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Why the creator of Gundam changed their name

Known as the best dog in the mecha genre, Sunrise changed their name to Bandai Namco Filmworks.
Known as the best dog in the mecha genre, Sunrise changed their name to Bandai Namco Filmworks. Photo credit: Bandai Namco

On February 9, Studio Sunrise announced that they would officially change their name to Bandai Namco Filmworks from April 1, 2022.

Sunrise has been operating as a subsidiary of Bandai since 1993 and remained so after Bandai’s merger with Namco in 2009. This name change comes as somewhat of a surprise as they have been allowed to remain largely independent for the past thirty years. years or so in terms of anime production.

The official reason for the name change from Studio Sunrise to Bandai Namco Filmworks is a corporate restructuring for Bandai Namco, which started last year with the logo redesign they did and apparently culminated in a total rebranding of all subsidiaries in both logos and naming conventions. It is rumored that Sunrise and Emotion will merge to create that unique Bandai Namco Filmworks studio in an effort to simplify their portfolio.

What will happen to Studio Sunrise now?

Effective April 1, Sunrise, Bandai Namco Arts, Bandai Namco Marketing and Emotion will merge to form the unique company Bandai Namco Filmworks. Studio Sunrise’s current president, Makoto Asanuma, will be the president and CEO of Bandai Namco Filmworks.

Sunrise’s music division, which provides music distribution for the various anime, including LoveLive!, will merge with Bandai Namco’s Live Creative division on April 1 to also become Bandai Namco Music Live.

Their name, however – Sunrise? That will apparently be kept as a title for branding purposes, but the official legal entity behind the company will be renamed Bandai Namco Filmworks.

What shows has Sunrise worked on before?

Studio Sunrise is one of the most talented studios out there and has worked on Gundam, LoveLive!, Cross Ange, Code Geass, Gintama, Cowboy Bebop and many more. It is also one of the oldest studios still in use, currently in operation for over fifty years.

Clearly, having worked on so many legendary shows in the past, Sunrise’s legacy is one that should not be underestimated.

This name change, for some, reflects a changing of the guard and the fall of a titan – Sunrise’s legacy is so cemented it’s hard to think it could ever change.

However, Bandai Namco had the next to say regarding the name change:

“Sunrise’s individuality is something we’ve built over the past 40 years and we’ll try to grow it as our flagship brand.”

Only time will tell if their words sound true.


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