Recently, places such as Anime News Network, Crunchyroll, and Cartoon Brew have brought an urgent matter to the attention of Anime Fans and Animators, this Animator named Ippei Ichii took to Twitter and expressed extreme disappointment. According to the Animator he was offered rates to work on a show at MAPPA produced by Netflix. He claimed that he was offered just 3,800 yen (US$34) per cut (for a short scene) for the unnamed series.
“A producer working on a Netflix anime made at MAPPA suggested paying 3,800 yen (US$34) per cut. The budget for TV series is between 3,800 to 7,000 yen, so if you accept that offer, the unit price for animators would go down. Heads-up: If you’re asked, I think it’s best to negotiate for 15,000 yen (US$134) or more.”Ippei Ichii
This was followed by a second tweet, this time ippei clarified that the problem with Netflix was that “To avoid misunderstanding, I have to say that my issue is with Netflix. For all the exorbitant amount of capital they have, it’s a problem that they’ve started to place orders with such low rates. There is a possibility that the prices are even lower than a TV series.” Shortly after posting the tweet, Ippi got a request from the company, being asked to remove the tweets by the company just a minute after posting.
Animators Zayd and Thomas Romain responded to Ichii’s Tweet, Romain says that what he believes what Ichii said was “pretty standard rate used by most of the companies” and that’s why he “never worked in Japan as an animator but as preproduction designer because of the cheap rates for genga (key animation).” While Zayd wondered what Netflix was thinking about paying less than average. Veteran Animator Hiroyuki Yamada chimed in on the situation, saying “[3,800 yen] was the price per cut I was getting when I entered the anime industry 40 years ago. Ramen was only 300 yen back then!“
This isn’t the first time Mappa has come under fire, in May a freelance animator tweeted that they left MAPPA due to the “factory-like” conditions. They criticized MAPPA’s decision to work on four shows at the same time instead of properly training its team so that such corrections wouldn’t be necessary, and said, “As far as I can tell, about 80% of the employees had similar complaints at the time.” Projects such as the Animator Dormitory Project have sprung up to help animators with housing costs while they start in the industry, helping animators that have since gone on to work on Attack on Titan, Black Clover, and many other anime projects.
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