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INTEREST: Animator in Japan Reveals Their 1st Year Earnings In the Industry


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JeffreySweeney



Joined: 06 Jan 2018
Posts: 76
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:07 pm Reply with quote
And I make around $1,400-$1,500 a month doing janitorial work. That's pretty pathetic that animators in Japan make so little. I guess for those that enjoy doing it, have some peanuts!
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Swissman



Joined: 11 May 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:29 pm Reply with quote
That's a really low salary, and I'm glad there are still young animators willing to take such a low paycheck as long as they can work on anime, but I really wish they would earn more.

Btw, why does the article use the "their" pronoun when the animator identifies herself as a woman called "Ryoko"?
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NeverConvex
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 4:42 pm Reply with quote
Wow, those are quite low. Are the figures given purchasing-power-parity adjusted, or are they direct yen-to-USD exchange rate conversions?

EDIT: Doesn't look very different using 2019's PPP factor for Japan: 668,000/100.641 = $6,637.45 'equivalent' in USD. That's so low it's almost hard to believe the PPP basket of comparison goods is meaningful, yeesh.

EDIT2: The average annual salary in Japan seems to be about 4.4M yen (various low-quality sources, but they all seem to more or less agree), which gives $43,918 USD PPP-equivalent. That looks quite reasonable, so maybe the basket of goods being compared is fine, and animators are in fact just insanely underpaid.
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TsukasaElkKite



Joined: 22 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:08 pm Reply with quote
I make around $2672 a month before taxes. That low monthly income is unacceptable for animators.
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N_roxy



Joined: 05 Feb 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:26 pm Reply with quote
This is one of the reasons that I do not criticize the production of anime because I know that the people who are animating are not being paid enough, but it is very easy to see several people complaining and calling 'poor quality' being that 'poor' is who is doing your anime that you love to watch and complain about.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:44 pm Reply with quote
I made more than that working at McDonald’s in high school/college, and I barely made much more than the minimum wage (the federal one, that is). That’s pretty damning.
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ATastySub
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:51 pm Reply with quote
N_roxy wrote:
This is one of the reasons that I do not criticize the production of anime because I know that the people who are animating are not being paid enough, but it is very easy to see several people complaining and calling 'poor quality' being that 'poor' is who is doing your anime that you love to watch and complain about.

Pointing out poor quality isn't about shaming animators. It's showing that the higher ups working them are severely mismanaging things to get such an output. Poor animation is an industry problem, not an animator one. Honestly pointing out how poor quality something is helps animators make their case that they deserve better pay and management in order to avoid it.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:59 pm Reply with quote
I hate to say it given how much I love anime, but the Japanese industry is extremely exploitative. I guess that explains why Japan is able to crank out so many new shows every 12 weeks.God knows how many shows would get made if staff were paid properly. Two a season?
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N_roxy



Joined: 05 Feb 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:53 pm Reply with quote
ATastySub wrote:
N_roxy wrote:
This is one of the reasons that I do not criticize the production of anime because I know that the people who are animating are not being paid enough, but it is very easy to see several people complaining and calling 'poor quality' being that 'poor' is who is doing your anime that you love to watch and complain about.

Pointing out poor quality isn't about shaming animators. It's showing that the higher ups working them are severely mismanaging things to get such an output. Poor animation is an industry problem, not an animator one. Honestly pointing out how poor quality something is helps animators make their case that they deserve better pay and management in order to avoid it.


And I agree with you.
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Tenebrae



Joined: 26 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:02 pm Reply with quote
What, 270 dollars a month at the low end? How do they even manage with that (or do they even)? Checking the baseline unemployment benefit over here, it appears at the moment to be avg. 725 euros a month before taxes, or about 874 dollars at current rates. So if they were here, they'd be better off NOT working and living on the benefit instead... I also imagine basic living expenses in Japan in cities where the studios are would also be higher than over her, so that's even less money comparatively.
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DerekL1963
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Froggy writes an article based on a tip from their fiancée... Isn't that like conflict of interest or something? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:14 pm Reply with quote
I assume many young animators still live with their parents or have spouses that have jobs paying real money. I can't possibly imagine how they'd survive otherwise.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:15 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
I hate to say it given how much I love anime, but the Japanese industry is extremely exploitative. I guess that explains why Japan is able to crank out so many new shows every 12 weeks.God knows how many shows would get made if staff were paid properly. Two a season?


More like 6-10. I think 6 would be a lowball number, unless every show had a massive budget and looked like ufotable did it. I think the market is oversaturated enough as is. There are too many titles coming out every season for most to keep up with and still have a normal 9-5 job or personal life outside of anime. Which is fine if that's your jam, but for most there are other commitments right? I mean plenty of people already complain about the sheer monotony of shows ow a days. How so many just blur together. Look at all the Isekai titles, and moe before hand. Which I think during that craze after the bubble burst initially is when things started down the path we find the industry at now.

There's always going to be junk titles produced. Even in ages past there were an equal ration of good to bad quality shows. The sheer quantity produced now I think raises that percentage of bad shows. I mean if we all honestly looked at each season for the past 3 years, how many of those titles could we do without? How many are just junk with middling viewership and interest to say the least? There seems to always be such a rush now on always having to crank more titles out at breakneck speed. That's the fandom's fault. In our constant quest for "more" the fandom has sent the message that it always wants more. More titles. Faster production. Quicker turn around time. So they cater to those demands. Screaming that people want better pay for animators, but yet also scream about paying more then the bare minimum to purchase of stream those shows also sends 2 completely different messages.

I'm not saying that's a guarantee that studios would pay animators more if people themselves paid more for the product, nor would cutting back the amount of titles produced guarantee better pay either. That's on the studios, and thus far they've shown by in large no real interest in doing that. However, we as consumers have honestly also given them little reason to do so either without cutting into their profit margins. "You want us to pay them more, but you don't want to pay more for our product nor wait longer for it to come out?"

I agree animators, manga-ka, translators, all of the prodcution people, and everyone else invovled should make more money. They should all make an actual decent livable wage for where they work/live. Either we as fans need to show we'd pay more to facilitate this, or at least wait longer and not demand 500 new shows every year. Without either of those we're relying on the studios to willingly make less profit to facilitate the higher pay and I just don't see that happening.
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NeverConvex
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
I agree animators, manga-ka, translators, all of the prodcution people, and everyone else invovled should make more money.


Do we have much data on the typical salaries of folks in those other positions?

Quote:
They should all make an actual decent livable wage for where they work/live. Either we as fans need to show we'd pay more to facilitate this, or at least wait longer and not demand 500 new shows every year. Without either of those we're relying on the studios to willingly make less profit to facilitate the higher pay and I just don't see that happening.


Increased willingness to pay from fans might help, but what about a change in industry structure? The earlier Animator Project ANN article seemed to make quite a bit of the role of production committees in restricting salaries to artists.

EDIT: The seemingly increasing popularity of Patreons for projects like this, and for individual anime employees, also seems like a nice way to directly contribute, and sidestep some of the otherwise murky questions about who, exactly, your contribution is likely to help. Of course, that threatens to make it less obvious who, and what positions, you've overlooked..
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TheCanipaEffect



Joined: 27 Apr 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Tenebrae wrote:
What, 270 dollars a month at the low end? How do they even manage with that (or do they even)? Checking the baseline unemployment benefit over here, it appears at the moment to be avg. 725 euros a month before taxes, or about 874 dollars at current rates. So if they were here, they'd be better off NOT working and living on the benefit instead... I also imagine basic living expenses in Japan in cities where the studios are would also be higher than over her, so that's even less money comparatively.


In this case, the animator is a part of the Animators Supporters Dorm, a crowdfunded dormitory exclusively for underpaid animators who pay significantly cheaper rent.

Others in a similar situation often just don't move out of their parents' house for those first few years.
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