We’ve posted a lot over the past few years about the dismal wages in the anime industry. But a lot of what we hear is anecdotal, with a lot of rumors, guesses and second-hand information.
This image, which is making the Japanese social media rounds, is as first-hand as you can get: it’s an actual pay stub for a contract animator, whose monthly salary ain’t too pretty.
The animator, who (understandably) withheld his or her identity, works on a contract basis for Xebec, who’ve animated series like Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne and Tokyo ESP. The animator wrote that he or she was on a three-month contract that paid a base salary plus commuting expenses (but no benefits like health insurance) and that the working hours were “unlimited.”
So, what was this animator paid per month?
¥133,000 – at today’s exchange rate, that’s $1,126.
For point of comparison, Tokyo’s minimum wage is currently ¥907, so if you worked 40 hours a week on minimum wage, you would make about ¥157,000 a month.
Most commenters on the original post were sympathetic to this animator’s plight, though some reasoned that this is only the first step in a career and should be thought of more as training for the future.
Point taken – but if new animators don’t have enough money to pay rent, eat and stay healthy, there’s not much in the way of a future for them.
What do you think, OUSAers?
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