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Asahi Paper: Animators' Work Conditions Not Improving

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
2009 survey results, industry issues, young animator training project discussed

The Asahi Shimbun paper posted an article about the working conditions for Japanese animators last Friday. The article, written in question-and-answer format, noted that animation is labor-intensive because each 30-minute anime episode consists of about 3,000 drawings. The paper added that even though part of the animation is being digitized, the time it takes to produce anime episodes has not changed.

Asahi cited a 2009 Japanese Animation Creators Association survey of 728 animators that stated that animators in their 20s receive an average yearly salary of 1.1 million yen (about US$13,900), and those in their 30s receive around 2.13 million yen (about US$26,900). The survey also indicated that 70 percent of animators were dissatisfied with their salaries.

The article noted that because DVD sales are not growing and television stations are cutting back on their budgets, it is still difficult to get animators' salaries to increase. In addition, the practice of outsourcing work more cheaply to other Asian countries is also spreading, which is why the treatment of animators is not getting any better

However, on the question of why there are still so many animators in the business, Asahi explained that many animators have reasons such as "I love to work drawing images," "This type of work is enjoyable," and "This is my only reason d'etre."

The article also noted that the current work conditions are causing a serious shortage in animator successors. However, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs began an initiative last year to help train talented up-and-coming individuals.

[Via Moe Ota-News Sokuhō]

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