High budget/low budget animes question

Discussion in 'Anime' started by Raoul, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Raoul Photoshopped!

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    Just something that's been othering me for a while now.

    So, having a superior budget means superior animation, more detailed arts etc etc.
    Now, what I wonder is, what does it mean, in terms of production? What does it mean for a studio to have a big budget. In other words, where does the money go?

    From my understanding, an anime studio is a bunch of people sitting in a room drawing stuff. I mean, fixed costs are probably the same for everyone: computers, tables etc. So what difference does it make to have more money?
    Do the programs animators use differ in price that much? Or does making an anime with superior animation simply mean more frames to draw, thus animators working longer, thus having to pay them more? Or does it mean that those real pros who can make something look really good are more expensive to get working for you?

    Another thing I've been wondering comes directly from me watching some long running series (Bleach etc). Because they're so long, studios cheapen on some episodes and make one episode every once in a while look good. Now when "cheapening", I can understand there being a lot of still shots, and directing that uses tricks for the animation not to have to be so great. But see, there are some "cheap" episodes that not only have non-existing animation, but for which the arts are absolutely horrid. But that I mean characters being drawn off-model, being completely distorted etc.
    Cheapening on animation = drawing less frames. So what does cheapening on art mean? Hiring people that just can't draw? Looks like some studios really do that, judging from your average "long-running series" episode.

    ...I tried to make things as clear as possible XD. Hopefully you guys understand what I'm trying to say here.
  2. Haohmaru Moderator

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    Well first off animes aren't fully produced in house. There's a lot of outsourcing (chinese studio's, korean studio's etc). I'm no expert in this and I really don't know much about the process of making anime. I think you're better of asking this on another forum (animesuki perhaps). There are a lot of knowledgable people there. I'm sure you'll get your answer there.

    I think with high budget, you have to look at animators, directors, choreography, art directors, background artist. The works. With high budget episodes, usually well respected people in the industry are hired and I guess they cost more. This is just what I think though. Because I'm not that interested in this I haven't looked in on this. I'm more interested in great animation done by key animators.

    ---------- Post added at 06:14 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:05 PM ----------

    This site Making Anime: Positions in Anime Industry explains it pretty good in a simple way.
  3. Kraker2k Kraker2k

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    Hmm I think I get what you're saying.

    It depends on the kind of show being made, as you say Bleach is a long running show, from what I understand they have several production teams working on episodes at a time, seeing as they need so use the budget over so many areas they'll have a set of "cheaper" teams which are often smaller animation companies where the work is outsourced to. You often hear things about things being outsourced to Korea/Phillipines or whatever. The bigger/better teams are the local in-house ones.

    Though there's a lot that goes into anime production, it changes drastically for a shorter series, something that runs for 13-26 episodes will have a better budget plan and at times can provide a more consistent animation by using in house production teams rather than relying on outsourcing, though it does happen with shorter series as well. Even the outsourcing varies a lot, I can recall many times I've seen BONES, Production IG, Gonzo, Gainax appear in the credits for each other's shows and more, though its often attributed to a show hiring the animators from one of those companies to help out.

    There's also the greater cost of hiring older, professional more experienced animators compared to the cheaper younger ones.

    Quite a bit of the money has to go towards things like hiring and paying voice actors, the older ones cost almost double/triple to hire than the younger ones, that's why so many anime these days have up and coming teen VAs in them, they're that much cheaper than hiring a cast of Norio Wakamoto, Inoue Kikuko and Megumi Hayashibara etc.. Then there are the music deals to be made for the opening, endings, the composer doing the soundtrack and what not(Bigger budget = Better composers), then money has to go towards securing a good timeslot for airing the show, advertising deals then also have to be made for the show so merchandise can be sold - that's where much of the money that is brought back into a show comes from, from DVD and other items.

    Personally I think more money means you have a greater number of people that can work on a show, more key animators, more in-betweeners and so on. I've read that back in the 70s some cheap anime episodes used to be drawn in their entirety by 1-2 people sometimes.

    Even then, if you have a good set of directors and lead animators they can produce some fantastic pieces of work with a small budget. Take this list:

    [IMG]


    Take Gurren Lagann at 11m per episode, and then Gundam SEED Destiny at 35m, they had a bigger budget yet I've heard so much about reused animation in GSD. Or if you want a slightly better comparison take Eureka Seven(23m) that ran for almost the same number of episodes and also had a huge cast of characters, yet I'm sure we can agree that E7 had better animation.
  4. Moss Elementum

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    Nice list, thanks.

    When I looked at it first I though: "Why is Eureka 7 more expensive than TTGL and have more episodes?"
    The animation in Eureka 7 was topnotch in fightscenes but overall, TTGL looked better all the time.
    The Eureka 7 soundtrack was made with orchestra as did TTGL. TTGL also have that famous composer yet cheaper.

    1 173 000 000 JPY for Eureka in a whole.
    286 000 000 JPY for TTGL.
    That's almost a billion Yen difference?
    Billion yen = 10 million dollars

    And the movie Steamboy that put all focus on effects and details goes for twice the money as Eureka 7.

    I'd like to see how much money the new FMA:B-series cost.

    This chart really moved my view on anime.
  5. Tony King Dipshit

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    cowboy bebop only cost 20 mil yen?
  6. Kraker2k Kraker2k

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    ^Those numbers are Per episode.
  7. Haohmaru Moderator

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    Budget isn't everything. Some studio's just have way more talented people and strive for different standards. Besides back then BONES and Sunrise were still together. BONES low budget anime tend to look better then a lot of other studio high budget stuff.
  8. waqo Waqquli

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    Budget isn't everything, remember that if you provide the right kind of creative environment some people shall remain loyal to the same studio despite being offered more for other projects.

    And efficency counts as well, how well a studio can cut corners and maximise their resources plays a big part in how effective they are at producing high quality stuff at relatively lower cost.

    Look at the OP anime over there, there's a lot of fluctuation in the quality (being a looonnnnggg running series ofc) but it has a pretty high budget/episode. They just decide to focus more on certain events and arcs and not so much on others. Other studios may prefer more consistency and have fewer teams who are able to give the show a better, more continuous level of art and animation.
  9. eddieson The Legend

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  10. Digital Masta Fukuoka City Livin'

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    ^ That's funny because I believe it was CNN...maybe that did something on how the recension was hurting Japan and specifically animation. It went into how in between animators get paid shit. One guy lived in one room apartment with no air conditioner or shower...or running water I think.
  11. Haohmaru Moderator

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    You and me Eddie really think alike. I wanted to post this in here as well, but didn't feel like searching for this thread.
    Anyway, Music directors get good money. If you're a decent music director and you do a lot of shit in a year, you earn a lot of cash. I feel sorry for inbetweeners. So much work for nothing.
  12. eddieson The Legend

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  13. Technohype Sannensei

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    whats wrong with those spongebob episodes? its more expensive to produce a spongebob episode than a ghost in the shell episode???????? and ducktales owns almost every anime??? and also, well avatar was okay, but nothing except the last episode would justify that sum.

    this list is crazy. sure its no troll?

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