The current popular anime shows, such as Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Attack on Titan, are widely recognized for their intricate and detailed animation. However, the people responsible for bringing these visually stunning shows to life are often overlooked. These anime are produced by Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association (MAPPA), a renowned Japanese anime company headquartered in Suginami, Tokyo.
MAPPA has gained significant recognition globally and is now regarded as one of the most esteemed animation studios by anime enthusiasts worldwide. Nevertheless, there have been allegations of dubious practices occurring behind the scenes.
MAPPA Studio Has Taken on the Task of Animating Some of the Most Highly Anticipated Anime Series as of 2023
MAPPA has gotten a reputation for mistreating its employees, with reports indicating that animators are facing excessive stress and have limited time to spend with their families. Even as they took over for the final season of the popular Attack on Titan anime series, the company was concurrently working on other projects, such as Jujutsu Kaisen and The Gymnastics Samurai.
But they did not stop there, despite the huge success of Jujutsu Kaisen 0, MAPPA Studio took on the challenge of creating Chainsaw Man as their next project and recently announced the release of the third season of One Punch Man in December of 2022. These reports, which were detailed by Know Your Meme, have led to concerns over the well-being of the company’s employees and its work culture.
Overworked and Underpaid Employees
According to Epic Dope, Mushiyo, an animator who worked on Attack on Titan, spoke out about the unfavorable work conditions in the company. He stated that animators are constantly revising their work, regardless of the day or time, which is causing them to feel restless. Mushiyo claims that this is not a new issue and that around 80% of workers have experienced similar circumstances. He even likened the workplace conditions to those who work in a factory.
Mushiyo also disclosed that MAPPA is ill-equipped to handle significant projects, resulting in a strenuous workload for its animators. Simultaneously working on multiple projects has resulted in a grueling schedule for them. Furthermore, Mushiyo also revealed that lower-ranking animators are trapped in a cycle of rectifying errors, indicating that MAPPA’s animators are stretched too thin.
This is not the first time that MAPPA’s labor practices have come under scrutiny. In 2021, CBR reported that full-time animators in Japan earn as little as $200 per month, which is considered to be a meager amount, even in Japan context.
Meanwhile, in this same year, 2021, MAPPA announced on Twitter that they were recruiting new employees. Many fans speculated that the announcement was made in response to a significant number of animators leaving the studio.
Attack on Titan Wiki recently posted a tweet that features a video of Yuchiro Hayashi, the director of Attack on Titan, working on the current episodes of the show. The video provides a glimpse into the creative process behind the highly acclaimed anime series.
A number of comments have expressed concern about the physical and mental health being of Yuchiro Hayashi in the video:
I’m getting very increasingly worried the more I see this guy, look at his eyes. Like.. has he managed to sleep or even see daylight so far?@KomuroLionhardt
That poor guy hadn’t taken breaks at all!@CrispyToastYT
Those bags are something serious they was not lying with these jokes about the animators never going home@CharlThe12
Memes for Awareness
Memes have spread widely across the internet following MAPPA’s takeover of the biggest anime series in history. Most of these memes revolve around the worry for the well-being of the company’s animators, as some are aware of the immense pressure and hard work that goes into delivering quality output to millions of viewers.
Other memes have taken a more humorous approach, with some depicting the animators as heroes or referencing popular culture to emphasize their dedication and hard work. While they are amusing, they also serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting and valuing the artists who work behind our favorite anime series.
Working for long hours and extended periods can have a detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of animators, leading to exhaustion, burnout, and a stressful work environment. This, in turn, can result in a number of problems, such as distorted graphics, hurried designs, and plot inconsistencies, which can negatively impact the quality of the final output.
Despite the amazing work produced by MAPPA, it is essential to acknowledge the toll it takes on the animators who create these masterpieces. The animation industry as a whole needs to take steps to address these issues of overwork and underpayment, ensuring that its employees are treated fairly and with respect. Animators are the driving force behind the industry, and they deserve a work environment that is conducive to creativity and well-being.