Who's Really Designing Anime?

Steve Hamm

It has been said that any kind of work that can be moved offshore, will be moved offshore. I stumbled upon the anime back story yesterday during a late night call with an American executive who had attended the big anime conference in Tokyo this week. Tokyo, of course, is the epicenter of anime, the Japanese cartoon art that, among other things, features a lot of young schoolgirls in skimpy dresses. My source was John Ledford of ADV Films, the largest distributor of anime outside Japan. He told me that for years the Japanese anime production houses have been outsourcing a lot of the animation grunt work to Korean shops. The latest wrinkle: The Koreans are outsourcing a subset of what they do to China. "Now that's real globalization," says Ledford. The next stop could be India. Virgin Comics already has a animation shop set up in Bangalore.

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