Post Reply Japanese Animation Artists getting paid 5 bucks a frame!!??
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Posted 8/5/15
Hey guys,

I know im way late to this game but i decided to ask it for myself. So i recently found out a horrible truth that Japanese animation artists for animes are illegally getting underpaid for their jobs as creating anime. 5 bucks a frame!! THATS INSANE!! This all game to light back in march of 2015 when the first ever american anime artist made it into the Japanese studios, was interviewed about his experience with them. Now heres my question:

"when we buy anime blu rays or mangas does our money go towards the artists or does most end up with the greedy corporations hands and the artists are left with the scraps?"

I for one hope the money goes towards the artists. Because i really want to support the great work they have done in making all the animes i love. and still watching. It makes me a little sad to think about when im enjoying an amazing anime knowing the artists worked their butts off for little pay. I mean there has to be some anime businesses out there that properly pay their employees right? right!!??
If you guys could quote me back so i can read the responses i would appreciate it
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Posted 8/5/15
I think Pierrot pays alright, but you're not usually going to see the light of day animating in Japan. It's really not hmm lucrative.

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Posted 8/5/15

Ninja_Pro92 wrote:

Hey guys,

I know im way late to this game but i decided to ask it for myself. So i recently found out a horrible truth that Japanese animation artists for animes are illegally getting underpaid for their jobs as creating anime. 5 bucks a frame!! THATS INSANE!! This all game to light back in march of 2015 when the first ever american anime artist made it into the Japanese studios, was interviewed about his experience with them. Now heres my question:

"when we buy anime blu rays or mangas does our money go towards the artists or does most end up with the greedy corporations hands and the artists are left with the scraps?"

I for one hope the money goes towards the artists. Because i really want to support the great work they have done in making all the animes i love. and still watching. It makes me a little sad to think about when im enjoying an amazing anime knowing the artists worked their butts off for little pay. I mean there has to be some anime businesses out there that properly pay their employees right? right!!??
If you guys could quote me back so i can read the responses i would appreciate it


I was wondering how so much manga was avaliable to view for free!! Thanks for enlightening us!
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Posted 8/5/15
Most of your money goes to the producers. It's their money that they've invested in the first place, so they expect that money and then some to be returned.

As much as you might like to change the industry, there is little incentive for it to change. Many veteran animators look at the low wages and poor working conditions as a right of passage. And the animation studios don't want to pay their animators any more because it cuts into their bottom line.

So, what does this mean? Well, you could donate to the NPO animator find when they have their next fundraising campaign. You could also mass organize to inquire how much money goes to the mangaka, specifically, from the US licensors. It's probably less than 50 cents on every manga sale.

Or, you can do what I do - When a Japanese artist comes to a convention by you, ask about buying a sketch from them and properly compensate them for it. I've paid hundreds for artwork from several artists and I feel that, in this way, I'm giving back to the animators.
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Posted 8/5/15
considering it costs between $100,000 to $300,000 to animate a single episode of a decently high budget anime;

Heres a quick break down of some of the money and where it goes provided by crunchyroll a while back for your average episode.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/10/30-1/how-much-does-one-episode-of-anime-cost-to-make
Original work - 50,000 yen ($660)
Script - 200,000 yen ($2,640)
Episode Direction - 500,000 yen ($6,600)
Production - 2 million yen ($26,402)
Key Animation Supervision - 250,000 yen ($3,300)
Key Animation - 1.5 million yen ($19,801)
In-betweening - 1.1 million yen ($14,521)
Finishing - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Art (backgrounds) - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Photography - 700,000 yen ($9,240)
Sound - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Materials - 400,000 yen ($5,280)


Yes they do make a small amount of money, but considering the astronomical cost of producing an anime its kind of how to works out in the end however its still ridiculous and the goverment needs to start funding better paychecks since anime is the biggest cultural export the country has.

Heres a quote from the following page. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/artist-rights/japans-animation-industry-isnt-just-tough-its-illegally-harsh-110074.html


The amount of money you earn from day to day changes … since it’s based on how many frame you draw. On Monday I might draw simple corrections on a whole bunch of frame (adding effects that were forgotten by other animators, or “Kii energy” or something like that) resulting in me being able to draw 40 drawings in one day and make over $150 depending on the series. Tuesday-Thursday however, I might have to do the trace-back and inbetweens for a super detailed shot from Tokyo Ghoul (which is really fun btw)…but results in me only drawing 5 frames per day each of those days ($12 a day or so). Each month at Pierrot I earn about $1000. Each month at my previous “slave-labor” studio, I earned about $300 a month.


From this quote we can clearly see that its not all animation studios, however even in the "bigger" studio's its still a hard living.

The potential for earnings is high, the more you draw, the more you make. Its a skill driven industry, the better you are, the more you are in demand and the more you make.

Its definitely an industry where you need to make yourself available and actually get out there and promote your talent.




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Posted 8/5/15 , edited 8/5/15

sarabi5 wrote:


Ninja_Pro92 wrote:

Hey guys,

I know im way late to this game but i decided to ask it for myself. So i recently found out a horrible truth that Japanese animation artists for animes are illegally getting underpaid for their jobs as creating anime. 5 bucks a frame!! THATS INSANE!! This all game to light back in march of 2015 when the first ever american anime artist made it into the Japanese studios, was interviewed about his experience with them. Now heres my question:

"when we buy anime blu rays or mangas does our money go towards the artists or does most end up with the greedy corporations hands and the artists are left with the scraps?"

I for one hope the money goes towards the artists. Because i really want to support the great work they have done in making all the animes i love. and still watching. It makes me a little sad to think about when im enjoying an amazing anime knowing the artists worked their butts off for little pay. I mean there has to be some anime businesses out there that properly pay their employees right? right!!??
If you guys could quote me back so i can read the responses i would appreciate it


I was wondering how so much manga was avaliable to view for free!! Thanks for enlightening us!


haha your welcome? dont quite get your answer there sorry :/ could you elaborate?
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Posted 8/5/15

AzazelOfNexium wrote:

considering it costs between $100,000 to $300,000 to animate a single episode of a decently high budget anime;

Heres a quick break down of some of the money and where it goes provided by crunchyroll a while back for your average episode.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/10/30-1/how-much-does-one-episode-of-anime-cost-to-make
Original work - 50,000 yen ($660)
Script - 200,000 yen ($2,640)
Episode Direction - 500,000 yen ($6,600)
Production - 2 million yen ($26,402)
Key Animation Supervision - 250,000 yen ($3,300)
Key Animation - 1.5 million yen ($19,801)
In-betweening - 1.1 million yen ($14,521)
Finishing - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Art (backgrounds) - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Photography - 700,000 yen ($9,240)
Sound - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Materials - 400,000 yen ($5,280)


Yes they do make a small amount of money, but considering the astronomical cost of producing an anime its kind of how to works out in the end however its still ridiculous and the goverment needs to start funding better paychecks since anime is the biggest cultural export the country has.

Heres a quote from the following page. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/artist-rights/japans-animation-industry-isnt-just-tough-its-illegally-harsh-110074.html


The amount of money you earn from day to day changes … since it’s based on how many frame you draw. On Monday I might draw simple corrections on a whole bunch of frame (adding effects that were forgotten by other animators, or “Kii energy” or something like that) resulting in me being able to draw 40 drawings in one day and make over $150 depending on the series. Tuesday-Thursday however, I might have to do the trace-back and inbetweens for a super detailed shot from Tokyo Ghoul (which is really fun btw)…but results in me only drawing 5 frames per day each of those days ($12 a day or so). Each month at Pierrot I earn about $1000. Each month at my previous “slave-labor” studio, I earned about $300 a month.


From this quote we can clearly see that its not all animation studios, however even in the "bigger" studio's its still a hard living.

The potential for earnings is high, the more you draw, the more you make. Its a skill driven industry, the better you are, the more you are in demand and the more you make.

Its definitely an industry where you need to make yourself available and actually get out there and promote your talent.






The second quote you did was the exact page i read among others! thats what i was talking about!! good stuff! VERY INFORMATIVE! Thanks so much for the information! I totally agree with how drawing is a skill, sounds like a very very brutal career field! But do you know by any chance how i can support all these talented people? will my money i use to buy my anime collections and mangas go towards their paychecks at all?
I just dont understand how they can allow the government to just take advantage of their talents and no pay them at least above the minimum wage. which is 800 yen an hour or 7 dollers an hour right? Its the same thing with united states a lot of greedy corporations taking most of the profit :/ Thanks so much for your feedback please quote me again so i can see what you say!
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Posted 8/5/15


Well there really isn't much of a way to support them. However, keep your eyes open for stuff on kickstarter because alot of of studio's are now looking at crowdfunding as a way to finance themselves.

Trigger did that with LWA2 and raised more than a million dollars (dont know the exact number) and I think $100,000-$200,000 solely went towards paying the animators a bonus (They stated somewhere in the kick-starter that they wanted to actually pay them what they deserved) its been a while though so I dont remember exactly what was said.

Well studio's in general make more money when people buy figures and so on, which would hopefully also end up paying the animators more money in the long run.

Its pretty hard to support anyone in the anime industry unless they are an established animator or a mangaka (manga author).

Yeah, it sucks. Japan is a workaholic nation too, one where people brag for not taking sick days; so its kind of hard for them to complain about the conditions. Being an animator is something you have to love doing in order to do it.

Well hopefully with the Japan Olympics coming up, conditions improve in order to keep up appearces with the rest of the world.
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Posted 8/5/15

AzazelOfNexium wrote:



Well there really isn't much of a way to support them. However, keep your eyes open for stuff on kickstarter because alot of of studio's are now looking at crowdfunding as a way to finance themselves.

Trigger did that with LWA2 and raised more than a million dollars (dont know the exact number) and I think $100,000-$200,000 solely went towards paying the animators a bonus (They stated somewhere in the kick-starter that they wanted to actually pay them what they deserved) its been a while though so I dont remember exactly what was said.

Well studio's in general make more money when people buy figures and so on, which would hopefully also end up paying the animators more money in the long run.

Its pretty hard to support anyone in the anime industry unless they are an established animator or a mangaka (manga author).

Yeah, it sucks. Japan is a workaholic nation too, one where people brag for not taking sick days; so its kind of hard for them to complain about the conditions. Being an animator is something you have to love doing in order to do it.

Well hopefully with the Japan Olympics coming up, conditions improve in order to keep up appearces with the rest of the world.


is that the websites actual name? kickstarter?? dot com? ill have to look into it!! alright so if i keep on buying blu rays, mangas, and figures (havent bought one yet but thinking about the figures) it will help a little. want to look into that kickstarter thing for sure then! thats amazing 100 to 200,000 thats awesome!
Yeah pretty excited for tokyos olympics will be a great chance for japan to get recognized even more! hopefully sheds more of the spotlight on them! You been to japan i take it?
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