For the last two weeks, I’ve been struggling to review a film that’s so incredible, it’s left me speechless. Blue Giant is touted as an anime but I guarantee it’s not like any anime you’ve ever seen. There are no weirdly precocious children. No freakishly big-busted women. There are no excruciatingly long action sequences, or morally grey archetypes. True, Blue Giant does have a vibrant colour pallet, and a fondness for philosophical dialogue, but the heart and soul of this magnificent animation is a story about the transformative power of music.
Words like superlative or life-affirming, seem trite but Yuzuru Tachikaw’s electrifying film deserves every ounce of frothing praise that’s being heaped on it.
The full-length film is based on Shinichi Ishizuka’s hit manga series, and follows Dai Myamoto (Yuki Yumada) who moves to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming the world’s greatest jazz musician. There, he meets the technically brilliant, but buttoned-down keyboardist, Yukinori (Shôtarô Mama), and drummer Shunji Tamada (Amane Okayama), who plays with more passion than talent, and is just happy to be along for the ride.
The plot is simple enough, but the telling of it grabs you and won’t let go. A specially composed soundtrack by Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara, accompanies every real-time performance. The result is buckets of magic and a whole heap of heart.
Blue Giant is that rarity — a genre film, that’s daring, innovative, breaks all the rules, shouldn’t work, but does. Boy, does it.
Blue Giant will be released in selected cinemas across the United Kingdom and Ireland from 31st January in Japanese with English subtitles. Do not miss it.