Yeah, this isn’t good, no matter how you look at it.
In a recent TV report, Oikonomiya, a show on public TV network NHK, reported that one in four anime studios is seeing net losses. The number of studios failing to break into the black increased in 2015, pushing the total to just over 25%.
From 2010 through 2014, roughly 20% of all studios, or about one in five, failed to profit in a given year.
In addition, the episode looked at animators who reside at the Tokyo Animator Dormitory. Resident artists spoke with host Naoki Matayoshi about the difficulties faced by young animators. In particular, Oikonomiya found that 80% of all animators quit in their first three years, and average wages for an in-betweener hovered at just 60,000 yen ($539.33 USD) per month.
Possibly the most notable statements came from Tetsuya Akutsu, an animator whose credits include Digimon Adventure tri., Aikatsu Stars!, and Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Dark Side of Dimensions. Akutsu recalled that he once spent five hours on a frame, for which he was paid just 200 yen ($1.80 USD). This balances out to just 36 cents per hour of labor.