The anime movie Blue Giant, based on the manga series of the same name, is currently playing in Japanese theaters. The movie is about a boy who plays jazz, so in the end renowned jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara became the composer. The Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun wrote an article about how fans of the franchise can finally hear music attached to the story, noting “the long-running comic could never provide a key element of the story: the actual music.”
“In jazz, whose key element is improvisation, the same music cannot be performed repeatedly,” remarked director Yuzuru Tachikawa. “I put the instant sparkles and their ephemerality at the core of the drama.”
Tachikawa also said, “I intentionally made their [the characters’] music sound subdued at the beginning when they form a band, and then brought together the music and visual elements to reach the climax. I hope the audience will experience their live performance in a good environment of a movie theater.”
In addition to composing the music, that’s Uehara herself you hear playing the piano in the movie.
Seven Seas publishes the original manga in English, and gave this description for the first omnibus:
“Dai lived a normal high school life in Sendai: a city of hot summer days and rainy nights. Between basketball, part time jobs, and an uncertain future, something was missing. And that thing was music. With his days in senior year running out, Dai swears a heartfelt vow: ‘I’m gonna be the best jazz player in the world.’
But what do you need to be the best? Talent? Effort? A lucky break? Or maybe just a deep, pure love for music, and too much stubbornness to know when to quit.
Winner of The Shogakukan Manga Award and the Japan Media Arts Festival Grand Prize for Manga!”
Source: Asahi Shimbun
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.