Pokemon Animator Slams Anime Over Low Wages

In the last year, things have been good for the Pokemon brand. Not only did a live-action film bring the franchise to life, but it celebrated with a new anime and video game to boot. Just days ago fans learned Pokemon Sword and Shield will be getting massive expansion packs, but the good news could not last forever. Thanks to a new report, one worker in Japan is calling out the company after they did some math about its animation pay.

The piece was first shared by Sora News 24, and it was there fans met Jun Arai. The animator has worked in the anime industry for well over 40 years, and he took up issue against the Pokemon anime for paying less money hourly than a part-time job at a convenience store.

"The Pokemon anime pays 4,500 yen (US$42) per animation cut, which means it's made with some of the lowest-paid artwork in the anime industry. If you work that out to an hourly rate, it's less money than you get paid working part-time in a convenience store," Arai shared.

Continuing, Arai questioned where all the show's money was going. Pokemon has been a hit consistently, and it new series has gained nothing but praise so far. There is no doubt the TV show is earning money, but Arai doesn't understand why that income cannot be better spread.

Sadly, this issue is not one unique to Pokemon. All over Japan, animators are struggling with all-time low wages. For those who freelance between studios, they can expect to work a bare minimum 40 hours a week just to say afloat. Conversation is ongoing amongst fans but the facts are clear. Artists like Arai aren't content sitting quietly anymore, and that means something has to give with thee anime industry soon.


What do you make of this damning new report? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Pokemon: The Series, is now airing new episodes weekly in Japan, but unfortunately is still not officially licensed for an English language release as of this writing. There's also a brand new film on the way to Japan this Summer, Pokemon the Movie: Coco.