It’s getting harder and harder to survive as a seiyuu in Japan

In recent industry, more and more seiyuu become idols, and more people watch certain anime simply because their favorite seiyuu is involved in the project. The popularity of seiyuus is also increasing among younger generations, with many even appearing on popularity charts based on the opinion of elementary school children. However, the industry is not as friendly as it seems.

Only a handful of people manage to survive in an industry as demanding as voice acting. Therefore, the average Diamond online he met the director Takashi Otsukawho directed feature films of “one piece” and various installments of the “Pretty medicine“, about the operation of this industry.

«To become a seiyuu, it is necessary to attend a voice acting training school for at least two years, pass selection exams, then go through probationary periods, and finally join an agency. Although you are not limited to this, most members of the industry have gone through this same process.».

«Also, many seiyuus belong to the Japan Actors’ Union, a separate association from talent agencies. When directors and producers search for members of their voice actors, they use a “Prestige List” based on the views of the Japan Actors’ Union. Seiyuu salaries are calculated as follows: “Base Salary” multiplied by “Premium Release Fee” (It totally depends on the broadcast block of the anime, the bigger the community, the higher the pay), multiplied by “Format Rate” (project format)».

«The “Base Salary” is updated every year depending on the skills and career of each seiyuu. A) Yes, Rookies earn a minimum “Base Salary” of 15,000 yen ($115) per episode for the first three years of their active career. After that they can move up to a “Basic Salary” of 45,000 yen, and it takes a great career to get off the list. This means you don’t have a “Base Salary”, but you negotiate how much you want to earn».

«The “Premium Emission Rate” corresponds to the block in which the project will be broadcast, or to the duration on the screen if it is an animated film. Based on a 30-minute duration (x1.0), the rate increases proportionally to the length of the broadcast block, which is x1.5 for a 60-minute block, x1.9 for a 90-minute block, and x2.3 for a 120-minute block. . However, newbies do not have access to this rate».

«Finally, the “Format Rate” is determined by the purpose of the project for which it is being recorded. It is set at x1.8 for TV series and x2.5 for film projects. So let’s practice. Say voice actor from “Rang 15” (ie 15,000 yen) appears in a television series that is broadcast in 30-minute blocks and has a total of 48 episodes (“Emission Premium Rate” x1.0) and (“Format Rate” x1.8), it resulted in a total of 27,000 yen ($207) per episode».

«However, a friend of mine explained to me that the seiyuu will not get this money without losing a part. You have to deduct the commissions for the agency that represents you and other things, then that 27,000 yen will be reduced to less than 20,000 yen per episode. In other words, there are times when the salary of a seiyuu who recorded an episode for a year’s broadcast does not even reach a million yen (just over $7,600)».

«This paltry amount of money is obviously unsatisfactory depending on the seiyuu. It doesn’t matter if your work turns out to be excellent, your pay is already done in advance. According to research articles, the average annual income for seiyuu is 1.44 million yen for those in their 20s, and 2.04 million yen for those in their 30s. This is because the regular voice acting job is not a job that works regularly (8 hours a day, 5 days a week). Even if the seiyuu appears in every episode, he will have a low salary because he will work about 1 day a week for about 3 hours, which is how much it takes to record an episode».

«In that sense, it can be said that the salary of the seiyuus “justifies” the short period of time they work. However, in today’s anime industry the balance between demand (animation projects in which seiyuu participate) and supply (number of active seiyuus that meet certain requirements) is not balancedwhich leads to an overload of projects for artists, and reduces working hours and, of course, salary».

«The voice-acting industry is the same as live-action acting, and many members seem to do jobs behind the scenes even though they have nothing to do, such as performing at events, singing, among other things. Director Otsuka pointed out that low pay for voice actors is not the same as low pay for animators, since they are generated for different reasons. The main reason voice actors earn so little is because there are more and more voice actors and actresses working in the industry. But since anime projects are looking for the most talented and popular, the job offers benefit the old and not the new talent. The difference between veterans and rookies is getting bigger, like a mountain that is getting higher and more impossible to cross.».

font: Yahoo! news of japan

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