How Much Does One Episode Of Anime Cost?

anime episode
Source: BagoGames via Flickr

Ever wonder how much it costs to make an episode of an animated TV show?

The price may shock you, but it shouldn’t. A lot of talent goes into animation!

A study conducted by the Media Development Research Institute Inc back in 2011 reported that a single 30 minute anime episode costs 11,000,000 yen, which at the time exchanged to $145,214 USD.

Current exchange rates put that at $102,850 USD.

Source: Animation Infinity

The report also broke down where all that money goes. Costs are set for current exchange rates:

  • Original work – 50,000 yen ($467)
  • Script – 200,000 yen ($1,870)
  • Episode Direction – 500,000 yen ($4,675)
  • Production – 2 million yen ($18,700)
  • Key Animation Supervision – 250,000 yen ($2,337)
  • Key Animation – 1.5 million yen ($14,025)
  • In-betweening – 1.1 million yen ($10,285)
  • Finishing – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
  • Art (backgrounds) – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
  • Photography – 700,000 yen ($6,545)
  • Sound – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
  • Materials – 400,000 yen ($3,740)
  • Editing – 200,000 yen ($1,870)
  • Printing – 500,000 yen ($4,675)

That’s a lotta cash. But that’s just one episode! Let’s multiply that by an entire season…

Fate/Apocrypha debuted in 2017 with 24 episodes, which means they could reasonably have dropped 264,000,000 yen for season one. That’s $2,468,400 USD for one season.

Now let’s stop and think about how much anime Japan produces every year. Wikipedia say 157 shows debuted in 2017. That doesn’t include ongoing shows – just the new ones!

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