Anime is so hot these days that mainline streaming services are falling all over themselves to line up new series. That sets the stage for a merchandising machine that will know no limits. Even small companies producing original artwork, like Umai for example, are doing extremely well right now. Could it be because fans are living vicariously through their favorite anime characters?

The supposition might sound absurd if there were no evidence to suggest it. But evidence is aplenty. If you need proof, take a look at a July 2021 column by Funimation contributor Yali Perez. The piece offers helpful advice for people going through a recent breakup. Apparently, anime can help heal the wounds faster.

A Path of Self-Recovery

The Perez piece is fascinating even if you are not a die-hard anime fan. She charts a path of self-recovery with a collection of four different anime series she believes will help most people dealing with the aftermath of breakup. The four series are:

  • Sailor Moon
  • How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?
  • Yona of the Dawn
  • Date a Live.

It’s interesting to read Perez’ perspective on matters of love and anime. She equates the two, as many fans do. And as it turns out, she was inspired to write her July 2021 piece after turning to anime to help her through her own painful breakup.

There is nothing wrong with this, by the way. The adults among us have all experienced the pain of breakup. And most of us have turned to something to help us through. Perez prefers anime. Other people turn to sports, shopping, hobbies, and so forth. Whatever works works.

Watch a Series, Buy a T-Shirt

If you do live vicariously through your anime, it probably shows in numerous areas of your life. You undoubtedly stream a ton of anime shows. You have probably purchased an anime T-shirt or two. And if you are really off the deep end, private apparel labels like Umai might make up the majority of your wardrobe.

Perhaps you imagine yourself as your favorite anime hero or villain doing whatever they do. Maybe you visualize yourself traveling throughout the galaxy looking for an evil flower. Or perhaps picturing yourself as Hibiki Sakura is enough to motivate you to get up and exercise every day. Again, whatever works works.

You Are Not the Only One

The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only one. If you are living vicariously through your favorite anime characters or series, know that others are doing the same. Even more so, there are plenty of people living vicariously through all sorts of pop-culture icons. Just go to Comic Con if you doubt what you’re reading.

Every Comic Con convention in the world is attended by people who live vicariously through others’ fantasies. You will see people pretending to be Star Trek‘s  Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock. You will see legions of storm troopers from the Star Wars franchise. Every Marvel hero and villain will be represented as well.

Perhaps we all live vicariously through our fantasies to one extent or another. Our fantasies help us cope with some of the darkest days of reality. They give us something to dream about; something to distract us from life’s unpleasantness. Is that good or bad? That is up to you.

Living vicariously through anime is not only okay, but also catching on. Anime has never been more popular in the U.S. And with its popularity comes increased interest in mimicking what we see in movies, on TV screens, and in graphic novels.