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


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Paulo27



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 400
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:36 am Reply with quote
scchan wrote:
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.

For 10k+ discs sales we're looking at 5k+ discs per episode, usually, which translates to (assuming ~$60 per disc) at least ~$300k per episode, now, obviously, the price to make an episode varies a lot and the only people who know how much it costs are the ones who handle the money but rumor has it it's usually around ~$100k, I don't know about you but I think considering all that ~$300k will be plenty, especially when you consider that if an episode did cost ~$300k then the industry would be a lot worst considering most shows don't make those 5k disc sales. Obviously this is just speculation, I don't really know what I'm talking about but you'd think Aniplex and such would need to pay $9.2k to their animators when they work 11 hours a day.
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Stall_19



Joined: 07 Mar 2013
Posts: 78
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:40 am Reply with quote
Poor Ema.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 2046
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:58 am Reply with quote
I'm not saying the "actual" is much better, but I think it's a LITTLE disingenuous to put the conversation rate in there, especially right now when the yen is near record lows against the dollar. For reference, the article notes that the "pay" is little changed from 2009 (when they last did the survey) and the 2009 "pay" was $2,500(US) higher. Not because animator wages are going down but because the dollar buys more yen now than it did in 2009. I realize that 1.1mil yen may seem like a lot of money (or just be incomprehensible for meaning) to many Americans when in fact it isn't. But by the same token, Japan has been experiencing DEflation for over a decade (ie. money buying MORE than it did previously, as opposed to the inflationary situation in most of the world, ie. a dollar buying LESS than it did last year), so I just think its somewhat misleading to show it as "animators make $9,200(US)".

(note: it IS also completely factually correct at the current exchange rate, I'm just saying that if the exchange rate went back to its record lows (of 2-3 years ago) for the dollar, that would be more like $15,000(US), I normally mentally average the $/Yen rate to Dollar/100Yen, which is about the long term historical average, which would be more in the $11,000(US) range of the previous article, again, not saying that's a "good" salary, but its $200/month more)
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3911
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:02 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'm pretty sure they have always been paid pretty poorly, why else do you think their animation is so cheap.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 1002
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:08 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.


In the US actors have unions that guarantee they'll receive decent pay when they work; the struggle is in finding steady work.

These animators have steady work, but they're still getting paid crap.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3713
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:28 am Reply with quote
@Paulo27

Take a look at my previous post. You can't just divide gross revenue from retail prices by vols or eps. There's a lot of people who need to take their cut too. Actual money that goes back to the producers is a little over half. Also avg is ~$150,000 and upwards of $300,000 (which is less common). Although it's lower now with the exchange rate into dollars considering the good point HeeroTx makes.

Also keep in mind that in most cases, studios are just hired labor. The producers negotiates a fixed price for the animation which forms the budget for the entire show. Except for a small royalty to the director and writer, the studio and staff don't get any money after a show finishes. Their are pros and cons to this. The studio does not have to worry about how well a show does after they're paid. They don't have to worry about being in debt for several years from one or more poor performing shows.


Utsuro no Hako wrote:
In the US actors have unions that guarantee they'll receive decent pay when they work; the struggle is in finding steady work.

These animators have steady work, but they're still getting paid crap.

Those are related conditions btw. It's because unions are politicized. Most US anime VAs are non-union or whose political powers have been removed, making them equal to others in right to work states like Texas for Funimation or Sentai.

Anyways, as I mentioned before, I think they need competition from studios or producers offering better incentives, like artbook/merch/figure/etc. royalties to animators even just a small amount, which would not negatively affect pricing (and thus demand) as much but would still allow better pay overall in the long term. After working on a few shows, even if they paid very low for a entry-level, you'd still get a tiny % from each additional show you work on over a few years.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2218
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:34 am Reply with quote
yeah, but their competence is people who get paid like one 10th of that, in my country the average salary for a college graduate, is like 6k usd a year assuming they even managed to get a proper job and not end up as taxi drivers or something.
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Usagi-kun



Joined: 03 Jul 2013
Posts: 877
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:51 am Reply with quote
Also, I believe alot of animators work on a 'freelance' type of basis. I think I remember reading that somewhere, but I don't have a link. I am also not sure if this is true for entry level positions, although if it is, work may not be guarenteed up front. Positively dire in that case.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:57 am Reply with quote
Paulo27 wrote:
scchan wrote:
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.

For 10k+ discs sales we're looking at 5k+ discs per episode, usually, which translates to (assuming ~$60 per disc) at least ~$300k per episode, now, obviously, the price to make an episode varies a lot and the only people who know how much it costs are the ones who handle the money but rumor has it it's usually around ~$100k, I don't know about you but I think considering all that ~$300k will be plenty, especially when you consider that if an episode did cost ~$300k then the industry would be a lot worst considering most shows don't make those 5k disc sales. Obviously this is just speculation, I don't really know what I'm talking about but you'd think Aniplex and such would need to pay $9.2k to their animators when they work 11 hours a day.


It is more than the just actual production cost - the computers that use to make the show, the TV slots that are needed to fill in. But the biggest risk of all the initial value and subsequent deprecation of intangible value of the show. To be honest with you, I don't have figures about cost per show, but I have read financial reports (they are required because is exchange-listed) from companies that either itself as pure-play production studios (like IG Port, Toei Animation) or finance studios for production (like Sotsu), the actual numbers from the production do not make any money, and all money come in from licensing DVDs and mechanising. There are a bunch of studios operate under the umbrella of a much larger company like Sunrise under Bandai-Namco (BN or Sotsu retain the licensing right) and Aniplex under Sony (Sony gets licensing right).

Depends on the arrangement, the studios may or may not retain the licensing rights. Sotsu and Toei Animation make most of its money from licensing rights. Even that said, not all shows are successful, and post-show product licensing rights can be worthless. The DVDs and figurines just won't sell for a commercially unsuccessful show; whatever that production money has gone into, that money is poof and gone; whatever the production cost is, its return is nothing. We can go on in another topic whether studios and production staff according to their artistic vision or would it be appeal to consumers (i.e. "moe sells).
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firedragon54738



Joined: 24 Sep 2007
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Location: wisconsin
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:13 am Reply with quote
Wow that is something it wonders how can someone live on that in tokyo
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animedudeEXTREME



Joined: 28 Apr 2015
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:15 am Reply with quote
I don't normally post stuff, but I saw this article and wanted to point out that America isn't much better.


When I was still in college I was working part time as a motion graphics animators for a small studio (we had a few really big clients) I worked there for over a year. I did get a few raises but towards the end. When I started I was making 50 a day and this is in LA. I also had to do a month long unpaid trial period when I first started.

I work for a much better place now that I'm graduated.
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scchan



Joined: 05 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: Exeter, UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:18 am Reply with quote
firedragon54738 wrote:
Wow that is something it wonders how can someone live on that in tokyo


Even double of that salary is not liveable wage in any major urban area (don't even mention that is Tokyo).

The econometrics provide a simple explanation in what is going on:

With youth unemployment/lack of full time employment/low pay job higher now than say 30 years ago, across the advanced economy (not just in Japan), number of younger folks staying with parents is also much higher. Really, the days kicking your kids out of your house to live independent are long gone... And a lot of people don't recognise that as a problem.

You know what, I should be worried the above even I get into full employment before this mess begins, as my future retirement and social security rely who are going to enter work force now and next 20 years. Tell that to someone who is 20 years older than I do that tax, pension, labour reform is needed to ensure long-term fiscal and employment sustainability, they would flip you a finger and scream "Don't touch my taxes and pensions!" Demographics and economy have changed, things need to change; I feel bad people working for such a bad wage while fully aware of the cause behind it. (Sorry for making a political statement here)
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
Posts: 2799
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:38 am Reply with quote
$9200 a year isn't even livable in the entirety of the Midwest much less a city like Tokyo. Please stop being tyrants and pay your animators better, it's depressing and a human rights violation.
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ragz



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:45 am Reply with quote
Hoppy800 wrote:
$9200 a year isn't even livable in the entirety of the Midwest much less a city like Tokyo. Please stop being tyrants and pay your animators better, it's depressing and a human rights violation.


I'm sure it's on the list right after water the money, feed the golden egg goose, and clean genie's lamp.
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ANN_Bamboo
ANN Contributor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 3903
Location: The OC
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:13 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
One interview states that it's customary practice for animators to freelance for more than one studio at once. I wonder if the study included that or if this is per-contract. But maybe entry-levels are not experienced enough for that yet.


But how many companies could a newcomer freelance for if they're already working 11 hr/day for one company? There are only so many hours a day. Indeed, if they abandoned eating and sleeping entirely, perhaps they could make $18,000/year.
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