While the anime industry is excelling when it comes to the ever-increasing popularity of some of its biggest television series and feature-length films, the medium still has its work cut out for it when it comes to some of the behind-the-scenes treatment of some of the creative minds working on said properties. In a recent interview, voice actor Atsuko Enomoto, who might be best known for her work on the likes of Pokemon, Gintama, and .Hack, spilled the beans on the low pay and tough schedules that she saw as someone working behind the scenes.
The interview, which took place on Twitter during a “Space” chat, saw Enomoto talking alongside voice actor Akemi Kanda and the former mangaka who is now a politician in Ken Akamatsu, who has viewed to use his office to attempt to change censorship laws when it comes to the anime industry. Atsuko dove into the conversation by discussing the current pay rates for voice actors, making mention of the fact that only established actors had enough power to demand better pay:
“The fees for animation work are too low. We can raise prices, but the reality is that there is dumping going on. Most companies cannot raise prices. Only those who have been performing for a long time and are confident can afford it,”
Atsuko then expanded upon the idea of voice actors being unable to ask for better pay rates as a result of the low budgets that many anime studios were facing when it came to producing television series and movies:
“We have been asking for an improvement in the working environment, but we know that there is no money for production, so we have been saying for a long time that there might not be any improvement, and we have been wondering what to do,”
Enomoto also discussed her status as an “irregular performer”, which gives her leeway to talk about the situations of some voice actors in the medium of anime:
“If you are in an office, it is hard to say anything because people think it is the opinion of the office. I’m not a regular performer, so I can say things like this, and I’m confident that even if I do, they will use me, so I say them,”