To explain, I want to know whether it is more efficient to produce anime or manga, and why.


  • Needs to be made frame by frame
  • need people to record voice.


  • Needs lots of paper
  • has to be printed.

By more efficient, I mean which one has more profit and takes less time to make.

  • Efficient in what way, better storytelling, more profits? Dec 11, 2012 at 21:35
  • 1
    You might want to clarify on what you mean by "more efficient". Shorter time to make, cost-benefit ratio?
    – LeeHai
    Dec 11, 2012 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


A production is only as productive as the people that make it up.

Manga production happens at a much smaller scale compared to anime production.

For anime production, on top of publisher front costs, you have to get your staff, sponsors, script, character/set designers, broadcasting rights, and advertising ready before the production even starts.

Typically only half the budget allocated to an anime is used by the studio in charge.

Manga production can vary greatly. Some authors are interested in creative input from their assistants, while others only ask them to assist. Some artists like do to as much of the work themselves as possible, others have their assistants fill in most of the page while the artist only draws the "name" (a kind of storyboard for manga) and main characters.

Anime are usually created and broadcast at a loss while profits are made from DVD/Blu-ray and merchandising sales. Most mangas are produced at a loss, their viability access by their rank in their parent magazine's reader survey polls and takubon (volume) sales.

Generally, it takes around 8,000,000 to 10,000,000 yen to make a "30 minute" episode anime, while it takes only about 2,000,000 yen to produce a weekly serialization, because it typically takes 2 months for a tankoubon can be compiled, at a 100-page monthly production rate.

On top of that you have to factor in rent for the studio, and payroll (pay + pensions) for that staff which typically is composed of 1 chief-assistant + 2 or 3 assistants + 1 background artist, typically a group of 4 to 5 people. Different authors/artist get different rates depending on the publisher and the experience/fame of the author/artist.

Most animators are contract employees to a production studio. Therefore they do not get benefits, pensions, or vacations. Because many productions employ so many animators for their tween animations it can be hard to keeps track of who's who and doing what.

A well managed small anime production can sometimes be more efficient than a large high budget manga serialization, but the opposite can be true as well. It usually comes down to who is an change and how the work trickles down.


In term of human resources as well as production costs, manga is thousands of times more efficient than anime.

The personnel involved in a manga production (the chain is very little):

  • Mangaka
  • 4 or 5 assistants at best
  • Graphic design staff (logos, covers, general branding of a series is often externalized)
  • Series editor
  • Chief editor
  • Printing staff
  • Distribution staff

And the materials needed is minimal, since the drawing stuff, while not cheap, is lots of times cheaper than all the needs to make an anime.

In the anime production the staff needed is lots of times that amount, since the editors (here named "producers") and distribution staff are part of large committees, and the production staff (director, animation staff) is very large, too. So, only in staff and time the costs are way bigger, and the distribution and marketing expenses are significative.

So, in the end, I think that manga is way more efficient than anime.

  • 1
    In support: a typical anime series has hundreds of staff members, just for animation production. Here are the credits for Madoka Magica. Dec 15, 2012 at 6:35

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