Studio Trigger Producer Reveals How Much an Anime Must Make to Be Successful

The medium of anime can sometimes be a very profitable one. Whether it be in the form of a [...]

The medium of anime can sometimes be a very profitable one. Whether it be in the form of a televised anime series such as My Hero Academia or a feature length film like One Piece's fourteenth installment, One Piece: Stampede, it's clear that this particular form of storytelling can net some serious money for the creators. Recently, a producer at Studio Trigger, the animation house responsible for the recent hit Promare and the popular anime series, Kill La Kill, broke down just how much an anime needs to make in terms of profit to be considered a "success".

Reddit User CosmicPenguin amassed the quotes from producer Kazuya Masumoto at a recent anime event where they managed to break down just what an anime needed in terms of ultimately being considered a worthwhile investment for the studios and creators alike!

Here are some choice quotes from the panel that give you a better idea of just what Studio Trigger, and other anime studios, need in order to reach a certain benchmark:

"An animation project usually requires 200-300 professionals in participation to be completed. If we consider a reasonable cost that would make everyone linked with the project - both the staff and the production companies (profits and employment costs) - happy, the cost would be around 50 million yen (~$US 460K) per episode. (1) A 12 episode anime in this scenario would be costing around 600 million yen (~$US 5.5M). At such a production cost the production companies would be able to make a profit and have enough income to train new production staff properly."

"However, consider that as a business case, the animation production budget would be considered as part of the "material costs" of such a project - that's usually 1/3 of what the revenue required to make or break a project. Hence, such a project would actually need to receive an income of 1.8 billion yen (~$US 16.5M). Anything below that and the whole project would be losing money. So we are talking about an anime needing to earn 2+ billion yen to actually become successful. That's almost impossible with the number of anime watchers in Japan alone - maybe children oriented ones can reach that, but for midnight anime reaching that would require a Hail Mary miracle. And no-one's going to gamble and invest in such a high risk project."

What do you think of this breakdown from this Studio TRIGGER producer? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and money!