GKIDS Tunes Up North American Rights for Japanese Anime Feature ‘Blue Giant’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Animation producer and distributor GKIDS has acquired all North American rights to the music-driven anime feature “Blue Giant.”

The film, an adaptation of the manga of the same name, is directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa (“Mob Psycho100,” “Death Parade,” “Detective Conan: The Black Iron Submarine”). Number 8, the editor of the original “Blue Giant” manga written by Shinichi Ishizuka, penned the script.

In “Blue Giant,” former high school basketball player Dai Miyamoto discovers a love for jazz, and determines to learn the saxophone. He hits the jazz clubs of Tokyo in his quest to be the best sax player in the world. Dai launches a trio with cocky but talented pianist Yukinori, with Dai’s friend Shunji on the drums. But he soon learns that life as a professional musician is harder than it looks from the outside.

Pianist Hiromi Uehara composed the in-story original music and also plays for the character Yukinori. Drummer Shun Ishikawa, of the band Millennium Parade, and saxophonist Tomoaki Baba, play for the characters Shunji and Dai, respectively.

“Blue Giant” opened in Japan Feb. 17, and grossed more than 1 billion yen ($7.5 million). It also unspooled at the Annecy International Animation Festival June 12. GKIDS plans a North American release later this year. The deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Toho Co.

“ ‘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.” 

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