GKIDS has announced that the anime adaptation of Shinichi Ishizuka’s “Blue Giant” manga will grace select North American theaters on October 8-9, with the North American premiere at New York’s Japan Society on October 6, featuring the film’s composer Hiromi Uehara in attendance.
The film, which premiered in Japan on February 17, saw impressive success, earning approximately 116,561,020 Yen (around US$867,600) within its first three days and eventually surpassing 1 billion Yen in earnings by April 9.
The film also had a sneak preview screening at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.
Renowned pianist Uehara composed the film’s original music performed by the in-story jazz trio JASS and played the piano for the character Yukinori Sawabe, while saxophonist Tomoaki Baba played the character Dai, and Shun Ishiwaka of the Millennium Parade band played drums for Shunji Tamada.
The Blue Gaint manga is exceptional. Written and illustrated by Shinichi Ishizuka, it’s an immersive journey into the life of a young saxophonist as he navigates the intricate and soulful realm of jazz, captivating both music enthusiasts and manga lovers alike.
Blue Giant’s Plot
“I will become the world’s best Jazz player!”
Miyamoto Dai, initially a basketball enthusiast, undergoes a life-changing transformation when he witnesses his first live jazz performance. The harmonious melodies resonate deeply within him, compelling him to embrace the saxophone wholeheartedly.
With no prior skills, formal training, or clear understanding of the challenges ahead, his unwavering passion drives him to practice relentlessly.
This award-winning manga series by Shinichi Ishizuka, condensed into five omnibus volumes for its English introduction, beautifully depicts Dai’s journey and explores the immense power of music as he strives to become the musician of his dreams.
Blue Giant’s Adaptations
Blue Giant, created by Shinichi Ishizuka, was initially serialized in Shogakukan’s Big Comic from 2013 to 2016. Shogakukan compiled its chapters into 10 manga volumes. The manga inspired a second series titled “Blue Giant Supreme,” which ran in Big Comic from 2016 to 2020 and was collected into 11 volumes.
The series continued with a third addition called “Blue Giant Explorer,” serialized in Big Comic from 2020 to 2023, with the first volume released on October 30, 2020. As of February 10, 2023, eight volumes of “Blue Giant Explorer” have been released.
A fourth series, “Blue Giant Momentum,” is set in New York City and began serializing in Big Comic on July 25, 2023. An anime film adaptation was announced on October 21, 2021, produced by NUT and directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa.
Initially scheduled for a 2022 premiere, it was later rescheduled to February 17, 2023.
Worth a Watch?
Blue Giant has undoubtedly set the bar high for music anime, with a powerful and inspiring narrative that resonates with the post-high school uncertainty many of us can relate to. In a world where the pressure to follow the traditional path hangs in the air, this series blows away those fears.
The series brilliantly captures the harsh reality faced by young musicians post-high school, where a single misstep could derail their dreams. Dai’s unwavering courage and relentless pursuit of success make him an incredibly inspirational character, making every moment in the series truly special.
The characters’ journeys become deeply personal, making you feel like a devoted fan, rooting for their success as the band perseveres through the challenges of their musical careers. This emotional connection, combined with the passionate and dazzling jazz performances, keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Blue Giant is a must-see for a thrilling and elegant performance that will leave you spellbound and inspired.
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