Tokyo studio Mappa has issued a statement in response to recent criticism, stating that it has never paid unfairly low wages.
Earlier this month, animator Ippei Ichii claimed on Twitter that Mappa were paying artists as little as 3,800 (USD$34) per cut — a rock-bottom rate for tv anime — on a production for Netflix. Ichii, who served as an animation director on Mappa’s Zombie Land Saga Revenge, blamed the streaming giant for ordering shows on such low budgets. His comments prompted commentary on social media about working conditions at Mappa and in the anime industry in general.
According to Mappa, the online discourse has distorted facts about its practices, though the studio did not deny the low rates that Ichii mentioned in his tweets. The studio, which does not mention Ichii by name, notes that the show in question was not ordered by a major platform: it is a new, as-yet-unannounced work in a tv series produced and planned by Mappa, then sold for distribution to the platform. The sale price determined the budget. The studio says its pay to “creators” (i.e. artists working across animation production) is always fairly determined in relation to the budget.