, and her public photo modeling sessions have attracted up to 500 photographers. But the most startling numbers are the ones related to her monthly and hourly income. In December of last year, Enako claims she pulled in more than 10 million yen ($90,900 USD) from her various cosplay activities.
Granted, December was an especially busy month for Enako thanks to Comiket. Since she’s SO popular, she receives direct requests from anime and video game companies to promote their products on the crowded Comiket floor.
That’s not to say Enako is just lazing about now that Comiket is over, though. She also frequently streams live video chat sessions through app Live.me. During the chats, patrons of the otaku arts in the audience can make donations to Enako, and thanks to their generosity, Enako says she can earn up to 200,000 yen ($1,818 USD) an hour from her Live.me ventures.
And then there’s the money Enako earns through personal merchandising, such as the full-size huggy pillow cover featuring her likeness that recently went on sale.
— ムービックの中の人 (@movic_jp) January 31, 2018
Still, before you start ditching school or blowing off homework to put extra hours into your cosplay outfit for the next local anime convention, it’s worth remembering that while cosplay definitely gives Enako a hook, she’s also photogenic enough that she could likely land work as a mainstream model too.
Show her work the respect it deserves! Support her here.