The problem, she said, was the workload: âThis year, Science Saru took Inu-Oh (a feature film), two productions in one season, as well as Star Wars: Visions – I don’t think that’s a manageable number of productions. Its core staff number 40 to 50, and although they liaise with many freelancers, the burden on the core team was heavier than it should have been. “
The pressure gave rise to “horror stories,” Chung said, adding that “a studio shouldn’t have its daughters in their twenties crying in the bathroom, having sleepless nights.” . These conditions finally convinced her and several colleagues to leave.
Chung makes it clear that there are worse offenders than Science Saru. She links her woes to the systemic problems of Japanese industry, where the wages received by studios and their staff remain chronically low. With the growing demand for anime, especially from large corporations, she believes there is an opportunity for studios to collectively bargain for more money and better hours from financiers.
His comments join a growing chorus of criticism of the pay and employment conditions in the anime. Earlier this month, a host accused Studio Mappa of paying its artists the lowest on a Netflix production; Mappa then defended himself in a statement.
Science Saru was founded in 2013 by director Masaaki Yuasa and producer Eunyoung Choi, now CEO. Yuasa stepped down as president in 2020, saying he had worked continuously for seven years and would now be resting.
Image above: “Keep your hands away from Eizouken!” “