NEW YORK (June 13, 2023) – GKIDS, celebrating its 15th anniversary as a producer and distributor of award-winning and artist-driven animation from around the world, announced today it had acquired all North American distribution rights for the music drama anime BLUE GIANT. The film is directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, whose credits include directing the mega-hit anime series “Mob Psycho 100”, as well as the cult hit series “Death Parade,” “DECA-DENCE,” and the latest film in the blockbuster Detective Conan franchise, Detective Conan: The Black Iron Submarine.
BLUE GIANT is adapted from the internationally-renowned manga of the same name, written by manga artist Shinichi Ishizuka. The series won the Japan Media Arts Festival and Shogakukan Manga awards. They were nominated for the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize and as “Comic of the Year” at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. NUMBER 8, the editor of the original manga, joined the film production to write the script.
The film follows the story of Dai Miyamoto, a former high school basketball player who discovers a love of jazz and dedicates himself to learning the saxophone. He leaves his town for the clubs of Tokyo, determined to become the best saxophone player in the world, but he soon discovers the life of a professional musician is not for the faint of heart.
World-renowned virtuoso pianist Hiromi Uehara composed the in-story original music played by Miyamoto and his jazz trio JASS and additionally plays for the character Yukinori Sawabe. Drummer Shun Ishikawa of the global hit band Millennium Parade and saxophonist Tomoaki Baba join Hiromi Uehara in playing for the characters Shunji Tamada and Dai Miyamoto, respectively.
BLUE GIANT opened domestically in Japan on February 17th and earned over 1 billion yen (approx. $7.5 million) at the Japanese box office throughout its run in Japanese theaters. The film will play as a sneak preview screening at the 2023 Annecy International Animation Film Festival before GKIDS releases BLUE GIANT in North American theaters later this year. GKIDS and TOHO CO., LTD negotiated the all-rights North American distribution deal.
“Blue Giant is a thrilling and moving exploration of what it takes to pursue true artistic and creative excellence,” said GKIDS’ President David Jesteadt. “We are proud to share this special film that captures the spirit of the beloved manga for a new audience, with one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in years.”
Original Language: Japanese
Runtime: 120 min
Director: Yuzuru Tachikawa
Screenplay: NUMBER 8
Original Creator: Shinichi Ishizuka
Music: Hiromi Uehara
Japanese Voice Cast: Amane Okayama, Yuki Yamada, Shotaro Mamiya
Dai Miyamoto’s life is turned upside down the day he discovers jazz. A former high school basketball player, Dai picks up a saxophone and begins practicing day and night, determined to become one of the greatest of all time. He leaves his sleepy hometown for the bustling nightclubs of Tokyo but soon finds the life of a professional musician is not for the faint of heart. His passion eventually wins over the cocky but talented pianist Yukinori. After Dai convinces his friend Shunji to learn the drums, they launch a new jazz trio whose rough sound contains raw energy that quickly wins the attention of local audiences. But what does it take to be truly great?
From director Yuzuru Tachikawa (Mob Psycho 100) and based on the award-winning manga, Blue Giant is a moving ode to the power of music and the artist, featuring electric performances and a stunning jazz soundtrack.