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Possibility on Sunrise's motivation...

posted on 2001-01-13 09:42 EST
Why Sunrise doesn't licence Japanese Audio for First Gundam / MS Gundam

As you should all know by now, Bandai Entertainment will be releasing Mobile Suit Gundam, renamed First Gundam, this coming August and that the release will be dub only.

You also probably know that one of the reasons for this is that Sunrise has withheld permission from Bandai to include the Japanese audio the North American DVD release.

One possible explanation for Sunrise's motivation in doing this has been brought to our attention as well as posted on several other websites.

Although there is no doubt that a Japanese release is planned, Mobile Suit Gundam has yet to be released on DVD in Japan. Sunrise fears, with good reason, that if the North American release includes the Japanese Audio track, imported R1 DVDs will seriously cut into their sales of higher priced Japanese R2 DVDs.

Typically, Japanese studios and distributors do not like to have a subbed R1 release occur until at least 6 months after the initial Japanese release. This is the reason that Buena Vista of Japan originally did not want Buena Vista of America to release Princess Mononoke with a Japanese audio track. However, as we saw with Princess Mononoke, distributors can be swayed if enough people make their voices heard.

One thing to keep in mind though, there is a second reason that no Japanese Audio track is planned for the upcoming First Gundam release. This DVD release will be of the edited TV series, exactly how much is being edited remains unclear, but the amount of editing that would be required to add the Japanese dialog to this release makes it very unlikely that it will happen. What is more likely is that Bandai may release, sometime in the future, a subbed only, unedited release of MS Gundam on DVD. Will it be called MS Gundam or First Gundam?




Editor's Note: Please understand that the above possibility is pure conjecture based on knowledge of how the industry works. In our opinion this is the most likely possibility, but it is not verified fact. Sunrises motives could possibly be different.

Editor's Note 2: Since first posting this article it has come to our attention that 1) The official name of the series will remain Mobile Suit Gundam and 2) The DVD release will not be edited, therefor the final paragraph of the above article should be ignored. We however have decided not to remove the paragraph from the article and would like to point out that all initial indications from Bandai's initial press release were that this would be the TV version and therefore edited.

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