In nearly all anime these days, there's an artist illustration at the very end of an anime episode.

How do the productions get illustrators to do the end cards? Are they paid for it (if so, how much)?

How and why did this practice start?

Dat star~

  • 1
    Just curious, but which series is this from?
    – nhahtdh
    Jul 1 '13 at 1:24
  • 2
    @nhahtdh Star Driver, ep.1.
    – кяαzєя
    Jul 1 '13 at 2:16
  • 2
    I don't have a complete answer to this, but I do know that the illustrators chosen usually have some connection to someone on the production team. For instance, many series written by Urobuchi Gen use artists from Nitroplus. I don't know the fine details beyond that, or what sort of arrangement the companies make with the artists.
    – Logan M
    Jul 1 '13 at 3:45

There isn't just 1 reason, but could be several:

  • Plot Compression: this could be either a cause or a consequence. They compress the plot too much and they get forced to "fill" the extra seconds of air time.
  • Partneship / Sponsorship: Some partner or sponsor could ask for extra time of the anime air time (Squarenix in FMA comes to mind) at the end of the episode or after the opening. This could also branch to promotion of other works of the same or different production house or some artist (as Logan commented).
  • Promotional products: they could use this time to promote any "collections" product for hardcore fans or another version of the same franchise (like the Anime promoting the new Manga or L/N).

Any other reason is a mix of the previous three, but these are the main possible causes.

  • They last for like 5 seconds at the very end of the episode (after all credits). They usually just random illustrations of the characters by different artists.
    – Jack
    Jan 13 '14 at 6:41
  • This could also be due to canceling the "thanks to our sponsors" 5-second ad, which is filled by the artwork instead.
    – Hakase
    Oct 31 '14 at 9:56

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