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INTEREST: Madhouse's Abusive Practices Haven't Changed, Says Animator


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chronos02



Joined: 25 Feb 2009
Posts: 205
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:55 pm Reply with quote
These practices are so deeply rooted that I honestly doubt they will change them in already running studios, newly created ones are most likely the only ones that will have reasonable working hours and paid overtime with limitations.
I do wonder, though, if the viewers would be fine with waiting 2 weeks instead of 1 for each episode for TV anime. In that case, it might just be possible, because I don't see these companies hiring double the animators increasing costs twofold. (it's not like taking double the time wouldn't increase the costs twofold either though, ahaha)
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Bioshocker



Joined: 13 Jun 2019
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:03 pm Reply with quote
chronos02 wrote:
I do wonder, though, if the viewers would be fine with waiting 2 weeks instead of 1 for each episode for TV anime.


I think you already know the answer to your question. Considering how anime fans react when an episode gets delayed.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 712
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:20 pm Reply with quote
Madhouse can go bankrupt for all I care. Exploitation is exploitation.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1555
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:26 pm Reply with quote
In all honesty I feel like blaming the overwork culture in Japan on too much anime being made is an excuse by the studios to avoid having any sort of regulartive oversight laws in place that make sure all workers have a living wage and are protected from exploitation.
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Huffdaddy



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
Posts: 8
Location: Philadelphia, PA
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Zeino wrote:
Madhouse can go bankrupt for all I care. Exploitation is exploitation.


I know Madhouse is the studio being named here, but make no mistake this type of thing is common in the anime industry and in Japan as a whole. There is a reason the Japanese have a word “karoshi” for death from overwork. It is as much a societal problem as it is an industry problem. The entire society is built around the idea of putting the interests of the group over that of the individual. That’s not going to change. It is a shame but as others have pointed out the economics of the anime industry are such that a dramatic change in animator pay in Japan is not going to happen. On some level, Japanese animation has always been about finding new and creative ways to do animation on the cheap. They’ve made it an art form.
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Calsolum



Joined: 11 May 2010
Posts: 735
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:37 pm Reply with quote
Huffdaddy wrote:
Zeino wrote:
Madhouse can go bankrupt for all I care. Exploitation is exploitation.


I know Madhouse is the studio being named here, but make no mistake this type of thing is common in the anime industry and in Japan as a whole. There is a reason the Japanese have a word “karoshi” for death from overwork. It is as much a societal problem as it is an industry problem. The entire society is built around the idea of putting the interests of the group over that of the individual. That’s not going to change. It is a shame but as others have pointed out the economics of the anime industry are such that a dramatic change in animator pay in Japan is not going to happen. On some level, Japanese animation has always been about finding new and creative ways to do animation on the cheap. They’ve made it an art form.


You're probably, but that line of thought needs to die.
As much as I love anime and can't go a day without some sort of influence on my life it's not worth it if it's produced by such unethical methods.
here's to hoping more people speak up about these insane conditions and force things to change for the better if the society is based on the idea of putting the interests of the group over that of the individual then depending on how you frame it, taking care of your staff and giving them an environment where they want to stay and give there all is better because if a better opportunity arises for these people to jump ship without repercussions they will.
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Sobe



Joined: 04 Jun 2011
Posts: 786
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Bioshocker wrote:
chronos02 wrote:
I do wonder, though, if the viewers would be fine with waiting 2 weeks instead of 1 for each episode for TV anime.


I think you already know the answer to your question. Considering how anime fans react when an episode gets delayed.


If a company can't compete with the rest of the industry, they will eventually be left in the dust. If someone has to cheat just to make it to the finish line, there's no point.

Fans can cry all they want. Someone else will just pick up the slack once they dissolve. It's not like Madhouse is the only "studio" out there.

Regardless of what they put out into the world, exploitation is exploitation. I'm more interested in learning if any other studios and anime companies have the same "practices" and what content the work was done for.
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#854626



Joined: 04 Apr 2016
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Honestly I wish japanese fans would speak out more, like the whole anti crunch movement in the videogame industry here in america right now.
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Romuska
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Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 583
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:37 pm Reply with quote
Welp, so much for a second season Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card. I'd hate to watch that show knowing how the staff's being treated.
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zunderdog24



Joined: 08 Jun 2014
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:49 pm Reply with quote
Reminds me of the recent claims of RoosterTeeth animators not getting paid.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1555
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Romuska wrote:
Welp, so much for a second season Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card. I'd hate to watch that show knowing how the staff's being treated.
Given Madhouse's current reluntance at making sequels, I was already starting to have my doubts they would continue with Clear Card. Maybe they can switch studios like CLAMP did with Tsubasa Chronicles where the TV show was done by BeeTrain and the OVAs were done by Production IG after CLAMP wasn't satisfied with the TV show.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8222
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:25 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure I'd call what they're doing with Ace of Diamond Act II animation. The franchise has always been full of shortcuts, but they've taken it to such extremes I think they must have two people doing it all. It's more motion comic than anime.

One episode might just have had the most egregious display of faux-animation I've ever seen. Sawamura is holding forth with his usual bluster, but instead of showing him ranting or something, they inexplicably gave us extended slow pans of stills of shirts hanging on a rack, caps hanging on racks, and a stereo sitting on a desk, all with speed lines on the sides. wtf??

I feel bad for complaining, knowing the working conditions, but you just can't have a sports anime with no animation.

I wish I knew the solution. As usual, some people are making a lot of money, but those people aren't the ones producing the product. It seems like the studio heads need to pay a living wage, and just factor that into "this is what it will cost to make this" when they bid on projects, instead of "how low can we bid and how much can we wring out of the workers while still maintaining our own salaries?"
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Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 805
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:29 pm Reply with quote
chronos02 wrote:
These practices are so deeply rooted that I honestly doubt they will change them in already running studios, newly created ones are most likely the only ones that will have reasonable working hours and paid overtime with limitations.
I do wonder, though, if the viewers would be fine with waiting 2 weeks instead of 1 for each episode for TV anime. In that case, it might just be possible, because I don't see these companies hiring double the animators increasing costs twofold. (it's not like taking double the time wouldn't increase the costs twofold either though, ahaha)

Thing is, a worker simply doubling the time they spend working on something does not double actual productivity on it. I don't have figures on hand, but after a certain amount of time spent continuously working the quality of work drops steeply. So for instance one worker doing a 16-hour working day wouldn't need to be replaced by two workers each doing an 8-hour day to match their actual productivity; two workers each putting in 6 hours might match it. (Or one doing 8 and another doing 4 on this and 4 on another part along with another worker doing 8 hours, etc etc.)
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1285
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:32 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'm not sure I'd call what they're doing with Ace of Diamond Act II animation. The franchise has always been full of shortcuts, but they've taken it to such extremes I think they must have two people doing it all. It's more motion comic than anime.

One episode might just have had the most egregious display of faux-animation I've ever seen. Sawamura is holding forth with his usual bluster, but instead of showing him ranting or something, they inexplicably gave us extended slow pans of stills of shirts hanging on a rack, caps hanging on racks, and a stereo sitting on a desk, all with speed lines on the sides. wtf??


That's normal in TV anime in general. Older shows did that all the times and people still fell love with anime, not just because animation quality went up. And is it a sin for newer anime to take those shortcuts?

Camera pans and zooms are something Japanese productions have done for decades: Visual shortcuts to compensate lack of animation due to limited resource. Tons of sports anime have been using those techniques and so far they have not ruined overall storytelling. Those camera pans and zooms have been used on pretty much every single anime out there, one way or the other.

Since we're on subject of technique, it seems like you're spoiled by recent emphasis on character animation in Japanese cartoons. This is also why I'm losing interest in "Sakuga" movement because it distorts the expectation of what animation should be. Enjoyable animation doesn't need to rely heavily on fancy character animation to tell story. Even Animation with minimal movement still can tell great story if directed right.

Quote:
I feel bad for complaining, knowing the working conditions, but you just can't have a sports anime with no animation.


Says who? There are tons of older sports anime which don't have much animation and they are entertaining in their own ways. Look I'm not going to say positive thing about animators' current working condition, but they did their best with given limited resources. If anything, we should be THANKFUL to current TV anime trying to maintain higher quality animation which was normally relegated to OVA and Theatrical anime.

Quote:
I wish I knew the solution. As usual, some people are making a lot of money, but those people aren't the ones producing the product. It seems like the studio heads need to pay a living wage, and just factor that into "this is what it will cost to make this" when they bid on projects, instead of "how low can we bid and how much can we wring out of the workers while still maintaining our own salaries?"


If you step back and look carefully, it's the mediocre Japanese business practice compounded with short sighted solutions. Production studio heads are busy trying to keep their studio afloat with limited source of funding from local media companies (TV networks, publishers, movie studios, etc) for XYZ project. And those sponsors, aka production committee, are not that good with international media business contrary to Hollywood studios.

Not only that, production studios don't have merchandise right for hit shows which can augment their business greatly except their own original titles. For example, you don't see studio Bones making their own merchandise money with My Hero Academia franchise. As for budget, I'm sure that even the dumpy looking western TV cartoons get far more money than highly polished anime.

Since there isn't much money to go around, workers at the bottom of totem pole get the short end of the stick. And that pretty much applies to any industry, not just animation.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 662
Location: Oz
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:22 am Reply with quote
The production assistant appears to have been fired going by:

Quote:
he said that the case in question was simply the former production assistant's claim, and added that the matter was still in the middle of negotiations. In other words... nothing's changed at all.


(my emphasis)

So, of course nothing has changed. To have collective bargaining the production assistant would still have to be part of Madhouse, and get other staff on board. That has obviously not happened. So the only ongoing negotiations will be the former staffers claim for overtime pay, which won't effect other staff at Madhouse at all. And in fact, will most likely fail given the initial bargaining obviously did. The only thing that may change is if the former staffer at this point decides to take Madhouse to court, and to do so hopefully they have saved every email, letter and conversation transcript they have ever had about overtime or that is likely to fail to.

Hopefully they have been pedantically gathering evidence during their employment for a court case. It is about time these practices were taken there. And generally, all it takes is one person with the pedantic will and gumption to get solid case together to completely change these sorts of practices.
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