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I frequently argue with people who refuse to believe that Japan treats its animators like s**t. Well here you go then. These are quotes from articles from a web site that I cannot link to due to its content, but just in case anyone here still wants to be an animator in Japan.

Quote:
Anybody aspiring to contribute towards Japan’s colossal animation industry will likely be having second thoughts on seeing the latest statistics on their pay; the average annual salary paid to an animator in their twenties is a pathetic ¥1,100,000, rising to an even more shocking ¥2,140,000 in their thirties.

The average salary for a Japanese worker is approximately ¥4,500,000, with the average for those in their twenties being some ¥3,500,000, and for those in their thirties it is ¥4,800,000.

The figures for animators comes from an industry survey of 700 people working in the field, and caused no small surprise when it was reported on national news.

Just how these wretched slaves survive on such meager recompense is quite the mystery, though doubtless anyone earning so little must have additional sources of income.

[...]

Average incomes for anime industry employees are said to be pathetic even by Japanese standards – actual animators received an average annual wage of ¥1,050,000 ($10,000). Artists received ¥2,320,000, whilst performers could expect only ¥3,330,000 and even directors only received ¥4,950,000.

Looking at the results by age reveals it is most probably seniority and not merit which is the primary determinant of wages, a practice which became entrenched in Japan in the post-war period and still dominates the labour market – those in their twenties received an average of ¥1,100,000, those in their thirties ¥2,130,000, whilst those aged 40-60 found their earnings peaking at a meagre ¥4,000,000.

Actually dividing this income by hours worked (Japanese companies not infrequently demand massive amounts of unpaid overtime) reveals an even more pitiful truth – the average hourly wage for animators is estimated at ¥298 ($3), that for artists ¥689, and that for directors ¥1,412.

For reference, McDonald’s employees in Tokyo can expect an hourly wage of ¥1,000.


An animator says,

Quote:

“I worked until late each day, my health was ruined and I can’t lead a normal life.”

This is the complaint of a 24-year-old animator who entered the company March last year. Of Taiwanese extraction, he came to love Japanese anime and came to Japan when he was 18. After graduating from a Japanese language school, he worked with colour design at Studio Easter.

At the time he thought it was the culmination of a long-held dream, but it soon turned into a nightmare.

After entering the company as a trainee, he found himself paid an hourly wage of ¥250 (¥2000 a day), far below the Tokyo minimum wage of ¥821 an hour.

As he could not live on such a wage, he was forced to subsist on payments from his parents.

After finishing his training, he found himself on a base wage of 150,000 a month. He did receive one day off each week, although he was “sometimes called in to work” even then. He never received payment for overtime or work on his holidays.

His superiors were unsympathetic: “This is a matter of course in the anime industry. If we obeyed labour laws there would be no company and no anime industry.


It's no better for mangaka, so weebs, don't do it. I know you love your anime and manga but if Japanese people from Japan are having trouble living on the wages, there is no way in ******** a gaijin like you will ever succeed. Not to mention they're outsourcing almost everything now, so soon enough there will be no anime studios left in Japan except Ghibli, which will never, ever hire you.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

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FINALLY!
I'm also pretty tired of people thinking being an animator/mangaka in Japan is this glamorous dream.
Lots of internet cupcakes for Fansub! Lots and lots of cupcakes!

And just one more reason to slap people who think Japan is "totully awsomes".

Have some national [********] pride.

I can't believe a McDonald's employee makes more than an animator.

I hated working there and I was still making more. gonk
Atomic Octopus's avatar

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That's pretty terrible.

Could the animators maybe go on strike or something...?
Fansub's avatar

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Atomic Octopus
That's pretty terrible.

Could the animators maybe go on strike or something...?

The studios will just fire them and outsource everything to Korea if they do that. They're already outsourcing most of their animation anyway, as far as they're concerned the animators should be happy to still even have a job at all.
Best forum ive seen in a while! Haha

People need to realize that it isn't this amazing job just waiting for them. The industry is so saturated with people trying to do that, the jobs are so scarce, and the pay is worthless.

If someone really wants to get into the art industry/profession they need to expand their horizons and choose something more practical.

I also liked the "national pride" comment. People should be wanting to support our economy, and we have a thriving creative world right here, you just have to get out of your tween-anime world and experience it.

I'm an animator/motion graphic artist myself, and even though I don't work on these amazing movies and tv shows, I get to do a lot of really fun and cool projects every day, and I get to enjoy going into work.
Albino Sea Monkey


FINALLY!
I'm also pretty tired of people thinking being an animator/mangaka in Japan is this glamorous dream.
Lots of internet cupcakes for Fansub! Lots and lots of cupcakes!



I just love your avi. The pastel rainbow is beautiful.
But on the other hand, if there was nothing positive to be gained from the experience at all, I don't think the animators would bother in the first place.

Low wages, long hours, a higher-paying and less labor intensive McDonald's gig right across the street...This is the kind of career path that you follow out of passion, and not out of the desire for decent wages.
Young Master Aibiki's avatar

Fluffy Pup

Reminds me of an infograph/schedule I saw once of a mangaka's work schedule. :c

here it is

But yeah, for the longest time I wanted to be an animator/'mangaka', but I don't think I'd be able to live off of that little. :c Well that, and I grew out of my weebish habits (except a few) a long time ago.
NuMedia Millie's avatar

Prophet

NUUUUUU BUT I STILL LUV D ANIMEEEEE AND I WILL BE D FURST MURLLIONAIURE JAPENEZE ANIMANGAKAHHHHH. U R JUS A STOOPID.
Albino Sea Monkey's avatar

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snacks_ex_machina
But on the other hand, if there was nothing positive to be gained from the experience at all, I don't think the animators would bother in the first place.

Low wages, long hours, a higher-paying and less labor intensive McDonald's gig right across the street...This is the kind of career path that you follow out of passion, and not out of the desire for decent wages.





Most likely a lot of them are trying to make it big, but, like the people this thread is geared towards, they don't understand how hard it is and how little they'd make for such a long time.

They go to school for it, spend money on it, and then are generally stuck with it as they don't know what else to do.

Both of my parents have been working in grocery stores (as managers) for as long as I can remember. It's not because there aren't better jobs out there or because they don't know anything else, but because they just got one job and kind of stuck with it. It's what they have the most experience in, so they just keep finding more grocery jobs whenever we move. They don't get paid very much (even as floral AND produce manager, my mom only makes $9.53 an hour, which actually only covers the amount of money taken OUT of my dad's paycheck for our ridiculous health insurance). Would they like better jobs? Of course. Will they? Probably not. Just like these animators, they're stuck doing something they most likely don't enjoy, is hard on their bodies, and doesn't give much padding to the wallet.

I remember an article figuring that before they made it big in America, the creator of bleach made the same or less hourly wage as a mcdonalds employee.

Now, I'm all for getting people off the weeaboo train, but as a working artist, I'd like to remind everyone that everyone in the arts, save for a select few, are dirt poor. We don't do it because it'll make us rich, we do it because we love it, and we can make someone happy or enjoy what we do.


Also, I've started doing freelance translation, mostly for cheap yaoi and smut, and I'm pretty sure I'm making more per page than the poor schmuck who drew it. Then again, I'm also making well below minimum wage, so what-evs.
I thought it was pretty common knowledge that most animators and mangaka don't make much money. It is interesting to see actual numbers though. I'm curious to see if some of the better studios, like Production I.G or Gainex, who are responsible for many high profile projects, provide better wages than studios that mainly do small budget projects (late night anime, hentai).
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snacks_ex_machina
But on the other hand, if there was nothing positive to be gained from the experience at all, I don't think the animators would bother in the first place.

Low wages, long hours, a higher-paying and less labor intensive McDonald's gig right across the street...This is the kind of career path that you follow out of passion, and not out of the desire for decent wages.

They're most likely sticking with it because they enjoy drawing more than they would enjoy flipping burgers, not so much because they're passionate about what they're doing. I've been in this exact same position before, down to having to choose between a fast food job and an art job, and I chose art because I can more or less switch on my autopilot when I'm drawing.

A huge number of people don't seem to realize that just because you enjoy drawing, does not mean you'll enjoy doing it for a living. Drawing professionally is nothing like drawing as a hobby -- it feels very much like an entirely different thing.

TuckyX
I'm curious to see if some of the better studios, like Production I.G or Gainex, who are responsible for many high profile projects, provide better wages than studios that mainly do small budget projects (late night anime, hentai).

As far as I know the wages are close if not just as bad for pretty much every studio with the exception of Ghibli. Not to mention that most studios outsource their stuff to South Korea now, which is cheaper for them. A lot of them do just storyboards and keys now and then ship it all to Korea for the animation.
TuckyX
I thought it was pretty common knowledge that most animators and mangaka don't make much money. It is interesting to see actual numbers though. I'm curious to see if some of the better studios, like Production I.G or Gainex, who are responsible for many high profile projects, provide better wages than studios that mainly do small budget projects (late night anime, hentai).


I'm not sure if it's anything like it is here in the US, but if so, the wages probably are better, but the work conditions and hours are probably worse.

I know a lot of high profile studios here (Disney, etc) pay well, but the work environment is very tough, and you often work ridiculous hours.

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