Date: 2009 November 23 07:46
Posted by Joe
An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal points out how much trouble the Japanese animation industry is in. The article mentions that anime is one of Japan's great cultural exports. However due to the shrinking population of Japan, there are fewer children, resulting in toy makers and sponsors being less willing to fund new shows.
It highlights that many leave the animation industry within the first 3 years, in order to get better jobs in the video games industry. 13 to 14 hour days appear to be common too, along with working weekends. It seems that 1 day off a month was common in the case of one employee at an anime studio.
"A survey conducted this year for industry executives showed that animators in their 20s made just 1.1 million yen ($11,000) a year on average, while those in their 30s earned 2.1 million yen."
There is light at the end of the tunnel, with companies actively recruiting staff instead of keeping them on as freelancers. The Japanese government too are supporting the industry by planning to increase spending on education and training young animators as well as allocating more funds toward film marketing.
There is a worry though that with competition from outsourcing overseas Japan's ability to cultivate creative talent will be reduced.