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The Average Anime Salary in Japan Is Shockingly Low

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We already know that the work hours for animators in Japan are awful. But, as NHK reports, the average pay is shit, too.

According to a Japan Animation Creators Association survey of 759 animators, the average yearly income is 1.1 million yen or approximately ten thousand dollars. Which is less than a thousand bucks a month. And that’s working, again, on average, eleven hours a day. That’s rough for a country as expensive as Japan.


Even though anime is obviously big business in Japan, NHK adds that the domestic industry must compete with cheap labor in other countries in Asia.

Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs requested the survey, so this problem is on the Japanese government’s radar. An official from the Japan Animation Creators Association says that the development of young animators in Japan is key for the industry’s future, and the association hopes to hold a symposium about bettering work conditions.


Until then, young animators will be doing things like working insane hours and trying to figure out how to do basic things like pay rent and buy food.

Top photo: oneinchpunch / Shutterstock

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter@Brian_Ashcraft.


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