The band "given"—comprised of Ritsuka Uenoyama, Mafuyu Satou, Haruki Nakayama, and Akihiko Kaji—has advanced to the final screening of the Countdown-fes Amateur Contest, in which they will be judged on their live act. Although enthusiastic, they worry about having only one original song to perform.
Mafuyu embraces the idea of learning more about music in order to create new, emotionally resonant songs. In this regard, he unexpectedly receives help from Ugetsu Murata, Akihiko's on-again, off-again lover. Ugetsu has unsuccessfully tried to let go of Akihiko, who himself is torn between lingering feelings for his past and an uncertain resolve for the future.
As the competition draws near, Haruki uncharacteristically begins to doubt his place in the band and the trust he shares with Akihiko. It is a given that not all attachments last forever, but it remains to be seen what can be salvaged from the ruins of heartbreak—or if only regrets will endure.
Welcome, Manga maniacs and Anime aficionados! This is your Anime Critic, bringing you another super-charged review that you’ve been eagerly anticipating. Today, we’ll be diving into the emotionally-charged animated waters of the hit movie– Given. Whether you’re wondering whether to hit that rent button, add it to your streaming queue, or add it to your physical or digital collection, I’ve got you covered.
Given – The Saga
The story of ‘Given’ hinges on a quartet of high schoolers, who form a band and, in the process, negotiate their tangled feelings for each other. Mafuyu, who lost someone dear to him, stumbles upon his classmate, Ritsuka. Ritsuka, a gifted guitarist, helps Mafuyu rediscover his affinity for music, and what starts as a musical mentorship gradually evolves into a deeper connection. Joining in the melee, we have Haruki and Akihiko, with their own emotional baggage, forming the remaining half of the band.
When the Television series ended, it left some questions unanswered and strings untied. Now, the ‘Given’ movie is here, picking right from where the series left off. Essentially, it is Haruki and Akihiko’s turn under the spotlight, unraveling their complex relationship.
Review – Diving into the ‘Given’
‘Given’ is more than just another anime movie. It’s a whirlpool of intense emotions and powerful storytelling that grips you right from the opening credits. It beautifully explores themes of love, loss, and friendship, encased within the unifying rhythm of music.
The romance aspect is tastefully handled, managing to be neither too overt nor too secretive. But don’t get me wrong, ‘Given’ is not a fluffy teenage romance. Beneath the romantic interludes, lies a deeper exploration of grief and the endeavor to heal.
Art and Music
When discussing ‘Given’, how can we ignore the brilliant artwork? The animation is rich and genuine, as if created with meticulous love. Additionally, the background scores and songs are as crucial to the storyline as the protagonists themselves. The music sequences are an audio-visual treat, enhancing the mood of each scene perfectly.
Should you be ‘Given’ a watch?
Absolutely! If you’re a fan of character-focussed storytelling, loaded with subtle yet powerful emotions, then ‘Given’ is a must-watch. Whether you are familiar with the series or not, the movie stands strong on its own but, naturally, watching the series before will maximize your viewing pleasure. Available for streaming, rental, and purchase in various platforms, I would highly recommend adding ‘Given’ to your anime collection. Trust me, it’s worth every penny and minute spent!
That’s all from your Anime Critic for now! Stay tuned for more reviews and keep the anime vibe alive!
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