Today on April 1, Bandai Namco Filmworks, formed by the merger of Bandai Namco’s visual IP production division, has officially begun operations and launched its company website. The company slogan is “We create ‘Awesome Works’”.
Early February it was announced in a press release by Sunrise and its parent Bandai Namco Holdings, the pioneering Gundam and mecha anime studio would be reorganized under Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. The new company merges Sunrise, the film division of Bandai Namco Arts, and Bandai Namco Rights Marketing, with Sunrise as the surviving company. Bandai Namco Filmworks was stated to have the responsibility as the business management company in Bandai Namco’s IP Production Unit. Though Sunrise will effectively operate as Bandai Namco Filmworks, the Sunrise brand will continue.
The news of Sunrise’s “change” sent shockwaves among fans around the world of the historic studio, lamenting the corporate restructuring. Sunrise assured fans on their company website in a statement, “Although the structure of the company has changed, we will continue to produce ‘good things’ that deliver excitement to people around the world by bringing together the passions of each and every one of us, centering around the unique ‘SUNRISE’ brand that we have been refining for many years.” The statement echoes the sentiment Bandai Namco expressed in their press release for the merger’s announcement, emphasizing the individuality of Sunrise.
- Makoto Asunuma: President and CEO
- Satoshi Kono: Executive Vice President
- Yoshitaka Tao: Managing Director
- Shin Sasaki: Managing Director
- Naoya Misaki: Director
- Kenji Hamada: Director
- Kimikazu Ueyama: Director
A new music and live performance company was also formed named Bandai Namco Music Live Inc, integrating the music divisions of Bandai Namco Arts, Bandai Namco Live Creative, and Sunrise Music. Both companies began operations today. The Bandai Namco Group aims for this restructuring to connect with fans around the world.
From its humble beginnings as Sunrise Studio formed by former Mushi Production employees in 1972, Sunrise became one of the most prolific and largest anime studios in the industry. The animation juggernaut is best known for its revolutionary “mecha anime” and spearheading the massive Gundam franchise. The original 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam anime series was made in collaboration with Gundam’s director Yoshiyuki Tomino, animator Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, and mechanical designer Kunio Okawara. Partnered with Bandai Namco, Gundam has since become one of the most recognizable Japanese brands worldwide with its myriad of entries, rich storytelling and thematics, breathtaking animation, and model kit empire.
The studio also garnered acclaim with such works as Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop, City Hunter, Dirty Pair, Sgt.Frog, Gin Tama, Inuyasha, Code Geass, Tiger & Bunny, and the popular Love Live! idol franchise.
Source: Official website