Anime & Manga News

Director Yamazaki Osamu Discloses the Earning Differentials among Anime Staff

by dtshyk
Sep 10, 2009 7:38 AM | 20 Comments
Anime Director Yamazaki Osamu objected to the recent reports about the low salary of anime staff. He said there are large differentials among them. According to Yamazaki, the average salaries of the main staff for one episode of TV anime are:
($1 = 90 - 95 yen)
Director: 200,000 - 250,000 yen
Episode graphic director: 300,000 yen
Audio director: 150,000 - 180,000 yen

Episode graphic directors are tied down to one episode for one and half a month. On the other hand, audio directors can finish one episode in two days and they usually work on several series at the same time. Taking the total working hours into account, the monthly earnings are as follows:

Director: 500,000 yen
Episode graphic director: 200,000 yen
Audio director: ~1,800,000 yen
Scenario writer: 300,000 yen + royalties
Filming staff: 800,000 - 1,000,000 yen
Normal animator: 100,000~

Yamazaki claimed the correction of the wage inequalities between the animators and the other production staff.

Source: JAnica Club

Episode graphic director is the chief of the key and in-between animators.
Audio director is in charge of the directions of voice actings, sound effects and BGM.

20 Comments Recent Comments

Pyrrhus said:
Soheddie said:
So a normal animator earns 13,000$ a year?
That's pretty bad.
Thats amazingly painful.. >.<
What would be even more painful was if you saw their hourly pay. Remember, Japan's minimum wage laws are for daily pay, not hourly. I'd be somewhat surprised if they were breaking $5/hour.

Sep 11, 2009 3:33 PM by Iri

Wow, sucks to be an animator!

Sep 11, 2009 2:58 PM by VelvetEris

saka said:
MiKu214 said:
Being an animator sounds like working in a sweatshop.

this is close to the truth

I think this was the case by the animators of the last Minami-Ke series :P

But I doubt J.C., I.G., etc. animators would earn so little...

Sep 11, 2009 10:51 AM by 3rr0R

Soheddie said:
So a normal animator earns 13,000$ a year?
That's pretty bad.


Thats amazingly painful.. >.<

Sep 11, 2009 2:46 AM by Pyrrhus

Qrko said:
if it would be reaaaally a lot of work, then audio directors wouldn't take more projects than one or two :P the fact is that animators are doing slave work as compared with audio directors.


Mm, that's true.

wakka9ca said:
The normal animators are waaay underpaid if they only do one anime in one month. I can earn more money in part-time job than them. The audio guys are REALLY busy since they have to do everything....

But once again, the workload is different so the total monthly pay is different.


The audio guys may be really busy, but i doubt the animators are slacking off half the time either. It's not like each episode has only 20 or 30 key frames and so on in it.

Sep 10, 2009 6:48 PM by Nitre

The normal animators are waaay underpaid if they only do one anime in one month. I can earn more money in part-time job than them. The audio guys are REALLY busy since they have to do everything....

But once again, the workload is different so the total monthly pay is different.

Sep 10, 2009 6:35 PM by wakka9ca

if it would be reaaaally a lot of work, then audio directors wouldn't take more projects than one or two :P the fact is that animators are doing slave work as compared with audio directors.

Sep 10, 2009 6:23 PM by Qrko

Reading the post again, dtshyk's added that the audio director also directs the voice actors. For some reason i didn't think this would be the case, i just assumed it was the musical part of the audio, but someone has to tell the voice actors what they're supposed to be doing.

Taking that into account, that would be quite a lot of work in some series. Maybe they do deserve to be paid quite a lot, but still, normal animators are way down the scale.

Sep 10, 2009 5:59 PM by Nitre

By observation, there are few sound directors in the businesses. Just check the staff list for various shows, and you'll find the same names popping up (year after year) all the time.

With demand for their skills so high, they command high salaries.

Sep 10, 2009 5:03 PM by TJR

elune said:
i'm being a noob, but why do audio directors have higher pays? and yeah, i agree. even if the sound's amazing, it'll still be crap if the art is crap.


Audio working is a really technical job, requires a lot of skill a lot of time and a lot of technical know how. There's a lot of math that needs to be known and if your off guess what, your audio is shot to hell. Recording studios are also quiet expensive in Japan. In addition you have to keep up with the new equipment to meet technological demands. It's not so much sitting and saying "talk like this" like a director on a set can do. There's a lot to it believe it or not. There's engineering the audio, mixing the audio, overdubbing (no not dubbing into a foreign language) there's Foley (or sound effects) to be made and it all has to be adequately timed.

Though I have to agree it's a travesty that animators are so underpaid. Yes animation is an equally tough job as is audio so they deserve to be paid in the same range.

Sep 10, 2009 2:35 PM by ShadowBlazer3000

MiKu214 said:
Being an animator sounds like working in a sweatshop.

this is close to the truth

Sep 10, 2009 1:21 PM by saka

Wow... being in the anime industry really isn't profitable, eh? Anyways, I'm amazed at the salary differences between the animator and the audio director. Both are important to me in an anime, so I think both should deserve about the same salary. Besides, I think animating is a harder job than directing the audio.

Sep 10, 2009 12:13 PM by guyklc

Being an animator sounds like working in a sweatshop.

Sep 10, 2009 11:49 AM by Nek0

elune said:
i'm being a noob, but why do audio directors have higher pays? and yeah, i agree. even if the sound's amazing, it'll still be crap if the art is crap.


Looking at the OP, it looks like it's because they take on more than one project at once.

Sep 10, 2009 11:46 AM by CDRW

So a normal animator earns 13,000$ a year?
That's pretty bad.

Sep 10, 2009 11:41 AM by Sohei

i'm being a noob, but why do audio directors have higher pays? and yeah, i agree. even if the sound's amazing, it'll still be crap if the art is crap.

Sep 10, 2009 11:20 AM by katzenjammer

if anything animators should be near the mid range rather than the bottom rung. if they do a crappy job it doesn't matter how good the sound is...

Sep 10, 2009 9:31 AM by kisami

Nitre said:
That's quite a big range. 1,800,000 yen is £11, 772, or nearly $20000. Nice for the audio guys, pretty unfair to the graphic directors.

There's probably even more of a discrepancy between directing staff and employees lower in the chain as well.


yea, i mean take a look at the average monthly pay of the regular animator.. which i'm quite sure is not renumerative of the amount of work they have to put in

Sep 10, 2009 9:21 AM by tanjx

audio directors ftw o.o

Sep 10, 2009 8:21 AM by Qrko

That's quite a big range. 1,800,000 yen is £11,772, or nearly $20000. Nice for the audio guys, pretty unfair to the graphic directors.

There's probably even more of a discrepancy between directing staff and employees lower in the chain as well.

Sep 10, 2009 8:16 AM by Nitre

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