I started watching Given on a whim when it was simulcasting last summer. I didn’t know much about it, but I liked the art style and I enjoy music, so I figured I would give it a try. It quickly became my favorite series that season. Now instead of rewatching the anime multiple times and waiting for updates on the upcoming movie, fans can fill the void with the manga. Thanks SuBLime!
Uenoyama is a high schooler dealing with some serious burnout. He stopped playing basketball with his friends, and his bandmates know he’s an excellent guitarist but his enthusiasm is gone. He’s bored, apathetic, and would rather skip class to nap than do anything else. Things begin to change when he finds his classmate Mafuyu sleeping in a stairwell. As cliché as it sounds, Mafuyu is a mystery. He is extremely quiet, doesn’t talk about himself, and seemingly has no interests. The one thing that catches Uenoymama’s attention is the guitar Mafuyu carries wherever he goes. It isn’t explained how he got it, knows nothing about guitars, but he wants to learn and insists that Uenoyama become his teacher. The lessons start out rocky, but Mafuyu is full of surprises. He might not know anything about music, but he has an incredible voice. This re-inspires Uenoyma’s passion for music and gives Mafuyu a new outlet to process his past.
There’s a lot that I enjoy about Given. The story is interesting, there’s a good balance between comedy and drama, and all of the characters are unique and feel like they have a purpose. One of the biggest things I appreciate about the anime is it’s slow yet thoughtful pacing. Having such a quiet protagonist gives the story a unique perspective because you can tell there is so much going on beneath the surface that never gets directly said. This doesn’t exactly get lost in the manga, but it feels like more happens in a shorter amount of time (I’m pretty sure the first volume covers about a third of the anime but don’t quote me on that). The manga also includes extra four panel comics and biographies at the end that add some great comedic moments and give more information on the characters.
Volume 1 of Given isn’t anything new or groundbreaking for those who have seen the anime, but that’s not surprising since it’s a close adaptation. If you don’t like the anime’s slow pace, you might enjoy breezing through the manga once more volumes are out. If you were disappointed that the anime only had 11 episodes (like me), knowing there is still so much to explore in the manga is exciting. Volume 2 is already up for pre-order and I can’t wait to read it!
Ritsuka Uenoyama is bored with it all—with school, with his basketball club, and even with his one true passion: playing guitar. Until the day he finds his favorite hidden napping spot occupied by a strange boy cradling a broken-stringed guitar. At first, Uenoyama is nonplussed by Mafuyu Sato and his slightly odd behavior, but when, on a whim, he asks the other boy to sing, the power of Mafuyu’s voice pierces him to the core.Add to CartLearn More