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Future of Anime is Dim

January 6, 2009

Japanese reportage on anime industry.

Problem

  • The number of people in Japan involved in anime creation is dropping
  • Most studios outsource the actual drawing and animation portions of their projects to other Asian countries
  • It takes decades of animation grunt work to become a director
  • Outsourcing reduces the amount of anime-related jobs in Japan and could lead to a shortage of Japanese people capable of creating anime masterpieces

Solution

  • The Tokyo Metropolitan Government released a special series of anime textbooks last month.
  • Books cover planning, production, and business sides of the industry
  • The books also include an instructional DVD about how to draw the movement of people and animals.
  • It is hoped that the books will encourage younger Japanese to join the anime industry.

Source: Japan Probe

People don’t go to anime industry because they don’t want to work as slaves. Live to draw or draw to live?

Further Reading:

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10 comments

  1. I don’t really see the problem with outsourcing. It isn’t as if Japan is the only country which can produce anime. Further, the artwork is only one aspect of an animation. I generally watch for a good story, as long as the artwork is above an acceptable level. Sheer numbers don’t create quality either, as there are far more artists alive today – but most create nothing like the masterpieces of the Renaissance.


  2. oh no, that means a grim future for viewers :(


  3. Hmm, I should try to get my hands on those textbooks. Not that I want to enter the animation industry or anything – I just think they might help me understand the whole production process more (since all I’m concerned with at the moment is the end result).

    Before that, of course, I’d better brush up on my Japanese so that I can actually read those textbooks. ;)


  4. 大神先生,

    Certainly, Japan is not the only country with talented artists. The problem is not with the quality of work, but with outsourcing jobs. If less and less people are entering anime industry, the overall quality of Japanese animation will drop eventually because skill development of younger generation will be inhibited. Why should I train someone when I can buy much cheaper labor elsewhere? This kind of business may be better financially, but it is not beneficial for the Japanese artists.

    I watch for art, as long as the story is decent. However, even when I like a director, if the plot does not fit my taste, I drop it.

    – – –

    Peasantbutcher,

    It is too early to predict grim future for viewers. Japan might recover or some other country may start making high quality animation for the masses :)

    – – –

    Diego,

    Yes, those books are quite intriguing :) I would like to read them someday :)


  5. Sad news indeed but I hope (selfishly) that anime will still stay (relatively) the same in my generation.


  6. The Japanese government is also trying (hopelessly imo) to intervene in the declining birth rate situation in Japan. Come to think of it, less babies, less animators. It makes sense..


  7. I do like anime for the different art direction from american animation and all, but I typically like the story and the different views more. Though, I do see what you mean when the outsourcing can hurt the anime industry as a whole. We can only hope for the best.


  8. In that case, the future of the Japanese anime industry is dim – rather than the future of anime itself.


  9. FFVIIKnight,

    Oh, our generation will be fine :)

    – – –

    Animekritik,

    You might want to go back to Japan and help them with birth rate situation then :P

    – – –

    Kamanashi,

    It is still too early to declare complete defeat, but the symptoms should be addressed.

    – – –

    大神先生,

    They are connected, but it will take some time before we see any effect on the anime itself.


  10. [...] Future of Anime is Dim [...]



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