TRSI reaches agreement with Sunrise to release Gundam franchise titles
Date: 2014 October 11th Saturday [18:16] | Posted By: Eeeper
Rightstuf partners with Sunrise to release earlier Gundam releases in N. America.
At the Sunrise panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday, the audience were stunned to learn that Sunrise has partnered with The Rightstuf International in North America to release the entire franchise beginning with the original series that started it all. While specific details have yet to be announced, Sunrise will release their back catalogue titles such Turn A Gundam and Gundam ZZ. Sunrise will also release Gundam: The Origin through Rightstuf but they do not announce who had the rights to the latest series Gundam: Reconguista in G. Valued with over 740 million US dollars in revenues for 2014, Gundam has had some success in English speaking territories with most fans learning of the show through Toonami's showing of Gundam Wing in the late 1990's. Subsequent shows (Gundam SEED, SEED Destiny, Gundam 00) were released in North America and other English territories. Recently Sunrise, and its parent company Bandai Namco, have been taking steps to reintroduce audiences to Gundam with their streaming of the older shows in the franchise through Daisuki.net and with the Youtube streaming of Gundam Build Fighters.
First Gundam, as the original series is sometimes referred, was created by Yoshyuki Tomino and was first released in Japan in 1979. While not an overnight success, its compilation films and sequel series cemented the franchise's foundations. Before shutting down in 2012, Bandai Entertainment US had released First Gundam in two sets but these sets are now out of print and hard to come by.
Turn A Gundam was created in 1999 and is set in the distant future, with creator Tomino stating that the series incorporates all of the timelines created in past, present and future Gundam shows. Bandai Entertainment had planned to release the show in North America but the shutdown of the label prevented this. Noted futurist and designer Syd Mead (Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens) designed the main Gundam suit for this incarnation.
Gundam ZZ, which aired in 1986, is the continuation of the storyline created by both First Gundam and Gundam Zeta, both of which have been released by Bandai previously. As it has never been released in North America before, ZZ will be looked forward to especially by fans of the first two shows.
Gundam: The Origin (2015) is a retelling of the events of First Gundam and is based on the manga series by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko published in English by Vertical Inc. Sunrise have announced in recent months that it will be a four part OVA series with the first part coming out in Spring 2015. Sunrise also stated that NYAV Post in New York would be creating a dub for the show.
Gundam: Reconguista in G (2014) has just been announced by Anime Limited in the UK/ROI as a video on demand title and home video rights might also be part of that deal. Sunrise did not state who was releasing it in North America but it is expected to be either Sentai Filmworks or Funimation.
Press release from Rightstuf follows:
"Right Stuf, Inc. is excited to announce a new expanded distribution deal with Sunrise Inc. to release the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise in North America.
The Mobile Suit Gundam franchise is a space opera anime that redefined the mecha genre. The original Mobile Suit Gundam series focused on using giant combat robots as a tool to win a war. This plot line structure strongly influenced future mecha series in the anime industry. In this newly expanded agreement, Right Stuf will continue to be the distribution arm for Sunrise as they work to re-release out-of-print Mobile Suit Gundam classic programming, along with the first-ever North American releases of Turn A Gundam, Gundam ZZ and more!
2014 marks the 35th anniversary of the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime release in Japan. The original anime series was created and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and aired on Nagoya Broadcasting Network from April 1979.