Animator Katsunori Shibata is Crowdfunding Money for Animators
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
The current wages for animators in Japan are dismal, something groups like Animator Dormitory and Young Animators NPO attempt to lessen with help from donations. In 2014, the average Japanese animator started at US$10,000 a year salary compared to the average US$40,000 salary. Animators are usually freelance, work long hours, and are saddled with high-cost of living expenses due to the areas where most animation studios are located. Death from overwork is a real risk, as the unfortunate passing of Kazunori Mizuno makes all too evident.
Animator Katsunori Shibata is hoping to help ease the burden through his own crowdfunding campaign, not to support himself, but his colleagues. His initial goal was to raise 110,000 yen (US$1,002) to split among three animators and cover the campaign site costs. The awardees receive the money via lottery; after contacting Shibata via Twitter, he will select them at random.
Since the campaign launched, it has raised well over the goal with a total of 638,000 yen (US$5,811). There are still 28 days left in the campaign.
Shibata is a key animator that previously worked on Yurikuma Arashi, 91Days, Flip Flappers, and A Certain Magical Index. In the campaign text he notes that there are many freelance animators who are making less than 1,060,000 yen (US$9,657) a year despite working 11 hours a day, six days a week and that no corrective actions have been taken to improve the conditions for freelance animators.
Shibata states that the current environment is devastating and there is no room to nurture talent. That said, he adds that if the top staff keep going up and the lower staff become weak, they will all fall together. He also hopes that the project will open communication on how to better the industry.
The turnaround for animators is pretty high due to the workload and low pay, as stated by art director Thomas Romain.
Meanwhile, other companies, like Dwango, are developing technology that could render in-between animators a thing of the past.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history