Anybody aspiring to contribute towards Japan’s colossal animation industry will likely be having second thoughts on seeing the latest statistics on their pay; the average annual salary paid to an animator in their twenties is a pathetic ¥1,100,000, rising to an even more shocking ¥2,140,000 in their thirties.
The average salary for a Japanese worker is approximately ¥4,500,000, with the average for those in their twenties being some ¥3,500,000, and for those in their thirties it is ¥4,800,000.
The figures for animators comes from an industry survey of 700 people working in the field, and caused no small surprise when it was reported on national news.
Just how these wretched slaves survive on such meager recompense is quite the mystery, though doubtless anyone earning so little must have additional sources of income. However they may scrape by, some of the deficiencies of animation visible in less well funded or overseen anime suddenly swim into focus…
Not only this, but as we heard before, seiyuu also have trouble making ends meet. Anime seems not to be such a lucrative business for its more replaceable workers.
Via Itai News.
Japan has in the post war period adopted a highly age dependent salary structure in many industries, which rewards company loyalty and long service, but does little to motivate highly talented workers to excel or push their careers forward at a faster pace.
This structure is showing signs of breaking down in some areas, but clearly the animation industry is not such an area.
Many are wondering just how this industry expects to retain and grow talent domestically when it forces its future star production staff into impossible wage competition with low cost producers such as Korea, China or South East Asia.
On the other hand, many of these employees are irrepressible otaku who could scarcely be prevented from working in the field; in these cases, employers can hardly be blamed for not paying them over the odds.
Whatever the case with salaried animators, the creative talent which is the greatest impetus towards the production of quality titles is comprised of mangaka, novelists and game studios, all of whom generally exist in conditions of pure meritocracy, and so sink or swim based solely on the success of their work in the market, an unpredictable existence which animators are insulated from.
That more of the pie is left over for creators is perhaps not a bad thing…