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INTEREST: Veteran Anime Unit Director Says He Wants to Rectify Industry Abuse


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cookiemanstah



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 546
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 12:01 pm Reply with quote
it's a pretty weird industry in how anyone around the block long enough will know how fucked up work ethics are, and yet anime still regularly churns out the best cartoons in the medium in terms of quality.

If you abuse the shit out of your employees, shouldn't it be the other way around? Of course, bad anime representing work abuse do come out, but the rate in which the good stuff comes out is also notable
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Whitestrider





PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 12:20 pm Reply with quote
How use It even possible to work without a contract? In many countries it's against all the basic laws and rights of workers...
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Яeverse



Joined: 16 Jun 2014
Posts: 1142
Location: Indianapolis
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 12:32 pm Reply with quote
"In 2017, he disclosed that his monthly income was 100,000 yen (about US$900 at the time) for each anime that he works on"

why even go into anime, you could make more just working at Mickey D's and working your way up in less than a year. Sad and neither requires going to a college or technical school.

I hope when ANN and other sites ask directors for Interviews they give them some compensation.
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Hal14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 695
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 12:41 pm Reply with quote
cookiemanstah wrote:
it's a pretty weird industry in how anyone around the block long enough will know how fucked up work ethics are, and yet anime still regularly churns out the best cartoons in the medium in terms of quality.

If you abuse the shit out of your employees, shouldn't it be the other way around? Of course, bad anime representing work abuse do come out, but the rate in which the good stuff comes out is also notable


It's because good products still get made that the bad work environments go unnoticed or unreported or (when they are reported/noticed) ignored. And it's not a problem unique to the anime industry. I've read comments from people, both consumers and execs, that claim a good video game can't be created without 'workplace grind'.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2168
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:20 pm Reply with quote
I know there are reasons why the industry hasn't unionized yet, but... yeah, they need to.

Яeverse wrote:
"In 2017, he disclosed that his monthly income was 100,000 yen (about US$900 at the time) for each anime that he works on"

why even go into anime, you could make more just working at Mickey D's and working your way up in less than a year. Sad and neither requires going to a college or technical school.


People go into anime because they love it, and that makes them hesitant to demand more for risk of losing the work they love, or gets used as an excuse not to pay more. Same reason so many people in Hollywood are broke. Passion is profitable, but not for the passionate.
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 663
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:

Same reason so many people in Hollywood are broke. Passion is profitable, but not for the passionate.


Except that American culture is notoriously vindictive, especially if money is involved. If you fail in a movie or your movie is bad, your career is busted, even if it's only one movie.
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cookiemanstah



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 546
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:28 pm Reply with quote
luisedgarf wrote:
Shay Guy wrote:

Same reason so many people in Hollywood are broke. Passion is profitable, but not for the passionate.


Except that American culture is notoriously vindictive, especially if money is involved. If you fail in a movie or your movie is bad, your career is busted, even if it's only one movie.


in a business sense, is that necessarily a bad thing? Giving someone a lot of manpower and resources to turn up a bomb. Makes sense so that person isn't trusted again.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Whitestrider wrote:
How use It even possible to work without a contract? In many countries it's against all the basic laws and rights of workers...


Depending of the country a verbal agreement it's enough, no idea of Japanese laws in the matter.

There is a billioner called Marcus Lemonis, most of his contracts are just handshakes.
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Whitestrider





PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Whitestrider wrote:
How use It even possible to work without a contract? In many countries it's against all the basic laws and rights of workers...


Depending of the country a verbal agreement it's enough, no idea of Japanese laws in the matter.

There is a billioner called Marcus Lemonis, most of his contracts are just handshakes.


Verbal agreements were fine...maybe 500 years ago! People learned not to trust other people a lot of time ago. You don't even need a formap contract, just some written words, with signatures, of course!
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MagicPolly



Joined: 26 Nov 2020
Posts: 1602
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 2:26 pm Reply with quote
I actually wrote a research paper on the exploitation of JP animators for one of my classes. In one of the articles I read, it discussed why most people choose not to work under contracts. (I'm sorry if the quote is too long, but I can't link to the article itself due to only having access to it through my university).
Quote:

Since the most common payroll system is fee-for-service, animators’ working hours depend on the volume of work. Therefore, only small production companies apply the fixed-time system (Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training 2005). As mentioned, for instance, when a sheet of in-between animation costs only 200 yen, animators have to draw a large number of in-between animations in order to make a living. The JAniCA survey found that as a result of this, in-between animators work longer hours than any other occupation in the industry. On average, in-between animators work for 10 hours and 30 minutes per day; this is longer than the average working day over the whole of Japanese employment. Furthermore, in-between animators take approximately only four days off per month. A surprising fact is that 70% of animators are not interested in working under contract. Only 7.8% replied ‘I always have a contract’ and 12.6% ‘I sometimes have a contract’. Reasons given for not wanting to have contracts were:

‘If I work on a contract, it means we are forced to work endlessly despite a fixed salary. As a result, even if I suffer from ill health, the contract document keeps me working until the due date’.

‘The actual circumstance of animation production has a schedule with a lot of sudden changes. Therefore, if I make a contract with the production company, I cannot control the volume of overtime work. I think if I did not work with an animation production company, then I would have a contract’.

‘As it is a matter of trust, I do not think it is necessary for me to put it into a document’.
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Multi-Facets



Joined: 15 Oct 2019
Posts: 225
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 2:48 pm Reply with quote
[low whistle] Good luck, Nishimura-san. The subject's a helluva Gordian knot to handle.
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xxmsxx



Joined: 06 Sep 2017
Posts: 579
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 3:43 pm Reply with quote
MagicPolly wrote:
‘If I work on a contract, it means we are forced to work endlessly despite a fixed salary. As a result, even if I suffer from ill health, the contract document keeps me working until the due date’.


Your research insight is great to see. It seems to me that the people working in the industry doesn't seem to understand that a contract is not just an agreement about how much is paid.

I know it is not as simple as "maybe the contract should have stipulations around workload caps". But the general idea stands. There should be clauses on how to deal with exploitative practices, what define as exploitative practices, processes for recourse, what happens when the schedule alters, overtime etc.

Even in one of the most basic jobs I have ever gotten in the past, there were details on reimbursement/holiday/overtime/senior staff reward/policy on harassments/workplace injury compensation etc.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 12171
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 3:44 pm Reply with quote
I wish him success with his efforts.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
Posts: 1114
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 5:02 pm Reply with quote
Whitestrider wrote:


Verbal agreements were fine...maybe 500 years ago! People learned not to trust other people a lot of time ago. You don't even need a formap contract, just some written words, with signatures, of course!


Verbal agreements and (specially) handshakes are as legal as a written contract, as I said before, Lemonis laterally makes agreements worth millions of dollars with just a handshake.

My father also makes docents of agreements on his business with just a conversation each year.

Its up to personal preference if somebody prefers the extra security of a contract or the speed and flexibility of a conversation and certainly not ilegal nor against rights.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 667
PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2021 9:46 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Whitestrider wrote:


Verbal agreements were fine...maybe 500 years ago! People learned not to trust other people a lot of time ago. You don't even need a formap contract, just some written words, with signatures, of course!


Verbal agreements and (specially) handshakes are as legal as a written contract, as I said before, Lemonis laterally makes agreements worth millions of dollars with just a handshake.

My father also makes docents of agreements on his business with just a conversation each year.

Its up to personal preference if somebody prefers the extra security of a contract or the speed and flexibility of a conversation and certainly not ilegal nor against rights.


While this is mostly true, and from a legal perspective can hold up, I can also tell you that on the legal side of things you are walking into a huge minefield if you are doing business with a non-written contract. It's a massive accident waiting to happen, as no dispute has anything but "he said/she said" back and forward, with little to back up your case but your onw "good" word against theirs. And, depending on jurisdiction, there are things that cannot be contracted without being put in writing, so if you aren't careful a handshake agreement can end up being invalid.

I've said before, but the overarching problem, and the reason why labor unions are effective, is that when you do have individuals willing to work for next to nothing for their perceived "shot" then it makes it harder for others, even if willing to dig in their heels, to negotiate for better pay and conditions because the company knows it can go elsewhere to get it done anyway. If workers could get organized, even informally, they could push the industry rather quickly, given how much the industry would stand to lose by any sort of prolonged work stoppage. That's when you get the negotiators in there, hash out all the stuff that needs to be agreed on beside just how much a project will pay.
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