Anime has become one of the most revered cultures across the globe. It’s popularity is huge in Europe with countries such as France producing anime and host the second largest anime convention. The anime crazy train rides through China, Australia and its native Japan. With the influx of anime in the 90s, it has a strong foothold here in the United States. Shows such as Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Voltron and Pokémon have paved the way for other big Japanese programs like Cowboy Bebop, Bleach, Naruto and One Piece in the early 2000s. While the anime community continues to grow in large countries, its influence is beginning to seep into smaller commonwealths. Strangely, the last I would expect to house otaku is Zambia, a small country in Africa.
Reading an article at Anime News Network, I was fascinated with the story Zambia’s growing anime community and the forum that is bringing Zambian anime fans together, Nerd Otaku. Nerd Otaku was born from the Facebook group ANIMAX and it has helped give fans across Zambia a place where they can gather and share their passion for Japanese anime. It is headed by Dennis ‘Kidd’ Banda, writer and COO of Nerd Otaku. They held their first convention in 2014 which started as gaming convention with other subcultures circulating in it as well. They had a maid café, an artist alley, and also started hosting online anime simulcasting movie event called #OtakuMovieNight. Nerd Otaku also hosts their Lusaka Comic Convention, which has become highly successful, and the anime exclusive branch out AniMeet. This black owned and operated community also hosts gaming tournaments and LAN parties. Thanks to a partnership from Crunchyroll, they have been able to have anime screenings, gaming tournaments and a maid café.
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Laluna_Otaku is one of Zambia’s most prominent cosplayers. In an interview, she said that the “local cosplay scene is a bit weak currently”, but she hopes that this will change. She was inspired to cosplay after seeing a poster of a live action Sailor Moon series and was surprised to see people dressed up as the characters.
Anime has also inspired artist in Zambia to began creating their own animations. Scuna Girl is a webseries streaming on YouTube created by Muko of Tsubasa Animations and is based on a Zambian urban legend.
Local Zambian artists are benefitting greatly from the influence of anime. Thanks to Webtoons, they are able to post their comics online where they gain support locally and internationally. Artist Tabs Kun has a romantic short story called “When it Hails” which was part of a short story contest on the site along with Mazuba Q’s “Holding On.”
It is certainly impressive to see an otherwise unknown community in an African country slowly rise to the surface and inspire so many people and bringing them into one of the largest subgenres in the world.
Want to more about Nerd Otaku, click here for the official website!
Read the full article at Anime News Network website