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INTEREST: Madhouse Production Assistant Hospitalized for Overwork, Demands Compensation for Unpaid O




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Watanabefan



Joined: 02 Oct 2017
Posts: 56
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:44 pm Reply with quote
With poor working conditions for video game employees in the west being in the news a lot recently, I wonder if this'll pick up any traction.
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:54 pm Reply with quote
This is old news for Japan...

I wonder, though, what the point of the article is.

Shaming Japan isn't gonna work. The Japanese are the ones who have to make the changes in their industries.

Besides, it's like we in the West should talk. There are plenty of people in the States who are workaholics who don't take enough breaks and get themselves sick.
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bleachj0j



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 789
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:14 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:
This is old news for Japan...

I wonder, though, what the point of the article is.

Shaming Japan isn't gonna work. The Japanese are the ones who have to make the changes in their industries.


Who's shaming them? It's reporting the news that has to do with an animation studio.
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
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Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Sad news for those people who believe Madhouse is godly and the best, looks like your studio of choice is also driven by bad working conditions.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:56 pm Reply with quote
GeorgeC wrote:

Besides, it's like we in the West should talk. There are plenty of people in the States who are workaholics who don't take enough breaks and get themselves sick.


The all-important question asks: is that extra work voluntary? I don't have a problem with someone choosing to work on something to the detriment of their own health. However it becomes abusive when others, such as one's boss, requires it.
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Punch Drunk Marc



Joined: 04 Oct 2013
Posts: 1048
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Яeverse wrote:
Sad news for those people who believe Madhouse is godly and the best, looks like your studio of choice is also driven by bad working conditions.


No one said they wanted to work for Madhouse. They just like the studio. Pretty sure most of them are like that.
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Lactobacillus yogurti



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 549
Location: Latin America
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Sad fact of life: A lot of people, regardless of their country, are overworked and underpaid. So while it sucks that it happens, it'll never go away because everything goes up except salaries.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2087
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:08 pm Reply with quote
AkumaChef wrote:
GeorgeC wrote:

Besides, it's like we in the West should talk. There are plenty of people in the States who are workaholics who don't take enough breaks and get themselves sick.


The all-important question asks: is that extra work voluntary? I don't have a problem with someone choosing to work on something to the detriment of their own health. However it becomes abusive when others, such as one's boss, requires it.

Define voluntary.
In a Japanese office, if you leave right at the end of the workday and arrive right on time in the morning, every day, but the rest of the office always stays later, you will quickly become quietly shunned and hushly talked about as not a team player: not by management, but by your fellow co-workers. You will be socially ostracized in the workplace.
You will probably be passed up on any chance for promotion or advancement due to "lack of initiative".
So is it "required"? No. But you'll definitely be punished and looked on as not carrying your share of the burden. Basically coworkers will think you are selfish.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1622
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, there’s a lot of coercion and societal pressure to overwork yourself, particularly in the creative industries. As mentioned in the other thread regarding overwork, there’s a dangerous conflation of “passion” with “overwork” that leads to a misguided notion that passion can magically carry a project, no matter that the real heart of the issue lies higher up the food chain with mismanagement by the bosses.
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 713
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:40 pm Reply with quote
It's terrible that this has happened but at least it's being heard.
Perhaps making this public won't change anything but doing nothing definitely won't change anything.
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Compelled to Reply



Joined: 14 Jan 2017
Posts: 321
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:20 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
Define voluntary.
In a Japanese office, if you leave right at the end of the workday and arrive right on time in the morning, every day, but the rest of the office always stays later, you will quickly become quietly shunned and hushly talked about as not a team player: not by management, but by your fellow co-workers. You will be socially ostracized in the workplace.
You will probably be passed up on any chance for promotion or advancement due to "lack of initiative".
So is it "required"? No. But you'll definitely be punished and looked on as not carrying your share of the burden. Basically coworkers will think you are selfish.

Anybody who leaves the second the clock strikes because they refuse to work a second for free don't reflect too well on how they can contribute to a business, government, etc. Although at least in the United States especially, leaving "early" can be excused if you have to fight awful traffic, but as Japan was developed for walking and taking the train, you are a lot more mobile (which of course manifests into a whole other issue with schoolchildren). So staying a little longer and going with your coworkers out for dinner and drinks is more expected, Not to mention, Japan historically has had higher job security and people stay put longer, so they're expected to bond with coworkers.

Also, this scenario is of a typical white collar office job, not an animation studio where work culture and the type of tedious workload isn't the same. It makes you wonder how brutal work was for American and Japanese animators decades back, before so much of the grunt work was moved to Taiwan and South Korea.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1271
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:33 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:

Define voluntary.
In a Japanese office, if you leave right at the end of the workday and arrive right on time in the morning, every day, but the rest of the office always stays later, you will quickly become quietly shunned and hushly talked about as not a team player: not by management, but by your fellow co-workers. You will be socially ostracized in the workplace.
You will probably be passed up on any chance for promotion or advancement due to "lack of initiative".
So is it "required"? No. But you'll definitely be punished and looked on as not carrying your share of the burden. Basically coworkers will think you are selfish.


I think this is the great example of social self-righteousness of Japanese office environment: Thinking that you're the only one who works hard and others are just slackers. it's all about perception even though they brought it onto themselves.

At my workplace, I've been a team player by doing some extra works and taking some of the workloads off from coworkers. A real team player picks up the slack where overloaded coworkers need help and not just staying around until coworker or boss is finished with his work. If there is nothing can be done to help or no one ask for any help, then what's the point of staying late? It's better off terminate everyone and do the work all by himself if that person is not willing to share his workload with others.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 602
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Lactobacillus yogurti wrote:
Sad fact of life: A lot of people, regardless of their country, are overworked and underpaid. So while it sucks that it happens, it'll never go away because everything goes up except salaries.


It hasn't gone away because we've allowed ourselves to become convinced that it's a fact of life that cannot be changed, when in reality it's a choice made by the rich and powerful, to hoard money for themselves and invest in things that expand their businesses but don't improve the lives of the commoners. A classic self-fulfilling prophecy. Mistreated workers banding together to demand change has been done in the past, and it usually works. We seem to be stuck in a defeatist phase, lately.

In the case of the anime industry, the problem seems to be less greedy entertainment executives and more the fact that art is undervalued, unless it's made to advertise some other product, or the type of art that people buy to flaunt their wealth. Just another day in capitalism-land.
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deviljho0001



Joined: 01 Feb 2019
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:40 pm Reply with quote
If people want to know how Production Assistant work watch Shirobako, MC job is literally PA.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:42 am Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:

Define voluntary.
In a Japanese office, if you leave right at the end of the workday and arrive right on time in the morning, every day, but the rest of the office always stays later, you will quickly become quietly shunned and hushly talked about as not a team player: not by management, but by your fellow co-workers. You will be socially ostracized in the workplace.
You will probably be passed up on any chance for promotion or advancement due to "lack of initiative".
So is it "required"? No. But you'll definitely be punished and looked on as not carrying your share of the burden. Basically coworkers will think you are selfish.


Yeah, I understand all that. I'd call that "involuntary". That's my point, really. Staying late every day for years of your life because your company expects it is a totally different thing than someone choosing to work on their own business for insane hours. In the west, when people overwork it tends to be the latter, whereas in Japan it appears to be the former. I remember reading about Bill Gates sleeping in his office when he had first started Microsoft. I doubt anyone was shaming him into doing that; he did it because of his own drive, not because of some kind of external pressure to conform.
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