20-Year Anime Veteran Reveals Industry's Shocking Wage Issue

by Riley Hutchins

Following reports of anime companies struggling with money, one technical director from the industry spoke up his take on the situation. Taiki Nishimura, a technical director who has worked on many popular series reported his earnings and how hard it is in the anime world. On his Twitter account this week, Nishimura reported that his monthly income is only 100,000 yen (around $900 USD) for each project he works on.

Nishimaru has been working in the anime for 20 years, and has worked on some bigger projects. He reported that he needs at least a 150,000 yen to 200,000 yen income each month to live. Even though he loves working on anime, he has to work on at least two anime at a time just to earn enough money to live. He then goes into a detail breakdown about his monthly work, Nishimura reported that he receives about 230,000 yen ($2,070 USD) per anime, and each one takes about two months to complete. As a result, his monthly income per anime is about 100,000 yen (about US$900).

According to the director, in his experience, the highest pay he has received from a project was produced at a medium-sized production company, and the anime with the lowest pay was at a major production company. Nishimura said that the anime for which he received that highest pay had major big-name sponsors. He then stated that the most he was payed for a project so far is 300,000 yen ($2,700 USD), and the least he has received is 160,000 yen ($1,440 USD).

He then went into detail about his monthly expenses, saying that he could live on 100,000 yen per month from anime because he purchased his apartment, but it would not be the case if had to pay rent. He believes that those that do have to pay rent have to work multiple projects because the pay is not good enough. Sometimes even Nishimaru does other jobs than just anime, but brings up the fact that working on multiple projects leaves no time for sleep. This lack of sleep, has had a negative effective on one's health, and he himself has suffered as a result.

Taiki Nishimura has worked as an episode director for popular anime such as Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny, Aldnoah.Zero, Glass Fleet, School Rumble, and Valvrave the Liberator.

The Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCA) reported in 2015 that 759 animators it surveyed earned an average of 3.3283 million yen (about US$27,689) per year in Japan in 2013.


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