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.

The third time of the series .



A petition from an animator

  3 months ago, a blog article which describes the miserable state of new animators, was shown by a veteran animator, Sachiko Kamimura. This article truly appeals to the public and became the topic.

We introduce the whole of the article below.

A reality that new animators’ wage is equivalent to 120 yen-an-hour

Please employ new animators by contracted employee or a fixed salary contract at least.

It’s too cruel to put them to work for 250 hours a month with the wage of 30,000 yen.

Whenever I watch a new animator is always hungry and gradually gets thinner, I feel pain so as not to know what I may say anymore.

There is no way that a rookie fresh from school can earn a living by the work of the professional standard from the start. That’s too absurd setting.

Though there’s a site says they would become able to draw 800 pieces earn 160,000 yen (per a month) in around three months, that is a story 20 years ago.

It’s impossible to draw 800 in-between pictures in the work of the recent drawing style even if he/she is how excellent and how much experienced in-between inspector.

 The work of the in-between animations turn into the very delicate and careful work unlike old days.

The demand of the quality standard becomes higher over the years.

Even if a talented person cuts his/her sleep and works to the maximum without day-off, it is barely enough to draw 500 pieces of in-between animation a month.

Could you employ new animators in fixed salary 100,000 yen at least? They should work more than from 9:00 to 5:00.

I know that it is unprofitable. But the cause becoming unprofitable is for impossible budget allocation and unit price setting, not because the work of new animators is bad.

Hard that I continue watching the state that new animators     who continued taking employment examinations, and got the work about anime loved such, then finally became a long-cherished animator     are reduced to poverty, and reluctantly forced to resignation.

Without lots of in-between animators who should constitute the core in all types of animator and achieve reliable work surely, it’s not possible to keep a standard of the drawing quality.

Some companies make as hard as possible efforts, and other companies realized fixed salary adoption. But they remain extremely few.

I crave enough wage that new animators can feed themselves.


special thanks to the author, Sachiko Kamimura

  Probably the new animator here is an in-between animator. Their work is mainly to draw animations supplement blanks between each key animation. While it’s difficult to draw accurate animation from scratch, it also requires a special skill to draw pictures to be connected smoothly. Unlike the manual industry of the mass production, it is not simple work.

However, the most in-between animators earn money by the number of pictures they drew. The incomes reduce unless they draw it a lot, backward, would increase if they could produce a lot. As said in the article, the problem is the unit price.

The reward for in-between animators’ results



  I checked some Home Pages of anime production companies(please let me avoid giving the source), the unit price was about around 200 yen per a piece of in-between animations. It’s in total 20,000 yen even producing 100 pieces. This almost equal with the mean annual income that I told you in the part 2.

Ms.Kamimura states “500 pieces of monthly productions are the limit of whomever is excellent” in the article. This means the upper limit of the income is around 100,000 yen as long as continuing to be an in-between animator. It does not matter the will of the person, but does matter the problem of life itself rather, they cannot but quit their lovable job. She grieves over such present conditions.

Of course the Labor Standards Law does not permit such a low wage. But, they take the situation of the tradesman not an employee to the last. Therefore they are outside of this law basically.

Much is still yet to be presented..

We  presented you about the labor problem of Japanese animators for three times to here.

It is certain a big issue, but only one side of their true facts.

We will continue the series in the future whenever the opportunity arises. Thank you so much for your reading..

See you next time!

>>Part 2

>>Part 4



  1. shirokite
    2016-02-04 at 5:37 PM

    Can you do article on the time it takes to become a proficient key animator from a inbetweener or beginner?


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