MAPPA staff reveals horrible working conditions as animators literally "die"

MAPPA staff reveals horrible working conditions as animators literally "die"
MAPPA logo and Yuji Itadori (Image via MAPPA)

While Jujutsu Kaisen fans may be aware of MAPPA employees' terrible working conditions, the situation seems to have worsened after the release of season 2, episode 16. Rumors surrounding the animators and working conditions had started circulating online when the next episode's preview delay made it evident that there were clear problems surrounding the same.

Following the release of Jujutsu Kaisen season 2, episode 14, the anime received a lot of criticism for its animation. The animators came forward to raise their concerns about the anime studio and their production plans. However, as evident from the discussions online, the studio hasn't learned from its previous mistakes.


MAPPA employees reveal terrible working conditions for Jujutsu Kaisen

While MAPPA animators have come forward to express how terrible the working conditions were for Jujutsu Kaisen, the most recent surge was seemingly started by animator Honehone's tweet. The tweet explained that the higher-ups at the company only cared about the end result and did nothing to improve staff's conditions.

The animator first noticed this when he was part of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 staff. An average feature film usually gets animated in 2 to 3 years; however, the prequel story movie was animated in just four months.

Screenshot of Honehone's tweet criticizing MAPPA (Image via Sportskeeda/X)
Screenshot of Honehone's tweet criticizing MAPPA (Image via Sportskeeda/X)

Later, Arai Kazuto, Director and Storyboard of Jujutsu Kaisen season 2 episode 13, revealed that the staff had requested a delay from the production committee; however, it was denied. Moreover, episodes were seemingly getting animated mere hours before they aired, proving how bad the production planning was.

Even the Director of episode 12, Ookubo Shunsuke, expressed his concerns through an image from Shirobako anime, a series about producing anime. The character, who is an animator in the series, could be seen trying to hang herself while looking visibly tired.

Animator Hakuyu Go also discussed what he thought about the situation. As per him, MAPPA wanted to be seen in the same light as Kyoto Animation and Ufotable. However, this was ironic as those anime studios built their reputations through years of struggle while treating their employees well. Hence, MAPPA's path to glory, i.e., by poor production plans and terrible working conditions for employees, seemed like the wrong method to go about it.

Even Director Shunsuke Ookubo's earlier tweets suggested that the staff might have abandoned production at one point. The conditions were so bad that the staff seemingly refused to complete their duties.

Seeing all this, Attack on Titan animator Sakai went on X (formerly Twitter) to ask animators abroad to speak up about their dissatisfaction online, as he believed that Japanese animators felt obliged not to share their dissatisfaction on social media.

Screenshot of Itsuki Tsuchigami's tweet criticizing MAPPA (Image via Sportskeeda/X)
Screenshot of Itsuki Tsuchigami's tweet criticizing MAPPA (Image via Sportskeeda/X)

Itsuki Tsuchigami, the Director of the anime's most recent episode, also came forward to express how he was glad to learn that the episode was well-received by fans. Unfortunately, MAPPA did not pay them appropriately for their work. They had done a lot of work in a constrained schedule. Even so, they were paid less than they would have made in similar projects.

With such criticisms coming forward, it would be appropriate to say that the animators were literally "dying," hoping for some solution.

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Edited by Gokul Chettiyar
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