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17% Of Those Working In Anime Production Suffer From Depression, New Health Survey Reveals

68% (291 respondents) felt mentally fatigued, and 66% (285 respondents) felt physically fatigued.

Shirobako, © SHIROBAKO Production Committee

According to the first health survey undertaken by the Japan Association of Animators and Directors, 17% of people involved in anime production have or may have suffered from depression or other mental ailments as a result of overloaded work schedules.

This survey was conducted in 2022 and has garnered responses from 429 people, a mix of freelancers and full-time employees from various production houses.

According to the results, 17% (73 respondents) have stated that they are suffering from depression or other mental illnesses. 68% (291 respondents) felt mentally fatigued, and 66% (285 respondents) felt physically fatigued.

For example, a female animator in Tokyo (name undisclosed) says that sometimes she only gets home for half an hour a week because she stays overnight at her workplace to meet weekly deadlines.

She further adds that there is no room to nap in the office, so she has to work while sleeping, either in her own chair or in a sleeping bag.

“I continue to work as an animator because I find it rewarding, but I have seen a number of people suffering from mental illness up close. I would like the authorities to think about the treatment of  animators”, the female animator exclaims.

Yasuhiro Irie, representative of the Japan Association of Animators and Directors, said: “We conducted our first health survey because we thought there was a high possibility that health problems were occurring because working hours become longer when deadlines approach. We accept that the number of depression cases is high, so we hope that various people will look at the results of this survey and use them to help improve the industry.”

Source: NHK News