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Fafner Production Stays With IG Port as XEBECzwei Studio Is Renamed

posted on by Egan Loo
I.G takes in zwei & photography unit, Signal.MD takes in coloring unit after most of Xebec transfer to Sunrise

IG Port, the parent company of several anime studios including Production I.G and Wit Studio, gave more details on the reorganization that will transfer most production operations of its anime studio Xebec to Sunrise this year. In a December 27 press release, IG Port emphasized that the production of this year's Sōkyū no Fafner THE BEYOND anime will remain within IG Port's group companies, even after the transfer of most Xebec operations to Sunrise.

IG Port plans to transfer Xebec's main animation production and production management departments in Nishi-Tokyo City to a new company that Sunrise will establish this spring.

However, IG Port will transfer Xebec's photography department (which handles compositing and other post-production duties in the animation process) and Sōkyū no Fafner THE BEYOND's XEBECzwei studio in Tokyo's Nerima ward to its subsidiary Production I.G. As a result, Production I.G plans to rename XEBECzwei as IG zwei.

In addition, IG Port will transfer Xebec's coloring department to Signal.MD, another IG Port group company.

Sunrise, IG Port, and Xebec agreed to a general outline of these transfers under a letter of intent on November 21. Sunrise plans to establish the new subsidiary to take in most of Xebec's production operations on March 1. The companies plan to sign the finalized agreement on March 11, and formally transfer the operations on April 1 (the start of the Japanese fiscal year).

XEBECzwei is the primary animation production studio handling Sōkyū no Fafner THE BEYOND, although the main Xebec studio is still credited for creating the Fafner franchise. The first three of 12 episodes in Sōkyū no Fafner THE BEYOND will open in theaters on May 17.

The final film in another anime, Xebec's Star Blazers 2202 (Uchū Senkan Yamato 2202: Ai no Senshi-tachi), will open in theaters on March 1.

Xebec has been in operation since its founding in May 1995. Its many works include Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2202, Martian Successor Nadesico, Hana Kappa, and Future Card Buddyfight. Its current president is Nobuyoshi Habara.

Sunrise was founded over 40 years ago in 1972 as Sunrise Studio, before renaming itself as Nippon Sunrise and eventually just Sunrise. It is now a group company of Bandai Namco Holdings. Its many works include Mobile Suit Gundam, Code Geass, Love Live!, and Cowboy Bebop. Its current president is Yasuo Miyakawa.

Sources: IG Port's press release, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)


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