The Harsh Truth Of Low Anime Wages

low anime wages

We’ve all heard of the various struggles of the life of an artist and how hard it can be to get by in the anime industry. Being an artist in Japanese animation promises that you’ll work long hours and you won’t be getting rich anytime soon. Taiki Nishimura is a veteran of the anime industry – working in the genre for over twenty years. Now, he’s shedding some light on the fact that he doesn’t doesn’t get much in return for his time and hard work.

low anime wages
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In general, Taiki says that he makes about 115,000 yen or (around $1,000) per anime. He says that these projects usually take around two months to complete; it also means that he can’t make ends meet working on just one show at a time.

It looks like this industry requires artists to either have a second job or work on multiple shows all at the same time. Taiki is no slouch either, he has directed episodes of Naruto, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Zombie-Loan. He stated that last year his anime wages pulled in around $14,385.

It’s understandable that artists don’t join this industry to get rich but, these are the sort of working conditions that are unsustainable. Many of the working artists today put in over ten hour work days. (You can see why some artists need to find ways to kick back.) The most that Taiki has ever made from a year’s work in anime came out to around $27,000. The anime industry in Japan is a huge business and, though numbers go up and down each year, it still pulls in a lot of money. More anime is being made than ever before, but how many artists can keep up with that lifestyle? Will we lose our most talented creators just because they can’t pay rent?

For a more in-depth look at the fight against low anime wages, check out these pieces from Kotaku and Otaku USA Magazine.



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