Bandai Visual

Last updated

Bandai Visual Co., Ltd.
Native name
株式会社バンダイビジュアル
Romanized name
Kabushiki gaisha Bandai Bijuaru
Formerly
  • AE Planning
  • (1983–1989)
  • Bandai Media
  • (1988–1989)
Type Subsidiary
Industry Anime
FoundedAugust 23, 1983;37 years ago (1983-08-23)
DefunctApril 1, 2018;3 years ago (2018-04-01)
FateMerged with Lantis
Successor Bandai Namco Arts
Headquarters Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Key people
  • Kazumi Kawashiro
  • (president and CEO)
Number of employees
167
Parent
Subsidiaries
  • Actas
  • Bandai Entertainment
  • Beez Entertainment
  • Emotion
  • Lantis
Website bandaivisual.co.jp/

Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. [lower-alpha 1] was a Japanese anime, film production, and distribution enterprise, established by Bandai and a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. They focused mainly in international distribution of anime properties in North America. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

Most of the anime and films that have been distributed and licensed by Bandai Visual have been released under the Emotion label. After the reorganization of Bandai Namco Holdings in 2006, Bandai Visual headed the group's Visual and Music Content Strategic Business Unit. Its subsidiaries included the Emotion Music Company, Ltd. (whose logos also include the Moai from Easter Island), and Lantis music publishing labels. Until 2012, it was involved in the production and distribution of several anime titles, including those it has directly produced itself and anime series produced by the anime studio Sunrise, an alternate anime studio subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. In September 2017, Bandai Visual acquired the anime studio Actas. [4]

History

Origins and expansion (1983–1996)

On August 23, 1983, Japanese toy manufacturer Bandai established AE Planning Co., Ltd. (Account Executive Planning), an animation and film distributor, in Kōjimachi, Chiyoda. [5] [6] Bandai created AE Planning following the success of Emotion, its film distribution division, in 1982, and was part of Bandai's corporate reorganization and alteration of its business strategies. [7] AE Planning primarily distributed original video animations (OVAs) from other companies, most notably Pierrot's Dallos (1983). [7] Beginning in October 1984, it licensed and distributed laserdisc films in Japan. [5] After Bandai agreed to a business alliance with The Walt Disney Company in 1987, AE Planning became a distributor of Disney animated films across the country. [6]

In March 1989, AE Planning renamed itself Bandai Visual Sales and opened a second office in Shōwa-ku, Nagoya. [5] Alongside its publishing and distribution of VHS releases for television series such as Ultraman and Mobile Suit Gundam , Visual Sales operated the Emotion Theater movie theater in Bandai's B-Club Shop in Takadanobaba until its closure in 1997. Bandai Visual Sales was renamed again to Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. in August 1991. [5] In the same year, it absorbed Bandai's Media Division as a means to unify the latter company's home video distribution businesses. The acquisition also gave Bandai Visual ownership of the Emotion label, which was used for its music, anime re-releases, and other products. [6] [7] As the company continued generating profits, it began expanding its operations into other entertainment industries. In 1996, Bandai Visual began publishing video games under the Emotion Digital Software brand, releasing titles such as Return to Zork and Choujikuu Yousai Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu ka . [8] [9]

Mainstream success and Bandai Entertainment (1996–2005)

In April 1996, Bandai Visual published Mobile Suit Gundam Wing , the sixth mainline installment in the Gundam media franchise. Though it was a moderate success in Japan, Gundam Wing was especially popular in the United States, being credited for single-handedly popularizing the Gundam franchise for Western audiences. Following the show's success, Bandai established a subsidiary named Bandai Entertainment Inc. in Cypress, California as a subsidiary of its United States division, Bandai America. Though Bandai Visual did not have any direct control over Bandai Entertainment, the latter company often licensed many of Visual's anime series for publishing and distribution in North America, such as Cowboy Bebop , The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya , and multiple Gundam sequels. [10] Bandai Entertainment also published English-translated manga series and American graphic novels, [11] in addition to offering a "fan support" program to facilitate public screenings of licensed content at anime clubs and anime conventions. [12]

Bandai Visual was listed on JASDAQ market in November 2001; by that time, the company was worth over ¥2.1 billion (US$20 million). [5] [13] In January 2003, the company acquired Emotion Music and made it a wholly owned subsidiary, as a means to further expand into the music industry. [14] Bandai Visual also began supplying content for broadband distribution networks, such as the Bandai Channel television station. [15] [16]

Bandai Namco takeover and merge with Lantis (2005–2018)

Bandai Visual was a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. [17] [18] Bandai Namco announced on November 8, 2007, that it would buy the voting shares it did not own between that date and December 10, 2007 and turn the company into a wholly owned subsidiary. [19] [20] On December 18, 2007, Bandai Namco announced that it had owned 93.63% [21] of Bandai Visual's shares since the end of November. [19] The remaining shares were delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange on February 15, 2008, after Bandai Namco acquired the remaining 10% of the shares.

In February 2018, it was announced Bandai Visual would be merged with Lantis into a new branch of BNH, called Bandai Namco Arts. The reorganizing took effect as of April 1, 2018. Bandai Visual remains only as a label of the new company. [22]

Subsidiaries

Bandai Entertainment

Despite its name it was not directly established by Bandai Visual. Originally separate from Bandai Visual USA, Bandai Namco Holdings announced that Bandai Entertainment would absorb Bandai Visual USA in 2008. [23] Headquartered in Cypress, California, it licensed anime properties from various Japanese companies for North American distribution; most of those licenses coming from Bandai and its sister company Sunrise. The company also licensed manga series for release with English translation, and published American-made graphic novels. [11] The company confirmed on January 2, 2012, that they would stop offering new DVD, Blu-ray disc and manga releases by February, but would continue to produce their current library of content. Bandai Entertainment was restructured to focus on licensing anime to other companies. [24] On August 30, 2012, Bandai America announced that it will shut down Bandai Entertainment and discontinue distributing their home video and print catalog on March 1, 2013. They made their final shipment to retailers on November 30, 2012. [25] Many former Bandai Entertainment titles have been re-licensed by other companies, including Funimation, Aniplex of America, Discotek Media, Media Blasters, Nozomi Entertainment, Viz Media, Maiden Japan and Sentai Filmworks.

Beez Entertainment

Beez Entertainment was the European branch of Bandai Entertainment that also distributed anime and music and were also owned by Bandai Namco Holdings. [26] The name is an acronym for Bandai Entertainment European Zone. Following the discontinuation of Bandai Entertainment, Beez has also stopped releasing anime in the European market. [27] Their anime releases were licensed in North America by Bandai Entertainment and Bandai Visual USA.

Bandai Visual USA

Bandai Visual USA was established in 2005 to distribute and market Bandai Visual's productions in North America. [28] Unlike Bandai Entertainment, Bandai Visual USA's releases were of high quality and were aimed at collectors. Their titles were released under the Honnêamise label (named after their Bandai Visual's first production, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise). Bandai Visual USA's anime products were distributed in North America initially by Image Entertainment and later, Geneon Entertainment USA and in Europe by Beez Entertainment. [29] [30] On May 23, 2008, Bandai Namco Holdings announced that Bandai Visual USA would be merged into Bandai Entertainment. [23] Bandai Visual USA was dissolved on July 1, 2008.

Honnêamise

Honnêamise was Bandai Visual USA's boutique label that distributed deluxe editions of anime and artsier products. The label's namesake comes from Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise . The label was shut down on July 1, 2008, when Bandai Visual USA was absorbed into Bandai Entertainment. The label's releases were distributed by Geneon Entertainment USA and Image Entertainment.

Music

In August 2009, Bandai Visual had their first music release on US iTunes with Lantis Sounds. In September 2009, Bandai Visual teamed up with Namco Bandai Games for their periodic release of game sounds (classic and new) to iTunes USA. [31] [32]

Notes

  1. Japanese: 株式会社バンダイビジュアル, Hepburn: Kabushiki gaisha Bandai Bijuaru

Related Research Articles

<i>Gundam</i> Japanese media franchise

Gundam is a Japanese military science fiction media franchise/media mix. Created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Sunrise, the franchise features giant robots, or mecha, with the name "Gundam". The franchise began on April 7, 1979 with Mobile Suit Gundam, a TV series that defined the "real robot" mecha anime genre by featuring giant robots called mobile suits in a militaristic setting. The popularity of the series and its merchandise spawned a franchise that includes 50 TV series, films and OVAs as well as manga, novels and video games, along with a whole industry of plastic model kits known as Gunpla which makes up 90 percent of the Japanese character plastic-model market.

Sunrise (company) Japanese animation studio

Sunrise Inc. is a Japanese animation studio founded in September 1972 and is based in Suginami, Tokyo. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise and, before that, Sunrise Studio.

Bandai Japanese toy company

Bandai Co., Ltd. is a Japanese toy maker and a producer of many plastic model kits as well as a former video game company. Its headquarters are located in Taitō, Tokyo. From 1981 until 2001, Bandai also produced video game consoles.

NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan LLC is a Japanese music, anime, and home entertainment production and distribution enterprise headquartered in Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo. It is primarily involved in the production and distribution of anime within Japan.

Ocean Productions, Inc. is a Canadian media production and voice acting company based in Vancouver, British Columbia that is part of the Ocean Group of businesses. Ocean Group is involved in intellectual property acquisition and development, co-production and the creation of English versions of animation for worldwide distribution.

Bandai Namco Holdings Japanese holding company

Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., also known as the Bandai Namco Group and generally Bandai Namco, is a Japanese holding company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, formed from the merger of Bandai and Namco on September 29, 2005. The company specializes in toys, video games, arcades, anime, and amusement parks. Bandai Namco also supply various arcade machines to movie theaters and arcades across the globe. As of March 2021, it is the third largest video game holding companies in Japan in terms of revenue and market capitalization, after Sony Interactive Entertainment and Nintendo, ahead of Sega Sammy Holdings, Konami, and Square Enix.

Right Stuf Inc. Asian media distributor

Right Stuf Inc. is an independent video publisher and distributor of video programming that specializes in Asian entertainment. The company has several divisions including: Nozomi Entertainment (production), Critical Mass, RightStufAnime.com and 5 Points Pictures. In March 2012, Right Stuf launched 5 Points Pictures, its live action label. Right Stuf also offers production services and distribution for Japanese labels Aniplex of America, Sunrise Inc., Eleven Arts, and Pony Canyon.

<i>Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl</i> A Japanese yuri manga series written by Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Yukimaru Katsura

Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl is a Japanese yuri manga series written by Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Yukimaru Katsura. The manga was originally serialized in Dengeki Daioh between the July 2004 and May 2007 issues, and later published in five bound volumes by MediaWorks from January 2005 to May 2007. The story focuses on Hazumu Osaragi, a normal, albeit effeminate high school boy who is killed when an alien spaceship crash lands on him, only to be restored to health as a girl. This results in a same-sex love triangle that Hazumu finds herself in with two of her best female friends.

Lantis (company)

Lantis Co., Ltd. was a Japanese company that served as a music publisher label for Japanese musicians, anime soundtracks and video game soundtracks. It was established on November 26, 1999, and became a subsidiary of Bandai Visual in May 2006, itself a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. In February 2018, it was announced Lantis would be merged with Bandai Visual into a new company called Bandai Namco Arts. The reorganizing took effect on April 1, 2018. Lantis only remains as a label from the new company.

Animaze.. iNC was an American production company known for producing English language dubs for many high profile anime series, such as Cowboy Bebop, Trigun' Code Geass, and Wolf's Rain, and video games, such as Xenosaga Episode I and the .hack series. It was also known for its work on anime films such as Ghost in the Shell and the redub of Akira. The company was founded by Kevin Seymour, formerly of U.S. Renditions. The company closed when Kevin Seymour died in 2014.

Bandai Namco Entertainment Japanese video game publisher

Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. is a Japanese multinational video game publisher headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo. Its international branches, Bandai Namco Entertainment America and Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe, are respectively headquartered in Santa Clara, California and Lyon, France. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings, an entertainment conglomerate.

<i>Sola</i> (manga)

Sola is a Japanese work originally conceived by Naoki Hisaya with original character design by Naru Nanao. Sola is a mixed media project, first unveiled through the prologue of the manga featured in the Japanese manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on December 21, 2006, published by MediaWorks. The manga, which is illustrated by Chako Abeno, ended serialization on February 21, 2008. The manga has been licensed for distribution in North America by Broccoli Books with the first volume being released in June 2008. A short drama CD which also served as a prologue to the series was released at Comiket 71 in December 2006, and a second drama CD was released in May 2008. An anime version aired in Japan between April and June 2007; the anime contained thirteen episodes, and two additional DVD-exclusive episodes followed. The anime was licensed by Bandai Entertainment for distribution in North America in a subtitle-only box set of all fifteen episodes. The title, Sola, is close in pronunciation to the Japanese word sora. At the end of 2007, Japanese anime fans voted Sola as the best anime of the year.

Sotsu Japanese advertising agency

Sotsu Co., Ltd. is a Japanese advertising agency and, since March 2020, a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings, having substantial relations with it before the acquisition, especially with its now-corporate sibling, Sunrise.

<i>Patlabor 2: The Movie</i> 1993 Japanese film

Patlabor 2: The Movie is a 1993 Japanese political thriller science-fiction mecha anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also directed Patlabor: The Movie. It was produced by Production I.G, Bandai Visual and Tohokushinsha.

Section23 Films American multimedia distributor

SXION 23 LLC, doing business as Section23 Films is an American multimedia distributor specializing in anime and Japanese films.

Daisuki was a Japanese website focused on streaming anime content, which was founded in 2013 by Asatsu-DK and six production companies: Toei Animation, Aniplex, Sunrise, TMS Entertainment, Nihon Ad Systems, and Dentsu. Daisuki was managed by Anime Consortium Japan, an anime content joint venture financed by Asatsu-DK, Bandai Namco, the Cool Japan Fund, and several animation studios, and which is currently managed by Bandai Namco.

The giant robot anime franchise Gundam is a popular culture icon in Japan. The Gundam franchise had grossed over $5 billion in retail sales by 2000. Its owner Bandai Namco Holdings was earning up to ¥54.5 billion per year from products based on the Gundam characters by 2007, rising to ¥80.2 billion per year by 2014.

Bandai Namco Pictures Inc. is a Japanese animation studio and production company. It is a spinoff of Sunrise, a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings. The company was formed as a part of the medium-term management plan of Bandai Namco Holdings on restructuring itself. All the anime intellectual property and production divisions of Sunrise that aims at children and family was transferred to Bandai Namco Pictures. The company began its operations in April 2015.

Bandai Namco Arts Anime and music producer and distributor

Bandai Namco Arts Inc. is a Japanese company formed by the merger of Bandai Visual and its subsidiary Lantis by its owner Bandai Namco Holdings in February 2018. The company is responsible for the same area of its predecessors, which those being anime production and distribution and music production and distribution.

References

  1. "Bandai Visual" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 26, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
  2. "NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc. – Group Companies". Archived from the original on March 7, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  3. "IR information : Press release Third Medium-Term Plan" . Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  4. "Bandai Visual Acquires Girls & Panzer Anime Studio Actas". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Corporate History". www.bandaivisual.co.jp (in Japanese). Bandai Visual. September 2017. Archived from the original on September 24, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  6. 1 2 3 Grant, Tina (2003). International Directory of Company Histories (Volume 55 ed.). St. James Press. p. 44. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
  7. 1 2 3 Nikkei BP Technical Research Department (June 17, 1999). 第三章 ビジネスの仕組みが変わる 一.版権ビジネスの体制を見直す ●作品発表の場として根付くOVA」『アニメ・ビジネスが変わる―アニメとキャラクター・ビジネスの真実[Chapter 3 — Business Structure Changes 1. Reviewing the Copyright Business System ● OVA Rooted as a Place to Present Works ”“ Animation Business Changes-The Truth About Anime and Character Business] (in Japanese). Nikkei BP. pp. 88–89. ISBN   4-8222-2550-X.
  8. "リターン・トゥ・ゾーク — RETURN TO ZORK" (in Japanese) (13). SoftBank Group. Sega Saturn Magazine Japan. December 8, 1995. p. 4.
  9. "Sega Saturn Soft Review - 超時空要塞マクロス 愛・おぼえていますか" [Sega Saturn Soft Review — Choujikuu Yousai Macross: Ai Oboete Imasu ka] (in Japanese). SoftBank Group. Sega Saturn Magazine Japan. June 20, 1997. p. 147.
  10. Gramuglia, Anthony (October 21, 2020). "From Bandai to 4Kids, the Anime Distributors That Didn't Survive". Comic Book Resources . Valnet. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
  11. 1 2 "Bandai Entertainment". Archived from the original on July 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
  12. "Bandai announces anime club support program". Anime News Network. December 2, 2002. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  13. Masuda, Hiromichi (July 25, 2007). アニメビジネスがわかる[Understanding The Anime Business]. NTT Publishing. p. 206. ISBN   9784757122000.
  14. "バンダイV、著作権事業開始…エモーションMを子会社化" [Bandai Visual starts copyright business ... Makes Emotion Music a subsidiary]. Braina News (in Japanese). Braina. January 30, 2003. Archived from the original on March 27, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  15. Ann Wright, Jean (July 18, 2013). Animation Writing and Development - From Script Development to Pitch. CRC Press. p. 28. ISBN   9781136144059.
  16. Ito, Daichi (May 12, 2001). "BBコンテンツの雄「バンダイチャンネル」の戦略 ~ブロードバンドオリジナルの作品が来年にも登場~". BB Watch (in Japanese). Impress Group. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  17. "NAMCO BANDAI Holdings Inc. to Fully Acquire Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. and Bandai Networks Co., Ltd". Reuters. January 15, 2008. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  18. "Bandai Visual Co. Ltd.: Private Company Information". BusinessWeek. January 19, 2008. Archived from the original on February 22, 2008. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
  19. 1 2 Schilling, Mark (December 17, 2007). "Bandai Namco buys up subsidiaries". Variety.
  20. Schilling, Mark (November 8, 2007). "Bandai taking over subsidiaries". Variety.
  21. "NAMCO BANDAI Holdings announces complete takeover of BANDAI VISUAL". KatanaXtreme.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  22. "Bandai Namco Holdings Merges Lantis With Bandai Visual, Launches New Subsidiaries". Anime News Network. February 9, 2018. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
  23. 1 2 "Bandai Visual USA to be Liquidated by September". Anime News Network. May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on May 25, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  24. "Bandai Entertainment to Stop Releasing New DVDs, BDs, Manga". Anime News Network. January 2, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  25. "Bandai Entertainment to Discontinue Home Video, Manga, Novel Sales". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  26. "About Beez: Company Profile". Beez Entertainment. Archived from the original on May 12, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2007.
  27. France's Beez Entertainment Stops Releasing New Anime - News. Anime News Network (2012-01-05). Retrieved on 2014-05-12.
  28. "Bandai Visual Establishes US Office". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  29. "Bandai Visual USA to Launch Honneamise Label". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  30. "Bandai Visual USA New Licenses and Distribution Label". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  31. "Bandai Visual's new project – game sounds on iTunes". J!-ENT . Retrieved September 2, 2009.
  32. "Bandai Visual and Namco Games partner up for Game Sounds" (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). Bandai Visual. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 2, 2009.