[Manga] Given 1 (ギヴン 1)

ギヴン(1) | Given (1)

Mangaka: Kizu Natsuki (キヅナツキ)

Status: Ongoing

Volumes: 5 (Current)

Summary:

That day, during lunch, on that abandoned staircase, their lives changed.

Uenoyama fixes Mafuyu’s guitar on a whim. A whim that results in a series of events that introduces the latter to his world.

In turn, Uenoyama discovers Mafuyu’s past, pulling him towards a different kind of music buried deep within his classmate.


The anime adaptation of Given will be released next month so I’ve decided I might as well read all the volumes available and write my thoughts about them! I am so glad that this will have an anime release and I’m hoping that more people will watch it because this is such a heartrending story. Besides, I so want to hear Mafuyu sing!

Ehem. I’m getting ahead of myself.

For this post, I’ll be talking about the first volume. I’ve read this when it first came out. (Then I stopped reading tankoubons and just relied on spoilers haha.)


May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!


Story

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

The story is just all about 4 guys trying to find meaning in their lives through music and how these 4 guys bonded over it.

Given is more of a character-driven story which focuses on each of the characters love and lives. I love how Given starts as ordinary high school boys spending their school life and band members acting like dorks. But the more I read, the more these guys become interesting.

For this volume, the focus is Mafuyu, who looks dense but is actually a really fast learner. The story starts by presenting a puppy-eyed character, almost an airhead. In each chapter, we slowly learn more about him and his past and how this affects the future of his music or if he ever wants to venture to the music scene at all.

I especially love how Mafuyu’s monologues are incorporated into the storytelling. He isn’t much to talk but his words have this poetic feel, perfectly describing his sorrows which this volume did a good job presenting.

Since Given is about a band, there are some band terms included, mostly for the instruments and types of equipment. Mafuyu is a newbie about all these stuff so I learn at the same time as him. I just can’t assure about the accuracy of all of these, though.

Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)

While volume 1, mainly focuses on Mafuyu and Uenoyama, there are also scenes dedicated to the other band members, Haruki and Akihiko. And while I loved these two (this is, after all, the volume that made me start shipping them), sometimes it’s like a whiplash when the focus shifts to them from the younger members.

Negative ( ̄︿ ̄)

There is this scene where a female classmate drops the bomb about Mafuyu’s past to Uenoyama. While I do love the mood of the scene, it just threw me off. Using a female character to act as the “bad” one reminds me of this saying (?? joke??) among BL fans — most female characters in a BL story are bitches.


Characters

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I love the characters! Even if the focus of this volume is on Mafuyu, I just can’t help but care about the taciturn Uenoyama, cool Kaji, and friendly Haruki.

I’m even liking Uenoyama’s older sister, Yayoi. Their relationship is just very realistic.

Satou Mafuyu

Mafuyu takes the cake in this volume. He is dense but really enigmatic without meaning to. He looks so innocent but he’s also really sensitive. I know, he’s been calling himself as someone who doesn’t know how to express himself. But really, there’s a lot of feelings deep within him.


Art

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I fell in love with the sharp lines and angles of Kizu Natsuki’s characters. I especially like their eyes which exudes intensity, setting up the mood of the scene, as if those eyes are enough and no words are needed.

I was afraid that given the theme about losing someone you love, finding yourself again, falling in love and all that, the story might be narrative heavy. But the panels are arranged in such a way that it is easy to follow and the closeup shots of the characters show a lot more than what they are trying to say.


Enjoyment (✯◡✯)

I loved this! That goes without saying that I’m looking forward to reading the next volumes and see where the guys will go just when things are starting to get complicated.


Highlights

Mafuyu takes the spot! Every single one of his reactions is amazing, from the abandoned puppy look to the sparkly eyes to the forlorn face he makes.

Also! Every single one of AkiHaru moments. I know there are only glimpses of them here and there but I find myself looking forward to them.


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