Anime & Manga News

Mangaka Sato Shuuhou Reveals His Salary

by dtshyk
Apr 4, 2009 9:33 AM | 24 Comments
Sato Shuuhou (the author of "Say Hello to Black Jack") disclosed on his website the amount of payment for a manuscript and the royalties for the Tankobon. He said manga authors go into the red only with the payments for the publication in the magazines. When a manga series gets popular and its Tankobon is published, the author can make a profit from the royalty.

($1 = 100 yen)

Umizaru (1998)
Payment: 10,000 yen per page x 80 pages a month
= 800,000 yen a month
Personnel expenses for three assistants: 570,000 yen a month
Material expenses for manga drawings: 100,000 yen a month

Tokko no Shima (2006)
Payment: 25,000 yen per pages

Say Hello to Black Jack
Manuscript: 35,000 yen per page x 450 pages a year
= approx. 16 million yen a year
Personnel expenses for six assistants: 18 million yen a year

Royalty of Tankobon: approx. 50 yen per copy (8 -10% of one copy of Tankobon priced 500 - 600 yen)

It's extremely rare that a manga author makes public the specific numbers of the payments.

Sources: Sato's official website, Getnews

20 of 24 Comments Recent Comments

LolitaDecay said:

Even so, compared to other kinds of media ex. acting, directing it's quite a pitiful fortune. Compared to some people who are making 100+ M$ a film.


No one is making one hundred million dollars per film. The most expensive, biggest Hollywood actors in the entire world today are happy to get paid $10 million a picture. $20 million is the absolute maximum, and it's a sum very rarely paid anymore to anyone, Will Smith or Al Pacino included.

Considering that I can think of at least 10 manga authors off the top of my head who have sold over 50 million volumes, and in some cases 100 million, 10% royalties (and probably even higher for the really heavy hitters) sounds pretty fucking awesome for being paid to draw a bunch of comics.

At any rate, it's not significantly worse than what the top novelists in the world are being paid, which is incredible, considering that the latter are, as a group, way more skilled and talented.

Apr 6, 2009 4:10 AM by YoungVagabond

Ah thanks for that Knight.
It's interesting seeing how much other mangaka are earning. I'm guessing these longer standing shonen series make alot more than say mangaka who make manga 6-11 volumes long like alot of the shoujo series.

Even so, compared to other kinds of media ex. acting, directing it's quite a pitiful fortune. Compared to some people who are making 100+ M$ a film.

Apr 6, 2009 3:13 AM by LolitaDecay

^ Taking Oda (One Piece) as an example, and supposing he makes 50 yen per tankoubon sold (1.5M sold per volume/ ~55 volumes)...

41.25 M$ in royalties alone. I wouldn't be surprised if he has 50 M$ to his name.

I'm sure there are mangaka who've made more, but they're a precious few compared to the hundreds of series that come out every year.

Apr 5, 2009 6:03 PM by Holy_KnightXIX

Anyone know the salary of the highest paid mangaka?

Apr 5, 2009 11:34 AM by LolitaDecay

DeathfireD said:

It says "Personnel expenses" so I am not sure about that


Personnel expenses could mean any number of things.
A) he offered them a job to help him (paying them out of his pocket).
B) the outlet he works for had them help him (they pay the Personnel).

I think since his manga is in main stream it could be B. It would make sense since 18 million / 6 personnel is 3 million that the outlet is paying per personnel member which sounds about right considering he's getting 16 million. But then again this is manga and not anime so he could be paying out of his pocket for extra help.


But we're talking about Japan.
He probably makes up for it in royalties, and let's face it... the 6 assistants probably drastically improve the quality of the manga and that is the important part.
Of course, my post is full of assumptions based only on my observations in anime so I wouldn't trust them... but it's food for thought.

Apr 5, 2009 7:35 AM by asandari

He just wants to let us known that only buying the magazines isn't enough for a mangaka, but that the mangaka needs the incomings of the tankobons... Keep buying those manga for the continuation of the manga, everyone.

Apr 5, 2009 4:39 AM by DragonsWhip

wow, mangaka, why not, but I have bad draw. good job ... for japanese.

Apr 5, 2009 4:16 AM by zefiriss

Hamel said:
Jacut said:
OranSolus said:
atlantiza said:
dtshyk said:
Say Hello to Black Jack
Manuscript: 35,000 yen per page x 450 pages a year
= approx. 16 million yen a year
Personnel expenses for six assistants: 18 million yen a year


Wait, so for this one project, he spends more than he makes? o_O I hope he's getting a fair amount of royalties from his past works, lol.

I think that means he claims expenses for the assistants he uses.


I think you're right. That means his "circle" (don't know if this is the proper word in English) is given 34 million yens by the publisher, among which he earns 16, and has to pay 18 million to his 6 assistants. Don't know if I understand this right though.

It says "Personnel expenses" so I am not sure about that


Personnel expenses could mean any number of things.
A) he offered them a job to help him (paying them out of his pocket).
B) the outlet he works for had them help him (they pay the Personnel).

I think since his manga is in main stream it could be B. It would make sense since 18 million / 6 personnel is 3 million that the outlet is paying per personnel member which sounds about right considering he's getting 16 million. But then again this is manga and not anime so he could be paying out of his pocket for extra help.

Apr 5, 2009 1:58 AM by DeathfireD

ZoiQ said:
so any deviantart fags lurking here who think they are mangaka? :v


Without a good 'name', they will never make it.

Apr 5, 2009 1:10 AM by Nayah

so this explains roughly how much a manga author makes, very interesting

Apr 5, 2009 1:03 AM by kage-bunshin

dtshyk said:
Royalty of Tankobon: approx. 50 yen per copy (8 -10% of one copy of Tankobon priced 500 - 600 yen)


This should be the more important part. The authors of the bigger series are making millions of dollars a year here.

Apr 4, 2009 9:17 PM by darkmac

so any deviantart fags lurking here who think they are mangaka? :v

Apr 4, 2009 7:54 PM by zq

6 Assistans for 450 pages a year but 3 for 80 pages a month.

Of course the numbers dont work out if you need twice the assitants for half the pages...

Apr 4, 2009 3:38 PM by Devilmore

Does he really need 6 assistants to work with him? Fire two and he'll be gaining decent money in no time.

Apr 4, 2009 1:49 PM by DaBigD

dtshyk said:
Personnel expenses for six assistants: 18 million yen a year


I find that wrong in so many ways....

Apr 4, 2009 1:12 PM by iTom

Jacut said:
OranSolus said:
atlantiza said:
dtshyk said:
Say Hello to Black Jack
Manuscript: 35,000 yen per page x 450 pages a year
= approx. 16 million yen a year
Personnel expenses for six assistants: 18 million yen a year


Wait, so for this one project, he spends more than he makes? o_O I hope he's getting a fair amount of royalties from his past works, lol.

I think that means he claims expenses for the assistants he uses.


I think you're right. That means his "circle" (don't know if this is the proper word in English) is given 34 million yens by the publisher, among which he earns 16, and has to pay 18 million to his 6 assistants. Don't know if I understand this right though.

It says "Personnel expenses" so I am not sure about that

Apr 4, 2009 12:25 PM by Hamel

This explains so much.

I always wondered why manga authors would consistently take a GOOD 3 chapter story in their head and dilute it into a mediocre or downright bad 8 chapter manga on paper, where precious little happens for five of them.

Now it all makes sense. Those fuckers draw their primary income from the number of pages produced. Hence, they're sacrificing quality and impact for sheer quantity because of money.

Apr 4, 2009 11:22 AM by YoungVagabond

That's surprisingly little for the amount of manga that's actually sold. Just increasing the value of manga by one dollar might be fairer financially to the author.

Apr 4, 2009 10:52 AM by Holy_KnightXIX

OranSolus said:
atlantiza said:
dtshyk said:
Say Hello to Black Jack
Manuscript: 35,000 yen per page x 450 pages a year
= approx. 16 million yen a year
Personnel expenses for six assistants: 18 million yen a year


Wait, so for this one project, he spends more than he makes? o_O I hope he's getting a fair amount of royalties from his past works, lol.

I think that means he claims expenses for the assistants he uses.


I think you're right. That means his "circle" (don't know if this is the proper word in English) is given 34 million yens by the publisher, among which he earns 16, and has to pay 18 million to his 6 assistants. Don't know if I understand this right though.

Apr 4, 2009 10:28 AM by Jacut

The numbers aren't surprising..

The more you earn, the more you spend.. This seems to be common for mangaka or a variety of occupations. In some cases, the expenses actually outweigh the salary you earn, thus putting people into financial trouble.

Apr 4, 2009 10:22 AM by Kira01