Anime is a tough industry, because you either make it big or you slave away until the work gets to you. The industry is also quite infamous for having low paying jobs, but this is usually for young animators new to the industry. However, one 20-year veteran has claimed that even those higher up in the ladder also receive low income.
Taiki Nishimura has been working for the anime industry for about 20 years now, and has worked on as an episode director, as well as a unit director. He also worked on storyboards too. But apparently, long tenure still isn’t enough to get some proper wages.
On twitter, the Gundam SEED Destiny episode director stated that he only earns about 100,000 yen a month. That’s about half of what a newbie office lady who just makes tea and photocopies in a large company. He said that he needs about 150,000 – 200,000 yen worth of income per month, and he also stated that he only wants to focus on one anime at a time. But with his monthly pay, that seems to be impossible. He tweeted that he receives about 230,000 yen per anime, and they usually complete that in two months. Divide that up and it’s still only about 130,000 yen per month.
As for the anime he’s worked on, Nishimura claims the most he got is just 300,00 yen, while his lowest is just 160,000 yen. He also mentioned in his tweets that mid-sized production companies actually pay higher than the bigger ones. As for the anime which pay the highest, they’re usually the ones with plenty of big-name sponsors.
Though his income is low, the S-CRY-ed unit director also claimed that he can live off 100,000 yen a month. This is because he’s actually bought his own apartment and therefore doesn’t need to pay rent. He said that rent adds to their expenses, and that would require more work. And by more work, it means that working on more than one anime project. He then added that more anime projects leave little time for rest, and that ‘s where he suffered greatly.