Ever wonder how much does one episode of Anime cost to make, then we have you covered as our team has done the research to find the answer and we used My Hero Academia as a prime example for our findings.
The price may shock you, but it shouldn’t. A lot of talent goes into animation!
A study conducted by the Media Development Research Institute Inc in 2018 reported that a single My Hero Academia 30 minute anime episode costs 12,000,000 yen, which exchanged to $108,480.00 USD.
How Much Does One Episode Of Anime Cost To Make
The report also broke down where all that money goes. Costs are set for current exchange rates:
- Original work – 50,000 yen ($467)
- Script – 200,000 yen ($1,870)
- Episode Direction – 500,000 yen ($4,675)
- Production – 2 million yen ($18,700)
- Key Animation Supervision – 250,000 yen ($2,337)
- Key Animation – 1.5 million yen ($14,025)
- In-betweening – 1.1 million yen ($10,285)
- Finishing – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
- Art (backgrounds) – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
- Photography – 700,000 yen ($6,545)
- Sound – 1.2 million yen ($11,220)
- Materials – 400,000 yen ($3,740)
- Editing – 200,000 yen ($1,870)
- Printing – 500,000 yen ($4,675)
That’s a lotta cash. But that’s just one episode! Let’s multiply that by an entire season…
My Hero Academia debuted in 2016 with 13 episodes, which means they could reasonably have dropped 164,000,000 yen for season one. That’s $1,482,560.00 USD for one season.
Now let’s stop and think about how much anime Japan produces every year. Wikipedia say 157 shows debuted in 2017. That doesn’t include ongoing shows – just the new ones!
No wonder the industry is worth nearly $18 billion USD annually. Anime is one of Japan’s top exports, so yeah, I’m sure they’re pretty comfortable spending good money on it!
While these production costs still seem pretty incredible, they don’t come anywhere near the costs of other animated shows. Take the Simpsons for example. A single episode of the Simpsons costs about $2 million USD (much of that going to the voice actors who’ve been keeping the show alive for nearly 30 years). Other American shows have similar costs, with many coming in around $1 million per episode.
Why such a discrepancy between countries?
Turns out, part of the difference comes from Japan’s reputation of paying animators very low wages compared to other countries.
Demand for anime has exploded and production costs have risen, but studios haven’t increased salaries. Many studios have closed because they can’t find animators. Some predict animators could start leaving Japan for foreign animation studios.
Are you surprised by these numbers? Let me know in the comments