The animators were starving in Japan…Some really are.

From ANN

Japanese Animators, Directors Establish First Union

…According to JAniCA, a storyboard artist finishes the storyboard of a 30-minute episode in three weeks for 220,000 to 230,000 yen (US$1,900 to US$2,000). That averages to 70,000 yen (US$600) a week, 280,000 yen a month (US$2,400), and 3,360,000 yen (US$28,800) a year, with no vacation. A key animator earns about 3,000 yen (US$25) for one scene, and completes about two scenes of key animation frames in 10 to 15 hours on one day. That averages to 6,000 yen a day (US$50), 180,000 yen a month (US$1,500), and 2,160,000 yen (US$18,400) a year, with no vacation. If any of the workers have family or raise children, then it is impossible to work these hours without days-off. 20% to 30% of all animators earn an annual salary of around 1,000,000 yen (US$10,000), or 6,000 to 10,000 yen (US$500 to US$900) a month…

…late-night television, the Internet, and other new venues, the number of television animation programs produced every year is now about a hundred – a three-fold increase from twenty years ago…

…One 59-year-old had to cut back due to deteriorating physical health, and now subsists on 120,000 yen (US$1,000) a month. Some of the 59-year-old animator’s former colleagues now receive public assistance or are now homeless…

Ray’s take: …I don’t know what to say.

[Editor’s note: for those interested in a discussion you can go to the ANN Forum here at]

[Editor’s note2: find the snap shot of the  excel file for the budget for Bamboo Blade episode 1 here.]

Author: Ray

I'm a hardcore Anime Fan and I'm proud of it. I know so many things and I've acquired so much knowledge you wouldn't believe. But my love is anime. I've been drifting in this world for so long that I don't even know what an anchor means. I've seen so many shows that I've lost count. The only thing I'm sure of myself is that I care for the lowly and disenfranchised. I hate the rich and powerful and I love what I do, or what I can do. I like anime and I don't mind watching different types of shows. I have experience in different types of Japanese animation. I would be called an "expert" in a bizzaro world. One day, I'd like to start a revolution. I love the US, pizza, beer, sashimi, Chinese food, and steak. But I love freshly baked bread more than a well-aged steak. In reality, if I were born Japanese I'd be a real, hardcore Otaku. I love to love and I can hate strongly. I'm passionate in nature and I don't mind shedding tears. I can be reached at rayyhum777 at animediet. My Twitter is rayyhum777 at twitter.

4 thoughts on “The animators were starving in Japan…Some really are.

  1. Me, neither. This doesn’t almost seem possible. But bear in mind that in Asia, most people get paid low wages compare with western countries, especially for industries that don’t have high social status or importance in societal views. We love and some of us adore anime, but in Japan, loving anime is like one of the social taboos (!)

  2. Very interesting blog. I recognize your interest in my aggressive chest I have a joke for you =) What do you need to split an atom? A fission License.

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