Given – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

You’ll have to excuse the shortness of this post. I’m getting super behind on anime so I’m kind of at the end of my rope with these First Impressions. Also, I’m sick so I’m even more impatient.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about Given anyway. It’s a very low-key premiere. Ritsuka (Yuuma Uchida) is a guitarist. Satou (Shougo Yano) wants to learn how to play guitar. Following a chance encounter, Satou wants Ritsuka to teach him how to play guitar. The latter doesn’t want to but gradually gives in. Since this a boys’ love anime, I assume it’ll only get more romantic from here on out…and yeah, that’s pretty much it, really. Like I said, it’s very low-key.

I do really like how it all plays out though. That first encounter does a great job setting the stage.  It’s awkward both in tone and location (it’s set in a random stairwell) but it perfectly establishes the personalities of the two main characters, Satou being socially awkward and Ristuka being impulsive, and the chemistry they’re about to have. Watching Satou try to convince Ritsuka to be his teacher was pretty entertaining. It amusingly escalates from simple bribes to legitimately stalking Ritsuka until he shows where he plays guitar. I am a little puzzled why Satou is so persistent here. I buy Ritsuka’s reluctance as he seems to be self-taught and therefore doesn’t really know what teaching guitar is supposed to look like. But Satou? I don’t know, maybe that just goes to show how quirky he is. At least it worked from a comedic perspective.

Also amusing are Ritsuka’s band mates. They’re only briefly introduced but it was hilarious how they let Satou watch them perform since they now have an audience, only to then still feel pressured that they now need to impress someone with their music.

The only thing I’m curious about Given is the soundtrack. I’ve said this before with idol anime and the same can be said about an anime revolving around a rock band: it’s going to live or die depending on how good the music is. It’d be neat since rock is rarely used in music anime. The little jam session involving Ritsuka and his band mates does make a pretty good impression though there is notably no vocalist so that leaves the prospect of actual insert songs as a bit of a mystery. I’m still liking Given‘s writing and direction though so I’ll stick with the show for now. 

Thanks for reading!

Watch Given on Crunchyroll

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