TV Anime Veteran Shares His Depressing Salary

[Image via Uemachi]
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If it wasn’t enough that working in the anime industry is hard, the pay can also be shockingly low.

Taiki Nishimura has been making anime for the past twenty years. But as he recently revealed on Twitter (via ANN), he gets around a thousand bucks per month for each show he works on.

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According to Nishimura, he needs between 150,000 yen ($1,349) to 200,000 yen ($1,798) per month to make ends meet. So while he’d prefer to work on one anime at a time, he doubles up. Each of these anime takes two months to finish, with a lump sum of 230,000 yen for that period ($2,070). That works out to 115,000 yen ($1,033) per month per show for a combined monthly income of 250,000 yen ($2,250).

Keep in mind that this is for a 20-year vet who has directed episodes of Naruto, Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny and School Rumble.

As Otaku Magazine points out, Nishimura complained about his situation in late April, saying last year he made 1,600,000 yen ($14,385) from working in anime. His current situation, he said, is making him want to quit the business.

ANN notes that the average reported anime industry salary is 3.3283 million yen (about US$27,689) annually. According to Nishimura, the most he’s ever made from anime is 3,000,000 yen ($27,000) a year.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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About the author

Brian Ashcraft

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.