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How Much Does One Episode of Anime Cost To Make? Forum »» Anime Discussion »» How Much Does One Episode of Anime Cost To Make?

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10-30-11, 1:37 PM

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 2165
I read this on Crunchyroll and I thought this was worth sharing here.

In the November 5th issue of Shūkan Tōyō Keizai, which goes on sale Monday in Japan, a special report looks at the balancing act between quality and cost in the Japanese entertainment industry. The anime section of it breaks down the expenses associated with producing a TV anime series. So how much does one episode cost to make?

According to an investigation by Media Development Research Institute Inc., a 30 minute episode of a TV anime in 2010 that totaled 11,000,000 yen (about US $145,214 at the current exchange rate) consisted of the following expenses:

(Note: All US dollar conversions are approximate based on current exchange rate.)

Original work - 50,000 yen ($660)
Script - 200,000 yen ($2,640)
Direction - 500,000 yen ($6,600)
Production - 2 million yen ($26,402)
Animation Supervision - 250,000 yen ($3,300)
Original Art - 1.5 million yen ($19,801)
Animation - 1.1 million yen ($14,521)
Post-production - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Art (backgrounds) - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Photography - 700,000 yen ($9,240)
Sound - 1.2 million yen ($15,841)
Materials - 400,000 yen ($5,280)
Editing - 200,000 yen ($2,640)
Printing - 500,000 yen ($6,600)

If you suppose an average episode has 5,000 frames, the price per frame for the actual drawings is 220 yen or just under three bucks, which apparently is a rate that hasn't really changed much in the past 30 years. Japan Animation Creators Association rep, Osamu Yamasaki, commented [roughly translated], "30 years ago it was said that one person would draw 1,000 frames per month, but now if you can do 500, that's considered good." Under these circumstances, it's no wonder young animators are having trouble making it in the industry.

The article also has a comment from producer Tomohiko Ishii of Production I.G., whose full CG film 009 RE:CYBORG is coming to theaters in the fall of next year: "Japanese people like hand-drawn animation. Realistic CG like they produce in Hollywood doesn't sell in Japan." Currently CG costs more than hand-drawn animation, but it's expected in the future that it will be cheaper and faster. The idea is not to completely do away with hand-drawings, since character design and CG modeling still have to be done by artists...

Personally, I'm not sure I see how making animation cheaper and faster addresses the issue of low wages for artists, but our source for this post, Japanimate, seems to think there is some hope. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
10-30-11, 1:43 PM

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 910
That's pretty expensive stuff there, I'd be able to afford the original work though.
10-30-11, 1:47 PM

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 2263
dear lord... ;_;

10-30-11, 1:48 PM

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 11526
I knew it was a lot but wow.... Over 1 mil to make a one season show?
10-30-11, 1:48 PM

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2122
I knew it was expensive but holy cow! that's more expensive than I thought.

Thanks for sharing.
10-30-11, 1:49 PM

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1218
dis aint cheap... :3 but then again, how much do you think a average live action movie costs..?

and you know, there is no way to tell exactly how much each part costs as it is customized to each show.. angel beats for example, they had so much more music made for that show and changed the op/ed in every episode (which may have been somewhat the cause they decited not to make the series too long). but yeah, this kind of expansions will alway's cost a price.

/me bitching :Þ
The Internet is a very bad place, you should never go there.
10-30-11, 2:00 PM

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2153
What the fuck? Never noticed how much money everything was. XP
10-30-11, 2:09 PM

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2003
Average Gonzo produced anime episode costs about 5yen.
10-30-11, 2:10 PM

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1183
Courtesy of Paul
10-30-11, 2:27 PM

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 212
wow , but it compenses , due the money the gain from every part of the world!
Anime is a great thing.
10-30-11, 2:32 PM

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 73
They must make something from the ADS if any, and the sales in DVDs are 10x in Japan than they are here.
10-30-11, 2:39 PM

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1499
This is good info. I've been looking for stuff like this lately just to compare to live action. If I recall correctly, a post somewhere says the live action Heroes show cost like 5 million per episode. I'm too lazy to dig up that info now, for accurate comparison but it would be nice if somebody did.

Fate zero is taking my time.
10-30-11, 2:52 PM

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 466
10-30-11, 3:18 PM

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 1991
I had a momentary seizure reading those digits. Holy hell.
10-30-11, 4:56 PM

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9844
mellors said:
Average Gonzo produced anime episode costs about 5yen.

Yeh, they were saving their money for this Season's Last Exile based on the looks of it. FOR YEARS!!
10-30-11, 5:03 PM

Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 143
You know it's really never even something I thought about, I perhaps may have wondered upon maybe how much to make an entire series but seeing how much per episode blew my mind

Very interesting and thank you for posting this here.

10-30-11, 5:05 PM

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5242
Appel_stroop said:
That's pretty expensive stuff there, I'd be able to afford the original work though.

That's the cost of doing business. Those numbers aren't that high.

10-30-11, 5:33 PM

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 7914
To think that amount of money was used to produce something like Hidan no Aria
Even when I was in crowd, I was always alone
10-30-11, 5:35 PM

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 12977
Confucius said:
To think that amount of money was used to produce something like Hidan no Aria

Strangely, this makes me want to see this show.
"Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to live. After all, you are alive, so you will always have the chance to be happy. As long as the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth exist, everything will be all right."

- Yui Ikari, The End of Evangelion
10-30-11, 5:42 PM

Joined: May 2011
Posts: 2924
QysteiN said:
totaled 11,000,000 yen (about US $145,214)
Original work - 50,000 yen ($660)


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