Random Musings on Given’s First Episode

Is Given going to be like Orange, where you discover why the anime is called what it is at the end…?

After reading a comment from Prattle that said he didn’t find much coverage of Given and really liking the first episode (even if it is coming in at the lower end of my rankings – I’m keping my expectations low in case I can’t handle the more romance-inclined parts), I figured I’d fix the problem. That said, because Prattle’s comment is attached to Irina and Karandi’s collab post on episode 1 of this anime, you might need to read that to discover why I’m tackling all these unrelated tangents on the same anime.

Admittedly, I am still experimenting with shonen-ai/yaoi at the moment and haven’t had to psyche myself up for anything past DakaIchi, which is good…it just means I like tamer stuff which has a proper narrative. However, given the precedent (pun not intended), I wasn’t expecting to like Given, much less find it thought-provoking.

What I mean when I say I found it “thought-provoking” is that it made me think about what would happen if someone bugged me to teach them piano in the same way Ritsuka gets bugged by Mafuyu. After thinking about how long I’ve not practiced the instrument in question, it turned out I hadn’t properly practiced for almost 5 years…and I don’t have anyone who wants me to teach them piano. I did also walk away from the piano specifically because I realised after 10 years of piano practice and some exams, I was just following my parents’ whims and not doing what I wanted to do.

However, if I did run into such a hypothetical situation (since I remember there was this one guy who wanted to learn how to play Fur Elise in a music class back in 2014 and I do remember helping him a bit, since I had sheet music to that exact song), I’d have to practise first. Practise a lot.

Erhem…back to the real topic.

Unlike a few of the shonen this season, I hadn’t actually read the manga for this. As it turns out (after doing the Wikipedia research), Given is serialised in a yaoi magazine called Cheri+…so of course I wouldn’t have read the manga for it. The only way you can possibly get this series in print is either in the magazine or the Japanese tankobon and yaoi being yaoi, you’d have to seek it out to buy it.

My favourite character isn’t actually any of the boys, although my sights are set on Haruki if they are (and TV Tropes says nobody loves the bassist…!). Although Ritsuka was alright as a protagonist, I’m wary that Mafuyu could easily go the way of Zenitsu and become an annoying hanger-on, considering Zenitsu is sharing the same seasonal space as him.

…yeah, I’m derailing again. My favourite character is Yayoi, Ritsuka’s sister. She doesn’t do much but laze around, complain at her brother all the time and tell him to do stuff, but…LOL, that’s basically me. It’s also somewhat notable in that you don’t see many female characters get portrayed as such unless they skew slightly older than Yayoi and these characters are also normally alcohol-craving types (think Misato from Eva).

…oh! One thing I forgot to mention in my first impressions – which escaped my mind so much, it isn’t even in my notes – is even though Mafuyu did as Ritsuka said and went to the light music club, he was following Ritsuka’s earlier orders to “find someone else to teach [him] music” and also to google it. If I had to hazard a guess, the “someone” in question was Haruki (the aforementioned bassist) and/or Akihiko (the drummer).

Another thing which escapes me a lot is that I noticed Mafuyu’s red guitar is noted to be a Gibson and Gibson themselves can be seen amongst the sponsors for the anime…hmm, that sounds like a good call on the advertising side of things, really.

Sidebar: Speaking of Eva, I had a bit of a laugh at how there’s a Kaji in both Given and Eva. The two have different kanji but are read the same way.

Well, if you watched Given, what did you think of episode 1? Clearly, this post is all over the place, so it isn’t going to convince anyone to watch it since this is basically a longer, more elaborated-on version of my first impressions. Maybe think about giving it a chance though, if you have the time this season…amongst all the good shonen and middling isekai…



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