Okay, so that GIF is one that I made from the series and not from the movie but since it’s Haruki and Kaji, I figured it fits. And I really like it so I wanted an excuse to use it again!

I have a special treat for you guys! Today I’m joined by not one, not two but THREE amazing bloggers! A huge thank you to my dear friends Karandi, Scott and Shoujo! Welcome, make yourselves at home!

IRINA: Hi guys! Hi Karandi, Scott and Shoujo!

As most of you probably already know, the Given movie came out on Crunchyroll this week and Scott, Shoujo, Karandi and I were just thoroughly thrilled by that. It’s just the perfect little gem to liven up a great February and get you in the mood for romance!

Because we all really like the franchise, we also wanted to chat a bit about the movie. First, let me give you my personal experience with Given. I read the manga a long time ago and sort of dropped it and forgot about it. I only remembered after seeing the first episode of the anime. An anime I was watching and reviewing with Karandi I should add.

As the season progressed, I was really amazed by how much I was enjoying it. I think both Karandi and I really fell for these guys and their story. The pacing and tone were just so perfect and I was smitten. To the point that I went back and reread the manga, and then every chapter that was available. I still don’t like the manga that much but I do love these characters and I adore the adaptation.

I went into the movie figuring I knew exactly what would happen (if they stick to the manga) and being a bit ambivalent. It wasn’t my favourite arc. But Haruki is my favourite character so there’s no way I would put off seeing him again. How about you guys? What has your Given experience been?

KARANDI: The series was amazing. I mean not from an animation point of view because that was actually the weakest part of the series, but in terms of characterisation and building up the story of the two leads, and just how much thought went into the direction in order to overcome some clear animation weaknesses, I just loved it. Following it with Irina was a really great experience though I was going in pretty much blind. 

Equally I went into the movie only knowing it kind of shifted the focus to the other two band members, and I was okay with that. It seemed a good way to round out the series by letting Haruki and Kaji reveal a bit more of themselves and grow and I was even more excited because of my absence from the blog prior to January, I actually had no idea this was coming. 

I think my biggest issue was I had to wait to watch the movie because of some work stuff but despite being completely exhausted by my week, Friday night I sat down to watch this movie because I just had to have more of Given.

SCOTT: Hello everyone. My experience first came from the two who talked above me, Karandi and Irina from their episode reviews. I did watch the show originally when it started airing, but I dropped it for some reason that I don’t understand at all right now. But, I eventually did watch it and enjoyed it quite a lot. It has this softness and delicateness that I’ve been wanting to see for a while. Thank you Karandi and Irina :).

Also, the music was emotional and it was a big reminder of what music can be. I loved it for that. It means something to these people and it makes each one of the Given group feel whole because of how attached to the music they are. Mafuyu’s songs just penetrate through the core of emotions and it’s just so good. That’s the one thing that got me to liking it so much and I wanted the same from this movie and got it generally.

I went into the movie knowing about the shift on Haruki and Kaiji too because that’s what I heard about how the manga shifted apparently? I don’t know, not sure if I remembered completely. The biggest shock was I thought this would be at least 90 minutes because anime movies are usually that long and such, but 60 minutes was alright for the time it needed to be that long. I’m just glad to be in this small word again if it’s not that long at all. I really like these characters and care about them so much.

SHOUJO: Before I get into my own Given history, please excuse my expression of enthusiasm via emoticon: *・゜゚・*:.。..。.:*・'(*゚▽゚*)’・*:.。. .。.:*・゜゚・*

Okay, but getting serious now, I heard a lot of good things about Given when the anime released, but—as was my experience with Yuri on Ice—I didn’t know much about it specifically and didn’t necessarily think it was a title for me. (Though I can’t now begin to tell you why, and how wrong I was!) When I did eventually watch the show last March, a chunk of my heart lurched and slotted back into place honestly both fuller and wiser.

The depiction of characters who were real, flawed, and in pain—both of their own making and not—resonated with me deeper than many others have. Themes of forgiveness and acceptance (even acceptance of great pain and tragedy) rocked me to my core. What I heard in Mafuyu’s “Are you willing to die for me, then?” resonates within me, and I don’t think it will ever stop.

Having said that, I went into the Given movie with the slightest hint of what was to come thanks to an exchange with Beck Naja (Blerdy Otome). I didn’t know specifics, just that the relationship I was headed into watching wasn’t necessarily healthy, and considering the themes of the anime itself, I was ready to see it.

I didn’t expect what came next. I expected to cry. I didn’t expect to feel so terribly angry.

And that’s the end of part 1 guys… we didn’t even get to the movie that’s how excited we were but all the good stuff will be available right here in:


8 thoughts

  1. Oh, I missed that it’s already available. I’ve got it open in a tab and I’m going to watch it right now. Given is without a doubt my favourite BL anime ever. That might be more impressive if I could think of many good ones,admittedly, but well it’s also one of the better romances out there, and a really good music anime to boot, and I’ve seen far more in that genre.

    So there’s a shift? I didn’t know that, but I kind of expected it, since there was set-up in the TV series, and the TV-series main couple need a little time for themselves. I only glanced over the screenshots, so I won’t have too many de-javu moments while watching the film. Thanks for reminding me. I’m actually pretty excited about it.

      1. I did, though not quite as much as the series. Surprisingly, I think the genius violinist whose name I’ve already forgotten profited the most from the film.

        Also, in the very last post-credit theme I noticed something. Haruki was saying something about falling in love in Autumn, and then it hit me. All the boys’ first names include one of the seasons:

        Mafuyu – Winter
        Haruki – Spring
        Ritsuka – Summer (that one almost convinced me I’m wrong, but it turns out it’s the Chinese reading of the kanji)
        Akihiko – Autumn

        1. They talked about it during the TV series at one point I think. That the boys all have season names and I have to admit I never figured out how Ritsuka fit in. So thanks for that!

          1. I either missed that or forgot. Both are plausible.

            (The “ka” is what means summer – I think; I’ve bolded the parts, but the bold doesn’t seem to show up on my end.)

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