A recent press conference held on May 19, 2023, headed by Masuo Ueda, unveiled a new initiative called Nippon Anime Film Culture Association (NAFCA) launched to improve the working conditions of the anime industry.
The association’s founding directors are Masaru Kitao (animator), Naomichi Yamato (director), Shunsuke Sakino (voice actor), and Yuko Kaida (voice actor), with Masuo Ueda acting as the Representative Director.
Yoshihiko Umakoshi is in charge of original character designs for the association. The characters are named Hokuto Mochizuki and Kagemaru.
The main reason behind the launching of NAFCA was that even though it’s been a 100 years since the establishment of the anime industry, the production field was far from being an ideal dream factory. It is a field that pushes the physical and mental limits to the extremes, and is only carried on by the passion of the creators.
According to NAFCA statement, “the industry is on the verge of collapse, with exhaustion permeating the work environment.”
“Will Japanese anime continue to remain a place where one must be prepared for poverty to dive into? Will the industry continue to rely on overseas talent to compensate for the depletion of domestic resources? As working styles undergo global changes and scrutiny intensifies on employment inequality, will this situation be left unaddressed until government intervention occurs?,” they added.
NAFCA not only aims to improve working conditions, but also aims to create a mutual understanding between the management and the production. So both the sides come together to bring their knowledge to the table and also address challenges and strive for the greater achievements.
One of the main projects at start of its establishment would be Human Resource Management and Animator Skills Test.
According to NAFCA, the anime industry is facing difficulties in passing down skills due to the increase in productions. In order to solve this they have teamed up with veteran animators to launch Animators Skills Test, to help aspiring individuals learn the fundamentals of commercial anime, along with retraining animators who are paid low wages due to shortage of skills.
Moreover, they have also collaborated with Japan Actors Union to protect the status and rights of the voice actors, in order to uplift the industry as a whole.