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Is 20,000 a year enough to live on? 2008/9/15 04:44
I want to become an animator in japan and i read they only make about $20,000 a year. Is that really enough to live on for life? are prices in japan less than in america? Ex: gas or food
by Eric  

depends 2008/9/15 10:18
Depends on where you live and what quality of life you expect.

If you live in a convenient place (in a city, near a station), you will be hurting.

The cost of living is generally higher in Japan than in the US. Gas and food especially, but appliances are also really expensive.

If you don't have a family and don't mind spending your life commuting to work from your tiny apartment and eating 100 yen store food every day, you could get by. Doesn't leave much money for anything else though.
by al rate this post as useful

How do they live?! 2008/9/15 10:48
If thats true, than how could there be so many animators? Does any one of any other jobs in anime that require art skills, but pay better?
by Eric rate this post as useful

$$$$ 2008/9/15 13:12
What make you think that jobs in anime are well paid? there is a huge pool of talented local kids who are crazy about anime and are willing to be paid peanuts just to work at their dream. All sort of artists around the world (singers,dancers, actors, painters etc.) are very poor and live on welfare. Anyway, besides doing anime, these kids work at 7-11 or other part time jobs, live in a tiny room etc. By the way in Japan as in Europe a car is not necessary as transit is superb (besides expensive gas, parking is a killer--you must have a permanent parking spot nearby your home before you can buy a car-- so not too many young people can afford a car anyway)
by Monkey see rate this post as useful

Ouch 2008/9/15 13:19
Wow... Thats devastating. What about Voice actors or manga-ka? just curious
by Eric rate this post as useful

low income 2008/9/15 14:46
People on low incomes often live with their families well into their 30s or older in Japan, even if they get married.
by Sira rate this post as useful

. 2008/9/15 15:14
Eric, its like in the USA.

There are soooo many people who want to become famous actors etc. Most actors don't make much money, they go from show to show, or agency to agency looking for work in small parts.

Few become mega superstars that make all the money.

Just like animators. There are many who want to do it, and who do it, but few go on to become mega stars that make all the big bucks.
by John rate this post as useful

mangaka 2008/9/15 18:02
the other day i saw a documentary about how its hard to be an famous mangaka and how little they get paid... if you like drawing, i reccomend you should keep it as your hobby.
by jay rate this post as useful

on the other hand... 2008/9/15 20:12
On the other hand, you shouldn't give up your dream. If it means working elsewhere while you spend every moment not working/sleeping working on your drawing/animating it may be worth it.

Making a lot of money is great. But so is making less but loving your job so much you don't mind putting in tons of hours for little short term reward.
by al rate this post as useful

dont want to be famous 2008/9/16 07:15
i dont really care if im known or anything like that. i would just like to do what i love. i still have one more question. right now i live in america and plan on moving to japan. but before i do that i was planning on going to a four year university and then art school. Would i just be able to go to japan and submit my resume to someone or would i have to do additional school in japan? how does that work out?
by Eric rate this post as useful

Qualifications etc 2008/9/16 08:40

Would i just be able to go to japan and submit my resume to someone or would i have to do additional school in japan? how does that work out?

I don't think manga or anime companies are particularly concerned about paper qualifications, so long as you have talent and commitment. The problem you would face as a non-Japanese is that your sponsor has to guarantee a monthly salary of 250,000 yen for you to obtain a working visa. Not only is no company likely to pay a newcomer that much, but they are unlikely to want the hassle of dealing with all the extra paperwork required for sponsoring a foreigner.
I would strongly recommend going to university and getting a good education. Without a degree, you can basically forget about coming to Japan - except as a tourist.
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

sorry 2008/9/16 10:13
I'm sorry for all of the questions but what is a working visa and sponsoring. I don't know much about working internationally
by Eric rate this post as useful

Visa basics 2008/9/16 10:37

A working visa is a visa that allows you to work legally in Japan. The immigration requirements for most working visa categories are that you have a university degree and that your sponsoring employer guarantees to pay you a minimum salary of 250,000 yen (this figure may have changed) per month.
"Sponsor" refers to your employer, who has to complete al the paperwork to help you get your working visa.

If you were not even aware of the need for a working visa, you need to start by reading the basics all laid on this site...
by Dave in Saitama rate this post as useful

thanks 2008/9/16 11:59
Thank you for explaining that. The link is very useful.
by Eric rate this post as useful

s 2008/9/16 15:32
And you'd have to speak pretty damn good Japanese to be a voice actor!!
by f rate this post as useful

male voice actors 2008/9/17 13:14
male voice actors are not in demand. if you're female you can get a job if your voice is good or if you have a wide tonal range/vocal ability. a friend of mine does voice acting and idol type singing and it's not too hard for her to get part time work. full time is pretty much out of the question.

20,000$ a year is not enough to live in tokyo. your apartment will be tiny even by japanese standards and very old. you won't be able to eat out at restaurants, etc..

20,000$ will let you live decently out in the sticks like iwate or aomori, but even then your apartment will be just barely average. you won't be starving though.

do you think you're still going to want to be a mangaka when you're 40? it's a nice young persons dream but something more realistic is probably a better idea. how about architectural drawing for example. that job will pay well just about anywhere in the world.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

making a living 2008/9/17 16:04
Actually architectural draftsmen used to get decent wages long time ago, thought it was only one aspect of a job. An architect would make basic sketches from a client wish list about a home then the architectural draftsman would translate the architect squiggles (like wavy lines, circles and squares)into an actual layout then into blueprints. He would also make an artistic drawing, in colours sometimes, showing how the house would actually look like once finished. All this was done by hand. This was my first job --in the mid-1960s--It also included costing every single item needed in the construction of that house, starting by clearing the lot, digging the soil where foundations would go etc. all the way to costing the amount of paint and wallpaper needed, the number of plugs and switches, door handles..etc.etc. Then 2 things happened: 1-computer programs (CAD)that made drawing plans much much faster thus eliminating many draftsmen(the problem with drawing by hand was that every one of hundreds of lines in a house/ building layout had to very painstakingly inked with a special pen and ink on transparent paper, mistakes being carefully erased with a sharp blade without cutting the paper. Then the transparent paper had to be copied on a more solid paper -the actual blueprint--using ultraviolet light and a strong solution of ammonia). And of course few clients would OK the first sets of drawings! more like the 5th or 10th version!.
2-Out of the many graduates architects,only a tiny minority could get a job as a full fledged architect. Most did the job previously done by draftsmen. Even these "junior" architects don't make a great living nowadays. What is even worse is that nowadays in many countries white collar jobs are short term contracts only. My grandfather was a cabinet maker, making custom made real wood furniture for clients and also custom made wood molds used in the design of airplane motors aircraft factory. He never understood how creative his job was and refused to tech my siblings and I. Ironically nowadays anyone with his skills would make a very good living indeed.
by Red frog rate this post as useful

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