A new book collecting all of the performance scenes from Shinichi Ishizuka’s Blue Giant was released today, coming with an extra goodie: a compilation CD collecting some jazz greats for you to enjoy while reading the music-themed series. Considering that we’ve written a couple of articles about setting the mood properly when you read manga as of late, BLUE GIANT LIVE SELECTION comes at the perfect time.
Available to purchase now via the official Big Comic Bros website (the physical editions appear to be sold out, but the digital version is still available), BLUE GIANT LIVE SELECTION isn’t just your average artbook. Not only does it have a singular focus on the performances that punctuate Shinichi Ishizuka’s incredible series, it also reproduces them in the original, B5-size magazine format.
This means that you can appreciate the artistry of these scenes like never before – an experience that will no doubt be heightened by the included compilation CD. Featuring such legends as John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk, it was put together with input from both original creator Ishizuka and producer Kaiichi Isoka, who looks after jazz over at Universal Music Japan.
Unfortunately, Blue Giant is woefully overlooked in the west despite being one of the most lauded seinen manga of the past decade. An English publisher has yet to pick up the series, which is an absolute tragedy in my opinion. Still, English readers may still be interested in seeing what sort of artists have been featured as part of the BLUE GIANT LIVE SELECTION, which you can check out via the official website.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that this book comes not five days after Swingin’ Dragon & Tiger Boogie dropped its own official jazz playlist on streaming services. Koukou Haida’s series was actually endorsed by Ishizuka when its first volume released, carrying a recommendation from him on the wrap-around obi cover.
If this means that more music-themed series are going to get official track listings, then so be it. Finding the right music to read to is always a pain, and music forms such a core part of these series that it feels like almost a shame not to immortalize it – but if other, more general manga want to dip their toes into the trend, then so be it.
You can purchase the BLUE GIANT LIVE SELECTION via Shogakukan.