In the entertainment industry, royalties are the lifeblood for creators. Authors like George R.R. Martin and J.K. Rowling receive a ton of money for every book they sell. The two even receive a ton of money for the live-action adaptations of their books. The same should also be true for the manga and anime industries, as studios, as well as some mangaka and authors receive money through the royalties from the people who buy their work. However, it seems that not everyone in Japan is getting money from royalties, and it includes The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. mangaka, Shuuichi Asou.
In his Twitter page, the mangaka claimed that he hasn’t received any money yet for The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.’s various adaptations. He claimed that he hasn’t even received a single yen from them, and that includes the TV anime and the live-action movie.
The mangaka admitted that he has no involvement in the anime whatsoever, as well as the making of merchandise. But he did say that he is very thankful that his work received the anime adaptation. Sadly, he deleted several of these tweets already.
Several people then told him that he can file a claim to receive compensation. To this, he replied that it would be troublesome for him as a creator, and it would just leave the studios saying that all he ever thinks about is money. And if you think about it, many anime studios are already suffering financially and are at a loss, even if the anime industry itself is booming.
Japan has a history of being unprofitable for most creators. Sure, their works do get an anime and often get global attention, but most of the time, they barely make any money from it. While some mangaka like Asou himself receive money from the sales of the manga copies themselves (and a lot of money at that), having an anime adaptation doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get more money. He does admit he gets some character goods if he asks for them though.
The anime industry itself isn’t necessarily struggling, as it is getting more and more investors outside of Japan, such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon, and of course, Netflix, which has been injecting the industry with a ton of money lately. But it seems that the industry itself needs to change in order for struggling creators to make enough money for themselves. Sure, the studios are making more money, but would it hurt if they would increase the pay of their animators a little, as well as actually pay the creators of the works they adapt?
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