In a recent Twitter thread on Monday, Feb 14, 2022, Masuo Ueda, former Sunrise Studio producer-director revealed that during the reshuffling of the company with Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., he felt he was being sold and left behind.
Ueda further revealed that during a meeting he had with the president, the managing director, and the executive director of Sunrise in 1993, they told him that the company would be selling its shares to Bandai.
According to him, the reason why Sunrise gave up themselves is because “they felt that if they continued running the company, they would be unable to make calm decisions as they got older.”
Additionally, Bandai was the biggest client of Gundam, hence transferring Sunrise to them was a natural decision according to Ueda.
Even though he reprised his role as director and was told to continue to work as the core of Sunrise, he felt it would not be the same as producing good anime in an independent production.
He concluded his recollection of Sunrise saying, “I suppose the countdown to my departure from Sunrise began with that meeting.”
Ueda’s tweets come barely a week after Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. announced that it will merge Sunrise Inc., Bandai Namco Arts Inc.’s visual business activities, and Bandai Namco Rights Marketing Inc. to form Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc.
In 1979, Ueda joined Nippon Sunrise (now known as Sunrise). He then joined Aniplex in 2003. In 2010, he was named president and CEO of A-1 Pictures. In 2017, he quit Aniplex. He now works with Skyfall, LLC as a representative and planning producer.