The news magazine “Tokyo Keizai” recently published an article on the effects of the current corona pandemic on the Japanese anime industry. In a conversation with an insider, it quickly became apparent that the crisis had significantly exacerbated the existing problems of the anime industry.
According to the insider, many anime studios are clumsy with financial figures. As a result, many managers cannot correctly interpret the balance sheet or follow the flow of money.
They just care about living from paycheck to paycheck. So when they run out of money, they devote themselves to a new project to get the prepayment despite the lack of capacity. For this reason, there are always production difficulties. The root of all problems lies in the manager’s lack of skills. “
No anime studio bankrupt yet:
Till now, no anime studios have had to file for bankruptcy due to the corona crisis. But the insider makes it clear that this is only a matter of time. Around 40 percent of companies are currently in the red. It is also reported that anime studios are currently working on projects that were actually planned two to three years ago. Since the production committees are currently struggling with severe loss of income because various anime events and cinemas had to be canceled or closed due to the corona, there are plans to finance fewer anime projects in the future.
There is a lack of team building and training programs:
In addition to the problems mentioned, the article also addresses the topic of team building and training programs. According to the insider, a production team should not be guided by the successes of previous projects, as these are not tangible. A positive example of this is Makoto Shinkai, who invested years in building a team and creating a work culture that enabled him to create a hit anime. Therefore stable training programs are a sensible investment for the future.
Nevertheless, the insider emphasizes that such measures are only possible to a limited extent, as the financial means are often lacking. In addition, such investments can lead to studios that are already financially troubled to realize poor quality projects. This means that the goal of producing a successful anime is a long way off and the production committees will not invest again. Add to this the steadily aging workforce in the anime industry. In order to be able to set up high-quality anime projects in the future, broad-based training programs for young professionals are urgently needed.
There are also good sides:
In spite of all this, the insider can also find good things about the anime industry. But I think the anime industry is a good one. There is a strong sense of cohesion to achieve a goal. Online streaming Services like Kissanime and other platforms receiving good responses from visitors. I think this is the biggest difference from other companies. The anime industry is characterized by deadlines and poor pay. But the people you work with and the kind of satisfaction you get from them are humanly important. This is something that the coronavirus situation made clear to me again ”.