Friday, December 21, 2007

Japanese Animation Creators live in Hell

I got a position as a programer 10 years ago. Then I completed one PC title, and joined some console titles that were canceled later. Next, I got a position as an animator. Why did I become an animator? Because I felt the need to obtain visual skills to do something in the creative world. But, I chose 2D animator, not 3D animator. After I spent some years as an animator with taking a part in Japanese popular animation TV programs/movies, I came back to program, and then I am developing games on PS3 now.

(If you're interested in my profile, click here.)

The hardest days of those experiences is the animator days. Japanese animations receives a high evaluation in the world wide, but Japanese animator life is really wretchedness. That's the most poor job in Japan. Illegal foreign workers get paid than them. Now I serve under some major game developer. I get paid as much as labors of other industries. But my present yearly income is about ten times of the animator days. In other words, animator's yearly income is too miserably paid. Most animators can not live in Tokyo's price, but there are most animation studios in Tokyo. Therefore, most animators have to live like refugee.

They rent a room of wooden apartment building by 25,000~30,000 JPY/Month. It seems that the building is kept for only animators. In most cases, their room doesn't equip the lavatory and the bathroom. There is one shared lavatory in the building. And, they use Japanese traditional public bath "Sento(銭湯)".

They works by cutting their quality of life and their sleeping time. Many animation movies make a profit, but animators get about 50,000 JPY as a starting salary. Average expert animators get paid 3 times than the starting salary, but it is unenough to live in Tokyo.

Sadly, they are not protected by the law, because animation studios don't sign them. So they are one-man business and not protected by the labor law. If animation studios sign them, the studios will go bankrupt. In a word, the studios don't get paid enough, even if their works make a profit much.

Of course, super creators are exception. But, Japanese animations are handwritten and need man-power. It's impossible to create animations by only super creators.

The problem is urgent and already in a time of crisis. Now, Japanese animation industry is kept by only creators' passion. But Japanese people and Japan's government are not good at drastic measure. Maybe anything is not changed, until Japanese animation industry will be gone.

Do you want to know the details of fated industry?


Amrinder S said...

i wanted to join anime industry of japan.i had heard thats its not good but afterreading this i think its hazardous to be an animator in japan.still i am interested to know details else it will not go out of my mind

DERI said...

I really want to do a research on this topic...could you give me more informations? thank you so much

minahito said...

Hi deri,

Thanks for your comment. I will add some entries to this topic.

yoonsit said...

I really want to do a research on this topic too

And what about salay animator in Ghibli Studio?

...could you give me more informations? thank you so much

yoonsit said...


this is my email

thank you so much

Alicia said...

Oh,wow,I had no idea that things over there were that bad for Japanese animators.I want to look into this more.I feel sorry for them because they work so hard for so little.

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nancy said...

I have always dreamt of being an animator and work for a japanese animation company. I live in India and I was completely unaware of the situation overthere. But I didn't expect it to be that worse. I currently am studying engineering in electronics and communications. But I still can't give up my love for animation.I still want to work as an animator in japan. Please tell me if MBA people are getting paid a good salary in japan or not.Also can you tell me if one can handle both animation and management jobs at a time in japan. Also will they allow someone like me to work in your country.Please!!

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