Majority of participants who don’t live with Mom and Dad are losing money while they work in the anime industry.

Unlike with many more conventional jobs, most people who choose to work in the anime industry do so because of an ardent passion for the industry’s finished products. Sure, you can probably find people who work as insurance agents or car salesmen who’re just in it for the money, but economic gain is unlikely to be the primary goal of most fresh-faced recruits at animation studios in Japan.

And that’s probably a good thing, since entry-level positions in the anime industry often involve notoriously low pay and long hours. Hoping to bring attention to the issue is AEYAC, also called the Young Animators Assistance Council, which carries out an annual survey in order to gauge the working conditions and quality of life for anime studio newcomers.

This year’s survey collected data from 44 respondents, 33 of whom were women, with an average age of 23.2 years. All participants have worked in the anime industry for three years or less, with the average amount of experience being one year and five months.

To start, AEYAC asked if the respondents lived with their parents. 27.2 percent said that they do, but their reasons for doing so might not necessarily be because they can’t afford any place of their own. While it’s true that working-age children living at home generally aren’t asked to pay rent in Japan, it’s also true that a lot of young adults in Japan continue living at home after finishing their education, sometimes until marriage, instead of moving out as soon as they secure their first adult job.

It’s a bit harder to develop positive theories for another statistic, though; out of the young animators who don’t live with their parents, 34.3 percent of them said their parents send them money to help make ends meet. In addition, only 9.4 percent of the living-on-their-own animators said they’re able to save any money (or keep their pre-existing savings intact). 31.3 percent said they’ve never had any savings, and most troubling of all is that 59.4 percent, the majority of the survey’s young animators who don’t live with their parents, are having to use up their savings in order to pay their living expenses while working in the anime industry.

As with most entertainment-related jobs, there’s a huge range in incomes between the lowest-paid anime workers and the industry’s top earners. It’s not at all unusual for aspiring actors, musicians, and comedians to be on financially shaky ground while taking their shot at making a living as a pro. However, animation is in many ways also a technical trade, and the idea that when all the revenues and expenses are tallied, some people are paying to do their jobs can feel like a strange concept.

Source: AEYAC via IT Media
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