CG Creator Asks Twitter For Ideas to Solve Anime Industry Problems
posted on by Kim Morrissy
CG creator Masamune Sakaki, who is best known for working on various smartphone games and the Tohoku Zunko Vocaloid project, took to Twitter on Thursday to ask his followers for their ideas on dealing with the problems in the anime industry.
"This is kind of a heavy subject, but could you reply to me with your ideas on how to improve the anime industry?" he wrote in a tweet. "More and more companies are filing for bankruptcy, and the people who work there are probably exhausted. I won't tut at you for not being an insider; I want to hear ideas from regular people. Please feel free to talk to me. I'll reply to your answers."
The tweet has gotten over 2,000 replies, which Sakaki says is encouraging. Some of the top suggestions he received are below.
From @fis79517391: "Stop making otaku pandering anime. Don't do market research. Just make what you think is good." Sakaki responded: "Good. I agree."
From @oaoioaoio: "I'm a casual viewer. There's too much anime every season. Sadly, I have to restrict myself to watching three anime per season. Even though we have the internet nowadays, I get the impression that there is so much TV anime. I think they should reduce the output to 2/3 of what we currently have. Also, this is true of any industry, but I think that a lot of content feels disposable, and I would like that to change for the better." Sakaki replied: "Hearing that the content is disposable makes me sad as a creator. I've worked for six years on Tohoku Zunko, and I will keep working hard."
From @aequitas1500: "Give the workers pay. Regulate their overtime hours so that people can take extended leave. This isn't just applicable to the anime industry." Sakaki replied: "I want to take a break..."
From @bakumakura: "Sell more self-published animation books so that the animators can boost their income." Sakaki said that he has heard that selling their books at Comiket is a valuable source of revenue for animators, to which @bakumakura responded that they would like to see this happen throughout the entire year.
While responding to Twitter users, Sakaki found some common complaints about his credentials in the industry. He said, "I've been getting messages saying 'A CG creator isn't a representative of the the anime industry!' In that case, someone else should answer these 2,000 replies lol. Also, I'm familiar with both being a contractor as well as what it's like to lead a project. Regardless, everyone's opinions have been so useful, so I have no regrets!"
Sakaki also addressed some perceived misconceptions about anime production committees that he was receiving in the replies. "The production committee isn't an evil organization. They're just a group that's formed to hedge risk. They don't crave an individual's creative rights and try to steal it from underneath them. They only want the right to maximize profits. The other stuff is unnecessary. They only invest the smallest amount they have to. It's a group based on those sorts of compromises."
In one reply to a tweet, Sakaki clarified that Zunda Horizon, a 24-minute short anime created for the Anime Tamago project, cost 3 million yen (US$27,700) to make. "Even nowadays, that's the cost to make an anime of that length entirely within Japan. If you do it overseas, the market price is somewhere in the region between 18 (US$166,201) and 25 million (US$230,834), but if you outsource to a subcontractor it costs 8 million (US$73,867). It's possible to make a three minute 2D anime for 3 million (US$27,700), but everyone's got their hands full these days, so you need connections to pull it off."
Sakaki has been responding to tweets for days. Will he able to finish replying to them all?