In recent years anime has been growing in popularity. You’d think they’d make a fortune from a manga becoming a anime or a movie, but that’s not always true. In the last few weeks a tweet mentioning the compensation for mangakas (manga writers) has become viral.
In 2013, Gintama The Movie: The Final Chapter was the 8th highest grossing anime film in Japan for that year. Hideaki Sorachi, commented on how much he made for the film in the 51st volume of Gintama. The movie grossed roughly 16.6 mill US currency.
I have a question. A while ago, my mom heard that the Gintama animation film was a big hit, and commented that “(Hideaki Sorachi) must be living at [luxury highrise] Roppongi Hills since it’s so popular”. Is that true?
To tell the naked truth, regardless of how many people watch the film or how much the gross earnings are, not a single yen goes to the author. We are only paid an upfront license fee. The amount we’re paid is peanuts in comparison to the overall box office gross. The majority of the profits go to filthy unscrupulous companies such as Shueisha and Sunrise. Releasing individual manga volumes is way more profitable.
But the reason why I slog to fulfill these film adaptations, to the extent that I’m peeing blood, is because there is a place in this world that is more wonderful than a mansion at Roppongi Hills. And that place, ma’am, is in your heart.
If Gintama can reach the hearts of the masses, I wouldn’t mind living in a hill made of cardboard. The authors are the only ones who harbour such honest intentions with their creations.
So ma’am, if you’re feeling sorry for us, don’t just watch the movies, but also buy our books so that we can live at Roppongi Hills with the publishing royalties.
Which only goes to show that the way most manga authors make a living is through the amount of sales their manga has. Not whether they get an anime adaptation or not, though that does help.