While many Studio Ghibli fans have been very excited about Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming movie project, a recent job post calling for animators to work on the film has already earned it some negative feedback.
SoraNews24 reports that the ad sparked some backlash from netizens over how little the studio pays its animators.
The job post, which listed application requirements and other important details, welcomes applicants of any nationality, just as long as they are proficient in the Japanese language.
However, some netizens from abroad took issue with the offered monthly salary of “200,000 yen ($1,800) or more,” with many voicing their opinions via social media.
Japanese Twitter user @omitomeni shared the comments he found below:
Here are some other comments from abroad as compiled by SoraNews24:
“I’m a professional background painter in 2-D animation and this is REALLY bad,” one netizen commented.
“$450 a week…meanwhile some actor does four days of work and gets paid $4 million,” another one pointed out.
“Are they kidding?! That’s less than a quarter of a regular storyboarding job in L.A,” said another.
Japanese commenters, however, offered some local perspectives on the matter, noting that the amount isn’t that bad at all.
“Actually, 200,000 yen is higher than other animation companies in Japan,” stated one netizen.
“Japanese animation you are enjoying is supported by movie guys with average annual income of 1.1 million yen (US$9,879) and monthly income of 90,000 yen,” explained another.
“Still you can live in Tokyo comfortably because that includes a lot of benefits from the government like health care and employment insurance,” another one added.
While the apparent gap in pay levels between Japanese animators and foreign ones is well highlighted in the exchange of responses, Studio Ghibli’s offer is actually quite generous compared to the average pay for local animators get.
According to a study conducted in 2015, the average animator’s annual salary was revealed to be under $10,000.
Not only do local animators get low salaries, it was also reported that they work for 11 hours per day. Over 50% of them revealed that they have only four or even fewer days off per month, and that includes weekend breaks.
The notoriously low-paying jobs of animators and the artists who produce the illustrations that they stitch together through animations have long been the subject of conversations in the billion-dollar anime industry.
But they remain at the bottom of the pyramid that carries the weight of the people sitting comfortably at the top. In terms of income, voice artists get paid the highest in general. Producers usually only come in second, followed by the series directors, computer graphics animators, production assistants and finally the artists.