So recently, I've come across a collection of articles and blog posts centered around the work conditions for artists in the anime industry, mostly centered on the account of an American (the first American to ever to work in a major anime studio) who traveled to Japan to fulfill his dream of working on anime. Before reading this, I had no knowledge of what the work conditions were like, but now...
Here are his own words:
At his original job with Nakamura Pro, he earned about $300 a month... for ten hour work days, six days a week. However once he moved to Studio Pierot, he started earning about $1,000. Even though it's an improvement, it's still pretty horrible and wouldn't allow anyone to live comfortably without a second source of income (pretty much impossible, since they're already working more than full-time.)“Let’s just be clear: It’s not a ‘tough’ industry… It’s an ‘illegally harsh’ industry. They don’t pay you even remotely minimum wage, they overwork you to the point where people are vomiting at work and having to go to the hospital for medicine. They demand that you come in whenever they realize a deadline isn’t going to be met. That probably means about a month and a half of nonstop work without a single day off. Then you will be allowed to go back to your regular six-day workweeks of 10-hour days.”
With all seriousness, you make more working minimum wage in the United States, 8 hours, 5 days. Life on that salary is pretty bad enough, so I shudder to think what it's like in Japan, especially in a city as expensive as Tokyo, where most about 90% of anime is made. In fact, living on welfare would probably be a better option. I'll have to do more research on the topic to find out more.
Still, I have to ask- how do you guys feel about supporting an industry where your life is shit, unless you're an A-list voice actor? I know many people who boycott or avoid buying from companies they see as unethical. Like not buying Nike shoes because they outsource to foreign sweat-shops, or the meat industry for their horrible treatment of animals, etc.. At least, does this change the way you watch anime, or even think about it? Does supporting an industry like this extend the responsibility to the viewer? Does it bring up a moral dilemma to watching anime? I want to hear your thoughts.
As a side note, the dude has been working on Tokyo Ghoul, Pokemon, and Naruto Shippuden, which is pretty cool. He even mentions that if he sticks around, he'll be working on the "Bolt" movie soon.
Crunchyroll article (includes links to a Japanese blog on the topic, if you can read it.)
Buzzfeed article (a little more in-depth)
An insightful comment from his Ask Me Anything on Reddit. (make sure to also check out the full thread!)
His Tumblr shows off lots of the animations he drew himself!
An article about a Japanese anime worker's experience
Same story ^ (Anime News Network)
Oh yeah, how are all your NaNoRenO's going? Sadly, mine seems to be falling apart. //sobs
Edit: My NaNoRenO seems to be getting back on track... for now? ;~;
...If only I could find an artist that commissions $1 per image. LMAO