[Manga] Given 4 (ギヴン 4)

ギヴン(4) | Given (4)

Mangaka: Kizu Natsuki (キヅナツキ)

Status: Ongoing

Volumes: 5 (Current)

Summary:

Hearts are breaking especially Haruki’s.

Also, 4 is a bad number.


May contain spoilers so proceed with caution!


Story

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

Too many knives. (wait should I put this under Negative?? LOL I kid.)

Continuing with the tradition of heartbreaks and lost selves, the focus of this volume is Ugetsu, Akihiko, and Haruki as individuals. I’m not saying in that order, mind you. It’s just that in this volume, the three of them have reached their breaking point and are fumbling through their day to day life and how, whatever is happening in their private lives, leaks to their music.

Mafuyu starts a somewhat weird friendship with Ugetsu as the latter helps him with their new song. In contrast to his seniors, Mafuyu is becoming proactive in both his relationship and his music. He is like a sponge with a filter that absorbs everything around him.

But with all the mini character arcs that are featured in this book, the most prominent is Haruki as we learn more about him, deeper than the usual reliable big brother type that he shows.


Characters

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

The main focus of this book is undeniably Haruki. I initially thought it would be Akihiko, but his messy and tangled relationship with Ugetsu is overshadowed by Haruki’s arc.

Nakayama Haruki is often shown as the so-called leader of the group-slash-manager-slash-PR. When they need to have a social media account, Haruki will do it. If they need to register for a contest, Haruki will register for them. When Uenoyama and Mafuyu start dating, they go to Haruki for approval first. Haruki is the unspoken head of Given.

But despite that, he seems to be limited to that. We have not really seen him have musical prowess like the other three. I mean, let’s face it, Mafuyu’s voice is earth-shaking, Uenoyama’s guitar skill is cool, and Akihiko is someone who can play a lot of things. Meanwhile, Haruki — the bassist and the PR guy.

Aside from his musical skills, this volume also explores his feelings for Akihiko which is quite obvious from the other volumes but is only more pronounced in this one. It is shocking that Akihiko knows that. But then again, probably not that shocking as, by now, we know that he is a sharp guy, always in tune to other people even if he looks like he didn’t care.

The confrontation scene between Akihiko and Haruki is brutal in a lot of ways. 1) Aki’s heart is breaking, 2) In turn, he is breaking Haruki’s heart by placing all his anger to Haruki, 3) He tried to use Haruki’s feelings, 4) Haruki, despite everything, is still willing to help Aki.

But what broke my heart is the scene after that. Or the succeeding scenes after. The ones that show Haruki smiling when his heart is breaking, when he is devastated while comparing his music to the rest of the group, when he realizes that his love won’t be reciprocated. And yet he is still trying to still be the reliable big brother.

Meanwhile, I really love Take-chan’s role here. In case you forgot, he is Haruki’s friend from another band. I love how he is there for Haruki. He is the voice of reason whenever Haruki’s too occupied tending to other people that he is forgetting about himself. Take-chan is there to remind him of that. Haruki needs someone like him as a support system. It’s even better because it is someone outside the group so he can really be more objective when the need rises.


Art

Positive ♡(。- ω -)

I love how Kizu Natsuki draw panels with nothing but a facial expression, a close up of a character. I love it because it gives an extra oomph for the scene, an extra knife to deliver the best punch. But sometimes a panel with just black background and just a single sentence is the only thing needed to give a powerful message.

Neutral (¯ . ¯٥)

Haruki really did cut his hair. BUT! He looks cool with his new hairdo!


Enjoyment (✯◡✯)

I love Given but I just can’t, this chapter. I legit cried. But I’m glad we get to know more about Haruki. It’s about time to have the spotlight on him.


Highlights

  • Mafuyu and Uenoyama’s confrontation where Mafuyu tries his best to understand Uenoyama. I’m proud of him for learning from his (and others) mistakes and works hard for his relationship. It’s extra fun, that scene, because it ends with them K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
  • Anything with Haruki. Just because.

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