‘Tohoku Zunko’ Artist Wants to Know How Fans Would Fix Anime

Masamune Sakaki is a CG artist who is known for working on smartphone games and the Tohoku Zunko vocaloid project. He’s also passionate about anime and asked his followers how they would fix some of the industry’s problems.

This is kind of a heavy topic, but could you share your ideas on how to improve the anime industry? More and more companies are filing for bankruptcy, and the people who work there are exhausted. I won’t tut at you for not being an insider; I want to hear ideas from regular people. Please feel free to talk to me. I’ll reply to your answers.


Sakaki’s Tweet received over 2,000 replies from various users. While some people questioned his credentials to pose such a question, he was happy to see the community’s reaction.

Here are some of the top suggestions that encapsulate most of the community’s feelings:

Stop making otaku pandering anime. Don’t do market research — just make what you think is good.


I’m a casual viewer. There’s too much anime every season. Sadly, I have to restrict myself to watching three anime per season. Even though we have the internet, I get the impression that there is too much TV anime. I think they should reduce the output to 2/3 of what we currently have. Also, this is true for any industry, but I think that there’s a lot of disposable content, and I would like that to change for the better.


Give the workers pay. Regulate their overtime hours so that people can take extended breaks. This isn’t just applicable to the anime industry.


In the midst of the suggestions were a lot of complaints and attacks towards the production committee. Sakaki took some time to address some misconceptions since he has experience working with the system:

The production committee isn’t an evil organization. They’re just a group that’s formed to hedge risk. They don’t crave an individual’s creative rights and try to steal it from them. They only want to maximize profits! The other stuff is unnecessary! They only invest the smallest amount they have to! It’s a group based on those sorts of compromises.


Sakaki also touched on just how small anime budgets really are. When talking to a fan about Zunda Horizon, he shared the typical budget for a 24-minute short anime:

Even nowadays, that’s the cost to make an anime of that length entirely within Japan. If you do it overseas, the market price is somewhere in the region between 18 million ($166,201) and 25 million ($230,834), but if you outsource to a subcontractor it costs 8 million ($73,867). It’s possible to make a three minute 2D anime for 3 million ($27,700), but everyone’s got their hands full these days, so you need connections to pull it off.


Do you agree with the community’s sentiments?

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