Somehow, the guitar that he used to love to play and the basketball games that he found so fun just lost their appeal... That was until Ritsuka Uenoyama randomly met Mafuyu Sato. Ritsuka had started losing his passion for music in his everyday life, but then he hears Mafuyu sing for the first time. The song resonates with his heart and the distance between them starts to change.
Given is 2019’s dark horse. It’s a title that has been slept on for its subject matter instead of appreciated for its prowess. Unlike Bloom Into You which received a major backing over the course of its run, Given seems to have received little fanfare within the community despite the praise most viewers have for it. I wouldn’t call it amazing, but it certainly does resonate, much like a good tune.The tunes in this show are very solid. There are several fun jam sessions where the main band of the show plays some delicious math rock, and there are several background tracks that also have some guitar in them. The opening, “Kizuato” by Centimilimental is another emotional banger of a rock song, only beaten out by the stellar insert track in the 9th episode. Said track is also one of the biggest emotional payoffs in this show.Given has a very delicate sense of drama. It’s more than happy to interrupt its melancholic vibe with a comedic tone shift, which can get annoying even when the joke lands. Regardless, the tone can still get heavy without being overbearing. There are some matters regarding a critical plot point that feel unclear, somewhat undercutting even the best moments in the show, but the show is generally well-written and emotionally resonant. The way it handles its gay characters and their drama is mostly solid. Much like last year’s queer hit, Bloom Into You, this show tackles gayness in several angles. It’s doesn’t explore as many avenues, but it does show off several struggles when it comes to gay relationships, especially regarding one that ends in tragedy. The character interactions are just as adorable, especially whenever Uenoyama, the main protagonist and resident male tsundere, gets embarrassed. There’s quite a lot of jokes revolving around characters making quick jabs or getting flustered, and they’re priceless. For a show that’s melancholic, it can be quite hilarious. The character interactions and personalities are why the humor can land in a show this delicate and forlorn. Uenoyama as almost as dorky as Mafuyu, who borders on being a space cadet lost in his own thoughts as he gazes blankly at nothing. The other two members in the band are Haruki and Akihiko, and their dynamic is also pretty entertaining. The former is just as easily flustered as Uenoyama is, and the latter is somehow the laxest of the bunch as he acts as the one guiding everyone along and holding everyone together. Their individual stories of romance are also treated tastefully for the most part. Some of the monologuing can get pretty bad in the show, and some of the monologues of the gay thoughts can get...a tad excessive to the point of tastelessness, to put it frankly. Thankfully, they never last too long, and the actual relationships are cute regardless. The story arcs regarding certain side characters also lead to some memorable character moments, like with the girl who likes Uenoyama. There is quite a lot of chemistry and sensible drama with these characters, which always makes for a good cast. It makes the moments where the string snaps and critical information gets revealed all the more impactful, with some brutal cliffhangers. The emotional core of the show, Sato’s character arc, is rife with these moments. Still, I do wish there was a bit more exploration regarding certain characters, but I assume that’s what the source material is for.I also wish the production values weren’t so mediocre. Lerche isn’t known for any visually stunning titles per se, but it still pains me to see a good show be brought down by lackluster production values. There’s an egregious amount of CGI, including the instruments, the environment, and the big performance the characters have. On top of that, characters often have these strange red outlines that stick out like a sore thumb. There isn’t a ton of animation in general either, and the direction has but a few brief moments to stand out. There are also a disturbing number of moments where characters just don’t have faces. There are even more moments where Given turns into a slideshow. Almost every episode has a moment where the show resorts to having still frame montages. The general art style and character designs are nice and expressive, so some of the gags have an extra punch to them. However, that doesn’t excuse weak production values.Ultimately, while not quite the great emotional gay drama that Bloom Into You was, Given is a delicate and adorable sleeper hit of the year. It sings from the heart, and while there are some hiccups that are plain for everyone to see, it’s still a resonant title and one of the year’s best. If you want a good BL anime, a worthwhile drama, or even just an excuse to hear some nice math rock in a TV show, Given is probably up your alley.Oh, and the EDs were alright too.Written and Edited by: CodeBlazeFateProofread by: Peregrine
This anime is the real deal- honestly, at first i didn’t want to watch it since there was the genre ‘love triange’, however, i didn’t know what love trainge meant but i recently found out so i dicided to watch this anime. There’s definitely one thing i love about this anime, the music! The producers even made a spotify account for given!!! Wow, just.. wow Probably one of by favourite anime series^^ The story was absolutely amazing!! it was very emotional, it made me cry at some point!! So i love the process of the 2 main characters getting close to each other. some things could’ve be better like the parts with Yuki, or the way he died. but that doesn’t change the fact that this was a great story!! I found the animation very average. There were some parts when you could see that they put more time in the animation, like the parts when Ritsuka plays his guitar. i definitely would’ve given the animation a 10 if they did that all the time but i get that it would take many time But they animation is good enough and it was very nice to watch^^ Well, for the sound i put a 9! Obviously this anime is about music. But like, the music was so good!! in episode 9 (or 10?) they performed a song which was SO GOOD! i searched it on spotify, came out that they even made an spotify account for the band!!! this made me so excited to watch the anime againXD Honestly, I didn’t pay thAt much attention to the background music so i can’t say much about that. as for the characters, in my opinion Sato is very cute and sweet! i love the fact that even though he’s very quiet, still thinks about everything!! i also find him very brave for performing the song like that, he’s clearly talented in singing and writing. actually my favourite part of everything is that he’s gay( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) I also find it cute how Ritsuka’s feelings grow stronger every episode but doesn’t want to admit it! Overall, I highly recommend this anime to you if you didn’t watch it yet^^ (Even if you don’t like watching gay stuff)
this anime is one of those that just hit you real hard, it's also like giving you a slice of life, with dark matters some may relate with and its really good at portraying that. The animation like bro how tf its one of the best i've seen in a while it kinda gives me your lie in april vibes but in its own way ngl this anime has beat any ive watched.
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