What kind of work is the animator in Japan? How do they earn money and what kind of life do they spend?

The work of animators, not the meaning of their products here, we present its fact to readers with some sources.

Here is the second time of the series.

The role played by animators

  As we touched on in Part 1,  the animator as an occupation generally shows a tendency toward the low wages and long working time. Though it is common that most novice creators     not only anime production     are reduced to poverty, the case of the Japanese animator does not apply to it. It’s not that the work as a creator hardly offers, to be exact, there is little profit per working time.

Then does their work have a small role to achieve in production? Of course, not.

So, let me have an explain the process of how pictures appears to move.


1. This is only a drawing.


2.Here is the thing added movement.


3.And wink these pictures..

After all, the most of the thing which moved in a work were drawn by animators. 

The careers of the animator

  Now you know an animation needs vast of drawing pictures. Thus its production also needs a large number of animators.

In addition, they are needed to work neatly.

The production spot in Japan separated their work into some roles accordingly. One is key animator called Genga(原画)in Japanese, and another is in-between animator called Douga(動画) in Japanese.

Roughly speaking, the key animators draw pictures as first, then in-between animators fill their gaps up.


This is the animation built with only key animations.


The  in-between animators smooth off the movement.

(Please excuse my poor example. You can watch the 1 scene movie of this animation in this article.)

  These two roles are both important and indispensable to the production. But, because it is the key animator who initiates the process, most new animators start their career with the in-between animator. (Moreover, key animators draw pictures based on lay-outs drawn by the animation director or other key animators. Let me present more details about this at some other time.) Improving themselves, they plan to advance their career      toward sub-key animator, key animator, animation director or director.


imaged by アニメーション制作進行くろみちゃん

img_9 (1)


And the income differs even between these 2 roles.

According to the report of JAniCA we mentioned in the previous, which shows the data divided by each production roles, the average of the annual income of key animators is 2,817,000 yen, and that of sub-key animators and in-between animators is 1,127,000 yen and 1,113,000 yen respectively.

Animators’ early days



 To supplement, the numeric value of key animator 2,817,000 yen is equivalent to the average starting salary of university graduate in the same year 2013 (based on the investigation led by the Federation of Economic Organization). They might be able to make a certain level of life with this income, though there remains the problem of long working time or less life security than other occupations. But, with a level of 1 million yen, they should have financial difficulties in living.

In the next part 3, we will present the content that an actual animator recited about this matter.

See you again at the next part!

>>Part 1

>>Part 3 



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