He's a photographer all the way through the series. At the risk of dropping a spoiler, he gets his power from the film.
And, yeah, I know what anime is, having visited Ghibli and even had a short stints working with both Katsuhiro Otomo and Stan Lee (not together, alas). But I find no value in trying to draw such divisions. "Cartoon" works fine for me.
That goes for manga and bandes desinee too