Sorry to have it be such a depressing day here on the anime blog. I know that Grave of the Fireflies isn't the happiest anime to talk about, but I feel it an important one to discuss. While there's more to come on that, we're going to take a side-step now with another...also sad article. I stumbled upon this story earlier today, and I absolutely had to share it with you.
It sounds like the situation with many anime production houses is pretty sad indeed. Specifically we're looking at the working conditions of these places. To say that the working conditions are deplorable would be a huge understatement. This information comes straight from an American animator that has worked on multiple anime projects.
One higher-up who pushed himself too hard ended up in the hospital for three months, after which his doctor banned him from ever working in animation again. Studios were poorly ventilated, and everyone smoked. In summer years of accumulated tobacco resin would begin to melt, dripping off the desks.
You absolutely have to read this article to get more insight on what it's like being part of the anime workforce. The article makes one thing very clear. This situation absolutely has to change, and that change has to happen as quickly as possible.