entertainment

Japan's anime industry in crisis even as its popularity soars

18 Comments
By Sophie Laubie and Fiachra Gibbons

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© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


18 Comments
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Surprise, surprise, low wages strikes again!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

I heard from people in the industry that a lot of the simpler tasks like colouring are outsourced to firms in South Korea. This was several years ago.

The people who actually get the things made, line managers, have a reputation for being hard taskmasters.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's more a matter of lack of established art laws to protect the artist as well as to convene adequate structure to or with a production studio/agency. When laws & adequate contract management are in place, there's no such thing as exploitation happening at such a rise. Quality is quality for a reason: its worth its high price for its value & rarity.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Low salaries for producing comics and animated movies for adult children. What’s the problem with that? Japanese anime and animated movies started in the sixties and peaked in the early nineties. They have just been repeating the same series for decades. No doubt we will see a remake of Astro Boy and Gigantor in a last ditch effort to save the industry.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The real issue is Netflix money.

With Netflix now being the primary sponsor of anime, new anime shows are formulated to Americans' liking, which turns off traditional Japanese viewers.

Back in the 70s and the 80s, the Japanese toy companies funded anime.

In the late 90s through early 2010s, there was a funding shortage so anime studios focused on otaku buyers who buy DVDs, hence the show's styling and storytelling focused on Japanese okatu's taste and deviated from traditional Western audience's taste. This is when anime market collapsed in the West.

Since middle of 2010s, it is Netflix that is funding the anime industry, turning out shows that cater to Western audiences' liking. In return, Japanese audiences are being turned off by new generation of anime shows made with Netflix money.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Cartoons are cartoons but those who make then should not enviously look at working at the convienence store they get their dinner from.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Low salaries for producing comics and animated movies for adult children. What’s the problem with that?

Low salaries are bad. It means that people are forced to live just to survive, as children go hungry.

If you think living on low wages isn't a problem, I can arrange to have you donate your excess money to my account and we can see how you like it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sneezy - Low salaries are bad. It means that people are forced to live just to survive, as children go hungry.

If you think living on low wages isn't a problem, I can arrange to have you donate your excess money to my account and we can see how you like i

Read my post again! They are receiving a low salary because they are producing a low budget commodity. If they want to make a better salary they have to produce something worth more money. If Sneezy is not making enough money, he must also change. Life doesn’t come with a remote control. You have to get off your butt and change it yourself.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

tbh lately and since Miyazaki stop making animation you can't see any classic drawing like before, with this low wages that been bothering everyone lately i think japan will keep struggling and especially since they are making some animation that not even worth the time spend on them.

i hope Studio Ghibli will keep following the way Miyazaki foot steps and the quality for their work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Read my post again! They are receiving a low salary because they are producing a low budget commodity

Anime films and television shows make millions of dollars. Their product, whatever the budget, isn't of low value. But studios make the money, and the real creators get a pittance.

Life is this way because of capitalism. Capitalism is bad and evil. End capitalism now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Studios try to out-low bid each other to get the project

That's why budgets don't increase - because there's always some studio somewhere with a lower bid

If they band together and agree on an absolute minimum - yes, there'd be business consequences for that, but there'd be a livable wage

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lostrune2, are you suggesting that workers agree to negotiate together for better conditions, get liveable wages and better working hours than they could possibly get by trying to negotiate as individuals?

Because you're right. That should happen. I go further, and say that the workers should own the company. I demand full socialism today (or tomorrow lunch time at the latest).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She believes that the Japanese authorities are waking up to anime's importance and global reach "as a export force"

they are so full of it - I think they were aware of it long ago and have been using it for that. Unfortunately it is was a gateway thing that brought me into knowing anything japan. If only I could talk to my younger self. I much rather watch the stuff they copied from and that has purer and better motives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

that the workers should own the company

Like Studio Ghibli, technically most of the studios are owned by the workers - though not all workers since in the animation business, most are work-for-hire, and animators are hired and fired depending on the project. But the top creatives tend to form and own the studios - only a handful like Sunrise Studio are owned by the big companies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only Anime, whole Japanese Cinema is dying. They need to follow South Korean system on this.

Or there should be one, just one Japanese steaming site for all classic Japanese films to modern and rare ones including dramas and animes with high quality and in English Subtitles.

South Korea is releasing Asian version of Netflix this year or by next year because it's their Golden Years of Cinema and Dramas Since 2000, nearly 20 years and still going strong.

Japan needs to comeback hugely in smart way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only Anime, whole Japanese Cinema is dying.

Sadly true. A friend of mine works for a film company here and every time I see him I get a 10 minute rant on the remorseless decline of Japanese Cinema. He's very passionate about it so it's painful to listen to.

Japan needs to comeback hugely in smart way.

Unfortunately the people with power to actually effect some change seem more interested in comics and anime aimed at teenage girls.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's sad to read. Overseas Japanese anime is so popular, so admired and well thought of.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some people are hinting at it, but the real problem is structural. In the US animation industry, the studios own the copyright of the works created and are the direct beneficiaries of any profits derived from the work with the caveat that a lot of the studios do end up subcontracting production to production services companies as works-for-hire, especially in TV. But typically, if Disney Animation or Warner Brothers Animation produces a film, they own the IP and make money directly from box office revenue and other downstream ancillary revenue sources. From what I understand of the Japanese Anime industry, this is not often the case. A lot of studios only receive revenue as a production fee for work-for-hire work while the profits derived from the IP and product created flow to the financing entities that comprise the Production Committee. This isn't always the case as some larger studios are able to bring financing themselves and have a seat on the Production Committee. That said, work-for-hire tends to be a race to the bottom in any industry, and that's especially true here. Add to that the fact that studios must be able to commit financing for the properties they're working on to really benefit from the majority of financial success a show or film has and you have a recipe for studio churn as companies fold and go under.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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