While anime is known to be a billion dollar industry that enjoys a massive global audience, not many are aware that most workers involved in it earn very little money. The situation is reportedly so bad that more than half of them have decided to move back to their parents’ homes so they can at least make ends meet.
Anime companies, which are often staffed with mostly passionate individuals who are there for the love of the medium, have been notoriously paying very little especially to their entry-level workers, RocketNews24 reported.
According to last year’s survey by Japan Animation Creators Association, the average annual income for an anime employee is 1.1 million yen, which is around $10,000, Kotaku reported. That means for an average of eleven hours of work per day, an animator or artist gets less than $1,000 a month. Considering the cost of living in Japan’s expensive cities, the amount is certainly not enough.
A recent survey from a Japanese non-profit group revealed that only the very dedicated anime professionals could stay in the industry considering the amount of money being made.
The AEYAC, also known as the Young Animators Assistance Council (Wakanensou no Anime Seisakusha wo Ouen Suru Kai in Japanese), recently asked animation company employees about their working conditions and lifestyles. The poll, which covered 153 responses from employees with three years or less experience in the industry, revealed some disheartening information.
AEYAC found that 35% still lived with their parents to save money, while an additional 18%, who have their place to live, said they regularly receive some allowance from parents or other relatives to cover some living expenses.
Since anime studios are usually located in major cities, workers on average spend at least one hour average commuting time each way. The study found, however, that 61% of the anime employees who chose to live with their parents endure longer commutes of more than an hour.
For those who have their own place, 76% said it only takes them less than 30 minutes to reach their office. While they save time on their commute, living in the city costs more and may probably the reason why they need to ask for assistance in their daily expenses.
While these artists and animators may be struggling financially, one can contend that most of them are still living their dream, working for their passion and not just money.
However, for an industry as huge as anime, these hardworking individuals sure deserve a little more for creating the medium that for years has been embraced all around the world.