Select theaters on October 8-9 with N. American premiere at Japan Society on October 6
GKIDS announced on Wednesday that it will screen the anime film of Shinichi Ishizuka‘s Blue Giant manga in select North American theaters on October 8-9. Japan Society will host the North American premiere in New York on October 6 with the film’s composer Hiromi Uehara in attendance. GKIDS streamed an English-subtitled trailer:
The film opened in Japan on February 17, and it earned 116,561,020 yen (about US$867,600) in its first three days. The film has earned over 1 billion yen as of April 9. The film had a sneak preview screening at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.
Yuzuru Tachikawa (Death Parade, all three seasons of Mob Psycho 100, Deca-Dence) directed the film at studio NUT. NUMBER 8, the editor of the Blue Giant manga and the story director for the Blue Giant Supreme manga, wrote the screenplay. TOHO animation is distributing the film.
World-renowned pianist Uehara composed the original music that the film’s in-story jazz trio JASS performs, and also played the piano for the character Yukinori Sawabe. Saxophonist Tomoaki Baba played the saxophone for the character Dai. Shun Ishiwaka, the drummer of the Millennium Parade band, played drums for Shunji Tamada.
Seven Seas Entertainment is publishing Ishizuka’s 10-volume Blue Giant manga series as five omnibus volumes, and it describes the story:
Miyamoto Dai, a student with a taste for basketball, changes his life the first time he sees a live jazz performance. The incredible music strikes a chord deep inside him, and he immediately decides to dedicate himself to the saxophone. He has no skills, no formal training, and no idea what he’s up against, but his obsession drives him to play that instrument day after day. Will passion be enough to become the player of his dreams? This award-winning manga from Shinichi Ishizuka, compiled into five omnibus volumes for its English debut, is a pitch-perfect drama about the power of music.
Ishizuka (Gaku – Minna no Yama) launched the manga in Big Comic in May 2013, and ended it in August 2016. The manga was nominated for the eighth Manga Taisho Awards in 2015, as well as the ninth awards in 2016. The manga won the Grand Prize in the Manga Division of the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards in 2017.
Ishizuka then launched Blue Giant Supreme sequel manga in Big Comic in September 2016, and ended it in April 2020. The manga had 10 volumes.
Ishizuka launched a new sequel manga titled Blue Giant Explorer in Big Comic in May 2020.
The Blue Giant manga series has a cumulative total of 10 million copies in circulation.