Welcome all my dear he’s, she’s, and them’s! Let’s rant about the latest episodes of Given, summer 2019’s cute shounen ai and music-themed anime!
Given Episode 3 Review: Somebody Else
Note: I’ve been calling Uenoyama by his first name, Ritsuka, because it’s easy to say. However, I love Haruki’s nickname for him so much that I’ve decided to stick with that: Uecchi. It’s a stupid nickname and it so doesn’t fit him, but that’s why it’s funny.
Ok so this episode is super cute and interesting. (Though it’s not as if the ones before weren’t that way too.) Thanks to a run-in with an old acquaintance, we found out some intriguing hints about Mafuyu and why he is the way he is. In this episode, Mafuyu got a part-time job, and agreed to join Uecchi’s band, after some serious convincing. Uecchi is still nowhere near recognizing that he’s attracted to a guy, but still, at least in this episode he learned to communicate better with Mafuyu, and also called him by his first name. (Squee!)
Uecchi even calls Mafuyu by his first name when he’s chasing him down. But that was just the beginning. The entire scene with Mafuyu and Ritsuka talking at the park was a-fucking-dorable. It was almost too much for me. I kept doing my fangirl squeal. Or rather, it kept bursting out of me while I tried to be calm, lol. Mafuyu is just too cute! So is Uecchi, in a slightly different way! And the two of them together… oh my flying spaghetti monster! Too frickin’ kawaii! That moment when Ritsuka touches Mafuyu’s face!!
Trying to calm down now. I like the way Given is building the relationship between the two boys. It’s very subtle, yet it’s there. If I were binge-watching Given looking for hot and steamy romance, I’d be disappointed; this is only a mild shounen ai. And if I were binge-watching the show because I needed something easy and simple in entertainment style, I’d probably be bored. However, watching it slowly like this, one episode at a time, it’s interesting enough and then some. It’s actually nice to have this slow character development and pacing, because I can appreciate it on a deeper level.
The interactions of Haruki and Akihito (Kaji) are entertaining. I liked when Kaji ruffled up Haruki’s hair. And I might have mentioned this before, but Haruki is hot, and even more appealing since he’s older than the others. He’s handsome as hell with that long and well-kept, and his little bit of hair on the chin. And on a final random note, now that I noticed it’s Mafuyu’s seiyuu singing, I love the outro song. That concludes my Anime Rant for this episode of Given!
Given Episode 4 Review: Fluorescent Adolescent
Though not quite as adorable, mysterious, or dramatic as last time, this episode was yet again cute and all around high production quality. Mafuyu is just so precious I want to hug him and kiss his head and spoil him rotten with whatever music equipment he wants. Not that I’d have the money. I wonder what to call male characters like Mafuyu who aren’t attractive or sexy to me but just cute like a pet. Husbando doesn’t work. Best boy is too vague. He’s too old to be a shouta, right? I’m getting off topic.
The music all throughout the episode was a treat to hear. I can’t wait to listen to the rest of the song Uecchi is writing based on the tune in Mafuyu’s head. I really do love the opening song, and although the ED isn’t really my style, it’s good because I get to hear Mafuyu’s seiyuu singing. Being even more clueless than Mafuyu about music and equipment, I was pleased to learn what an effect pedal is, or as they call it in the episode, an “effuecto.”
The expressions and interactions of the characters are wonderful and sometimes just plain funny. I liked how we got to hear the music tastes of the four main guys. Although some might consider her annoying, I like Uecchi’s sister, and I’m glad she immediately noticed the change in her brother. That shows she cares. It seems kind of like Haruki might like her, but he could just be reacting to how stupid Akihiko is being by continuing to hang out with her when she still wants to date him.
Ritsuka x Mafuyu is already promising as my favorite couple to ship for the summer season. It’s still a bit early to say. There were some very cute Mafuyu moments and he is like a little puppy in his affection for Uecchi. In the case of Uecchi, I think he likes Mafuyu but hasn’t really recognized it yet. It was interesting to hear those girls talking about Mafuyu and Uecchi— particularly, how there were rumors in middleschool about Mafuyu liking another guy. I’m guessing that guy was “Yuki,” mentioned in the previous episode. I bet he tragically died or something and left his guitar to Mafuyu.
Thank you ever so much for reading my thoughts about Given today. It’s a pleasure to write about this show, but it’s even better if I have readers like you. Have a wonderful day!
Previous Posts About Given
Given Episodes 1 and 2 Review
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(Images from: Given. Dir. H Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2019.)