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One Fan’s Opinion: What if We Moved Gainax to America?

I imagine the impossible.

We all know that the anime industry in Japan isn’t doing so hot. Some starting animators make about ¥94,000 a month, which is about $1,031 dollars, but most make less than this. This is very, very hard to live off of here in the States, but in Japan where things cost a lot more it is almost impossible. However, in the states an animator can make about 35 to 60 thousand a year, which is a vast difference. So what would happen if an anime company, like Gainax for example, would pick up shop and move to the US? Now excuse me while I think out loud.

It is no secret that more and more Americans are starting to like anime, which means there is a market here for this kind of special animation. If Gainax were to bring their company over to America, they in theory should be able to capitalize on this untapped oil well. I’m not talking about only making television shows, but movies, commercials, museum kiosk animation, and other sellable properties an animation studio does on a weekly basis. Can you imagine how cool it would be to turn on your television and see a Gainax Mountain Dew commercial? If they were to make another amazing hit like Gurren Lagann or Eva, they would be able to pimp it out with commercials, air it on American and Japanese televisions a lot easier, and maybe even give it a prime time spot on popular American television stations as well.

With all this added profit the studio will be able to pay their animators more, until they can finally meet the pay-scale of US animators. Not much would change in Japan, since they can still export their series as if nothing has changed at all. But of course there are a lot of problems with this system as well.

For one, the whole foreign company working on US soil, employee visas, tax, and the like is sure to be a major speed bump to this plan. Perhaps this would work better if they combined forces with a company that was already established in the US, a small animation studio or something. Either way Japanese fans would get angry, and the animators themselves would be forced to move away from their homeland, which no one wants to do.

The current trend is just to export their labor to countries like Korea and the Philippines, where they can get away with paying their animators less money than Japanese animators. But if Japanese people want to continue animating, then this just might work. Now to be honest, I’m far from being a business man, and am vastly uneducated in the subject, but sometimes it takes an outsider thinking out loud to come up with a solution, or at least get people thinking outside the box. 
What do you think?
giaon June 1, 2010 at 10:34 a.m.
I actually just had a chat with Hiroyuki Yamaga, currently the acting president of Gainax, at Fanime Con-- interview should be up at ANN this week if anyone's interested --but he mentioned at the Gainax panel that no one in the studio office speaks any English, do I don't think they're likely to make that move any time soon :)
hitsusatsu11on June 1, 2010 at 11:38 a.m.
I would be very happy if Anno came to NA
Oneeyedjackson June 1, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.
I feel if things get any worse for animation companies in Japan they might be forced to do just that or at least something similar to what your talking about.
GodLen staff on June 1, 2010 at 1:26 p.m.
@gia: Well they better start learning soon! Or i'm sure if they had a few people who did speak english it should be ok. 
Beomooseon June 2, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.
I'd be happy if we could just get some more Gainaz shows over here. Really cheesed at Adult Swim short-shrifting us and the less said about Siffy the better.
Crusnic04on June 10, 2010 at 2:03 a.m.
Firstly, money talks and BS walks.  If they knew they could thrive here they would make the move, but as stated before, visas, citizenship and the whole being ostrasized from their home land may not be worth it to them.  It would be nice to get some really hot animation here in the states though.

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