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Old 02-12-2013, 03:00 PM   #16
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It is important to understand that the manner in which a labor union works
in Japan differs significantly from how a labor union operates for example in the states.
Labor union memberships are pretty much in decline in the US and in Japan and as such, so does their influence.

"As to labor unions and all that, there really is no excuse for the wages in anime. All this talk of the industry struggling does have some falsity to it. The publishers aren't struggling. The TV channels aren't struggling. The merchandizers aren't struggling. Some of them are making millions, or hundreds of millions, off this stuff. The money is not trickling down to the animators who actually make the stuff."

Can anyone provide some hard facts regarding the profitability of the average anime
produced within Japan?

I spent time up in Fukushima/Sendai last summer to visit friends and relatives there who are living in temporary housing for at least the next 5 years. Plenty of folks young and old with no jobs and few opportunities to do much other than receive a government check.

Japan's economy has been in mothballs for over a decade and with the recent earthquake disaster they have a load of problems to deal with.

I am not sure that the labor issues of a small band of passionate artists will rise to the top of the "to do" list there.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tama
Can anyone provide some hard facts regarding the profitability of the average anime
produced within Japan?


It's difficult to quantify because, for example, profits for the publishers appear as more sales of their manga or light novels, due to the anime. Profits for toy companies appears as more sales of their toys.

I did, however, find a list once that showed the sales volumes of top manga before and after the anime was released, and the difference was huge. Some manga jumped from the hundreds of thousands to several million because of the anime release. If I can find that again, I will post the link.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO
AFAIK nearly anyone could.

Back when it was still all acrylic on acetate they were already offsetting (locally) and outsourcing (to SE Asia) the colour by the dots work, and a lot of it would end up with house wives and pregnant women with absolutely no art education, only requirement was a steady hand, so the top CV requirement was for skills such as seamstresses had and so on (precise manual work and dexterity).


Not everyone has a steady hand.

Years ago I took an animation class from Bud Hester, who had worked for decades as a traditional animator at Disney. He told the story of how he and his co-workers watched the women paint the cels on Robin Hood, and they thought it looked easy. So they asked if they could try their hands at cel painting. The ink-and-paint department humored them by giving them a shot at ink-and-paint.

He showed the class the results of his handiwork. It was not pretty. Instead of floating the paint onto the cel, he had pressed down with his brush and left streaky brushstrokes that could be seen through the other side. The paint was not a consistent thickness -- you could actually see through areas of the paint. He had not kept the paint colors consistent within any given area, either -- another error that could be seen on the other side. On top of that, the paint had smudged over the borders within the character.

In comparison, he showed a cel that had been painted correctly. It looked like a precision machine had laid down the paint. All you saw on the other side was perfect, flat and consistent areas of color.

Not everyone has what it takes to paint cels.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celshader
Not everyone has what it takes to paint cels.


I believe it.
Animation paint is also different from regular acrylic paint--I had some tubes of it--really fine quality. I tried using it for poster art--gives a really nice look.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celshader
Not everyone has what it takes to paint cels.


Same with inking the animation. Another task that seems brainless but is actually exceptionally challenging to do, especially if the animator keeps their line work extremely loose.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #21
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Going a bit off topic but....

Inking and painting can go wrong so easily with one wrong line of brush stroke it will be ruined and you have to start again. Plus you have to do hundreds if not thousands. The plastic sheets can be horrible to work on because you're not allowed to have fingerprints or smudges from the hands so you have to wear gloves, means less dexterity in my opinion. Also the ink and paint sometime runs all over the place, you have to wait for the things to dry too.

However in recent times, all cel works are with a computer now. Digital ink and paint cuts out all the troubles. Also you don't have to do as much, you just need to do most of the inbetweens and the computer will fill in the rest, you just need to quality check for imperfections and correct some lines.

That said you still have to have someone hand draw all the frames in pencil first, don't know if this has or will be computerised too.

Personally I feel sorry for the artists as they do skillful work that many across the world enjoy. Yet they are living off nothing and I don't think the CG community will be able to help them in any way since I feel that this is a matter for Japan itself. Well at least the Japanese government is aware of this problem and they are trying to improve the situation by injecting money into the industry. It's also a shame that the union doesn't have the effect that it should.

For me anime is what inspired me that led to 3D and it's still a source of inspiration. I still will be enjoying anime though in my spare time but I knowing how much work went into it.
 
Old 02-12-2013, 10:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkherow
Personally I feel sorry for the artists as they do skillful work that many across the world enjoy. Yet they are living off nothing and I don't think the CG community will be able to help them in any way...


Plus, a good chunk of the CG community may soon find itself in the same boat. I don't see anything protecting VFX artists from the same fate as anime artists.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:35 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tama
It is important to understand that the manner in which a labor union works
in Japan differs significantly from how a labor union operates for example in the states.
Labor union memberships are pretty much in decline in the US and in Japan and as such, so does their influence.

"As to labor unions and all that, there really is no excuse for the wages in anime. All this talk of the industry struggling does have some falsity to it. The publishers aren't struggling. The TV channels aren't struggling. The merchandizers aren't struggling. Some of them are making millions, or hundreds of millions, off this stuff. The money is not trickling down to the animators who actually make the stuff."

Can anyone provide some hard facts regarding the profitability of the average anime
produced within Japan?

I did some casual research on this a few years ago and ran across this working paper by Robert Dujarric and Andrei Hagiu for the Harvard Business School, "Capitalizing On Innovation: The Case of Japan" which examined three case studies of innovation in Japanese companies in the following industries: software, mobile telephony, and anime. Anime production is not very profitable compared to anime merchandising because the production companies are operating in a conservative financial environment that is reluctant to invest in high risk ventures.

In 2004, sales for licensed character goods raked in 1.64 trillion ($14.3 billion) while sales for related DVDs only grossed roughly 250 billion. Of that 250 billion, production studios only get a meager cut depending on their representation in the production committee that oversees the anime production.

If the anime series intellectual property is owned by the anime studio, the studio gets a bigger cut; if the anime series is adapted from a pre-existing novel or manga, the studio tends to get a smaller portion of the production funding. Most of the funding usually goes to the publishing company of the novel/manga and the TV station. This is kinda why you see studios like GAINAX milking Evangelion and Production I.G milking Ghost in the Shell because they have a larger stake in the IP.
 
Old 02-13-2013, 03:58 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celshader
Plus, a good chunk of the CG community may soon find itself in the same boat. I don't see anything protecting VFX artists from the same fate as anime artists.


That maybe so but I feel that CG is more flexable nowadays, while an anime artist is stuck to one trade unless they can do Manga but I don't think assistants make much either. Only successful Manga authors can be profitable and that looks like a hard market to get into. Their skills aren't really used outside of anime.

In terms of CG you have VFX for films and commercials, arch viz, pre viz, games, animation, illustration and etc. Plus in my opinion the use of 3D is expanding compared to anime, that's at a stand still.

It's unfortunate that a big cut from the anime goes to the Manga author or Mangaka, I mean it's fair that the manga author gets money from it but I feel that with what the studio has put in to make the anime, they should get something in return. The Mangaka doesn't really have much input into the anime adaptation, as the studio just adapts the already published material.

If you look at what anime is being produced, there's hardly any original studio work, the industry is mainly reliant on Manga adaptions. Their mind set is probably whatever Manga is popular so will an anime and don't risk doing something original. This is where I think anime can benefit from, by making original work and getting more income from it. Making Manga adaptations more secondary and pushing for their own work. It'll be interesting to know if Ghibli does better with their original work that the mainstream work.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 05:07 PM   #25
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I was actually just mentioning to my fiend that there hasn't been a good high budget anime film in quite some time (like Akira, GiTS, etc.). The economic environment they are in no longer allows for something of that scale to be made. It's also very rare to see an anime made that isn't based on a Manga and sometimes its almost a 1:1 translation from book to animation.

Japan in general is going through a period of stagnation, its affecting not just anime but their games and music. They really need to get out of their own heads and infuse some new ideas, new industries, new ways of doing things into their culture. That very disturbing AKB48 scandal is a prime example of letting a very small subset of people (Otaku) dictate your media content. Very sad as I love anime. As an art form it's one of a kind, and it has been so influential to our culture (especially action movies) over the last few decades. it would be sad to see it die off due to stagnation, lack of funding, lack of artists, and lack of interest.
 
Old 02-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #26
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The new Ghibli film From Up on Poppy Hill by Goro Miyazaki has a bigger budget than Akira or GITS, not accounting for inflation. Also the new Berserk feature film is pretty huge. Part of the problem with anime is that they are not spending less money making it. That's almost impossible these days. They are just making less of it. At its peak, around 2005 or 2006 there was something like 200 new shows a year. Now there are only around 75 or 80.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Japan in general is going through a period of stagnation, its affecting not just anime but their games and music. They really need to get out of their own heads and infuse some new ideas, new industries, new ways of doing things into their culture.


That really describes the popular entertainment industry in general imo. Not just Japan. Hollywood too ...

Also, a lot of the "horror stories" here are not limited to just people working in anime. A lot of Japanese businessmen go through something similar. I think Anime gets more attention because it is, in general more interesting than an accountant sleeping under his desk, but really, the company I work for is owned by a Japanese company and you wouldn't believe what some (of the employees from the Japanese side) have to go through ...
 
Old 02-14-2013, 08:34 PM   #28
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