The anime industry has grown rapidly in the last five years, and its fast pace has ended up giving it a bad reputation with workers. From wage gaps to gender inequality, animators who work in anime have been more vocal about the abuse they have faced on the job. And now, one veteran voice is speaking out in hopes of ending that cycle of abuse.
The discussion came from Taiki Nishimura over on Twitter. It was there the episode director made it clear that he wants to see a change in the industry, and he hopes to bring it about with the Directors Guild of Japan.
弁護士の方にアニメ仕事に契約書がないと言うと、みんな驚く。セクハラ、パワハラ、それらが蔓延するアニメ業界を、なんとか真っ当な業界にする努力をしたい。そうすると、干されたりするんだよね（苦笑）映画監督協会などの協力を得て、是正していきたい。— 西村大樹 (@taiki_nishimura) May 23, 2021
"When I told lawyers that my anime work doesn't involve a contract, they were all shocked. I want to do my best to help straighten out this industry which is rife with sexual harassment and power harassment. By doing that, I'd be out of a job (awkward smile). I want to rectify the problems with the help of the Directors Guild of Japan," Nishimura wrote.
For those unfamiliar with this organization, the Directors Guild of Japan is all about advocacy on part of its members. The group pools resources to protect directors' personal and professional rights. Nishimura has been a member of the guild for some time, and he is a well-known voice in the anime community. After all, he has worked as an animator and director for more than 20 years.
Anime fans will know Nishimura best for his work on Mobile Suit Gundam Seed along with several other lesser-known series. He has overseen work on Glass Fleet, School Rumble, and Valvrave the Liberator.
Nishimura's statement here is not the first he's made highlighting the industry's abusive nature. Back in 2017, the director shocked fans worldwide when he said his monthly income was $900 USD for each project he worked on. This low pay gave fans a better understanding of how many gigs an artist must work to survive in Japan, and as you might have guessed, shows suffer under this split focus more often than not.
What do you think of this director's vision of the industry? Have you ever dreamt of working in anime? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.