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Animator Ken Arto commented on working conditions in the anime industry

The portal Mipon shared the second part of the interview with the Franco-Japanese animator Ken Arto (ア ル ト 健), where the working conditions of the animators in Japan and other aspects of interest were discussed.

Ken Arto began on the difference between working on an original production and a production based on a written work: «When you work on a manga, you have the fame of the manga. For example, I like the Jump manga, I had the opportunity to work on animations based on them. In the original anime… how to put it? If the studio makes an original anime, you don’t know if it will be successful. It’s a bet. So for people who put money into an original anime, it’s a gamble too. For the products to make the money, they have to put together a good team. Therefore, the original anime is difficult to do, because you have to raise the money».

Arto also commented on the delivery dates (deadlines) in the case of animation, and as some animes continue to be produced even when they are already on air: «At the beginning, when we started with episode one, episodes two, the anime hasn’t started yet. And when the broadcast starts, you’ve already done a few episodes. In the calendar, you have all the broadcast deadlines for the episode and you cannot move them. In the beginning you had a lot prepared. When you get to the last episode, you have less and less prepared and you have to hurry. The last episode of an anime season is always done in a hurry».

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He also commented on the working conditions of the animators: «When I talk about long working hours with my seniors, they tell me: “I know, 10 or 15 years ago, it was worse.” Well, it is improving little by little. But if you look 15 years ago, wow, now you have kousuku. The kousoku is a small contract with which they pay you for a few months. And 15 years ago, you had no contracts for months. It was paid for cuts. They still pay you for cuts! But if you’re a good entertainer and the studio wants to support you, they can talk to you for a kousoku. “I want you on the team. I would like to pay you this amount for a few months. And you will have to make a minimum of cuts, 30 to 40 cuts per month ”. And so you can negotiate. If you are a very famous entertainer, you have a good salary. But if you are a beginner, the first years are difficult especially because you cannot get a kousoku».

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We conclude this article with his words of Ken Arto on the toxicity of internet fans when there are errors in animation production: «The reasons that certain things can go wrong sometimes have to do with managing delivery times. At other times, it happens that there is a lot of budget for the first episode and all the available time is used in the first episode and, then, there is no time to do the next episode … So, they give it to China or South Korea so that make it faster. There are many factors. It is difficult to know all the details of each production. Sometimes it happens that we have little time, or the animation director did not control all the cuts because he did not have time. It can also happen that the main study gives an episode to another study and that study gives it to another, and that study to another … This kind of thing happens. Either way, those who make these decisions are at the top, they are not the entertainers. It is the production director’s decision to air an episode by the deadline. And it will be that day, because they have to be at the same time as the manga or because they want to launch a new collection of figures, etc.».

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Source: Mipon | Japan

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