Courses include maid cafe management, idol production, and dojinshi promotion.
As Japan’s mecca for anime, video games, cosplay, Tokyo’s Akihabara has long been thought of as a hobbyist’s neighborhood. But as otaku continue to grow in both number and economic clout, it’s becoming apparent that the Akihabara lifestyle can include work as well as play.
Tokyo School of Anime, a trade school serving those interested in becoming anime industry professionals, has announced the development of a new department called Akiba Business World (“Akiba” being the trendy nickname for Akihabara). Whereas the school already has courses for would-be anime artists and musicians, the new department will offer instruction in one of six fields with a strong Akihabara connection.
For example, the Maid and Cosplay Business specialization will teach students the ins and outs of running a themed cafe, restaurant, or shop, including such necessary skills as advertising and human resource management.
The Dojinshi course will help independent comic creators understand effective ways of promoting and selling their works, along with the legalities of the often gray-area subsector of the manga industry.
Akiba Business World will offer two different idol-related programs. One is for would-be idols themselves, while the other is for aspiring idol unit producers.
The Anime Event Staff course is for those who want to learn how to effectively plan and administer those increasingly important fan gatherings, and cover challenges such as logistics, staffing, and coordinating with other anime industry professionals.
And finally, the Anime Producer specialization is just what it sounds like: a series of classes for those looking to occupy a central position in the production of anime and video game content.
Tokyo School of Anime plans to launch the Akiba Business World department in April of 2017, coinciding with the start of that academic year.