This Man Helps Japan’s Struggling Animators | ASIAN BOSS

Anime is one of Japan’s most famous cultural exports. Despite the local and global popularity of these animations, almost all of these are produced by an army of underpaid and overworked animators. One man, Mr. Sugawara, however, is working to try and support as many struggling animators as possible. Already having built a dormitory for animators, he is now working towards giving these animators more opportunities to take creative control of their own work, and is currently aiming to build a production studio that aims to give better benefits and job opportunities for young animators.

Thanks to Sugawara Jun for sharing his story

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Akutsu (Animator)
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103 comments

  1. Something that I don’t get, which is also what Mr. Sugawara has voiced out, is that these Japanese animators are knowingly aware that this industry pays their animators ridiculously low amount. Yet, they still chose to spend their time & money to study animation to enter into such an industry only to get grossly underpaid and undervalued. I know it may be their passion, but it is not practical as earning only a few hundred dollars a month can hardly cover their basic living expenses. If they fall sick and get hospitalized with hefty hospital bills, what is to happen to them? I don’t see them doing this long term as evidenced by the high turnover rate. This is exploitation and yet I don’t get why they chose to enter into such an industry. The top executives basically feed of their hard work. Without these animators, there would be no anime! They really ought to be paid way more than a measly few hundred dollars.

  2. The animator profession is like other one.
    There are anime that has success and their creator also grows and other that not.
    It is as other profession like musician.
    It is impossible and unreal have all in the same level.
    I don’t know what pretend this channel with this video!

  3. If they go on strike for better wages don’t blame the the ones who create the best animation and series it’s because of their talent and creativity we wouldn’t have the animation in the late 80’s and now. Blame the higher ups who forgot where animation and anime comes from and the hard work and late hours they put in for their company they need better pay and better hours. I’ve watched anime from the Robotech to Re Zero they have great talent to come up with shows like that so they need our support keep up the great work and support of your co workers in this great field of animation. 👍

  4. Sadly as it sounds, this doesn’t just happen in Japan..
    Animators are the lowest paid workers in most animation studios.. even lower than concept artist and/or modeller (in 3d animation)..
    Most junior animators start with 200-500 USD per month in Southeast asia and also Japan (i still had no knowledge of salaries in Korean and Chinese animation industry) and sometimes it took 2-3 years to get promoted to mid level animator (which mostly pay around 300-600 USD).
    Of course this depends on what kind of studios you get yourself into… But even then, being animators for TV shows/games still got paid lower than being animators for advertising or even graphic designer.

    Animators are considered the labour part in animation industry, even though the works are not as easy as it sounds and look. at all. There are so many technical part in animations. Most essential is the 12 Principles of Animations, which means, animations don’t just happen or move on its own. You dont create 1 frame, and then the drawing or models or assets move on their own.
    But sadly, to people with less knowledge or interest in animation industry, this techniques or hardships of animators are not completely understood and therefore being looked down.

    Not to mention the mentality of most anime/cartoon viewers who also part of the problems….. but oh well. i’ll stop ranting right here….

  5. My solution to this problem would be to have all the animators strike. Without them, none of the work gets done. They have tremendous power but they accept the pay they are given. Stop production on 18 billion dollars and companies will come to the bargaining table real quick. The main problem with a strike would be outsourcing. There would need to be heavy tariffs on overseas work so that companies would be encouraged to hire locally.

    Either way, I’ll donate to the crowd fund.

  6. Conservatism holds everything back. If it weren’t for Japan’s conservative attitude, animators would get fair compensation and a litany of social issues would be solved

  7. Damn tbh I really like this kind of interview “series” like the Korean grandma
    he was the “extra” in previous video but now he plays the crucial role

    kudos to Hiroko and Asian Boss team too , hope that animator girl will earn a better salary in the future

  8. Who gets all the money then? Is the situation usually same with the person who wrote the manga? Usually the writing and illustrations are made by the same person.

  9. Please post the Animators Funds Organization of their official Bitcoin public wallet address so I can send some Bitcoins periodically. china uncensored youtube channel is already doing it, may I suggest that Japan Anime/Animators set one up (bitcoin address) too.

  10. China is the only one hope in anime. Their labor culture is far more sophisticated than Japan and they respect an artist. I hope China is going to be flagship of anime not terrible Japan.

  11. anybody knows the animator of OPM S1 animator? i want them back, i bet they are struggling tat they ran to other anime shows. see OPM s2, a total disasters, zzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. 日本の労働環境はくそだよ。よく外国人の人が日本は凄い国って言う人いるけどこれだけは確か日本の労働環境は悪い

  13. honestly, it’s a modern-day first-world sweatshop industry. what’s particularly disgusting is that top-level people execs and company owners in the same companies that use animators as slaves, have six-and-seven figure $ incomes. and I don’t even mention Netflix, Amazon, and all the other reseller parasites, who just basically swim in money. or the average Western fanboy/girl, who gets it all for free or near-free and then has the gall to fume publicly about animation quality.

  14. Many western children such as myself and many in my country (Israel), who were raised in the 1980’s, mostly grew up on locally dubbed Japanese Animation shows such as 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (maybe the most popular), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Moomins, The Transformers, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, Thundercats, Samurai Pizza Cats, Peter Pan, Little Mrs. Pepperpot, Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics and many more.

  15. Growing up, me and my father didn’t have the best relationship. It was almost impossible for us to get along (mostly my fault). However, we both had a love for anime at the time Naruto Shippuden was our favorite. So once a week me and father would sit together and watch the weekly episode and for 20-30 minutes, me and my dad would have our little father and son moment. Today, I look back and smile because even with our issues at the time anime always brought us together. Thank you so much animators you are highly appreciated! I hope the current situation changes for y’all.

  16. As many artist have to understand…we (I’m a professional ballet dancer) are the craft. We are the culture. We should be paid respectably fair. Less is rudely unacceptable. Yet, too many first time or young artists take little to nothing only to have a professional job. This is wrong!

  17. He is doing great work with his NPO. I hope he can meet with proper lawyers and even a politician to further his cause and make changes that go further than he can…then he can move on to other things on his bucket list😊🙏🏾

  18. Animators, like anyone else in the work force, are heroes. They’re overworked yet underpaid, which is a problem circulating in the system. :(( This video has really upped my respect towards animators who make sure that we are fed with quality anime each week.

  19. I was shocked to learn how little the animators make in Japan, far below minimum wage on an hourly basis. For reference, they make a small fraction of what a comparable animator would make for a large animation studio here in North America for more work. All corporations disproportionately allocate the economics between the executives and the lower-level workers, but Japanese animation studios take it to the extreme where the animators are barely paid a livable wage.

  20. I feel like every country has varying degrees of this same problem in different industries. Its sad to see people be exploited and the masses think it is okay.

  21. Japan is still too close to new things. Im surprised how they achieved to become a super rich country with that trash mind – traditional…lastly they destroyed Nissan because they don’t know how to manage a company…I m not suprised any more about Korea and china to pass Japan on race . good by Japan.

  22. “the eyes are looking great don’t you think so?” ” “……You could say this is like the cubism art style.” I don’t know what to say.” LMAO

  23. 奴隷のままでいいと言う人たちと発展を拒否する社会には未来はない。
    すがわらさん、正しくないことに声を出し、アニメーターを守ってくださってありがとうございます。

  24. A man (I couldn’t find his name, I’m sorry) working at A-1 Pictures committed suicide in 2014, and it was determined that his working conditions were what caused it, as he was working 600 HOURS A MONTH. Why are people so glued to the tradition of slave wages for animators? I actually don’t understand.

  25. It’s a billions of dollars in industry , and it is a skill not given to everyone even with assist of technology. Animators need a union to speak for them and come up with a living wage. If all of the animators in Japan were to strike for 30 days it would cause havoc over several continents. Perhaps that would raise the discussion, I dare say it would have a significant impact on Japans GDP. I as a foreigner of course can only observe from outside, but it is clear to me the whole f Japan has forgotten that man needs both work and play to be a balanced human being. Since your cx is steeped in tradition, honor ,and a fealty to the boss ,it is hard to tell the boss no you won’t work 60-70 week. MONEY and TIME are not equal. If Japan wants population growth they must stop treating the labor force as slave labor. Easy to say but … the people DO hold the power to their own freedom. The question is do you have the courage . to petition strike and hold fast. Not everyone can do what an animator can do. they need you. . If Asian Boss were to set up a go fund me page and make it available world wide, I think it would help. Every country has some form of animation in everyday life. Good Luck.

  26. The opening beat reminds me of the opening beat to drakes song gods plan but slowed down. I like it 👍
    8:09
    I would totally watch a show with that art style 😆
    Hiroko is soo funny

  27. The program should set up a Fiverr type website for the residents, where we (Americans or elsewhere) can hire these artists for projects. I would gladly pay more than $500 a month or a full time artist.

  28. I like to believe if he succeeds in alleviating the life situation of animators, it can help skyrocket the quality of your typical TV anime too. It may cut down the number of releases per season, but I think that’s for the better.

  29. This is so sad to me.
    Anime industy made many
    happiness around the world,but Animators life just like homeless.
    and Old system talk like Animators should accept slavery if them want to work! that not fair at all!
    Mr. Sugawara just see the fact fight that Old mindset and support Animators with little money for

    a long time I complete respect him.
    Asian Boss
    If you read this
    please tell him you are not fight alone anime fan around the world know the fact
    and them want to
    cheer you!

  30. I really admire some aspects of japanese culture, but then there are stuff like this that just makes me sick in the stomach. I don’t care if it’s an old system, if there is an overabundance of people wanting to work in the area, or other reasons why this happens – it needs to be outlawed, period.
    The anime industry is huge, global, and incredibly profitable. It’s not unlike Hollywood, where the vast majority of production come from one place, so there is a lot of money and power centered in few japanese cities, companies and places. That anyone working in said business doesn’t get enough in a month to feed himself or herself, it’s a clear abuse of power and criminal lack of oversight and governmental and working regulations. This looks worse to me than police and government turning a blind eye to yakuza and crime syndicates.
    If one cannot make enough to survive, it’s exploitive and should be categorized as bordeline slave labor. And even if people wanted to work with those conditions, the role of a government is to protect it’s citizens with labor laws so that scenarios like those do not happen, scenarios of human rights violations that shouod not happen in modern affluent countries.
    But quite frankly, between the animators case, the ultra nationalist ties, the lack of interest in politics from japanese youth, and how poorly handled the corvid-19 crisis has been in Japan, it seems obvious that what japanese politics really need is a renewal and change in direction, or the country is risking going down together with times and the old traditional not keeping up with times politics and way of doing things.
    I’m not saying this just because I don’t like how things are being done, I’m saying this because it’s innevitable. The categories of people who are being so blatantly ignored, exploited and at times even reviled are exacty the people who will soon be handling the economy and being asked to pay for the pensions and retirement of those in power right now. It’s a severely precarious position. I know culturally japanese are not ones to revolt and protest fast culturally, but this sort of exploitation has it’s limits. At some point it’ll explode, and if nothing is done, it’s gonna be ugly and violent.

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