Buckle up, because we're about to dive into the world of anime production. Recently, an article in the Weekly Toyo Keizai created quite a stir by breaking down the costs involved in producing a single episode of a TV anime series. And let me tell you, it's mind-blowing! Brace yourself for some jaw-dropping figures, my friend!

So, get this: producing one episode of anime, which lasts around 30 minutes (including commercials), racks up costs of approximately 31.2 million yen (that's over 224,000 dollars) per episode. Can you believe it? For a twelve-episode anime series, the costs add up to over 374 million yen (that's more than 2.69 million dollars). It's an eye-opening revelation, right?

But hold on a second! This isn't the first time we've seen such exorbitant numbers in the anime industry. Remember when Jashin-chan Dropkick (Dropkick On My Devil!) announced their unlimited crowdfunding campaign? They stated that for every 30 million yen raised, they would secure the production of a new original video animation (OVA). That's another source confirming the hefty price tag for producing a single episode of anime.

Now, let's take a peek at the breakdown revealed by the Weekly Toyo Keizai. Keep in mind that these numbers are enough to make anyone's head spin:

  • Commission for Original Work: 200,000 yen.
  • Adjustments: 2,400,000 yen.
  • Script: 250,000 yen.
  • Storyboards: 250,000 yen.
  • Production Costs: 1,800,000 yen.
  • Direction: 3,000,000 yen.
  • Animation Direction: 3,000,000 yen.
  • Production Process: 1,500,000 yen.
  • Frame Rate Fee (including layouts): 6,000,000 yen.
  • Animation Fee: 1,200,000 yen.
  • Background and Set Design: 2,000,000 yen.
  • CG Animation Costs (including 3D layouts): 2,000,000 yen.
  • Coloring Fee: 900,000 yen.
  • Photography: 1,000,000 yen.
  • Editing (including video editing fee): 400,000 yen.
  • Production Materials: 300,000 yen.
  • Audio Editing: 2,000,000 yen.
  • Administrative Expenses: 3,000,000 yen.

Drumroll, please! The grand total for producing a single episode comes to a whopping 31,200,000 yen. Can you believe it? The numbers are staggering!


Forum comments

Naturally, this revelation ignited a frenzy in the comments sections of forums everywhere. Let's take a sneak peek at what people had to say:

  • "Oh no! No wonder creating original works isn't profitable."
  • "As always, it's an abusive working environment."
  • "Animation directors earn way too much, in my opinion."
  • "I don't get how the anime industry works. Doesn't the director handle everything? Why do they need an animation director?"
  • "An animation director earns 3 million yen? Incredible! Well, that's if there's only one director per episode, but I doubt any series would have just one."
  • "I thought authors earned a ten percent commission for using their work, but it seems it's only 200,000 yen."
  • "As the author of Gintama said, neither anime series nor movies bring in profits for authors."
  • "Now I understand why production committees are necessary. A studio can't afford to spend that amount of money on their own."

Phew! The reactions were certainly mixed, reflecting the complexity of the situation. It's no secret that the anime industry has faced numerous challenges, including tight production schedules, low wages for animators, and the pressure to deliver high-quality content. These costs shed light on the immense financial burden placed on studios and production committees to create each episode.

This breakdown also sparked discussions about the working conditions within the industry. Some comments expressed concern over the disparity in pay between animation directors and other roles, while others criticized the overall working environment as "abusive" These issues have been ongoing topics of debate and have prompted calls for improved working conditions and fair compensation for animators and other staff members.


Despite the challenges, the anime industry continues to thrive and captivate audiences worldwide with its unique story and stunning visuals. The passion and dedication of those involved in its production cannot be understated. So, let's keep supporting our favorite anime series and appreciate the tremendous effort that goes into bringing them to life.

The article also highlighted how some revenue streams, such as merchandise sales and overseas licensing, help offset these costs to some extent. However, it's worth noting that not all anime series are guaranteed to be profitable, and many rely on other sources of income beyond the initial broadcast.

That wraps up this shocking revelation about the costs of producing an anime episode. Isn't it fascinating to peek behind the scenes and see the numbers involved? Let me know your thoughts on this eye-opening breakdown in the comments below.

Source: Yaraon!

About the Author

Sweety Otaku

One of the best parts of watching anime is how many times a show can surprise you. Sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. But if the Otaku know one thing, it's that anything is possible.

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