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Old 2012-07-14, 11:52   Link #21
C.A.
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Only a very few handful of animators get recognised in the entire industry with thousands of animators who put the most amount of effort in their entire productions.

In an anime, the most popular cast that works on the artistic aspect of productions by far are the seiyuu, with huge followings of fans, they are idolised and appear on seiyuu magazines. Next are the directors and writers, people know their names, the productions they worked on.

Compared to them, the thousands of animators who do the bulk of the hardwork on the productions, visuals which make up most of the audience's experience of an anime, have almost no recognition.

Veteran key animators who are famous only get known by a specific hardcore sakuga fandom after more than a decade of work, while new seiyuus can be shot to stardom in their first major role. No one else knows the secondary animators who fills in the thousands of in betweens, or the colourist who has to colour it in a way that the shades and highlights are animated.

And then these animators get paid less than directors and writers who do the least amount of work in comparison within a single production. There's no magazine about animators that fans want to buy every month, despite watching so much anime that were made from scratch with the animators' hands.
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Old 2012-07-14, 14:55   Link #22
TJR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fertygo View Post
KyoAni also famous with how they treat their worker better than in most place. But its true though, Anime industry is bad place to work, in most case its just like the blog in the OP post.
Let's not buy too much into a company's PR, which exists to attract potential talent. Every place will say that they're some kind of paradise, whether they're Nintendo or Ion Storm (!!).

For KyoAni, geographical isolation forces them to make long-term investment in employees, so conditions are likely better. They also compete on quality.

Nevertheless, reality isn't as rosy as their PR will have you believe. Contrary to company claims, workers do stay overnight to meet deadlines (official policy may not directly dictate this, but what happens to staff who go home early when everyone else works long hours?). You also have people leaving KyoAni for the chaos of Tokyo, so conditions can't be that fantastic.

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I just wish the recent trend of emergence of new studios (like Ufotable) that build by experienced figure, like Imaishi with studio trigger, MAPPA, Hosoda also build brand new studio.. there is also A-1, I hope those studio can have and develop better working environment for anime worker. At the very least they can work comfortably and not like labor.
Sadly, I suspect that the veterans are likely to maintain the status quo, simply because it "worked" throughout their careers (and as head of Madhouse, you can bet that Maruyama had a lot of say over how things were run). Bear in mind that in terms of creation, they only started new studios to keep doing what they were doing before. Their old companies changed, so they switched environments to maintain a status quo.

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I feel bad for the working conditions that many of these people have to go through but this guy sounds awfully judgmental. From reading his comments it seems the problem is everyone else he is working with.
He was in production management, so his relationship with animators was probably antagonist. His job was to schedule people in, collect their work, and then deliver it to the next person down the chain. Plus, it was his responsibility to meet deadlines and quality standards.

You can see where the conflict lies. The animator sees the production manager/assistant as an annoying slave driver because of low pay and brutal schedule demands. Meanwhile, the producer (who tends to be relatively outgoing and organized) sees the animator as a socially inept jerk who has no responsibility or regard for anyone else.

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These people could have taken a more rewarding job, but they chose to animate out of their own will.
Yes and no......

Some animate out of genuine love for the craft. Others are involved because they have nowhere else to go. Anime companies will readily hire people with no skill or college background, so to some workers, having the job still beats unemployment/homelessness. Few of the latter have any future in the industry (and as some veteran animators argue, they complain but make no effort to learn or improve their situation). Nevertheless, the studios will take advantage of their involvement just to get things done cheaply.
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Old 2012-07-14, 18:36   Link #23
fertygo
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Oh I do recognize there is possibility of sugar coating on every "positive" article out there regarding the industry, still nice to hear even just a bit better situation, because we all know the situation was really bad.

You can only hear good news about animators if they're enjoying their work so much, like back then in The Idolm@ster anime production (just because they're otaku too, n crazy with Idolm@ster) bar that, you hear nothing.

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Sadly, I suspect that the veterans are likely to maintain the status quo, simply because it "worked" throughout their careers (and as head of Madhouse, you can bet that Maruyama had a lot of say over how things were run). Bear in mind that in terms of creation, they only started new studios to keep doing what they were doing before. Their old companies changed, so they switched environments to maintain a status quo.
Bleh.. that's very unfortunate, its would be very nice if there's better working culture somewhere
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Old 2012-07-14, 23:10   Link #24
Warm Mist
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Isn't there something like a guild for animators and visual artists/workers? You know, to try and balance out the situation against the inhuman requirements of this industry?

I don't know much about how Japan manages these things in general, but they do seem pretty conformist and unwilling to uphold their rights when vulnerated. Maybe it's a cultural bias I'm having, but for how many years have the conditions of the anime industry been the same?

Not to say any other country or company is any better, the common objective of every private corp is to make money at all costs, after all, but the way these ex-workers put it when they rant, it's like only an already insane person would be able to work in the industry for more than six months.

I recall some actions that denoted a willingness to change the situation, such as the Young Animator Training Project, but that's too small a grain in this supposed sea of shitty working conditions.
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Old 2012-07-14, 23:17   Link #25
Vexx
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The answer is that the working conditions are marginal and do indeed sometimes suck but there's a "sour grapes" aspect to some of the extremely negative stories. The author was writing about his experience - we'll assume that he's relating his experience allowing for his disgust with the other workers.

I've also read other stories where the pay was low but there was much more comradeship.

What I take from the aggregate of all these stories is:
1) the pay is terrible, its less stressful working at 7-11.
2) the companies do a HORRIFICALLY TERRIBLE job of retaining/growing talent - not being racist here but management jackassery/incompetence takes on special damage in a culture where everyone is too "polite" to point shit out.
3) Otaku need to be thrown into hygiene/etiquette/social bootcamp en masse
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Old 2012-07-15, 00:33   Link #26
TJR
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Originally Posted by Shergal View Post
Isn't there something like a guild for animators and visual artists/workers? You know, to try and balance out the situation against the inhuman requirements of this industry?
There's JAniCA, but I don't think they have any actual power.

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Maybe it's a cultural bias I'm having, but for how many years have the conditions of the anime industry been the same?
Supposedly, Osamu Tezuka created the system when he ran Mushi Production. That would be around 50 years, I guess.

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the companies do a HORRIFICALLY TERRIBLE job of retaining/growing talent
It seems that they shortlist individuals who matter (these are the stars who attract fans followings and earn prominent production roles even at a young age) and see the rest as disposable.

Cindy Yamauchi has posted a few things from the perspective of a senior animator. She isn't particularly understanding or sensitive to the plight of junior staff, but she does shed some light into how some others in the industry view things.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5
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Old 2012-07-15, 02:01   Link #27
Warm Mist
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I'm now curious as to who "Studio X" and "A-san" are.
For the rest, reading Yamauchi's posts it's like "our word against theirs". She says the industry isn't that bad, other animators who quit say it is. Personally, I think Yamauchi is somewhat naive on her views and am inclined to think more pessimistically
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Old 2012-07-15, 03:02   Link #28
fertygo
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Call me stupid, but somehow I'm sure the mentioned studio is Madhouse, not that its any different anyway seems that's the case in all place.
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Old 2012-07-15, 03:45   Link #29
Warm Mist
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Madhouse is the studio Yamauchi works(ed) for. This was supposedly a small studio some hours away from Tokyo, she didn't say the name out of politeness.
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Old 2012-07-15, 04:02   Link #30
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It's not going not going to be any of those studios that you see get their names plastered across the show for animation production.
It's going to be one of those smaller and less known ones that take on all the outsourcing stuff. Even if we knew the name, I doubt any of us would even recognise it. Remember, towards the end of the blog, the studio was running into a work shortage problem.
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Old 2012-07-15, 05:17   Link #31
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All those problems mentioned plague even serious sectors like engineering or manufacturing. For an industry that depends so much on freelancers like animation it will just hit them even harder.

All in all though, find me someone these days who is genuinely happy with his job....It is just a symptom of a far bigger problem.
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Old 2012-07-15, 05:41   Link #32
j0x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
All those problems mentioned plague even serious sectors like engineering or manufacturing. For an industry that depends so much on freelancers like animation it will just hit them even harder.

All in all though, find me someone these days who is genuinely happy with his job....It is just a symptom of a far bigger problem.
but this is different level though, this are artists that got talents but getting paid and treated like factory workers
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Old 2012-07-15, 07:01   Link #33
cyth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
3) Otaku need to be thrown into hygiene/etiquette/social bootcamp en masse
But then they'll slowly develop a sense of self-worth! If that happens, who in the world is going to animate anything? What we need are selfless workers who will do anything for the love of anime and the occasional korean BBQ from the director--that's all an animator needs.
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Old 2012-07-15, 07:59   Link #34
Bri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJR View Post
Cindy Yamauchi has posted a few things from the perspective of a senior animator. She isn't particularly understanding or sensitive to the plight of junior staff, but she does shed some light into how some others in the industry view things.

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5
Interesting observations by Yamauchi. Seems the anime industry is like any other unregulated industry in bad times. The professionals with rare skills that are in demand get paid well and the rest of the manual labor is expendable and get's to fight over the peanuts.

Change a few names and we could be talking about Walmart.

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Originally Posted by j0x View Post
but this is different level though, this are artists that got talents but getting paid and treated like factory workers
Most animators are pretty much factory workers. The animation process requires a lot of tedious work that requires relatively little creative skill.
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Old 2012-07-15, 08:29   Link #35
orion
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Originally Posted by Shergal View Post
Madhouse is the studio Yamauchi works(ed) for. This was supposedly a small studio some hours away from Tokyo, she didn't say the name out of politeness.
Or she'd be blacklisted for mentioning the studio. Do you really think that she'd be hired to work in another studio after mentioning who the previous studio was?
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Old 2012-07-15, 09:10   Link #36
Lord of Fire
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Originally Posted by j0x View Post
but this is different level though, this are artists that got talents but getting paid and treated like factory workers
They pretty much are, but that goes for a lot of other people as well. A lot of work is highly repetitive and pays poorly. However, that doesn't have to hinder you enjoying your work. If it does, and you can find something else, go for it. Else, accept that you're forever fated to work in poor conditions and find something in your work to enjoy. That is what the author seemed to be talking about.
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Old 2012-07-16, 13:06   Link #37
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j0x View Post
but this is different level though, this are artists that got talents but getting paid and treated like factory workers
Are they?

Is it an art to paint a car?

Special-painting a car maybe

But what is the art in drawing 100's of frames
It isn't art, it IS mass production
just like spraypainting 70 red cars, 34 blue, 120 black

Argue about work/wage discrepancies, but making an anime is like building a ship
specialized jobs, gruntwork, the whole shebang
...but only the designer and the contractor get the credit
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Old 2012-07-16, 13:16   Link #38
Vexx
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In-betweeners has *always* been just sweatshop work anywhere its done. I'll grant the anime industry may be just a bit crappier to them but I doubt it (how many US cartoons are outsourced to Korean or other 'sweatshops' once the storyboarding and key frames are done) but the garment industry would laugh it's head off at the whining.

To me there's more of a story of just how much of a reek there can be with socially dysfunctional otaku. That's something you don't see in most countries... and it is especially odd in a culture that has been known for personal hygiene standards for centuries.
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Old 2012-07-16, 18:13   Link #39
C.A.
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In betweeners don't suffer the same fate everywhere, especially for established giants like Disney.

My animation professor was a British guy who was literally picked off the streets at 17 to become an in betweener for Disney, how that happened is another long story.

There was absolutely no reason he would refused such a job and he was paid hundreds of dollars per day just for inbetweens. Disney also pays his 2 hour cab rides in the morning and night every day, he didn't mind the long travelling times at all.

He found great pride in his job and was able to commit and work really hard for the studio. Soon he was promoted to do key frames in many other productions including Roger Rabbit where he even got to meet the actors.

My 3D lecturer started out freelancing for various Hollywood movies and soon he was brought into the Lord of the Rings studio to work right with the crew in New Zealand. In the Fellowship of the Ring, he worked on giving background characters who wear green suits animated pieces of armour. He worked on the backgrounds of battles such as the one where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli battled the orc raiders on the green hills.

By the second movie he was already given more important jobs and a better studio space, he works directly beside the animatronic Treebeard set where Merry sat on his shoulder. He could touch actual props and even hang out with actors and drink with Orlando Bloom at bars. This lecturer now has such a huge Hollywood portfolio that people are calling him up for jobs, he even got offered a position in Blizzard.

The studio you go to and the productions you work on are extremely important to the portfolios and careers of any animator. Its just not worth working on anime as they simply do not provide you with not just cash but any chance of an enjoyable and fulfilling job experience. Yes some will make it somehow, but its an extremely low chance and near impossible for foreigners.
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Ignore gender and kick sexuality to the curb!
I'm a big mecha fan, who keeps playing the SRW series.
When I say 'My god...', god refers to Haruhi-sama.

My art album updated 11th May 2013, Science.
Deviant Art: http://ca0001.deviantart.com/
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Old 2012-07-16, 20:10   Link #40
j0x
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some good news anime streaming subscription (Neon Alley and Crunchyroll) will come to PS3 soon -> http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-ent...-coming-to-ps3
although its not a japanese initiative though, americans maximizes the potential of internet for profit again, but still good news that anime can gain more profit from this move
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