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Working in the Anime Industry: A Struggle
The Japanese Animation Creators Association just recently released the results of a survey taken in 2015 of over 750 different people working in the Anime industry in Japan. Coming from an American standpoint, where our entertainers are paid staggering amounts of money, you might think it would be similar for Anime creators, considering how popular the medium is. You'd be wrong. Here's a collected set of averages from Kotaku that shows the median salary for each different position in the creation of anime. Series Director Average Age: 42 years old Average Monthly Salary: 540,833 yen ($5,036) Average Yearly Salary: 6,490,000 yen ($60,437) Chief Animation Director Average Age: 43 years old Average Monthly Salary: 470,000 yen ($4,378) Average Yearly Salary: 5,640,000 yen ($52,521) Producer Average Age: 39 years old Average Monthly Salary: 451,667 yen ($4,206) Average Yearly Salary: 5,420,000 yen ($50,471) Character Designer Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 425,000 yen ($3,958) Average Yearly Salary: 5,100,000 yen ($47,491) Animation Director Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 327,500 yen ($3,045) Average Yearly Salary: 3,930,000 yen ($36,602) 3DCG Animator Average Age: 34 years old Average Monthly Salary: 320,000 yen ($2,980) Average Yearly Salary: 3,840,000 yen ($35,764) Episode Director Average Age: 41 years old Average Monthly Salary: 316,667 yen ($2,949) Average Yearly Salary: 3,800,000 yen ($35,391) Storyboarder Average Age: 49 years old Average Monthly Salary: 310,000 yen ($2,887) Average Yearly Salary: 3,720,000 yen ($34,647) Art Director (Background Art) Average Age: 35 years old Average Monthly Salary: 285,000 yen ($2,655) Average Yearly Salary: 3,420,000 yen ($31,864) Color Designer Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 278,333 yen ($2,593) Average Yearly Salary: 3,340,000 yen ($31,120) Cinematographer Average Age: 34 years old Average Monthly Salary: 265,833 yen ($2,476) Average Yearly Salary: 3,190,000 yen ($29,723) Production Assistant Average Age: 30 years old Average Monthly Salary: 257,000 yen ($2,394) Average Yearly Salary: 3,090,000 yen ($28,788) Key Animator Average Age: 36 years old Average Monthly Salary: 235,000 yen ($2,189) Average Yearly Salary: 2,820,000 yen ($26,271) Inbetween Checker Average Age: 35 years old Average Monthly Salary: 217,500 yen ($2,026) Average Yearly Salary: 2,610,000 yen ($24,314) Layout Artist/Rough Keyart Average Age: 38 years old Average Monthly Salary: 195,000 yen ($1,817) Average Yearly Salary: 2,340,000 yen ($21,800) Paint Staff Average Age: 26 years old Average Monthly Salary: 162,000 yen ($1,509) Average Yearly Salary: 1,950,000 yen ($18,167) 2nd Key Animation/Clean-Up Average Age: 27 years old Average Monthly Salary: 93,333 yen ($870) Average Yearly Salary: 1,120,000 yen ($10,434) Inbetween Staff Average Age: 24 years old Average Monthly Salary: 92,500 yen ($862) Average Yearly Salary: 1,110,000 yen ($10,340) The people at the top of the pyramid make the most; that's something we can understand universally. However, even at the highest salary, the numbers still pale in comparison to what series directors would be receiving here in the States. It only gets more depressing as you go down the list, where some of these positions mean that these employees are making less than minimum wage. Considering the amount of work and pressure these people are under, it's a little disheartening to see how little they earn for their efforts. So, maybe rethink your foray into the industry for now...
In-N-Out Comes To Australia; Sells Out Instantly
Thanks to the glory that is social media, 'foodie' culture has allowed for plenty of marketing potential in the restaurant industry. When we have a good meal (or, at least, an incredibly aesthetically pleasing one), we take a picture for Instagram, we check-in on Facebook, we leave a review on Yelp. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by Compete.com, 50% of adults aged 18 - 32 years said they become aware of particular foods and restaurants via social media. Which is why, when California fast food chain In-N-Out Burger made its way to Australia this week, the results were unlike anything you would've expected in a pre-Facebook generation. Because of their viral success, In-N-Out is able to open 'pop up' shops all around the world, allowing local food porn enthusiasts just four hours to be able to try their famous burgers for themselves. Because of the limited time and the increasing concept of 'FOMO', the lines are understandably huge, and Sydney, Australia's case was no different. (Aussie food blogger Rebecca Sullivan called it "herd mentality in its most embarrassing form." I call it, "How dare you underestimate the majesty of a dope-ass hamburger!") Unfortunately, the In-N-Out pop-up only had enough ingredients to make 300 or so burgers, so employees gave out wristbands to the first 300 people in line, and then sent everyone else on their way. (Will this make them rue the day they met In-N-Out? Will this only make them try harder next time? Who knows.) But, as a Californian, this whole event had me thinking: Have you had In-N-Out before? Do you want to try In-N-Out? If you don't live near one, and an In-N-Out pop-up came to your neighborhood, would you try to go? Let me know in the comments below what YOU think, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection.
UK Residents Are Mailing Each Other Potatoes.
Lately, one England-based start-up has made it a mission to revolutionize the way the UK communicates via 'snail mail'. Named 'Potato In The Post', the service will ship a potato to the recipient of your choosing - complete with a customized, handwritten message. Since the business began three months ago, owner Adrian Nantchev has made roughly ยฃ12,000 (approximately $18,031.74 USD), a rate that has only been picking up now that the holiday season is in full swing and more and more people find out about it. Nantchev was inspired to start the business after discovering similar US-based businesses on the Internet, namely 'Potato Parcel' and 'Name-A-Spud': "I thought, why not try to make a go of it in the UK? People must be bored of receiving cards in the post all the time - a potato is a lot more exciting." With a price range of ยฃ4.49 - 5.99 a spud (~$7 - 9 USD), customers can have anything they want written down, so long as it remains under 40 characters. The official website suggests anything from 'A Potato. How Cool?' to full-on marriage proposals "for maximum emotional impact". (Because, you know, nothing makes me more emotional than a firm Yukon Gold.) So, I guess the moral of the story here is that flowers are fine, cards are okay, but nothing makes a longer-lasting impression than mailing your friend a root vegetable with some stranger's handwriting all over it. Would YOU send someone a Potato in the Post, or is it just another huge waste of money? Who would you want to send one to, and why? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection!
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
So, I just read a staggering statistic that I think the rest of you would be equally WTF?! over. According to a study sponsored by the World Economic Forum, humans will be losing an approximate 5.1 million jobs to robots within the next five years. The study examined 15 different economies across the world, who combined make about 65% of the international workforce. Due to the upward trend of technology and service-oriented robotics, about 7 million jobs will be lost. However, 2 million will be gained due to the progress of technology in these different nations. As of right now, robots and machinery have begun taking over more general jobs, like cashiers. However, as they become more and more widespread, the World Economic Forum believes that these robots will become smarter and more specialized. "As entire industries adjust, most occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to do them." A Business Insider report backed up study, adding that the jobs they believe are most at risk are ones involving data entry or more clerical-style operations, including pharmacists, lawyers and paralegals, drivers, astronauts, store clerks, soldiers, babysitters, rescuers, and sportswriters. (The idea of astronauts being replaced by robots is seriously depressing to me. Space travel is so exciting because humans are doing it!) CNN also cited a Bank of America sponsored study that added more jobs to the list: bakers, butchers, tour guides, tax collectors, telemarketers, insurance sales agents, retail salespeople, clerks, accountants, and pharmacy technicians. It also added that the manufacturing industry will see a huge boom in robot workforce, increasing 35% by 2025. "To prevent a worst-case scenario โ€“ technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality โ€“ reskilling and upskilling of today's workers will be critical. It is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation's workforce to become better prepared." The good news is that there are still plenty of jobs that are pretty unlikely to be replaced by robots any time soon. Anything involving the arts, empathy, or intuition - such as social work, teaching, or police work - require a type of human interaction that robots just can't replicate. (So next time you're teased about your 'worthless' liberal arts degree, feel free to let them know about the impending robot revolution.) So what do you guys think? Are robots really going to be taking over so much so quickly? Do you think the government should have any say over how much robotics is used? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow the WTF Street Journal collection.