Sunrise Reanimates ‘Aura Battler Dunbine’ in Gorgeous New ‘Experimental’ Video

Celebrated anime studio Sunrise(now operating as Bandai Namco Filmworks), known for its characteristic mecha anime titles such as Mobile Suit Gundam, has released an “experimental video” showcasing new animation for Yoshiyuki Tomino’s classic 1983 isekai series, Aura Battler Dunbine.

Titled “Aura Battler Dunbine Side L,” the video features brand new animated footage of the opening and ending portions of the series, along with parts of episode 16 where protagonist Sho Zama is transported back to Upper Earth after battling Garalia. The animation production is a collaboration between Sunrise and CG anime studio Kamikaze Douga. The studio claims the intent behind the “experimental video” was to recapture the “timeless charm” of the series, 40 years after its creation. The “L” in the title references “Legend” and “Legacy”.

The experimental video is a part of the studio’s new “Sunrise Robot Laboratory” project, which aims to delve deeper and expand on classic Sunrise mecha anime works.

Nippon Sunrise

Aura Battler Dunbine broadcasted  from 1983 to 1984, directed by Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, with character designs by Tomonori Kogawa, mechanical designs by Kazutaka Miyatake, and a music score by Katsuhiro Tsubonou. MIO performed both the opening and ending theme songs, “Dunbine Tobu” and “Mieru darou Byston Well,” respectively.

The story follows Sho Zama, a motorcyclist who is forcibly summoned to Byston Well to serve in Drake Luft’s army—a crucial part of his war campaign to conquer the land using powerful “Aura Machines” piloted by conscripted soldiers summoned from Upper Earth. Upon discovering Drake’s tyrannical rule, Sho resolves to join the rebellion against him.

Dunbine is a tragic tale of humanity’s endless ambition, filled with drama, romance, machiavellian scheming and the moral ambiguities of fighting a war, recurring themes in Tomino’s works, particularly the Gundam series.

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