What’s up! So if you haven’t checked out episode 1 of the new BL, “Given”, I am here to tell you why you are missing out.
When I found out this anime was being programmed by noitaminA, I knew it was going to be eye-catching. noitaminA is the programming block that airs diverse and unique anime such as The Promised Neverland, Kids on the Slope, Tatami Galaxy, Banana Fish😭, and so many more anime that appeal to an audience other than men in their 20s.
This series follows this guy in the GIF above, Satou Mafuyu. The anime sets the tone that our main character here is alone, but it doesn’t tell why or go into full details. However, throughout the episode, you begin to pick up on that he more than likely has some social anxiety or some other things that are off. Like for example, he carries a guitar with broken strings with him everywhere he goes but doesn’t know how to play guitar at all or fix the strings. What is he doing? Waiting for his knight in shining armor to swoop in and say, “Hey, let me fix those strings for you.” Well…he was doing just that!
Believe it or not, Satou was taking a nap with his guitar wrapped in his arms and it just so happened to catch the attention of our handsome musician, Uenoyama Ritsuku. Don’t get me wrong. Uenoyama was a bit freaked out with the fact someone is napping on the stairway while clutching onto a guitar. When Satou woke up, he invited Uenoyama to sit beside him but not in a “normal” way. More like he just nudged his head and signaled him to sit beside him. Uenoyama sits there. The room is quiet. Satou doesn’t even say a word. Again, he’s kinda off. So the first thing Uenoyama does is tell him to say something for crying out loud and points out his broken guitar string. Five minutes and 1,000 yen later, Uenoyama fixes the broken guitar string in the cutest and most flustered way possible, and with one strum of the Gibson…Satou’s world was changed dramatically.
So far the dynamic between these characters couldn’t be any better! Sure they may fit a few tropes, but you can tell there are little subtleties that will set the story line far ahead from most of our high school anime boys with some social anxiety and ego issues. I personally see a lot of depth in Satou’s backstory. Depth we don’t normally get in an anime. Such as a mental disorder or some serious trauma with a parent. Those kind of instances.
This is where I believe Satou falls in love and asks Uenoyama if he can teach him how to play guitar to get close to him. Now, hear me out on this. If it were me and a cute boy just so happened to fix my guitar, I would ask for guitar lessons just so I can get closer to him and see where I can go with it. I can see Satou doing that but with a deeper purpose. I wouldn’t be surprised if his attraction to our sexy Uenoyama was more subconscious having some play in wanting to get close to him when REALLY his attachment to this guitar and using that as an escape from whatever fucked up situation he’s got going on is more of the conscious reason as to why he wants to get close Uenoyama.
But Uenoyama declines the offer because he does not believe in his ability to teach others. However, Satou isn’t your normal guy. Uenoyama tells him “No” so he asks again literally two seconds later. Not because he’s self centered, but it kinda goes back to what I said about him being a little awkward. It’s like when a gangster in a series hits the buff guy with a baseball bat and it breaks but the buff guy just sits there with an empty look on his face like nothing has happened. You know what I mean? A little like a Space Cadet. Just oblivious to the obvious.” That’s kinda how Satou can be. Uenoyama says “No” and Satou just sits there with those puppy dog eyes and asks again like there wasn’t even an answer given (haha). So the asking continues after class, after school, walking down the road. Consistently!
And then we meet Uenoyama’s band…after Satou followed Uenoyama to their studio asking to teach him guitar. When Uenoyama says he picked up a lost puppy, I don’t he could have phrased it any better. The reason why I want to talk about the band though is because not only are they hot but they bring a lot of understanding to Uenoyama’s character. They supported Satou in being at their rehearsal. They wanted to show off to an audience. They were hype, and in turn, this made Uenoyama hype to play. And honestly, Haruki, the bassist, couldn’t have stated any better that when he saw Uenoyama play for Satou, it was like his fire was burning again. He used to come in to the studio and just play, but not play with heart. So what we are learning from this episode is that both of these characters can learn a lot from each other. If Uenoyama can just dammit teach him to play guitar they could work in tandem.
That being said, I am very interested in to seeing where this regained passion goes. Mainly because, I am a musician myself who loses passion from time to time. Do I still love making music? Hell yeah! But it is sooooo easy to fall out of love with a career. To get tired or bored with it. So I amped to see what Satou can do for Uenoyama.
Long story short, this is going to be very cute and a very good anime to watch. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel this story will really draw us in by episode three or four. There is something about Satou that sparks my interest and has me to believe that whatever has happened in his past or whatever is happening in his home life currently is going to really take the story to another level.
But for now, I give it a solid 7/10!
How do you feel about Given? Where do you think it will go? Leave some comments below so we can talk about it!