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Sunrise Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社サンライズ, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Sanraizu) is a Japanese animation studio founded in September 1972 and is based in Suginami, Tokyo. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise and, before that, Sunrise Studio.
Headquarters in Suginami
|Formerly||Nippon Sunrise Inc.|
|Type||Kabushiki gaisha (formerly yūgen gaisha)|
|Industry||Japanese animation and production enterprise|
|Founded||September 1972YK) (as Sunrise Studio |
November 1976 (as Nippon Sunrise; renamed Sunrise in June 1987 )
(President & CEO)
Number of employees
|232 (as of April 1, 2019)|
|Parent||Bandai Namco Holdings|
|Subsidiaries||Sunrise Music Publishing|
Bandai Namco Pictures
|Footnotes / references|
Sunrise is renowned for critically praised and popular original anime series such as Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, Space Runaway Ideon, Armored Trooper Votoms, Yoroiden Samurai Troopers, Future GPX Cyber Formula, Crush Gear Turbo, The Vision of Escaflowne, Love Live!, Witch Hunter Robin, My-HiME, My-Otome, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Tiger & Bunny, Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon, as well as its numerous adaptations of acclaimed light novels including Dirty Pair, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere and Accel World, and manga such as City Hunter, Inuyasha, Outlaw Star, Yakitate!! Japan, Planetes, Sgt. Frog, Gin Tama, and Kekkaishi. Many fans refer to the quality of their work as "Sunrise Smooth".
Most of their work are original titles created in-house by their creative staff under a collective pseudonym, Hajime Yatate. They also operated a defunct video-game studio, Sunrise Interactive. Sunrise launched a light-novel publisher, Yatate Bunko Imprint, on September 30, 2016 to publish original titles and supplement their existing franchises with new materials. Anime created by Sunrise which have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix are Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979 and the first half of 1980, Space Runaway Ideon in the second half of 1980, Crusher Joe (a co-production with Studio Nue) in 1983, Dirty Pair in 1985, Future GPX Cyber Formula in 1991, Gundam SEED in 2002, Gundam SEED Destiny in 2004 and 2005, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion in 2006 and 2007 and Code Geass R2 in 2008, making Sunrise the studio which won the largest number of Animage Awards.
According to an interview with Sunrise members, the studio was founded by former members of Mushi Production in 1972 as Sunrise Studio, Limited (有限会社サンライズスタジオ, Yugen-kaisha Sanraizu Sutajio). Rather than having anime production revolve around a single creator (like Mushi, headed by Osamu Tezuka), Sunrise decided that production should focus on the producers. The market for mainstream anime (such as manga adaptations, sports shows, and adaptations of popular children's stories) was already dominated by existing companies, so Sunrise decided to focus on robot anime, known to be more difficult to animate but which could be used to sell toys.
Sunrise has been involved in many popular and acclaimed anime television series, including Mobile Suit Gundam (and its spin-offs and sequels since 1979), the Mashin Eiyūden Wataru series (1988–1997), the Yūsha series (1990–1997), the Eldran series (1991–1993) which has now become part of the Yūsha series since the Takara Tomy merger, and the Crest of the Stars series (1999–2001). They produced the apocalyptic Space Runaway Ideon in 1980.
The company have co-produced a number of series with Toei Company, including Majokko Tickle (from episode 16), the Robot Romance Trilogy; Chōdenji Robo Combattler V (1976), Chōdenji Machine Voltes V (1977), Tōshō Daimos (1978), and Cyborg 009 (a 1979 co-production with Toei Animation). Sunrise is well known for their mecha anime series (including Gundam), such as Invincible Steel Man Daitarn 3 (1978), Fang of the Sun Dougram (1981), the Armored Trooper Votoms and Aura Battler Dunbine series (1983), Blue Comet SPT Layzner (1985), Patlabor (1989), The Vision of Escaflowne (1996), The Big O (1999/2003), Overman King Gainer (2002), Zegapain (2007), Code Geass (2006/2008), Tiger & Bunny (2011), and Valvrave the Liberator (2013), and worked with Tsuburaya Productions to animate The Ultraman (1979).
- Studio 1 was created when Sunrise was founded in 1972. Notable works include Mobile Suit Gundam, Space Runaway Ideon, Armored Trooper Votoms, Patlabor, and Inuyasha. It was also the studio responsible for various later Gundam installments: G, Wing, X, Turn A, Unicorn, Reconguista in G, and Thunderbolt.
- Studio 2 was created around 1974-75, and some key members left to form Bones in 1998. Notable works include Aura Battler Dunbine and some installments of Gundam: including Zeta, ZZ, Victory, Char's Counterattack and F91. It also worked on The Vision of Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop, co-producing a film adaptation of each with Bones.
- Studio 3 was created in 1975. Early works included Blue Comet SPT Layzner and City Hunter. It was responsible for many Gundam installments, including 0083, 08th MS Team, and TV series of the franchise: 00, AGE, Build Fighters, Build Fighters Try, and Iron-Blooded Orphans.
- Studio 4 was created in 1979, and notable works include The Ultraman anime. The studio became inactive in 1987. The current Studio 4 began as support for Studio 2, and was known as Studio Iogi (井荻スタジオ) (named after the pseudonym of longtime Sunrise director Yoshiyuki Tomino). The studio's first major work was 1985's Dirty Pair, and other notable works include Planetes, s-CRY-ed and Code Geass.
- Studio 5 was also created in 1979. One of its producers was Mikihiro Iwata, a founder of A-1 Pictures. Notable works include Crest of the Stars, the InuYasha movies, Daily Lives of High School Boys, Aikatsu!, Good Luck Girl!, Gin Tama, Mobile Suit SD Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket.
- Studio 6 was created in 1983. Notable works include The Big O, Sgt. Frog, and Tiger & Bunny. they also provided animation to Batman: The Animated Series. Some members left to form Bridge in 2007.
- Studio 7 was created in 1985. Its first work was on the American cartoon series The Centurions, and it is noted for Sacred Seven, s-CRY-ed and the Yūsha series. Some members left to form Manglobe in 2002.
- Established around 1995, Studio 8 is notable for My-HiME, Buddy Complex, Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Accel World and Love Live!.
- Studio 7's sister studio, Studio 9 was established in 1996. Notable works include Gasaraki, Infinite Ryvius, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and SEED Destiny, Argento Soma and Battle Spirits.
- Studio 5's sister studio, Studio 10 was established around 1996. Notable works include Outlaw Star, Dinosaur King and Phi Brain: Puzzle of God.
- Studio 8's sister studio, Studio 11 was established in 2009 and worked on Kurokami and the SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors series.
- Sunrise’s CG production studio, D.I.D. helps creating CG for many of the company’s shows (notably Tiger & Bunny, Zegapain, Cross Ange, Valvrave the Liberator, Gundam MS Igloo and Gundam The Origin). They also produce CG work for other animation studios, including Xebec's Space Battleship Yamato 2199.
- Formerly known as Ogikubo Studio (荻窪スタジオ) or Sunrise Emotion, Nerima Studio is best known for the Freedom Project, Valvrave the Liberator, the King of Thorn anime film and Cross Ange.
- Sunrise Origin Studio (サンライズオリジンスタジオ) is Sunrise's in-between animation studio that does in-between animation for other studio's anime titles such as My Hero Academia to The Boy and the Beast.
- Sunrise Beyond is a subsidiary of Sunrise established after the purchase and closure of Xebec. Some of their works include Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise and King's Raid: Successors of the Will.
- Inspector Gadget (ガジェット警部) (September 1983–February 1986) (DIC Entertainment) (additional services for TMS Entertainment for the ink and painting process.)
- Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors (September 1985–December 1985) (DIC Entertainment)
- The Centurions (April 1986–December 1986) (Ruby-Spears Productions) (Studio 7)
- Batman: The Animated Series (バットマン) (September 1992–September 1995) (Warner Bros. Animation) (Studio 6)
- Street Fighter (ストリートファイター) (October 1995–May 1997) (co-production with InVision Entertainment, Graz Entertainment, USA Studios and Madhouse Studios) (Studio 1)
- Siegfried & Roy: Masters of the Impossible (August 1996) (DIC Entertainment)
Video game animation work
- Valis: The Fantasm Soldier (1986)
- Blazing Lazers (1989)
- SD Gundam Neo Batoringu (1995)
- Brave Saga (1998)
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special: Dominated Mind (1998)
- Sunrise Heroes (1999)
- Brave Saga 2 (2000)
- Sunrise Heroes 2 (2001)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo (2001)
- Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars (2001)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front (2001)
- Sunrise World War (2003)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Encounters in Space (2003)
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam (2004)
- Inuyasha: The Secret of the Cursed Mask (2004)
- Brave Wars (2005)
- Battle of Sunrise (2008)
- Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave (2012)
- Xuccess Heaven (2015)
- Starwing Paradox (2018)
- Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars (2019)
Most anime produced by Sunrise and Bandai and licensed by Bandai Visual in Japan was licensed and distributed in the United States by Bandai Entertainment and in Europe by Beez Entertainment, but both companies shut down in 2012 after Bandai Entertainment's restructuring. In North America, distributors such as Funimation, Viz Media, Sentai Filmworks, NIS America and Aniplex of America, as well as Sunrise USA, have licensed Sunrise properties. In Europe, Anime Limited and Manga Entertainment (in the UK) and Kazé (in France) have begun to distribute titles distributed by Beez and other unreleased Sunrise productions. In Australia, Sunrise productions are licensed and distributed by Madman Entertainment. At Anime Boston 2013, Sunrise confirmed that they would begin licensing anime in North America and were negotiating with Sentai, Funimation, and Viz to distribute their titles on DVD and Blu-ray. Right Stuf agreed to distribute and re-release Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn on DVD in North America. In 2014 the deal expanded, releasing the Gundam previously licensed by Bandai Entertainment (Mobile Suit Gundam, Turn A Gundam) and several works not released in North America (including Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ) in 2015.
- "Sunrise Official Site" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 5, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2006.
- "SUNRISE INTERNATIONAL Information". Retrieved February 6, 2006.
- "SUNRISE INTERNATIONAL Information [Company Outline]". Sunrise-inc.co.jp. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- Animage Editorial Staff (August 1987). "Arata na michi o mosakusuru orijinaru robotto anime no sōhonzan" 新たな道を模索するオリジナルロボットアニメの総本山 [The main office searches for a fresh original robot anime]. Animage (in Japanese). Vol. 110. pp. 60–65.
- "Sunrise Launches "Yatate Bunko" Light Novel Imprint". Crunchyroll. September 15, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "ANNtv Inside Sunrise". Anime News Network. May 17, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- "２０１４年 １０月 原画". Retrieved February 13, 2015.
- "Funimation, Sentai in Talks Over Former Bandai Titles". Anime News Network. March 25, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Right Stuf to Release Gundam UC on DVD". Anime News Network. May 14, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
- "Sunrise Partners with Right Stuf to Release Gundam Franchise Stateside". Anime News Network. October 11, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
- Official website (in Japanese)
- Sunrise site archives (niftyserve.or.jp/station/ssunrise) at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
- Sunrise International (in English)
- Sunrise at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Nippon Sunrise at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Sunrise Origin Studio at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Sunrise D.I.D. at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Sunrise at the Big Cartoon DataBase