Sunrise (company)

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Native name
Nippon Sunrise Inc.
Kabushiki gaisha (formerly yūgen gaisha)
IndustryAnimation studio and production company
FoundedSeptember 1972; 48 years ago (1972-09) (as Sunrise Studio YK)
November 1976; 43 years ago (1976-11) (as Nippon Sunrise; renamed Sunrise in June 1987; 33 years ago (1987-06))
Key people
Yasuo Miyakawa
(President & CEO)
Number of employees
232 (as of April 1, 2019)
ParentBandai Namco Holdings
SubsidiariesSunrise Music Publishing
Bandai Namco Pictures
Sunrise Beyond
Footnotes / references

Sunrise Inc. (Japanese: 株式会社サンライズ, Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Sanraizu) is a Japanese animation studio and production company which is a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise and, before that, Sunrise Studio.[3] Its headquarters is in Suginami, Tokyo.[4]

One of Japan's largest and best-known studios,[citation needed] 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 School Idol Project, 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, Keroro Gunso, Gin Tama, and Kekkaishi. Many of Sunrise's original anime have similar themes, including mecha and masked identities, accompanied by fluid animation.[citation needed] 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.[5] 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.[6]

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).



Non-Japanese productions[edit]

Video game animation work[edit]

Miscellaneous work[edit]

  • Pink Crows (did the animation and designs for this animated band and their music videos)[8][9]

International distribution[edit]

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.[10] Right Stuf agreed to distribute and re-release Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn on DVD in North America.[11] 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.[12]


  1. ^ "Sunrise Official Site" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 5, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2006.
  2. ^ "SUNRISE INTERNATIONAL Information". Retrieved February 6, 2006.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "SUNRISE INTERNATIONAL Information [Company Outline]". Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  5. ^ "Sunrise Launches "Yatate Bunko" Light Novel Imprint". Crunchyroll. September 15, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "ANNtv Inside Sunrise". Anime News Network. May 17, 2011. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "2014年  10月 原画". Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^;_1985)
  10. ^ "Funimation, Sentai in Talks Over Former Bandai Titles". Anime News Network. March 25, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  11. ^ "Right Stuf to Release Gundam UC on DVD". Anime News Network. May 14, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  12. ^ "Sunrise Partners with Right Stuf to Release Gundam Franchise Stateside". Anime News Network. October 11, 2014. Retrieved October 12, 2014.

External links[edit]