|This article is outdated. (December 2011)|
||This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. (December 2011)|
|Industry||Animation studio and production enterprise|
|Headquarters||Suginami, Tokyo, Japan|
|Key people||Takayuki Yoshii (Chairman and CEO)
Kenji Uchida (President)
|Parent||Namco Bandai Holdings|
|Subsidiaries||Sunrise Music Publishing
Sunrise, Inc. (株式会社サンライズ Kabushiki-gaisha Sanraizu ) is a Japanese animation studio and production enterprise. It is a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise, and prior to that, Sunrise Studios. Its headquarters is located in Suginami, Tokyo.
Among Japan's largest and most famous studios, Sunrise is renowned for several critically lauded and popular original anime series, such as Gundam, Armored Trooper Votoms, Crush Gear Turbo,Vision of Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, My-HiME, My-Otome, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, as well as its numerous adaptations of acclaimed light novels including Dirty Pair, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and Accel World, and manga such as City Hunter, InuYasha, Outlaw Star, Yakitate!! Japan, Planetes, Keroro Gunso, Gin Tama and several others. Because of the fluidity of much of their work, some fans refer to some of their animation as "Sunrise Smooth."
Anime created by Sunrise that have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize are Mobile Suit Gundam in 1979 and the first half of 1980, Space Runaway Ideon in the second half of 1980, Crusher Joe (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.
According to an interview with members of Sunrise the studio was founded by former members of Mushi Production in 1972, under the name Sunrise Studio, Ltd. (有限会社サンライズスタジオ Yugen-kaisha Sanraizu Sutajio ). Rather than having production of anime revolve around a single creator, as was the case for Mushi, which was headed by Osamu Tezuka, Sunrise decided that production should focus around the producers, a strategy that continues to this date. The market for mainstream anime, such as manga adaptations, sports shows, and adaptations of popular children's stories, was dominated by existing company, and as such, Sunrise decided to focus on robot anime, which were known to be more difficult to animate, but could be used as promotion to sell toys. Sunrise's specialization on robot anime continues to this date.
Sunrise has been involved in many popular and acclaimed anime television series, including Mobile Suit Gundam (and all its various spinoffs 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.
They have co-produced a number of series with Toei Company, including the Robot Romance Trilogy which Toei Company had Sunrise animate for them on their behalf; Chōdenji Robo Combattler V (1976), Chōdenji Machine Voltes V (1977), Tōshō Daimos (1978), and Cyborg 009 (1979) that was a co-production with Toei's animation division Toei Animation. Sunrise is especially 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), and Code Geass (2006/2008). They even worked alongside Tsuburaya Productions to animate the anime The Ultraman (1979).
Sunrise has produced a variety of non-mecha works as well, including Crusher Joe (1983), Dirty Pair (1985), Mister Ajikko (1987), Obatarian (1990), Cowboy Bebop (1998), Infinite Ryvius (1999), Seraphim Call (1999), InuYasha (2000), s-CRY-ed (2001),'Crush Gear Turbo (2001-2003) Yakitate!! Japan (2004), Kekkaishi (2006), Freedom Project (2006) and Tiger & Bunny (2011).
As the company kept growing several sub-divisions (called studios themselves) were created. Some of them housed key members which left Sunrise to found their own animation companies.
Studio 1 
The original studio created with Sunrise's foundation in 1972. Notable works include Space Runaway Ideon, Armored Trooper Votoms, Patlabor and Inuyasha. It is best known for Mobile Suit Gundam and most of Gundam's Universal Century installments.
Studio 2 
Created circa 1974-75. Some of its key members left the company to found studio Bones in 1998. Notable works include Aura Battler Dunbine, Planetes and some installments of Gundam. It also worked in Vision of Escaflowne and Cowboy Bebop, each having a film adaptation in co-production with Bones.
Studio 3 
Created in 1975. Early works include Blue Comet SPT Layzner and City Hunter. It is responsible for the most recent series of the Gundam franchise, including Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.
Studio 4 
Studio 5 
Also created in 1979. One of its producers was Mikihiro Iwata, one the founders of A-1 Pictures. Notable works include Crest of the Stars, the Inuyasha movies, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Binbougami ga and currently Gintama.
Studio 6 
Studio 7 
Studio 8 
Studio 9 
Studio 10 
Studio 11 
The most recent studio established in 2009. Worked in Kurokami and the recent SD Gundam Sengoku series.
International distribution 
In the past, any anime that was originally produced by Sunrise, Inc and Bandai and licensed by Bandai Visual in Japan was licensed and distributed in the United States by Bandai Entertainment and licensed and distributed in Europe by Beez Entertainment. However, as of 2012, these two companies have shut down and it is unknown who will become the sole western distributor of Sunrise anime in the future. Although some companies, such as the newly found Anime Limited in the UK, have already started licensing some of their works. Other companies such as Viz Media, NIS America, Funimation and Sentai Filmworks also license anime from Sunrise in the United States. In Australia, like most anime that is released there, Sunrise productions are released by Madman Entertainment.
- "Sunrise Official Site" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2006-02-06.
- "SUNRISE INTERNATIONAL Information". Retrieved 2006-02-06.
- Animage Editorial Staff (August 1987). "The main office searches for a fresh original robot anime (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 Arata na michi o mosakusuru orijinaru robotto anime no sōhonzan )". Animage (in Japanese) 110: pp.60–65.
- "Company Outline." Sunrise. Retrieved on February 26, 2010.
- Official website (Japanese)
- Sunrise International (English)
- Sunrise at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Sunrise at the Big Cartoon DataBase