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NEWS: Study: New Entry-Level Animators Earn US$9,200 a Year in Japan


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Dietrihm7



Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:56 am Reply with quote
The industry needs some heroes to rise, content quality of anime is falling every year and these wages are unacceptable. Union evil isn't needed, but studios with a sense of pride and moral responsibility are. Otherwise 12 episode recycled shows and butchered manga adaptations, will be all audiences can look forward to.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:00 am Reply with quote
residentgrigo wrote:
I posted this link https://washiblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/shirobako-its-the-people-dammit/ in the in the Shirobako editorial (i a not it´s biggest fan but that is besides the point) where identical figures show up and there are further links at the very end which "do the math" too.
The pay discrepancy between the people involved is severe and even the chief director/animator aren´t walking home rich in the end.

This is all pretty depressing and they animators probably work more then 55 hours a week (and surely at least 6 days a week with no holidays) but the people who assembly the new Apple products and whatnot else aren't paid more. Maybe less?
Such studies are very important but a lot of industries (all over the world) will probably show similar result so i would just blame japan or foreign animation houses and accept this as the reality of what capitalism does to us. The lesson is: Don´t follow your dreams... or work below minimum wage to only be replaced by cheaper CGI very soon. Or do manga and work youself to death too.

Japan Average Salaries & Expenditures:
http://www.worldsalaries.org/japan.shtml
Office Clerk average income - Net Monthly Income $ 2,371


I like your final sentence of your quote. In the end, reality will set in, flying or drawing cartoon characters can be fun, but whether that makes a good career is another question. Capitalism can indeed be cruel, but it is probably the least cruel compare to its alternatives.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3713
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:02 am Reply with quote
residentgrigo wrote:
Japan Average Salaries & Expenditures:
http://www.worldsalaries.org/japan.shtml
Office Clerk average income - Net Monthly Income $ 2,371

I found about that many years ago when I thought about living and working in Japan in IT. Turns out like you referenced, the pay across the board for the same profession is much lower in Japan. The trick to getting around that I've read from gaijinpot and expat boards is to look for work in foreign corps. Really big international Japanese corps are better than average too.
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cloud8100



Joined: 30 May 2010
Posts: 520
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:08 am Reply with quote
Damn, thats awful. That needs to change.
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Half Life



Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 42
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:11 am Reply with quote
It always cracks me up when I see others whining about unfair wages/working conditions for these types of jobs.

The job of anime artist is a field very similar to other "glamour" jobs -- like acting, musician, dancer, fine artist, writer, etc. These are jobs where at the top you can be famous and wealthy in ways that a "normal" job can never promise.

For most who get into these fields the end goal is something greater than simply making a living. Because of this there is an incredible amount of competition -- simple supply and demand for these jobs indicates that the more people who want the limited amount of entry level positions available the less the employer needs to offer in the way of compensation. Getting the chance to start the path to your dreams is often all the compensation many want in the beginning anyway.

Having lived through this type of thing, and watched many others either live through it, or succumb to natural selection and be weeded out, I can say this is not the big deal outsiders want to make it.

In fact, if it were not difficult at the entry level, the higher ranking artists in the field would not feel the younger generation "paid their dues"... because these experiences are like the artistsic form of "boot camp". We all have gone through it, and you aren't really regarded as a "pro" unless you have.

Just like musicians, dancers and actors -- if you want your shot you have to deal with the extremely high odds of sustained poverty and ultimate failure. It takes alot of belief in yourself to gamble so heavily on your talents -- but people happily do it every day.

All this talk about boycotting and whatnot is really misguided -- this is in no way at all like a "Walmart" type job... where you go into it with the idea that your goal is simply to get a paycheck every week. People who have no experience in a career in one of these "glamour" fields should really just understand they are dealing with a completely alien lifestyle choice, and therefor have no clue what they are talking about.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:21 am Reply with quote
Half Life wrote:
It always cracks me up when I see others whining about unfair wages/working conditions for these types of jobs.

The job of anime artist is a field very similar to other "glamour" jobs -- like acting, musician, dancer, fine artist, writer, etc. These are jobs where at the top you can be famous and wealthy in ways that a "normal" job can never promise.

For most who get into these fields the end goal is something greater than simply making a living. Because of this there is an incredible amount of competition -- simple supply and demand for these jobs indicates that the more people who want the limited amount of entry level positions available the less the employer needs to offer in the way of compensation. Getting the chance to start the path to your dreams is often all the compensation many want in the beginning anyway.

Having lived through this type of thing, and watched many others either live through it, or succumb to natural selection and be weeded out, I can say this is not the big deal outsiders want to make it.

In fact, if it were not difficult at the entry level, the higher ranking artists in the field would not feel the younger generation "paid their dues"... because these experiences are like the artistsic form of "boot camp". We all have gone through it, and you aren't really regarded as a "pro" unless you have.

Just like musicians, dancers and actors -- if you want your shot you have to deal with the extremely high odds of sustained poverty and ultimate failure. It takes alot of belief in yourself to gamble so heavily on your talents -- but people happily do it every day.

All this talk about boycotting and whatnot is really misguided -- this is in no way at all like a "Walmart" type job... where you go into it with the idea that your goal is simply to get a paycheck every week. People who have no experience in a career in one of these "glamour" fields should really just understand they are dealing with a completely alien lifestyle choice, and therefor have no clue what they are talking about.


I guess you have presented the case in a more blunt way that more civil realists on the same issue. It comes with an irony just a feel days this comes a few days after Cirque du Soleil got sold to private equity! The profile of a Cirque du Soleil employee is probably not all too different with a Japanese animator or musician of an orchestra or West End musical or an airline pilot (laugh).

Really, I just wonder what if the anime DVD licensee and merchandiser start to raise price, so they can afford better pay for its staff. Would consumers react positively? My profile of an anime consumer is young, probably just entering the work force (if not worse as a neet), can they afford the increase? You know what, the harsh reality is younger folks have the least job security, and they are unlikely to be able to pay more. The harsh reality of economics and corporate finance then sets in.
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 1050
Location: New York
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:24 am Reply with quote
Geez. Talk about starving artists.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:25 am Reply with quote
No "Over 9000" gag? Really?

In all seriousness that sucks, a lot.
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Paulo27



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 400
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:52 am Reply with quote
Blazingluke wrote:
This is happening because people aren't buying enough full-price anime releases from Bandai, Aniplex, or Pony Canyon. Very Happy
I just hope it's not Aniplex or any of the big guys that are paying this much to their animators, but knowing the problems with A-1 and whatnot it might be the case, it's just disgusting, it'd be understandable for productions that sell little but if you're paying this much when your anime is selling 10k+ discs, well, I don't know what to say.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:03 am Reply with quote
Paulo27 wrote:
Blazingluke wrote:
This is happening because people aren't buying enough full-price anime releases from Bandai, Aniplex, or Pony Canyon. Very Happy
I just hope it's not Aniplex or any of the big guys that are paying this much to their animators, but knowing the problems with A-1 and whatnot it might be the case, it's just disgusting, it'd be understandable for productions that sell little but if you're paying this much when your anime is selling 10k+ discs, well, I don't know what to say.


May be the current price paid for merchandises and DVDs are really too low? What consumers think to be expensive or cheap is not the same way when it translates the same into business reports and financial results. Perception and facts/numbers often disagree with each other. As Stephen Colbert famously puts it: truithiness.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
Posts: 12920
Location: In Phoenix but has an 85308 ZIP
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:04 am Reply with quote
YotaruVegeta wrote:
Geez. Talk about starving artists.

Indeed.
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Xavi_



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 61
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:09 am Reply with quote
Just came here to support @Half Life's view on the matter: I believe that the sole idea of becoming an animator and have their names roll in the credits is enough of a reward for the newcomers (in their minds). Add to this the supply and demand factor and you have the perfect means of legal exploitation.

The mediatic uproar is understandable, but imho it misses the whole picture.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:15 am Reply with quote
Xavi_ wrote:
Just came here to support @Half Life's view on the matter: I believe that the sole idea of becoming an animator and have their names roll in the credits is enough of a reward for the newcomers (in their minds). Add to this the supply and demand factor and you have the perfect means of legal exploitation.

The mediatic uproar is understandable, but imho it misses the whole picture.


The whole point is that if you wish to fix the problem, you need to look beyond the uproar. See the facts, and come up with a solution. Uproar and anger solve no problem. Period.
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Gasero



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 892
Location: MI, USA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:32 am Reply with quote
Considering the number of anime series that air every season, I'd think that there would be more people speaking about this.

Is this another of those "out of sight. out of mind" issues? Are there too many animators driving down the cost of labor? How long has animator salary been relatively small?
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3713
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:33 am Reply with quote
Paulo27 wrote:
I just hope it's not Aniplex or any of the big guys that are paying this much to their animators, but knowing the problems with A-1 and whatnot it might be the case, it's just disgusting, it'd be understandable for productions that sell little but if you're paying this much when your anime is selling 10k+ discs, well, I don't know what to say.

10k per vol is only making a slight profit at the current pay rates. For the average show, it takes roughly 7,850 units/vol at Japanese prices just to break even, before any royalty payouts. So the break even point after royalties is higher, say 9k or perhaps 10k. A really high quality, fancy effects, 2D integrated CG, and/or just lots of frames, costs twice as much! Nichijou lost a lot of money from really good (with very high framerate) animation. Under The Dog quote when they were shopping around looking for investors to turn it into a two cour show: $7million. At ~$292k per episode, that works out to a break even point of almost twice amount in terms of video unit sales.

However that this just considering recouping costs and trying to profit purely from Japanese video sales. Investors and sponsors also make money from merchandise, increased source product sales and various licensing deals which may take longer to realize profit from. They can sink a many million dollars into a an average show and it'll take several years just to break even from all the various sources of revenue.
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