Cosplay and youth un-/underemployment.
"And guess what: America has a growing number of make-believe "cosplay" heroes, too. Many of the 130,000 people who attend the San Diego Comic Con every year invest big bucks in elaborate outfits as a way of showing off their favorite Japanese characters, as well as those from American superhero movies, comics, and "genre" televisions shows such as Game of Thrones. And this trend is growing — the crowd at Comic Con was one-third this size in 2000. In 2013, the SyFy channel even created a reality show about the trend, Heroes of Cosplay.
The rise in popularity partly stems from the 1990s influx of Japanese anime and manga. But America's own post-bubble economic funk is also probably playing a role. U.S. economic growth has averaged just 1 percent annually since 2006, as the Great Recession has been followed by a weak recovery. And that anemic growth has dimmed prospects for young job seekers. The unemployment rate for men and women 20 to 24 years old is 11.4 percent, versus a low of 7.2 percent in 2007. And as a new White House report notes, workers who get their first jobs during a recession earn as much as 9 percent less per year than those who do not — and the effect lasts for as much as 15 years."
So now people have moved from making fun of a hobby to protesting it as economically destructive. Can't a man just watch his Chinese cartoons in peace?