Head spinning yet?
No wonder the industry is worth nearly $18 billion USD annually. Anime is one of Japan’s top exports, so yea, I’m sure they’re pretty comfortable spending good money on it!
While these production costs still seem pretty incredible, they don’t come anywhere near the costs of other animated shows. Take the Simpsons for example. A single episode of the Simpsons costs about $2 million USD (much of that going to the voice actors who’ve been keeping the show alive for nearly 30 years). Other American shows have similar costs, with many coming in around $1 million per episode.
Why such a discrepancy between countries?
Turns out, part of the difference comes from Japan’s reputation of paying animators very low wages compared to other countries (we’ve definitely talked about that before).
That’s a typical story – demand for anime has exploded and production costs have risen, but studios haven’t increased salaries. Many studios have closed because they can’t find animators. Some predict animators could start leaving Japan for foreign animation studios.