Anime Insiders Share How Much Producing a Season Costs
posted on by Eric Stimson
Although it's a far cry from the supersized budgets of Hollywood, the anime industry is a labor-intensive and expensive field. Like other entertainment ventures, any anime production has to ensure that its budget matches its expected earnings.
According to Masamune Sakaki, a CG creator in the anime industry, an average 13-episode anime season costs around 250 million yen (or $2 million). He also made it clear that most anime can't recoup this expense, and the industry rests on the windfall of a few big hits. In a July interview, Takayuki Nagatani, producer of Shirobako (itself an anime about anime production), claimed that his show cost 500 million yen (or $4 million) for 24 episodes. In order to make it sell, he had to "advertise it, plan events, and make merchandise." Shinji Takamatsu, a veteran animator, cited a figure of 150 to 200 million yen ($1.2 to $1.6 million). "Expecting to make that up through disc sales alone is a hopeless business model, but that's how almost all late night anime are," he writes.