Elon Musk’s Anime Interest: Real Deal or Staged Act?

Elon Musk is one of the most influential people in technology and business. He has changed multiple industries — from aerospace to e-commerce— and his achievements and ventures (both past and present) have made Elon one of the richest (the richest when this article was written) men in the world. Elon’s substantial wealth didn’t just come from his incredibly successful career. His success has been paired with his rise to prominence and the increasing public awareness of his quirks and often eccentric nature.

An often referenced example of Elon Musk’s refusal to conform to a norm is his public love for anime. 

The super-rich, especially billionaires, like to maintain a certain sense of class around everything that they do, from the food they eat to the media they watch. This doesn’t matter to Elon, though. He has admitted to watching anime, which is commonly viewed as a pastime of common folk, in several public appearances.

This from a man who has created a fandom of his own over social media whilst juggling the ownership and daily activities of his several companies and laying the foundation for human colonization of the moon. Say what you will about the man but Elon Musk definitely has some interesting hobbies.

Elon has had a penchant for anime ever since his college years, where he used to stream episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion on his laptop while studying. Elon never stopped liking the show, even after watching it through several times. He loved the show so much that he still posts about it regularly on his twitter.

Elon’s love for anime extended beyond just one show, though. Elon has stated that he likes anime and Japanese culture as a whole, and over the years has expanded his knowledge of the medium to cover a wide range of shows from several Japanese studios. Elon is also a fan of other media from Japan – visiting Tokyo multiple times and even mentioning that the inspiration behind the design of the Tesla Model S is Japanese.

Here is a list of the notable anime series that Elon Musk has gone on record to say he likes, either on his twitter account or in interviews; an Elon Musk Anime recommendation list.

  • Death Note: An epic series about a young man who finds a book on the ground, Death Note asks the question “What would you do if you could kill anyone on earth?” It is a fascinating watch from beginning to end and an instant classic. It definitely deserves to be on the Elon Musk anime recommendation list.
  • Ghost In The Shell: Elon Musk recommends the movie, not the TV series. It is considered a classic, not just in the anime genre, but also cyberpunk in general. While it wasn’t released as recently as other animes Elon Musk has recommended, it certainly deserves to be on the Elon Musk anime recommendation list for its quality and impact alone.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: We mentioned this earlier as an example of  a true Elon Musk anime – one that he has watched several times and that he recommends to his plethora of followers to enjoy as well.
  • Your Name: This is one of the newer shows on this list, only being released in 2016.Elon Musk has mentioned it on twitter severally though, so it might be worth checking it out. He has a tweet that lists the ‘best anime of all time’ and Your Name is on it.
  • Spirited Away: Elon Musk recommends this anime series as well. Spirited Away is a classic family show that you can watch with your children. It follows the adventures of Chihiro, who mistakenly ventures into the spirit world.
  • Princess Mononoke: Princess Mononoke is an epic adventure about a prince who gets involved in a war between two opposing clans with differing opinions about the future of humanity and their environments. It has everything that makes anime great – badass fight scenes, epic world building, lovable characters, beautiful art direction, and a story that makes you think about the real world


I think there’s a lesson to be learnt from Elon Musk’s interest in anime. Maybe we should all use him as an example of how to take a break from life’s stresses. Maybe he serves as a reminder to always be true to yourself. Either way, we can be certain that Elon Musk knows his stuff when it comes to anime (as well as building wildly successful tech companies, I guess)




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