On October 23, 2022, the official NHK Twitter account promoted the upcoming anime adaptation of Makoto Akui’s manga Ao no Orchestra (The Blue Orchestra) by releasing a promotional video featuring Ryota Higashi performing uplifting violin music for the character Hajime Aono.
Blue Orchestra will premiere on NHK Educational TV Channel in Japan in April 2023!
You can watch the video via the tweet or here on YouTube:
The video shows a dramatic scene in which Hajime Aono plays Pachelbel’s “Canon” for a friend at dusk on the river bank.
Who is Ryota Higashi?
Ryota Higashi started playing the violin at the age of four! Higashi took first place in the 88th roundth Music Competition of Japan and also received the following awards around the same time: Leucadia, Sumi and Kuroyanagi. His performance of “Recital Passio” was broadcast on NHK-FM and his performance of “Untitled Concert” was broadcast on TV Asahi.
Higashi has performed with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra and others. He graduated top of his class from Toho Gakuen College, where he studied music on a scholarship.
On January 24, 2022, Toho Gakuen College released a video featuring Ryota Higashi (violin) and Yuki Amako (piano) playing “Gypsy Melodies”.
In 2019, Higashi was loaned a 1716 A Stradivarius by the Itoh Foundation for a period of two years. At Toho Gakuen College, Higashi is currently enrolled as a scholar in the first year of a master’s program in the music department. Akiko Tatsumi taught him violin techniques.
Akiko Tatsumi is a 6th Fellow of the Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy and Fellow of the Rohm Music Foundation (2021 and 2022). Tatsumi uses a 1956 M. Capicchioni Felix Ayo violin on loan from the Munetsugu Collection.
When asked at Jno.co.jp why he chose the violin, Ryota Higashi replied: “[I like] the beautiful timbre that comes from friction, and how the violin offers completely different forms of enjoyment between the 1st and 2nd in orchestras, and so on.”
Other Blue Orchestra employees have also been announced by NHK.
Who are the members of the production team?
Blue Orchestra production team members include:
- Director – Seiji Kishi (Assassination Classroom, Persona 4 The Animation, Elite Classroom)
- Original Creator – Makoto Akui
- Animation – Nippon animation
- Screenwriter – 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)
- Executive Producer – Jun Sakata (To Your Eternity)
- Transmitter – NHK (E-Tele)
What is the plot of Blue Orchestra?
The story revolves around a prodigy violinist named Aono Hajime who stopped playing the violin after becoming exhausted after his father abandoned his family. Hajime’s father was also a violinist and had been a great inspiration to him, so his father’s betrayal was discouraging.
In his third year of middle school, Hajime struggles to choose his academic path after music is no longer his goal in life. One day he meets a hot-headed violinist, Akine Ritsuko, whose goal is to enroll in a high school that has a respected orchestra club.
Hajime develops a relationship with Ritsuko and decides to teach her how to play the violin better. Pulled back into the world of violinists and music competitions, he must face music and finally feels his life is moving forward again. Music and teenage hearts will resonate in this teen 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 serialization on Shogakukan’s online platform mangaONE, and a week later 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!