Note: Right in the middle of writing this article, the animator at the forefront of this story set their Twitter account to private. Thankfully I was able to screenshot the original tweets for the sake of documenting the original Japanese in case readers wish to verify the translations themself.
A freelance animator by the name of Mushiyo left Studio MAPPA on less than amicable terms. They took to Twitter to express their frustrations with the work conditions that led to their departure and went on to paint a picture of the conditions.
The following is a tweet from @AniNewsAndFacts and features a translation of a number of tweets from Mushiyo’s Twitter page. A transcription of this translation will follow. Additionally, the original tweets will follow in the order they were posted.
Animator leaves MAPPA after being overworked to hell. Here is what he said in the tweet:
MAPPA isn't some GOAT, it's just filthy corporation running behind money neglecting the health of thier employees. pic.twitter.com/vFNJLL4uRf
— Anime News And Facts (@AniNewsAndFacts) May 16, 2021
“I’m not sure why I’m here because I’m certainly not here to animate. It seems I’m just here to do retakes (like adding missing details to buttons or fixing aliased 3DCG). Is this a factory?
I don’t know why I worked so hard to get into this company. I don’t understand why us employees are spread all over, like we are in the fields. It’s filthy. The thing that makes me want to quit is that every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, every week, we don’t finish our work until morning hits.
Of course, there are some great companies that put a lot of effort into educating their staff. This is just my personal opinion and experience – I don’t know if everyone feels this way – but as far as I can tell, a good 80% of the employees complain about t6his kind of thing.
One of my superiors who quit told me I should take care of myself, and he was right…
A choice without regret… if only we could all choose.
Thank you to @AniNewsAndFacts for the translation.
In the days that followed, Mushiyo’s followers, as well as others in the community, began buzzing about her departure from the studio. It couldn’t be said to be a truly shocking story, as discussions about the possibility of overwork have been circulating the studio since 2020, where they infamously had around 11 productions, big and small, released within the year.
This news started a debate between critics of the studio and die-hard fans. Between MAPPA’s success with Jujutsu Kaisen and their work on Attack on Titan: The Final Season, the studio has gained as many fans as it has dissenters. Some argued that Mushiyo hadn’t been fired, but merely moved to a different project. This was proved incorrect in a response by Mushiyo herself to a fan.
Twitter user: Are you leaving Mappa?
Mushiyo: yes, I made a mistake!
They have been as transparent as possible during this ordeal and this news will no doubt be cited in the future, as MAPPA has more shows on the way, with a few more to be officially announced. As of writing, they’ve already released Zombieland Saga: Revenge and Netflix’s Yasuke, with two more projects officially scheduled for this year.
With a Jujutsu Kaisen movie on the horizon, the highly-anticipated Chainsaw Man adaptation, and the longer-anticipated Yuri on Ice film, the studio’s schedule is packed. But nowadays, that statement puts as much worry into anime fans’ minds as it does excitement. Time will tell if MAPPA’s hot streak will continue to win hearts or if their doors will rattle in the wind.