The latest news from the anime industry, courtesy Itai News:
700 Animators Polled: Average Salary 1,100,000 yen / year (USD $11,000) for Those in Their Twenties; 2,140,000 yen / year ($22,000) for Those in Their Thirties
The most recent hard data on the sad state of the Japanese anime industry, this survey is but the latest confirmation of the unofficial complaints and rumors that have been swirling for the last few years.
The data was released during a symposium on working conditions for Japanese animators held this week in Tokyo, the first of its kind, and only the latest sign of the mounting troubles facing Japan's legendary anime industry. Other tidbits included the fact that some 47% of animators work without any sort of employment contract in place and that 38% have never gotten an annual doctors' check-up, a standard employment perk at most Japanese companies.
"We cannot groom young talent under these conditions," explained one attendee. "The industry is heading for serious trouble." The symposium's official recommendations included a total re-evaluation of salaries across the board combined with the establishment of a set salary structure for animators. Whether they can convince production companies to implement any of this is still a totally open question.
Comments from posters in the Itai News thread included "how are we gonna live like this!?" and "quit building anime museums and start giving that money to the animators!" One thing's for sure: salary hikes are nice, but the problems aren't going to be fixed until the real issues with the current state of domestic market flooding, subcontracting, and sponsorship are addressed.