Anime industry, valued at $25 billion, faces criticism for underpaying animators, who often earn as little as $5/day, leading to concerns about working conditions and labor exploitation.
Despite the industry's financial success, issues like overwork-related suicides and legal consequences for companies like A1 Pictures highlight the dark side of anime production in Japan.
The harsh working conditions in the anime industry are rooted in cultural and historical factors, including the post-WWII economic downturn, long work hours, and a lack of effective labor unions.
Attempts at unionization, exemplified by JAniCA (Japan Animation Creators Association), faced challenges, and the industry's complex structure, including Production Committees and outsourcing, contributes to the ongoing issues.
Potential solutions involve increasing animators' pay, but resistance from production committees, the sheer number of animators, and industry norms pose significant obstacles to achieving fair compensation and improving working conditions.