Bandai Namco Merges Its Production Subsidiaries, Including Sunrise, The Legendary ‘Gundam’ Studio
Bandai Namco has merged its film production businesses, including legendary Japanese studio Sunrise, as Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc.
Previous Bandai divisions Bandai Namco Rights Marketing and Bandai Namco Arts were also merged under the Bandai Namco Filmworks banner, and the company has consolidated Sunrise Music, Bandai Namco Music Creative, and Bandai Namco Arts as Bandai Namco Music Live Inc.
Sunrise has been one of Japan’s most prolific animation studios for the past 50 years. Founded in September 1972, the studio has worked on some of Japan’s most popular animated films and series domestically and abroad, including Mobile Suit Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, Space Runaway Ideon, Crusher Joe, and Code Geass, just to name a few.
Sunrise was acquired by Bandai in 1994, but it wasn’t until Bandai Namco (Bandai and Namco merged in 2005) purchased advertising company Sotsu in 2020 that the company acquired full rights to the Gundam IP. Previously, Sotsu controlled all commercial rights to the franchise.
While Sunrise did lose its well-respected name as part of the organizational change, that took effect April 1, Bandai Namco has promised the studio will maintain a degree of autonomy and operate as an individual brand, continuing to work with many of its most popular franchises.
Timed to the announcement, Bandai Namco also adapted a new logo and launched a Purpose page on its website with a description of the logo’s design concept. The page also includes two promotional videos featuring Sunrise’s classic Gundam character (pictured at top), one live-action/animation hybrid and the other fully animated.
The company’s purpose statement reads:
Bandai Namco exists to share dreams, fun and inspiration with people around the world. Connecting people and societies in the enjoyment of uniquely entertaining products and services, we’re working to create a brighter future for everyone.