9 votes

The dark side of Japan’s anime industry

Tags: labor

2 comments

  1. SantalBlush
    Link
    TL,DR: The article explains how little animators get paid, and the industry exploits "contract workers" to skirt labor laws. And these paragraphs summarize the broader issue:

    TL,DR: The article explains how little animators get paid, and the industry exploits "contract workers" to skirt labor laws. And these paragraphs summarize the broader issue:

    When Western companies like Netflix enter the market, they get to pay the dirt-cheap, long-established Japanese prices. TV stations, merchandise companies, and foreign streaming services walk away with the profits, leaving not only individual animators struggling but entire studios scraping by on shoestring budgets.

    The solution is not as simple as animators demanding higher salaries. A 2016 Teikoku Databank report revealed that revenue is down 40 percent over 10 years for 230 mainstay Japanese animation studios. “In order to achieve further development of the animation industry, there is an urgent need to improve the economic base of animators and radically reform the profit structure of the entire industry,” the report stated.

    As the founder of a small studio, D’art Shtajio, Thurlow explained that mandating higher salaries without a greater change in industry structure would cause his and most other studios to go bankrupt due to budgetary constraints. The industry would consolidate into “Big Anime,” a world where a few mega-studios produce Hollywood-style hits, with mass marketing and generic content tailored to the lowest common denominator.

    5 votes
  2. Morg
    Link
    It is really mindblowing to me how cheap and poorly rewarded are these kind of jobs here in Japan. Anime is ubiquitous here, it's a staple of the culture with almost every business having some...

    It is really mindblowing to me how cheap and poorly rewarded are these kind of jobs here in Japan. Anime is ubiquitous here, it's a staple of the culture with almost every business having some anime-like style used for advertising and whatnot. Anime is much more than just Otaku culture and you see it everywhere, even on random vending machines and posters in the middle of nowhere. One would really think people working in this kind of industry would be paid more than just minimum wage... it's sad.

    4 votes