Blue Orchestra anime releases video featuring magnificent violin music by Ryota Higashi

Key visual for the upcoming anime Blue Orchestra.
Key visual for the upcoming anime Blue Orchestra. Pic credit: @natalie.mu

On October 23, 2022, NHK’s official twitter account promoted the upcoming anime adaptation of Makoto Akui’s Ao no Orchestra (The Blue Orchestra) manga by releasing a promotional video, featuring Ryota Higashi playing uplifting violin music for the character Hajime Aono.

Blue Orchestra will premiere on the NHK Educational TV channel in Japan in April 2023!

You can watch the video via the tweet or on YouTube here:

Blue Orchestra official trailer.

The video features a dramatic scene where Hajime Aono plays Pachelbel’s “Canon” on the riverbank at dusk for a female friend.

Who is Ryota Higashi?

Ryota Higashi started playing the violin when he was only four years old! Higashi placed first in the 88th Music Competition of Japan and around the same time also received the following awards: Leucadia, Sumi, and Kuroyanagi. His performance of “Recital Passio” aired on NHK-FM and his performance of “Untitled Concert” aired on TV Asahi.

Higashi has played together with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. At Toho Gakuen College, where he studied music as a scholarship student, he graduated at the top of his class.

On January 24, 2022, the Toho Gakuen College released a video featuring Ryota Higashi (on violin) and Yuki Amako (on piano) playing “Gypsy Melodies”.

“Gypsy Melodies” performed by Ryota Higashi and Yuki Amako.

In 2019, Higashi was loaned a 1716 A Stradivarius by the Itoh Foundation for a two-year period. At Toho Gakuen College, Higashi is currently enrolled as a scholarship student in the first year of a master’s program at the Faculty of Music. Akiko Tatsumi has taught him violin techniques.

Akiko Tatsumi is a 6th fellow of the Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy and a scholarship student at the Rohm Music Foundation (2021 and 2022). Tatsumi uses an M. Capicchioni 1956 “Felix Ayo” violin that is on loan from the Munetsugu Collection.

When asked at Jno.co.jp why he chose the violin Ryota Higashi responded, “[I like] the beautiful timbre born from friction and how the violin provides completely different forms of enjoyment between the 1st and 2nd in orchestras and so forth.”

More staff members for Blue Orchestra were also revealed by NHK.

Who are the production team members?

Blue Orchestra production team members include:

  • Director – Seiji Kishi (Assassination Classroom, Persona 4 The Animation, Classroom of the Elite)
  • Original Creator – Makoto Akui
  • Animation – Nippon Animation
  • Scriptwriter – Yuuko Kakihara (Chihayafuru, Digimon Adventure tri., Persona 4 The Animation, Urusei Yatsura 2022)
  • Character Designer – Kazuaki Morita (Assassination Classroom, Classroom of the Elite, Persona 4 The Animation)
  • Chief Producer – Jun Sakata (To Your Eternity)
  • Broadcaster – NHK (E-Tele)

What is the plot of Blue Orchestra?

The story centers on a prodigy violinist named Aono Hajime, who stopped playing the violin after he grew jaded due to his father abandoning his family. Hajime’s father was also a violinist and had greatly inspired him, so his father’s betrayal was disheartening.

In his third year of middle school, Hajime struggles to decide his academic path now that music is no longer his life’s goal. One day, he encounters a hotheaded, novice violinist, Akine Ritsuko, whose goal is to enroll in a high school that has a distinguished orchestra club.

Hajime develops a relationship with Ritsuko and decides to teach her how to play the violin better. As he’s drawn back into the world of violinists and musical competitions he’s forced to face the music and finally feels as though his life is moving forward again. Music and teenage hearts will resonate in this youthful drama story as Hajime and Ritsuko make harmonious music together and slowly fall in love.

Where can I read the manga?

On April 25, 2017, Blue Orchestra began its serialization on Shogakukan’s online platform mangaONE and a week later began serialization on Ura Sunday. Shogakukan has collected the manga’s chapters into 10 tankobon volumes.

Are you looking forward to the anime Blue Orchestra? Let us know in the comment section below!

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