Given: Series Review and Reflections

Given: A Review of the Music and Romance Series


In this article, we will explore a review of the anime series “Given”. This show is a unique blend of music and romance, offering viewers an intriguing storyline that captivates their attention. Throughout this review, we will explore various aspects of the series, including its shortcomings and its successes, providing a comprehensive analysis for fans and those interested in the show’s themes.

A Deceptive Ending

When it comes to Given, it is safe to say that the ending left many viewers perplexed and unsatisfied. With its focus on music, the series surprisingly had very little musical content, disappointing those who anticipated more melodic performances. Furthermore, the romantic aspect of the show barely took its first steps before the story concluded. Rather than providing a definitive ending, the final episode felt like a transition to a future installment. Although it was announced that a film would be released in 2020, it would have been more satisfying for the series to deliver a sense of closure.

Consistent Entertainment Value

Despite its shortcomings, Given managed to deliver consistent entertainment throughout its 11 episodes. While it may not have fulfilled all expectations, the series remained true to its intended nature. Keeping a consistent tone and theme, Given never pretended to be something it wasn’t. This commitment to staying true to its core identity is commendable, even if there were moments when viewers yearned for more. The glimpses of music and romance we did receive in the series gave us a taste of what it could have been, leaving us wanting more.

A Blossoming Romance

One aspect that was explored, although briefly, was the romance between Ritsuka and Mafuyu. Despite limited screen time depicting their relationship, it was evident that they had become a couple. Ritsuka, being aware of the complexities of mixing romance with a band dynamic, initially discouraged the idea. However, the desire to explore their connection prevailed, ultimately resulting in their secret relationship. This portrayal of a same-sex relationship without resorting to stereotypes or over-the-top drama is refreshing and commendable.

Haruki and Aki: A Potential Dramatic Arc

While the focus was primarily on Ritsuka and Mafuyu, there is potential for the narrative to shift its attention to Haruki and Aki. As young adults entangled in their own complicated relationship, their story holds great dramatic potential. Unfortunately, the series only scratched the surface of their storyline, leaving it to the upcoming film to potentially explore their dynamic. The trailer for the movie suggests that their narrative will be explored further, promising a deeper exploration of their connection.

The Band Experience: A Missed Opportunity

One of the biggest disappointments in Given was the underutilization of the band itself. As a fan of stories centered around bands and their musical journeys, it is regrettable that the series did not fully explore this aspect. Scenes like the surprise party showcased the chemistry between the members and their musical talent. While Given never promised to be an in-depth exploration of the band experience, it would have been enjoyable to see more of their musical journey throughout the series.


Given has its strengths and weaknesses, but overall, it is a praiseworthy addition to the NoitaminA lineup. Although it may not have fully delivered on its potential, the series offers charm and entertainment that leaves audiences longing for more. Moreover, it should be celebrated for its portrayal of a same-sex relationship without resorting to clich├ęs or sensationalism. The upcoming film provides hope for further exploration of underdeveloped narratives, leaving fans eagerly awaiting its release.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will there be a second season of Given?

As of now, there is no official announcement regarding a second season of Given. However, fans can look forward to the release of a film in 2020 which may continue the story and provide further closure for unresolved plotlines.

2. Is the Given anime faithful to the manga?

Given is based on a manga by Natsuki Kizu. While the anime adaptation stays true to the essence of the original material, certain elements may be condensed or altered to fit the constraints of the animated format. Nonetheless, both the manga and the anime offer a similar narrative and explore similar themes.

3. Can I enjoy Given if I’m not familiar with music or BL (Boys’ Love) anime?

Absolutely! Given’s appeal extends beyond these specific genres. The series masterfully blends music and romance, offering a unique and heartfelt story that can be enjoyed by viewers regardless of their familiarity with music or BL anime. Its relatable characters and engaging narrative make it accessible to a wide range of audiences.

4. Are there any other anime similar to Given?

While Given is a unique blend of music and romance, there are other anime that explore similar themes. “Honey and Clover” and “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad” are two noteworthy series that explore the world of music and showcase the growth of their characters. If you enjoyed Given, these shows may pique your interest.

5. What sets Given apart from other romance anime?

Given stands out from other romance anime due to its realistic portrayal of relationships and its willingness to tackle LGBTQ+ themes. The series avoids common stereotypes and presents characters with depth and authenticity. Its commitment to showcasing genuine emotions and the complexities of human connections sets it apart and makes it a must-watch for fans of the romance genre.

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