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Animator Ippei Ichii Says Netflix Anime Produced at MAPPA Paid Bottom Rates (Updated)

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Says the offer was 3,800 yen per cut when the average range is between 3.8-7k

Animator Ippei Ichii opened up about money matters on Twitter, claiming that animators were being offered bottom rates on the production of a Netflix anime made at MAPPA. His tweet is translated as follows:

Apparently, a producer working on a Netflix anime made at MAPPA suggested to pay 3,800 yen (US$34) per cut. The budget for TV series is between 3,800 to 7,000 yen, so if you accept that offer, the unit price for animators would go down. Heads-up: If you're asked, I think it's best to negotiate for 15,000 yen (US$134) or more.

He then clarified: "To avoid misunderstanding, I have to say that my issue is with Netflix. For all the exorbitant amount of capital they have, it's a problem that they've started to place orders with such low rates. There is a possibility that the prices are even lower than a TV series."

Freelance animator Zayd commented: "The usual 4500 yen per cut is already bad enough. What is Netflix thinking allowing them to pay less than the average?"

In May, a freelance animator tweeted that they left MAPPA due to the "factory-like" conditions. They criticized MAPPA's decision to work on four shows at the same time instead of properly training its team so that such corrections wouldn't be necessary, and said, "As far as I can tell, about 80% of the employees had similar complaints at the time."

LeSean Thomas and MAPPA's Yasuke anime debuted on April 2 worldwide on Netflix. Netflix announced a comprehensive business alliance with MAPPA in October. The streaming company also partnered with anime studios NAZ, Science SARU, and South Korea's Studio Mir.

Netflix previously announced partnerships with Production I.G, I.G sister company Wit Studio, and BONES in 2018, which has already resulted in such anime as Great Pretender, Carole & Tuesday, and Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan. In 2019, Netflix announced similar partnerships with Anima, Sublimation, and david production. Sublimation produced the recent Dragon's Dogma anime series on Netflix, while Wit Studio is producing the Vampire in the Garden original anime series.

Ichii recently worked as an animation director on MAPPA's Zombie Land Saga Revenge.

Update: An animator claimed to have been paid 250 yen (US$2) for in-between animation at a subcontracting studio for a film project made by "the company that recently made a viral PV." They commented that the work was extra demanding because it was for a film project that required a high degree of polish.

Source: Ippei Ichii's Twitter account

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