What’s up?! How are you beautifuls doing today?
So, as you guessed it, the anime series, Given, just had its final episode and we are gathered here today to talk about it.
It was heartwarming. It was cute. It was hilarious. And all I can say is… farewell to Virgin Uenoyama!
It’s official the two have finally sealed the deal after eleven excruciatingly long episodes and are now dating! Amen! It’s about time. Now I’m just waiting for Uenoyama to put a ring on it.
The last few episodes of Given were pretty powerful and gave us a lot of resolution within the characters. Almost like, the middle was where all the depth and answers were hiding to where episodes 9,10, and 11 tied the knots for us.
So let’s discuss this! Wow…talk about emotions. Belting out “Please tell me how I’m supposed to close the door on this love?” “Your everything has lost it’s tomorow”. And on top of that, we get the montage of Mafuyu and Yuki’s relationship since childhood?! You can only imagine the tears coming down my face as I watching this… on my first date with this guy I met off Tinder. I was a hot mess! I don’t recommend watching this episode on a first date.
That kid has a voice, like Uenoyama said, that really fills you up but tears you down with heartache. I really enjoyed the montage because it showed us a deeper side of Yuki and Mafuyu’s relationship. We see Yuki holding Mafuyu’s hand as his father gets arrested for child abuse, we see the two of them “fooling around” as teenagers, having their “first time” with each other, and even see when Yuki and Mafuyu got into their last argument before Yuki killed himself. HOWEVER, something we didn’t know about the argument that was revealed to us during the montage was Mafuyu’s final words in the argument: “Would you did for me, then?”
HO-LY F**K!! Well, Mafuyu now we know not to say that… because sure enough he did.
I really enjoyed seeing this side of Mafuyu come out. These expressed emotions have long been overdue and were very cathartic for him. Just seeing the growth from reserved little Mafuyu who didn’t know how to hold a guitar in episode 1 to this powerhouse vocalist/performer in episode 11 is phenomenal.
Mafuyu’s Song (Fuyu no Hanashi)
Alright, so my heart still is still #AshxEiji and #Victuri, however, #Mafuyama holds a very close place to my heart. So glad Uenoyama finally gathered the courage to just shut Mafuyu up and kiss him. Thank you for accepting your feelings, my boy! Even though he couldn’t gather the confidence by himself to talk to Mafuyu after that. I always knew Uenoyama was a spazz but after episode 11, I realized he is the spazziest of spazzes.
Oh! It doesn’t stop there.
I give Uenoyama a pass on that one because Mafuyu did look pretty hot in that moment. And props to Mafuyu for looking good while having a fever. NO ONE LOOKS CUTE WHILE SICK BESIDES THIS B*TCH OVER HERE!
My favorite part had to have been the dorky realization of love in the beginning of Episode 11. I almost threw confetti at my TV screen because this was so adorable. From now on, I expect dinosaurs and big Kanji floating everywhere when I am given a proposal. If there’s not a party of 12 of me in my brain then he’s not the one! This was such a well done scene that could have been nowhere near as interesting as it was, but the creators definitely gave us something to laugh and applaud over.
In this same episode, our boys ask Mom for their approval of dating. Mom, being Haruki of course. Akihiko, is too much like a Dad. When they asked for his approval behind the scenes, all he probably said was, “Okay. Congrats… Just use a condom,” Or some dad talk like that. Meanwhile, Haruki was the overprotective mother that was thinking about the future of the band. Leave it to Uenoyama for being the dork in the whole scene having so much cute anxiety over the whole situation. Meanwhile, Mafuyu was just chilling like normal.
Kudos to the boys for asking for approval to date. This is a situation that causes a lot of trouble for music groups. You have the singer and the guitarist start dating without really addressing it and then when relationship falls through, things go south from there for the group. How many times has this happened? Well, let’s count….Sonny and Cher, Fleetwood Mac, Ike and Tina, John Lennon and Yoko Ono… Do I need to go on?
Also, dating your cast member or band member in Japan is strictly forbidden. Most of the time whenever two people in a band or in the cast flirt, it is to fan service. However, if the producer or manager catches them dating in public, the result is immediate termination. It’s sad but true. The reason behind this is because in Japan you’ll find that a lot of people “ooo” and “ahh” over them flirting on camera or in interviews, however, fans take it REAL personal if they solidify the two actors/performers/etc are dating. This is because it ruins the audience’s view of their idols’ relationships. Don’t get me wrong it’s pretty f*cked up and not everyone Japanese fan believes that, but there are some people who get like, “No. This is not the vision I had!” It goes back to the old saying, the customer is always right. But Japan just takes it to an extreme (coming from the Gaijin from America).
Ya know? I haven’t done a Zodiac reading on these two yet but they really go hand in hand. Like the wind to the river. Or the Moon to the Sun. These two have very relying energies that make them a great couple. How Uenoyama wants to be the knight in shining armor (knowing his dorkiness he would probably fall of his horse) and how Mafuyu is the one being rescued from the tower. This situation is what Mafuyu was already familiar with when he was with Yuki.
Another thing I enjoyed was seeing this more open side of Mafuyu. I don’t know if you noticed this but after Mafuyu performed and was eating at the cafe with the boys, his eyes seemed larger. I honestly never noticed how heavy and low his eyes were until I realized how open and big his eyes were in that scene at the cafe prior to his recovery. It wasn’t just his eyes but his whole complexion seemed… brighter. I know it’s such a small detail but it sends out a huge message that he’s happier. That a pressure has finally been lifted and he doesn’t have that lingering depression anymore. And I honestly think that was a brilliant little detail to add into the scene.
Not only did his appearance become larger, but so did his personality. This boy is cracking jokes at his friends. He made some direct jabs at Hiiragi when one of their childhood friends come to visit that were pretty savage. And then he’s over here offering to sing a fight song for Uenoyama as his new man is carrying this heavy box for him! You would have never heard this come out of Mafuyu’s mouth before the performance. I’m loving this sarcastic, savage side of Mafuyu…and I want more!
It’s like what Mafuyu said, “I was just thinking about how I was actually allowed to say that much. I can’t describe that feeling very well. I want to do another show.” This child has been holding back every emotion he had for over a year now. And honestly even when he was with Yuki he was still holding emotions back. I believe that once he realized that in performing people want to see you share everything you have to say, he wanted to do it again. Truth be told, he never really had anywhere to go or anyone to share everything with, and now that he knows where to go, he wants to return to it again and again and AGAIN! It’s his escape.
The very final lines of the show, he said he wanted to write another song. We were mid-sentence and what the song was to be and then… ENDING CREDITS! Guess we’ll have to wait until a film or season 2. BUT I have this strong feeling his next song is going to be a love song about someone in particular. 😍
Akihiko x Haruki (and Ugetsu)
So we all know about the unrequited love between Haruki and Akihiko. It’s pretty unbearable. And we know that Akihiko lives with his ex boyfried turned friends with benefits, high maintenance roommate. I’m low key sad about this whole thing. Haruki admitted that he used to be fine with just admiring Akihiko from afar but after hearing Mafuyu sing Fuyu No Hanashi… he admitted he’s lonely and that he wants a girlfriend! Dude! When did you like girls? I know this is heartbreaking but don’t change up what you like over one guy.
It was interesting seeing how Akihiko and Ugetsu met and how their relationship started. Two talented violinists. One, who was so jealous of the other he quit and picked up the drums. But still so in love with other violinist’s playing, he couldn’t help but to fall in love with the violinist himself. However, it wasn’t really explained how the two feel about each other now. You can obviously tell there is still some lingering chemistry in their actions with each other, but I am just waiting for that big confession to hit and for someone to be out the house and crawling in Haruki’s arms! Or for the other to finally reach a breaking point and confess how they feel and go running into Akihiko’s arms.
And trust me… I’d run into those arms if I had a great down!
I have enjoyed seeing this story brew in the background behind Mafuyama however I want to see more of it. I know they don’t want to give us too much or take away attention from Mafuyama but I feel there is so much unresolved conflict that is just lingering. ESPECIALLY between Akihiko and Ugetsu.
🌈🌈🌈🌈 out of 5🌈
What I enjoyed was that the series took risks and the story was driven by Life. Not an antagonist but the situations we, as people, put ourselves through. This is what gives it such a relatable feel. Because a lot of us are going through what these characters went through. I also really loved how the story was centered around the intimate relationship between two boys and was not sugar-coated… like we saw them boys kiss, we saw a moment Yuki and Mafuyu have sex. Like nothing was censored.
The lines were clever. For example, the final two episodes, the voice of Ugetsu started narrating hilarious moments in the show and then Akihiko caught him narrating in real conversation and told him to stop it. Genius!
It just was super warm, genuine and had a great feel to it!
What I would have liked to see more of was the finished bow on the present. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the “another day in life” ending the writers went with. However, with a series this strong and this heavy, it had the potential to end stronger. Are we just gonna leave Akihiko and Ugetsu on this weird note of roommates with benefits meanwhile Haruki is still in love? I would have liked to have seen something happen to where a conflict would have been introduced between the three of them. That way we, as the audience, can look forward to that continuing conflict to come the next season or movie. Just so we can stay on the edge. Because right now, I’m almost so content with the happily ever after approach that if Lerche came out with a film or second season, I would not be racing to the TV to watch it. There’s no urgency in the plot to see what happens next!
But overall, I’m glad Mafuyu and Uenoyama are finally f*cking.
Well, that’s a wrap (for now)! I sure hope you enjoyed Given as much as I did! Please let me know some of your favorite moments of this series? What did you like or dislike?
Remember, you can always trust me when it comes to anime! I hope you take care and stay awesome! Itekimasu!