by Ewa Nowogorski
Presently, Japanese animation produces some of the most memorable and highest-grossing films and series in the world. It is famous worldwide, and there probably isn’t a soul in existence that has not watched at least one Japanese anime.
Japan is the birthplace of Pokemon, Yugi-Oh, One Piece, and Naruto. It is the country that has produced the highest grossing film worldwide ever, being Your Name, which brought in over $357 million. Every season, new anime are released and new genres are occasionally born. There are currently 13 main genres with over 31 sub-genres. Japan has produced some great anime, with the highest ranked anime of all time said to be Fullmetal Alchemist (according to the Anime News Network), and it has also produced some of the worst anime as well. Hametsu no Mars takes that title with an average rating of 1.97 (out of 10).
Traditional Japanese animation was hand drawn and backgrounds for all the scenes were originally hand-painted, but today computer technology allows for every step of the anime production process to be done digitally. The process is broken down into 4 main steps and multiple steps within those main steps. The main steps include planning, script writing, in-production, and post-production. Almost all animation studios follow these standardized steps.
Anime production was expensive in the past, and it is still expensive in the present, but no matter how high a budget for an anime may be, usually only half its budget is put into actual production. The other half goes into broadcasting fees. Because of the low allowance for producing the film, a lot of staff involved in making an anime usually get severely underpaid. The sad truth of the current industry is that many animators only make about $2 per drawn frame, a standard set by Astro Boy in the 1960s to make anime actually financially viable and appealing to investors. In the past, frames could be drawn rather quickly since animation was still very simple at the time. However, nowadays, it can take well over an hour to draw some detailed frames, meaning that animators will sometimes make less than $2 an hour. Tight deadlines and low pay means that over 90% of new animators will quit this line of business after only a year. But despite this, Japan has no shortage of animators, as many people will willingly sacrifice everything they have to make anime. However, Japan does have a shortage of talented animators, and the financial conditions that command every aspect in making anime, the anime world is bound to change in the future.
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