Given – The BL Summer Romance That Shounen-Ai Lovers Need To Watch
Hello everyone and welcome to our Anime Shelter 🙂
Today, I’m freaking happy to share with you a new BL story! Yeah, you read that right! Lerche Studios, known by Animes such Dangaroopa and Assassination Classroom brings us a beautiful Shounen-Ai called Given this 2019 Summer Season.
As all my first impressions, I’ve only watched 3 episodes so far, but, oh boy, I’m hooked! I mean, it has boys’ love and it has music so I don’t really need to know more to tell you this is probably going to surpass my favorite Shounen-Ai of All Time – Doukyuusei – and that’s a great Boys’ love story!
But, why am I so hyped with Given? That’s why I’m here! To sell you the show and make you go run to your favorite Anime streaming service and go watch it!
The Beginning Of A Great Love Story
Indeed, it wasn’t that so long ago where Anime-Kami-Sama blessed us with a new Shounen-Ai. Of course, I’m talking about Dakaretai Otoko 1-i ni Odosarete Imasu, the one I discussed with Karandi as part of our collab. Although I loved the Anime as a whole, I did say that I didn’t enjoy how the romance between Takato and Junta started. In this case, we had something that almost seemed Junta forcing himself on Takato.
Long story short, I don’t like the tropes Shounen-AI (and Yaoi) Animes normally have. I won’t talk much about it, but you can read my post about that here.
So, when a Shounen-Ai comes around who seems to follow a “normal” love story I fangirl. I fangirl a LOT! Being gay, it just makes me happy to watch an Anime where I can deeply connect and see myself into.
This way, you can imagine how thrilled I was while watching the first 3 episodes of Given. The story just lets herself develop itself in a calm and relaxed way.
I’m pretty happy with the build-up so far. 3 episodes in and everything is centered about the music, learning how to play the guitar and forming a band. Only at the end of the third episode, we get a resemblance of what might be a romance starting. I love that because it makes everything naturally fall into place. You don’t feel that anything is being forced, the guys falling in love, is just something natural happening while they get to know each other better.
Two Interesting Characters That I Cannot Wait To Watch Them Kiss
For any kind of romance, it’s important to have strong, interesting (and cute) characters so that the story does not fall flat. Well, I’m happy to say both Mafuyu Sato and Ritsuka Uenoyama are great characters. Each one in their own way. More importantly, they seem different enough to make a nice and funny couple to watch developing.
As I’ve said before, what makes a good character is how real it seems to be. An Anime character cannot be just like that, a character. No, it has to make us feel that we are watching a person, or better yet, a friend on the screen.
Well, you have that with both Sato and Uenoyama. Even if their characters are being shaped at the moment and their background is being told, truth is, right from the first minute, I liked them both.
First, we have Sato. He is a very quiet guy who seems to have his head in the clouds all the time. The only thing we know about him is that he wants to learn how to play the guitar. Even if doesn’t know the basics of the basics, he wants to become a guitar player. Though he’s already likable at face value, on episode 3 we can see a glimpse of its past. And, although it’s a simple scene, it heavies your heart and just shapes Sato into an even better character.
Second, we have Uenoyama. Well, Uenoyama is just the type of male character that I always fall for. So, of course, I fell for him right in the first episode. He is a pretty chilled guy, with a little more masculinity on his side. But, at his core, he is just as cute and has the same difficulty to express himself as Sato.
An Ok Animation Compensated By Great Writing
It’s true that Given’s animation is not something to get hyped for. The character design is pretty good. However, the overall animation is not that great. This means that we don’t get much movement in the backgrounds. In fact, there are several times we only get a frozen frame instead of movement. But, I believe this happens due to lack of budget.
Unfortunately, Shounen-Ai Animes still do not get millions of investment which, of course, will always make the animation to become subpar when compared to popular Anime shows like Dr. Stone or Fire Force.
Nonetheless, taking into account the main objective of Given, it’s more than enough. Truth is, we don’t have a lot of action in this Anime, and there isn’t a need for that. This way, there is a lot of conversation between the characters throughout the episodes. During this, fortunately, the creators were able to play it smart and make things “move” in a pretty good way so that the image is not only the same. I think you know what I mean, close-ups to other body parts than their faces is one example of those techniques. It also helps that the Anime has a great way to show characters’ and environment’ details.
Also, it’s done in a great way for me to take nice pics for Pinterest, so I can’t be mad about that! You can follow me if you are looking forward to that 🙂
Honestly, I believe this works so well because of the writing. Everything is put into place in such a good and natural way. The conversations are led interestingly and the story itself is also told in an engaging way. Meaning, you don’t even take into account the parts where the animation could be better. Of course, it helps that the voice actors are great! And, when I say great, I mean, really, really great!
Although it doesn’t have anything to do with Nana, my favorite Anime of all time, I have to say Given reminds me of Nana a little. And not only because we have music in the mix. No, it’s something about how the story is delivered and written. Everything just seems natural and makes me want to watch how this beautiful story is going to unfold.
Is Given Worth Watching?
If you are into BL, then you need to watch Given. Again, it’s a beautiful story so far. Indeed it’s going to be more of a naive teenager love story than an ecchi one like Dakaretai. However, that’s where the magic is! Two regular boys, falling in love while they form a band and find more about themselves. God, I’m not even that romantic, but this show just makes me all lovey-dovey.
What about you? Have you watched Given? What are your thoughts on it? Also, let me know what is your favorite Shounen-Ai of all time down below in the comments 😉