Victoria Holden gets paid to watch anime. But it’s not exactly as fun as it sounds.
Holden is Crunchyroll’s marketing manager. Her job is to relate to fans over social media, which includes being well-versed any Crunchyroll shows they might be watching. During business hours, you’ll find Holden on her dual-monitor setup, anime streaming on one screen, Twitter open in the other.
To most anime fans, it sounds like the 24-year-old has landed an impossible dream job. But Holden happened into it by chance. A cosplayer who goes by the name Sailor Bee, she was originally a regular host on Crunchyroll’s late webshow. When the show ended, Crunchyroll found a way to keep her on staff.
“If it weren’t for my crazy knowledge of anime and manga and the fact that I’m part of their target demographic, it wouldn’t have happened,” she said.
Indeed, few Americans know as much about anime and manga as Holden. Brought up by otaku parents, “they didn’t let me watch American cartoons growing up.” Armed with decades of viewing combined with watching the latest series each day at work, Holden can chat with fans of nearly any series. Check Crunchyroll on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, and you’ll get Holden chatting up a storm about anime.
“I thought Crunchyroll needed to be more credible,” she said of the company’s earlier years. “They just looked like suits. If I’d seen them at a con, I wouldn’t have talked to them.”
Last year, Holden attended more than 42 anime conventions, half of them for work. When you consider that there are just 52 weeks in a year, it starts to dawn on you just how tough Holden’s seemingly idyllic career really is.
The highlight of her hard work? Coming up with Crunchyroll Ambassadors, a program that allows cosplayers and bloggers to evangelize Crunchyroll as compensated affiliates. It’s one more way to represent Crunchyroll through fans instead of “suits.” The program now has more than 86 participants from all over the world.
“[Crunchyroll President] Vince [Sortino] asked me, ‘What would you do to get 100,000 more Crunchyroll users entirely by yourself?’ And I thought, I’d get more me’s. I’d find well known fans, vloggers, and cosplayers.”
The program was more successful than Holden could have imagined, and she still gets applications every day. But if you’re thinking of applying, her primary guideline is that you’re just as dedicated to Crunchyroll’s anime mission as she is.
“Today, Crunchyroll isn’t just for fans, it’s by fans,” she said. “I want the passion to already be there.”