All About Japan

Who Makes the Most Money in Anime?

Anime Video Otaku

Sometimes we take for granted who is producing our different forms of entertainment. It can be easy to forget that people need to make a living from creating the shows we love. Thanks to the anime Shirobako, which follows the story of five friends who join different parts of the anime industry, we have a list of who is working behind the scenes as well as a general idea of how much they make. This list was updated recently to account for the exchange rate and other additional info since the initial release and thankfully, the YouTube channel Tokyosaurus gives us all this information in a handy video format!

According the list, animators are pretty much on the bottom rung of the salary ladder, with overseas animators (specifically those in the Philippines) making the least amount of money annually (US$8,500) and Japanese animators making not that much more at $10,000 a year.

People who do part-time work in the industry manage to scrounge together about $20,000 a year. This is likely due to their ability to pick up extra work along the way. This number, along with a few others, was pieced together thanks to some public tax records.

Ranging from $21,000 to $24,000 a year, production assistants, computer graphic animators and episode directors are the next highest. You will notice that none of these salaries are compelling reasons to jump into the anime industry.

A series director can rake in about $47,000 a year, while an executive producer who is often in charge of the overall vision of a show can take in $71,000. But not surprisingly, the job that holds the number one money-making spot in the anime industry is top-ranked voice actors, who can earn $666,000 a year.

This doesn’t mean that North American voice actors make around the same amount of money, as the anime industry in Japan generally provides a lot more ways to voice your character, like drama CDs, where voice actors essentially perform and record radio plays.

Japanese anime might be a tough industry to break into, but if you can make it to the top, your efforts may be well rewarded... we are talking mucho dinero, so keep practicing your epic voice-overs.

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