Details of Xebec’s move to sunrise have come out, and it includes some potential good news for Xebec fans.
The new studio is located near the Tanashi train station in Nishi-Tokyo, at the same address as Xebec studio’s current address. Sunrise previously revealed in January that it will establish a new company to take in Xebec‘s operations on March 1. In the previous January announcement, the companies outlined their plan to sign the finalized agreement on March 11, and formally transfer the operations on April 1 (the start of the Japanese fiscal year).
There was another news source (I forget where I saw it) that said that Xebec will keep the majority of their team intact under the new label of Sunrise Beyond. It sounds like Xebec’s coloring department, photography department, and studio Xebeczwei are moving to production IG subsidiaries, but other than those minor losses, the rest are staying together. Not only are they staying together, they are even staying in the same building as before.
This is significant because at the time Xebec was purchased the pessimistic outlook was that Sunrise was only doing it to poach Xebec’s licenses and dissolve the company for its talent assets. The optimistic outlook was that Xebec would still operate as before, just under a new name and new ownership. Keeping the main core together is a big step in the direction of the optimist’s scenario.
Of course, it’s no good to us if they keep Xebec together, only to make more shows like Fafner or Tokyo ESP at the expense of ecchi. We will probably have to wait a few months before the ‘new’ studio’s first projects are announced, so lets all cross our fingers and hope that they are still allowed to pursue ecchi projects.
Sunrise isn’t really known for ecchi, and it seems unlikely that Sunrise Beyond would still have full autonomy given that their previous way of doing things got them to the point of being bought out in the first place. With that said, what meager success Xebec has had financially the past several years has been in ecchi anime, which at least avoided being financial disasters (with the exception of Keijo!!, an anime that deserved to be a disaster).
At any rate, we’re hardly out of the woods yet, but so far this early news on the new Xebec studio is about as good as could be hoped at this early stage. Hopefully we’ll get more good news in the future.