Mipon is back with the second part of their Ken Arto interview. The animator, who worked on popular titles such as Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, and Dragon Ball Super: Broly, shed light on working conditions in Japan, pay rates and more. Some pieces from the interview:
How much does an animator earn in Japan?
The pay for a douga (in-between cut) is around 200 yen per piece. Arto states that sometimes cleaning up the in-betweens you get from a key animator can take 5 minutes, while sometimes it can take hours. Sadly, the pay remains the same, but you do get to learn from it, Arto says. Things are slightly better when it comes to genga (keyframes), where more complex cuts pay better. Apparently, even pachinko pay rates are better than anime ones, so it’s quite difficult to make a living for beginners.
Ken Arto on what makes a good studio
Although fans often bicker over which studio is the best, Arto claims that this is pointless, because it’s not about the studio, it’s about the staff. The animators are the talent and the driving force behind many good titles. Arto encourages fans to take the time and look at the episodic credits so that they would be able to connect the names with the animation.
Speaking of fans, Arto also mentions toxic fans, who often take out their frustrations online by complaining about the animators. However, the situation with bad animation is usually way more complex. From mismanagement to bad budgeting, and scheduling problems, there are many factors that can affect the quality of the final product. Usually, it boils down to time constraints in production, which lead to outsourcing to China and Korea.
How to support animators?
After being asked about ways to support Japanese animators from overseas, Arto stated the importance of watching things legally. Obviously, a lot of funding comes down to production committees, but watching things legally is a good way to start. It’s interesting to note that he also took the time to explain how production committees work. Animation studios can be on them, but they don’t have to be. If an anime is a hit, all the money goes to the production committee, and that doesn’t always include the studio. Using platforms such as Patreon or Ko-fi is also a good way to support animators independently.
Arto himself now has a Ko-fi page, and you can watch the entirety of his interview with Mipon on their YouTube channel:
You can follow Ken Arto on Twitter.
Source: Press Release