A Japanese animator has completely rejected the idea of
Terumi Nishii, whose major credits include “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable” and “A Town Where You Live,” explained her side on her second Twitter account, which reportedly functions as her primary connection to international otakus.
“No matter how much you like anime, it is not advisable to come to Japan and participate in anime work,” Nishii wrote in a tweet. “Because the animation industry is usually overworked.”
“Japanese animation is surprisingly low budget. But the quality is high. That is because they have low wages and work long hours. Even if it is impossible, the budget will not go up,” she added.
Nishii reportedly started as a rank-and-file animator. For the long hours she had put, she made a measly 2,800 yen ($25) on her first paycheck.
After her first year, that figure rose to 60,000 to 100,000 yen ($537 to $896), but such remains meager considering that the minimum wage in Tokyo is 985 yen ($8.80) per hour. And still, her promotion to character designer later did not improve her working conditions.
Nishii pointed out that in order to survive, many animators rely on their parents’ money. For context, a 2016 survey conducted by the Young Animators Assistance Council revealed that 35% of employees with less than three years of experience still lived with their parents, while another 18% who lived by themselves still relied on some form of allowance.
“Japanese anime has nothing like royalty or revenue sharing for character designers. The material we drew is collected and discarded,” Nishii wrote.
For now, Nishii does her part in making change: she has worked on character designs for “Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac,” a reboot of the same title releasing on Netflix
. Check out the trailer below: