Sunrise Studio is now one of the largest animation creators and has been around since the 1970s. The Company has been making anime since the time anime wasn’t that popular in the world. From good old grandiose space operas like ‘Planets’ and ‘Cowboy Bebop’ to new golden comedies like ‘Gintama,’ Sunrise has some of the most famous anime titles under its belt today.
Second to Ghibli, Sunrise is also one of Japan’s largest animation studios with more than 220 employees and, most of all has produced more than 100 animes so far, many of which are very good and the others somewhat below average. So, we’ve decided to take you down a list of some of their best anime episodes, out of which you’re likely to see a lot of Mecha and a lot of space-centric series as well. Don’t be shocked if you see a lot of old obscure faces from the 80s and 90s, since some of their best works are shockingly unknown to the world.
1. Cowboy Bebop
At this point, is there something that has yet to be stated about Cowboy Bebop? This is the only anime worthy of dealing with the success and cultural importance of Dragon Ball Z outside Japan. Influenced by Western culture and seamlessly combining a variety of styles such as neo-noir, comedy, and horror, Shinichirō Watanabe’s anime has strengthened the industry.
For those two people who are not familiar with Sunrise’s series, Cowboy Bebop focuses on the trials and tribulations of the bounty hunters’ crew. If referring to the former hitman Spike Spiegel or the sensual Faye Valentine, the anime’s whole list of characters is well-written, three-dimensional and classic. Dealing with the concepts of existentialism, isolation, and regret; Cowboy Bebop goes way beyond its pulpy origins to create a profoundly entertaining and emotional narrative. This anime is more than the eye reaches.
2. Yakitate!! Japan
Who’s not in love with bread? Oh, Sunrise is clearly no different, as the studio devoted a 69-episode sequence to baking. Based on Takashi Hashiguchi’s manga, Yakitate!! Japan is a shimmering sequence that glamorized the art of cooking ten years before the Food Wars began! Shokugeki no Soma.Kazuma Azuma is a boy on a quest to make the greatest Japanese bread capable of serving the whole country. Although France and Italy have their own final brands of freshly baked products, Japan lacks the distinction and Kazuma exists to remedy this difference.
In order to master his art, the boy applies to Japan’s iconic Pantasia Main Branch Store, even though he ends up being stationed in a much smaller and quirky shop. And if you don’t want to bake someone’s fancy, Yakitate! Japan’s biggest draw is its outrageous cunning and wacky fun. Sunrise’s long-running anime is a blast to watch, parodying several shounen conventions.
At the twinkling of an eye, the story of Hideaki Sorachi will flip-flop from irreverent humor to deadly conflict, but Gintama manages both tones without breaking the sweat. Though Sunrise only produced the first 265 episodes of the series before handing the reins over to Bandai Namco Pictures, Gintama’ saw the studio go out on a high note. With the exception of Gintama: ‘Enchousen ‘s short-run, Gintama was Sunrise’s swan song for the series, and the studio went out in style! As the crew of Odd Jobs; Gintoki, Kagura, and Shinpachi appear to welcome unusual and risky demands from those eager to inquire.
For the most part, Gintama’s attention is more on the comic side of things, while the Kabukicho Four Devas and Baragaki arcs have their fair share of dramatic moments. Gintama is a master lesson of comedy, parodying a multitude of shows and stuffed with pop-culture references. Sunrise’s animation barely disappears, although the more severe sequences can be brutal and heart-breaking at the same time.
4. Outlaw Star
It’s one of the classic animes to be included on this series, Outlaw Star is getting a big dose of both action and satire, with some dramatic glimmers added on. Gene Starwind and his childhood friend Jim Hawking have a company where they do some strange work. One day, they found a strange girl with a special ship that travels through space, and they followed her. Together, they continue to pick up interesting new crew members as they search for the elusive Interstellar Leyline while still doing uncommon work and time in space. The characters are iconic, and some of the more funny ones,
“The Greatest Lady in the World” and “Hot Springs Planet Tenrei,” have some form of dialogue to go on. Give this a try if you love working with some of the ecchi elements that are seldom thrown around. Outlaw Star is frantic, intermittently funny, and filled to the brim with wild visuals! A great companion to Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, Sunrise’s anime has won the right to be listed alongside others.
5. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
One of the most praised accomplishments of Sunrise Inc., which has inspired countless series and has acted as the norm for all mecha anime, Code Geass: Lelouch Of The Revolt, is still a marvel to the anime community. It’s one of the best animes produced by Sunrise Studio, but it’s also among the top-ranked anime series out there. It has won a variety of awards, including the “Best Anime” at the International Anime Fair. The franchise includes manga, light novels, OVAs, and even video games.
The plot follows the lord of the spiritual force of the Geass, Lelouch Lamperouge, the banished prince of Britannia, who led a full-scale mecha revolt against his father and his former British kingdom. Acclaimed for its themes of morality, social struggle, political chaos, and militant populism, Code Geass relies on its insightful dialogue, well-developed characters, and fast-paced action to advance its storyline.
Drawing similarities to a critically acclaimed film, Gravity, Planets is an underestimated gem of existential philosophy, human psychology, and political corruption. The plot follows the crew of the space debris retrieval vehicle, known as the Toy Box. Using the low work of disposing of garbage and the vacuum of space as contexts to demonstrate the lives, aspirations, concerns, and identities of the characters in the story.
Planets arise from its rivalry from its distinct study of various adult concepts such as depression, solitude, anguish, and self-fulfillment. The series, as well as the manga, were published to unanimous acclaim, becoming one of the best science fiction animes ever made.
Higurashi Kagome is just a regular schoolgirl, before one day a demon takes her to Feudal Japan. As if it wasn’t enough, she finds that she is the bearer of a powerful stone, whose influence could be catastrophic if it fell into the wrong hands. When the gem is shattered into a million pieces, Kagome joins forces with the half-demon Inu Yasha and a host of other characters to track down the gem’s fragments and save them from being used for evil!
We join the big guns from number 5 onwards! Inuyasha is based on a popular manga, which itself had an original 8-year history! Not to be outdone, however, Sunrise followed Inuyasha with a second season, four films, and an OVA. Inuyasha is a silently popular anime and one that any anime fan has heard of!
8. City Hunter
The series centers on the private eye, Ryo, also known as the City Tracker, who remains committed to keeping Tokyo safe and free from violence. Since his wife is brutally killed, the womanizing Ryo is compelled to take care of his partner’s little sister, Kaori, who unwittingly becomes his new partner. Having met with overwhelming acclaim, City Hunter spawned many films and spin-offs, one of them starring Jackie Chan, and solidified its status as one of the most influential animes of all time.
9. Tiger and Bunny
Join Sternbuild City, where all the superheroes participating in a reality TV show to be crowned King of Heroes. One of these superheroes is a veteran Wild Tiger; he’s considered past his prime and has virtually no chance of winning the award. But when he’s paired up with the rookie Barnaby “Bunny” Brooks, things start looking like the old-timer that’s when they’re not busy arguing! Can Tiger and Bunny overcome their differences and become crowned kings?
One of Sunrise’s most recent beloved fans, Tiger and Rabbit, was a critical and commercial hit. There was a one-shot manga and two films-a kind of prequel and a sequel. The series was so popular that when Bandai launched a series of action figures they sell out fast!
10. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
The 14th installment of the long-running mecha franchise is Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans. The plot follows a small group of child soldiers, the Third Army Division, and their quest for independence and meaning as they defend the young activist, Kudelia Bernstein, battling for their emancipation against a dictatorial military force called Gjallarhorn. Criticized abroad for housing adult subjects in a children’s series, the series centers on numerous real-life concerns such as war, slavery, child soldiers, poverty, politics, corruption, and imperialism.
One of the most successful entries in the Gundam series, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, focuses on the subversive political and psychological facets of democracy, fighting, and industry instead of the series’s usual emphasis on action and mecha fights.
11. Daily Lives of High School Boys
The title of High School Boys’ Daily Lives is an apt reflection of Sunrise’s anime. Based on Yasunobu Yamauchi’s manga, released by Square Enix, this piece-of-life comedy really manages to depict its robust line-up of characters as true high school students. With the exception of a few ridiculous gags that almost always strike, this is a pretty well-founded sitcom that centers on the antics of a group of teenagers.
Attending Sanada North Boys High School; Tadakuni, Hidenori Tabata, and Yoshitake Tanaka are the closest friends and complement each other well. Although Tadakuni is very serious and relatable, Tanaka and Tabata are amusing characters who frequently get embroiled in uncomfortable or dumb misadventures. Even if these three serve as representatives, in fact, the Daily Lives of High School Boys is a comedy ensemble involving more than a dozen recurring characters.
12. Love Live! The School Idol Movie
Love Live, man! It’s never going to be about complicated plots or thought-provoking social commentaries; no, we enjoy the show for its catchy songs, light-hearted humor, and lovely characters centers around nine schoolgirls who are trying to start a career as idols. Behind the events of the second season, Love Live! School Idol Movie acts as a culmination for the third-year students of the cast and places a fresh coat of paint on the franchise.
Even if material and premise rarely open up to any profound ideas, it hardly means that Sunrise did not carry its A-game! Love Live, man! School Idol Movie is a beautiful piece of art featuring crisp animation and excellent direction by Takahiko Kyogoku. Offering some much-needed resolution, Sunrise’s movie is a simple recommendation for the fans of the film.
13. Good Luck Girl!
Slapstick is a staple of animation, and few studios treat these times with the unbridled enthusiasm of Sunrise. With a few Gintama seasons under its belt, the studio has mastered the craft of physical comedy and binbougami ga! It’s similar to Sunrise’s amusing Magnus Opus.
It’s still sunny in Philadelphia reveals that greedy characters can be great forms of entertainment and the same is true in the anime industry. Binbougami ga, man! It pits two polar opposite protagonists who are out to kill each other for their own personal benefit. Due to a defect in the world, Sakura Ichiko unwittingly takes the luck of the people around her, causing the arrival of the poverty god Momiji to strip away the power of Ichiko. Unwilling to part with their good fortune, the two women are engaged in huge shonen-style brawls to decide the winner!
14. The Big O
Written by the very warped mind of Chiaki J. Konaka, who penned Serial Experiments Lain and Hellsing’s animated adaptation, The Big O introduces an utterly intriguing setting based around the people of Paradigm City, who together lost their memory some 40 years before the start of the series. Building a strong neo-noir atmosphere and paying tribute to the classic Japanese and Western shows of the past, The Big O struggled to attract an audience in Japan, leading Sunrise to reduce the 26 episodes scheduled for the first season to just half that number.
In a rare twist of fate, The Big O proved to be a success with Western audiences, and the series got a new lease of life. Although fans of Sunrise’s mecha origins can be more than pleased with The Big O’s spectacular action sequences, the show performs better when it relies on its awesome protagonist and core mystery.