The Big Picture
- In upcoming anime Blue Giant, former high school basketball star Dai Miyamoto is determined to become the biggest jazz musician in the world, practicing the saxophone day and night.
- Dai convinces a dismissive pianist and his friend to form a jazz trio, but they face challenges and rifts as they try to make it in Tokyo’s music scene.
- Blue Giant, based on the acclaimed manga, features an all-star team including director Yuzuru Tachikawa and renowned musicians Hiromi Uehara and Tomoaki Baba.
Ya like jazz? Well, former high school basketball star Dai Miyamoto, the protagonist of the upcoming anime feature Blue Giant, lives and breathes jazz. Ever since being introduced to the soulful music genre, he’s wanted to become the biggest jazz musician in the world, practicing the saxophone day and night to perfect his performance. Now, GKIDS has unveiled the official trailer for Blue Giant showing Dai’s journey from his sleepy hometown to the clubs of Tokyo where he convinces a cocky but talented pianist and his best friend to join him in a jazz trio. He soon finds out, however, that the life of a professional musician isn’t for the faint of heart.
The trailer wastes no time showing Dai’s determination as he practices his saxophone in the chilly night air as snow falls. Alone on the streets of Tokyo, he’s desperate to achieve his dreams, and he immediately finds some help from the initially dismissive pianist Yukinori Sawabe. Roping in his friend Shunji Tamada to play drums, the band is ready to hit the clubs and show their sound to all of Tokyo. Immediately, however, they’re dismissed by audiences which quickly exposes the rifts between them. Yukinori sees his bandmates as a stepping stone to greater heights while Shunji severely doubts his own abilities on the drums. Despite the disconnect, Dai wants to push forward with their discordant play style, believing with all his heart that their unique sound will catch on.
Blue Giant is based on the manga of the same name by Shinichi Ishizuka which ran for ten volumes from 2013 to 2016 and would go on to earn worldwide acclaim. The series won both the Japan Media Arts Festival Award and the Shogakukan Manga Award and was nominated for the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize as well as for “Comic of the Year” at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. For its feature adaptation, Blue Giant managed to grab one of the best anime directors around in Yuzuru Tachikawa who helmed major hits like Death Parade and the bombastic Mob Psycho 100 as well as the most recent Detective Conan movie, Detective Conan: The Black Iron Submarine. He’s also contributed to well-known titles like Steins;Gate and Attack on Titan. The manga’s original editor, NUMBER 8, also came aboard to pen the script.
Who Makes Up Dai’s Band in ‘Blue Giant’?
A trio of excellent musicians is also involved in playing the music for Dai and his jazz trio. World-renowned pianist, jazz composer, and featured performer at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony Hiromi Uehara, known professionally as Hiromi, pulls double duty for Blue Giant, composing the soulful sounds played by JASS and performing Yukinori’s parts. Saxophonist Tomoaki Baba, meanwhile, plays for Dai while Millenium Parade drummer Shun Ishikawa plays for Shunji. The voice cast behind the trio consists of Amane Okayama alongside upcoming Godzilla Minus One star Yûki Yamada and Shôtarô Mamiya.
Blue Giant premiered in Japan back in February where it earned strong reviews, especially for those who love all things jazz. If the trailer is any indication, it’ll also be infused with a bit of action as Dai and his partners perform with some excellent animation directed by Tachikawa. The film also made an appearance at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival earlier this year.
Tickets are available now for Blue Giant‘s nationwide theatrical release only on October 8 and 9. Additionally, there’s still time to grab seats for a special North American premiere presented by Japan Society in New York on October 6 featuring a Q&A session with Uehara. Check out the trailer below.