Add up all the anime shows airing this season, including continuing series and shorts, and you get pretty close to that number: a number so high it caused one animator to go on a tweeting spree about how there simply aren’t enough animators to do the job.
That animator is Mai Matsuura, who, aside from working as a key animator on dozens of series, was a chief animation director on Food Wars! and character designer on King of Prism.
Matsuura broke down the numbers, writing that to do even 40 shows, which have about 300 shots per episode, totals 12,000 shots. If you ask each key framer to do 30 shots, that means you need 400 animators. That doesn’t include openings, endings or theatrical films, much less getting a head start on next season, she added in another tweet.
The animator continued by saying she’d like to see those in charge reconsider the number of series being made, considering the huge gap now between what’s being planned and the actual manpower available. She offered one potential solution: for more studios to hire their own dedicated animation staff rather than relying on freelancers.
That’s a practice followed by some of the industry’s most respected studios, including folks like Kyoto Animation, and one that professionals from across the industry have been calling on more studios to take up.
Otherwise, warns Matsuura, some series may simply crash and burn.