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Old 2006-02-08, 21:58   Link #1
Mugen
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The Industry - Lifestyle and Wages

I have a couple questions about the anime industry in Japan:

How much do animators get paid on average?

Are there many people from different countrys who go to Japan for the purpose of specifically working for an anime studio?

Any replys would be appreciated, cheers
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Old 2006-02-08, 22:09   Link #2
Catgirls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugen
I have a couple questions about the anime industry in Japan:

How much do animators get paid on average?
I found this by using Google.com. It was posted on 2005-11-02 over at ANN:
Quote:
- http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/article.php?id=7729

The Daily Yomiuri has reported on a survey detailing the salaries earned by Japanese animators.

Only 83 animators answered the survey.

Working an average of 10.2 hours a day, 49.5% of them reported that they feel that their salaries are not sufficient for the work they do and 90% of them feel that the benefits and pensions are insufficient.

26.8% earn less than 1 million yen (US$8,500 approx.) annually, 19.6% earn between 1 million yen and 2 million yen (US$17,000 approx.) annually, 18.6% earn between 2 million yen and 3 million yen (US$25,700 approx.) annually. 65% of Japanese animators earn less than 3 million yen annually.

One category of animators, the storyboard animators who are responsible for drawing up outlines and sketches of how the animation will run, earns even less. They are often paid on a "per frame" basis, earning an average of 187 yen (US$1.60 approx.) per frame. 73.7% of these animators earn less than 1 million yen per year and the highest paid storyboard animators earn at most 80% of what other types of animators make.

According to Salary.com, the average salary for an animator in the United States is US$55,000. According to the Arts Institute of California, the average starting salary for animators who graduate from that institute is US$31,000.

Geidankyo, the organization that conducted the survey stated that working and remuneration conditions be improved for animators.
I believe there are anime animators that post here, so maybe they can either back that up or rip it. Hope that helps. Cheers.

Last edited by Catgirls; 2006-02-08 at 22:41.
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Old 2006-02-08, 22:23   Link #3
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Whoa, that was unexpected. I mean, I knew they didn't make very much but I had expected it to still be somewhat substantial in the range of at least $70,000+ a year. Hell, the average starting salary for a dentist in the US is like $85,000. How about guys like Miyazaki and Watanabe Shinichiro?
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Old 2006-02-09, 00:05   Link #4
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimePlus
Whoa, that was unexpected. I mean, I knew they didn't make very much but I had expected it to still be somewhat substantial in the range of at least $70,000+ a year. Hell, the average starting salary for a dentist in the US is like $85,000. How about guys like Miyazaki and Watanabe Shinichiro?
wwww. I laugh at that ludicrous wage that you expected. Animators (gengaka) here are viewed as the bottom rung of society - people who work close to 20+ hours a day, have to sleep at their office, who gets paid less than the people flipping burgers at McDonald's, and never see a single yen from the profits from the sales. They probably might be better off doing nothing and getting social welfare from the government.

As for your question - there's a difference between low-level key animators who sweat and toil doing genga art for meager wages versus a director whose own work reaps in royalties and profits.

Think of it this way - who makes the most money at Coca-Cola? The guys working the machines at the plant, or the CEO? You need the plant workers to make the product, but they get paid close to minimum wage, whereas the CEO does all the deals and manages the entire operation and he gets paid millions.

Same thing in the anime industry. The head honcho (they can be the chief writer, the director, the original character designer, etc.) are the ones who bring up the idea. They are the ones who do all the dealings with sponsors and TV studios. They are the ones who are the brainchild of the series, stories, and whatnot. Hence, they reap in all the royalties and percentage of the profits. That's why you have people like Akahori Satoru (main writer for many successful anime and games) who owns a Centurion American Express card, who lavishes around in expensive bars ordering $5,000+ bottles of wine, driving around in exotic cars and getting all the ladies. On the other hand, you have slaving low level animators who gets paid meager amounts in which they can't pay their electric bills and are kicked out from their apartments for not being able to pay their rent.

But that's how the anime industry works in Japan - you lower yourself to a shitty job, but if you perservere you might get a chance to be responsible for the chief animation director. And if you are able to get through that, you might make connections along the way to move up to become a director or a writer. And if your stuff becomes popular, congratulations - you are now one of the members who can laugh back at the "elite" salarymen (read: "normal people" who work for a "normal" company) who once looked down upon you. But out of a pool of thousands of low level animators and the chances of you reaching that level; very marginal.

Last edited by kj1980; 2006-02-09 at 03:07.
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Old 2006-02-09, 02:29   Link #5
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Wow. That one hell of a mindblower there.

Since some of these directors were once one of the cogs in the machine, was their ever an animation studio where the wages were somewhat higher than those mentioned for the lower level workers or is it mostly the same for this profession?

What i'm basically trying to say is if there was ever an instance of "sharing the wealth?"
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Old 2006-02-09, 02:30   Link #6
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If animators made $70,000 and up, I'd shoot myself for wasting my money and time on college.
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Old 2006-02-09, 03:03   Link #7
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altima of the Gates
What i'm basically trying to say is if there was ever an instance of "sharing the wealth?"
wwww.

Yeah sure. Animation studios sharing the wealth. They are not multi-billion dollar corporations that can give out bonuses or have their stocks traded on a large stock market ya' know? Sure, maybe if you worked at Coca-Cola, you'll probably have incentives like a nice retirement plan or options to buy company stocks. But we are talking about an anime studio - a company comparable to "Joe's Bicycle Store." The only instance of "sharing the wealth" might be occasional food deliveries in the form of "sashi-ire" (Good job in working your asses off!! Since I feel sorry for you, here's some food. There's the microwave. Eat. Now get back to work you lazy tards!!).

Do not compare anime genga (note the word: "genga") in Japan to the likes of Disney or Pixar. Being a genga is one of the shittiest jobs you can find.

Last edited by kj1980; 2008-12-16 at 22:12.
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Old 2006-02-09, 11:57   Link #8
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That was interesting

I was wondering: if being an animator is a shitty job, animes are considered
childish and anime-otakus (don't know if it's the right term) are discriminated, why
do we have so many high quality adult productions?

With a lot of cartoons airing at night (around 2-3 afaik), I think these animes are
meant for younger adults.
So is every Japanese actually watching animes keeping his friends, his co-workers
and his family from it
or the cost of an episode is so little, that animes are used on tv as a filler for the
night hours?


Totally unrelated question: someone knows how much licensing a series cost?
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Old 2006-02-09, 12:09   Link #9
kj1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlocci
That was interesting

I was wondering: if being an animator is a shitty job, animes are considered
childish and anime-otakus (don't know if it's the right term) are discriminated, why
do we have so many high quality adult productions?
Because the anime-otakus are the suckers who are willing to spend wads of cash on merchandise.

Like I said, it's a market that is driven towards pushing moe~ down otakus throats, who in turn spend tons of money and generate over 80 billion yen into our economy. But they aren't going to buy stuff that are made shoddily. Take it this way; do you want to buy a new Ford or GM that'll break down in 60,000 miles, or do you want to pay just a little extra and buy a new Toyota that'll last for over 120,000+ miles? Most people say the latter.


Quote:
With a lot of cartoons airing at night (around 2-3 afaik), I think these animes are meant for younger adults. So is every Japanese actually watching animes keeping his friends, his co-workers and his family from it or the cost of an episode is so little, that animes are used on tv as a filler for the night hours?
They are meant for 20-30 some hardcore otakus who have no life. Besides, many of these anime are based on ero-games and light novels, so the main people who watch them are:

A. People who have played the game or read the light novel before or,
B. People who are watching it from the hype of fellow otaku associates

As I have said before, anime are shown on this time because it's the cheapest time slot.

Last edited by kj1980; 2006-02-09 at 12:20.
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Old 2006-02-09, 12:09   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlocci
Totally unrelated question: someone knows how much licensing a series cost?
Anywhere from $100,000 to 10's of millions. Supposedly the bidding on Naruto was near the later figure. It depends on the series, the series length and other things (how it sold in Japan, how much the company believes its worth, where in the production it is purchased, how many other titles you are willing to pay for with it). ADV put up $1 million dollars to co-produce a title and get the rights a few years back.
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Old 2006-02-09, 13:12   Link #11
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It kinda makes me glad i stopped wanting to be an animator. Im not all about the money but i dont think i could keep such a high standard of drawing like the guys in the industry do, and have such little rewards, i think id find it to depressing. Working in TV or film is a more gratifying profession i think. I suppose this is kind of sad for the animation industry.
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Old 2006-02-09, 15:40   Link #12
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I must say I have never heard of another theoretically niche market that generated such insane revenue all the while remaining marginal in the surrounding culture's eyes. Quite the bizzare situation.

Perhaps someday as popoularity grows overseas it can move onto a more western business model. Considering we allready have seen the first instances of American companies comisioning Anime this may not be so far off. Ultimately some may find it a better investment to produce series and lure in foreign animators with better wages into a local studio rather than paying steep licencing or commision costs.
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Old 2006-02-09, 16:22   Link #13
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Originally Posted by Pleroma
Perhaps someday as popoularity grows overseas it can move onto a more western business model. Considering we allready have seen the first instances of American companies comisioning Anime this may not be so far off. Ultimately some may find it a better investment to produce series and lure in foreign animators with better wages into a local studio rather than paying steep licencing or commision costs.
Um, no.

An animator at my company would be lucky to get the equivalent of US $5000 annually.
Quote:
They are often paid on a "per frame" basis, earning an average of 187 yen (US$1.60 approx.) per frame.
We're paid roughly the same, but per feet, which is 16 frames.

Note we are already doing Western animation, which do have higher budgets. Some of the staff have brothers / sisters at TAP (Toei Animation Philippines) and their wages don't vary by much. Unlike TAP though, we do a lot of KEY animation work.

Again, Western business model or Japanese business model. Doesn't matter, it's still a sweatshop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kj1980
The only instance of "sharing the wealth" might be occasional food deliveries in the form of "sashi-ire" (Good job in working your asses off!! Since I feel sorry for you, here's some food. There's the microwave. Eat. Now get back to work you lazy tards!!).
Our wealth consists of pizza paid by the director from his own pocket money. And he goes, "I've been here for 48 hours. You should be ashamed for daring to go home!" The coffee, however, is not free.
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Old 2006-02-09, 20:43   Link #14
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I remember watching an anime called Animation Runner Kuromi and it was pretty much similar to what kj1980 described(lots of work, anything but a dream job).

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/ency...me.php?id=1146
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Old 2006-02-09, 23:50   Link #15
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They gotta really love their job....

I earn more than that 45% mark with my part-time job at college. =x

I don't think it's surprising tho. Artists don't usually earn a lot of money. Unfortunate though cause they do good work.
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Old 2006-02-16, 18:30   Link #16
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What kind of lives do animators lead?

I just wanted to know wut it's like to be an animator...is an animator's income low?...do they live crappy lives? do they spend most of their time just drinking and relaxing? Can they be considered poor?...do they live happy?...i just want to know stuff pertaining to how animators live...(not only those questions...)
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Last edited by NoSanninWa; 2006-02-16 at 19:13. Reason: Threads merged. Please SEARCH before posting a new thread. It will keep you from annoying the moderators or making yourself look stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 2006-02-16, 18:37   Link #17
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It depens....
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Old 2006-02-16, 18:40   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimen Scythe
I just wanted to know wut it's like to be an animator...is an animator's income low?...do they live crappy lives? do they spend most of their time just drinking and relaxing? Can they be considered poor?...do they live happy?...i just want to know stuff pertaining to how animators live...(not only those questions...)
Well consider this- if they had been good with schoolwork, they would not have went into the anime industry.

Expect low, very low pay.

Actually, if I remember correctly, Shuffle has some scene complaining about the poor treatment animators get (in Engrish, noticed by me ). Kagihime also has some scenes with engrish complaining about studio "selling out" (noticed by NoSanninwa).

But then again, most of the work has been outsourced to Korea- coloring, movement, etc. Only the fundamental sketches/scenes are done in Japan.
If you can read Kanji, try to read the ed credit. You will see many three letters names with really complex looking letters. Korean names are in traditional chinese.

Also, computer coloring has been the mainstream for the past few years. This saves a lot of money at the expense of monotonic coloring. Animators are expected to know how to use the coloring programs.

Green Green had a prologue showing the production of an anime episode, if you are interested.

Happiness? I don't know...what do you think?
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Old 2006-02-16, 18:42   Link #19
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Did you try searching? This exact same thread existed a couple of week ago.
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Old 2006-02-16, 19:05   Link #20
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nope...i guess i was too lazy...i saw all the pages and got scared...
and no i dont think animators live happy lives...maybe shitty lives...i just wanted to confirm this...my friend said it depends if u make a kickasss anime but i dont believe that...
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