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Make A Fist. Then Read This Card.
So I just learned about something cool today called Kobushi Shindan. Have any of you heard about it? Kobushi Shindan (literally, 'fist analysis' in Japanese) is an ancient samurai personality test. All you need to do to take it is make a fist! So make a fist, any fist, and find out what your personal fist form says about you! Fist #1: Your thumb rests on your index finger. People with this fist shape tend to be natural leaders. You like helping others and, likewise, appreciate being leaned on for support. However, despite a strong exterior, you have the tendency to be a bit insecure. In relationships, you are extremely devoted and expect that same kind of loyalty in return. You put others before yourself, and since you're not necessarily good at words, you put that love into compassionate action. Fist #2: Your thumb rests in the middle of your fist. You're a free-spirit with a wide range of talents and plenty of friends. However, you tend to be afraid to try new things because you fear failure. And despite the fact you have a wide group of friends, the amount of friends you consider close is considerably smaller. In love, that fear of failure makes it hard for you to begin romantic relationships, but because of your kind and sociable nature, you're a pretty attractable potential mate! Fist #3: You tuck your thumb underneath fingers. You're much more introverted than the other two personality types. You're a sensitive and private person, and while you don't have a huge social network, the few friends you do have are extremely close and loyal to you. You hate conflict and tend to internalize your feelings, but your compromising nature makes you very attentive in your romantic relationships, which tends to make them pretty long-term. So which fist did you guys get? Do you think Kobushi Shindan has got you all figured out, or are there some things you disagree with?
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...
Eiichiro Oda and Hajime Isayama Show Support After Kumamoto Earthquakes
If you missed the news lately, the Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan was recently hit with a series of earthquakes, the foreshock on April 14th and the mainshock on April 16th. The earthquakes reached a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale and have devastated the communities of the Prefecture and surrounding area, including as far away as the Ōita prefecture. 48 people have been confirmed dead, while thousands more have been hospitalized with injury. Over 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes as a result of the quakes. The image you see above is a message penned by Eiichiro Oda, the mangaka responsible for One Piece. Kumamoto is Oda's hometown and so he felt personally attached to plights of the people there. The official One Piece twitter tweeted that image of a hand-drawn Luffy and Kumamon, the official mascot of the prefecture. Here's what it says in English: There was a big earthquake in Kumamoto. (all of Kyushu) I was born in Kumamoto, it's my hometown. To those who were greatly affected by the damage, I hope you're doing well from the bottom of my heart. I was able to directly contact my family and friends, but they're all very scared. But they're doing their best. Everyone I got in touch with said things to put me at ease. They're so tough!! But there is a limit to how long people can steel themselves. Before that thread breaks, I want to calm them down somehow. It's crucial that adults don't worry their kids. Most of all, I want to make kids laugh! If they laugh, adults can do their best! It's still hard now for ordinary people to lend a hand, but I will definitely help with the relief effort. Stay strong, however you can!! Oda was not the only member of the One Piece team to speak up in support of the earthquake victims, however. The voice actors for the Straw Hat Pirates also lent their voices to support Kyushu. Ikue Ohtani (Chopper), Kazuya Nakai (Zoro), Akemi Okamura (Nami), Yuriko Yamaguchi (Robin), Kazuki Yao (Franky), Kappei Yamaguchi (Usopp), and Mayumi Tanaka (Luffy) each have promised to do their bests to help the victims in some way or at least encourage them to stay strong and happy. Each of them signed the board above as a gesture of support for the struggling civilians. The Strawhats weren't the only anime/manga stars to lend their voices to the effort, though. Hajime Isayama, the mangaka for Attack on Titan is also from close to the affected region: Hita in Ōita Prefecture. Isayama also contributed a drawing as support for the victims. It shows Eren, Mikasa and Armin with Kumamon and Mejiron, Ōita Prefecture's bird mascot. Isayama wrote on his blog accompanying the image: "When times have been tough for me, even under very harsh circumstances, I'm reminded of manga heroes who fight for their lives, and I remember that they toughed it out. I drew the illustration with those feelings." Though these artists can't do a whole lot in terms of helping on the ground level with the victims, they have chosen to lend their support in the best ways they have available to them; their art. It shows a passion for their homes and their people, and the will of the nation that rallies strongly around their own in times of crisis.