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

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Total income was 668,000 yen (US$6,000), or a monthly average of 74,000 yen (US$670)

The Animator Dormitory Project runs a YouTube channel, which regularly shares information about labor issues in the anime industry. The latest video breaks down the earnings of a new animator in 2019, which was their first year active in the industry. Their total income for the year was 668,000 yen (US$6,000), which evens out to a monthly average of 74,000 yen (US$670).

According to the graph below, the earnings on a month-to-month basis were inconsistent, rarely getting above a few hundred US dollars per month.

They remark that their income might actually be on the higher end as far as first-year animators go. She has often heard that 50,000 yen (US$450) per month is a typical figure. On the low end, some might make around 30,000 yen (US$270) per month.

In January 2020, they earned 14,000 yen (US$130), which was their lowest pay since becoming an animator. They explain that one of the reasons behind their low earnings in January was that they took time off to be with their family, but also because the payment for large projects can be transferred several months after the job was accepted. "Even with savings, it's hard to make ends meet like this," they explain, "which is why freelancers have to factor this in when deciding which jobs to take on."

The full video is embedded below, and is available with English subtitles. It shares the mundane details of working as an animator, including the work environment and some of the techniques required of the craft.

First-year animators make a significantly below-average income even among other young members of the anime industry. According to a 2019 Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) survey, the mean average yearly income of young people aged between 20 to 24 in the anime industry is 1,550,000 yen (US$14,000). This figure is 1 million yen less than the national average for the age group, according to data from the National Tax Agency.

The Animator Dormitory is a dormitory located in Tokyo for new animators operated by the non-profit organization, Animator Supporters. The 2020 Animator Dormitory Project has raised US$24,783 so far. The project is also accepting donations via Patreon.

[Via @CanipaShow]

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