Posted by Danny Choo On Fri 2013/05/10 12:16 JST In Places to visit in Japan
205 517456 ja zh

Mitaka [三鷹] - an area located in the West of Tokyo which is home to Kichijoji, the Ghibli Museum and a load of anime studios.
92% of all Japanese anime production studios are located within Tokyo and a large % of that is located in West Tokyo in the Mitaka and immediate surrounding area along the Chuo-line.

42% of that are small studios with less than 10 employees and 10,000,000 yen of capital - many of them were started up by employees who previously worked at other animation studios.
Some of these studios specialise in just some of the processes involved in anime production like the animation between key frames or background coloring.

Many moons ago, anime studios used to hire animators full time but due to the costs of keeping them onboard and the fact that they could not afford to remunerate them based on their performance, most animators are now paid based on how much they can do (ie number of frames they can draw) - for this reason, freelance animators float between various studios based on when they are needed for work.

These days, full time staff at anime studios are usually comprised of managerial, Producers, Directors and general admin - hardly any animators are hired full time. While Production IG has many full time employees, only about 10% of the warm bodies in most anime studios are full time employees.

One of the reason why anime studios are concentrated in the same area is that they often loan thier staff to help each other out - this is the reason why when you see the credits of an anime which was produced by lets say Mad House, you may see "with help from Production IG."
Staff from each studio can easily get to another studio by hopping on the chuo line and be at another studio in less than 30 mins.

I've always loved anime since the Macross Super Dimension Fortress era and am fortunate to work in the anime field which is why I'm in Mitaka so often. Some of the people I work with there are JC Staff, Production IG, and Sato Dai (click on links to see photos and details of my work ^o^)

Mitaka is largely a residential district and if you want to catch a slice of life in Japan then you will enjoy a relaxing stroll around the area absorbing the sights and sounds of daily life.

To get to Mitaka just get off on the JR Chuo or Sobu lines at Mitaka station.

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