Enako finds a new way to surprise us with how much money she’s making.

There’s no perfect consensus on who Japan’s best cosplayer is, but there are very few who can challenge Enako in terms of fame or income. With the size of the crowds she draws and the height of her earnings equally enviable, Enako has also been branching out into other sectors of the entertainment industry, such as tarento (media personality) and gravure modeling work.

▼ A selection of recent magazines Enako has graced the covers of


While a lot of Enako’s gravure modeling is for photo spreads in weekly or monthly manga anthologies, in many of them she’s not wearing any sort of cosplay outfit, but dressed in swimwear or other revealing but non-anime-related attire. Given her immense popularity, her presence on the cover no doubt has a huge influence on the issue’s sales.

▼ This recent issue of Weekly Shonen Champion, for example, has as many pictures of Enako, five, on the cover as it does of characters from the manga serialized in it.

So you might expect Enako to charge a pretty penny for any publication that wants her pretty gravure modeling face on the cover, and yes, the amount she earns from manga magazine gravure modeling is indeed shocking…because she doesn’t earn anything at all from it.

During Enako’s appearance on Monday’s episode of late-night variety TV show Shimofuri Mikixit the conversation turned, as it so often does, to how much money Enako makes. She’s always been willing to talk openly about her income, and she explained that she doesn’t charge any fee for her gravure modeling that appears in manga magazines.


This isn’t the norm for the industry, but whereas most gravure models have that as their primary profession, for Enako it’s just one aspect of her professional activities. During the program, she says she makes about 50 million yen (US$455,000) a year. Around 70 percent of that comes from corporate tie-ups for event and commercial appearances, official cosplay sessions, and brand ambassador deals, and another 20 percent or so is from her self-published photo albums and merchandise sales. With so much money coming in elsewhere, Enako views her manga magazine gravure modeling projects as a bit of mutually beneficial promotion for herself and the magazine, and so making a profit off of those photo shoots isn’t a priority.

▼ Enako cosplaying as Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim’s Olha to promote the video game’s smartphone-version release last month

Though Enako is always so open about how much money she makes, she’s clarified that she’s not doing it to brag. With cosplaying itself only having recently come into the mainstream spotlight, being a cosplayer still isn’t seen by many people as a proper profession, regardless of the amount of talent or effort it requires. Because of that, Enako hopes that by letting others know how much she’s making she can convince them that being a professional cosplayer is as much a job as any other role in show business.

Source: Daily via Yahoo! Japan News via Otakomu
Images: PR Times
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