You know what I’ve come to realize. I love a dork. Both in anime and in real life. Dorks are just the best. They’re fun and all innocent and nice. You just want to give them a hug and pat their heads or something. Dorks always make everything better. I will always be proud to call a dork a friend. You know what else I’ve come to realize, Uenoyama is just a huge dork! I love him!
Uenoyama is an adorable dork and let’s hope he stays that way. Going to be honest and just let you know that when I watched this episode I look a lot like Mafuyu did early on and so my focus is all over the place. Still, I was left with the impression that I enjoyed the episode so let’s press on and pretend that I’ll make some sense.
After the tense emotional episode, we had last week, we knew that Given would have to deal with the aftermath. Both of the performances and that kiss, which had been just left hanging there with no real conclusion.
Seeing as Given is a show that was written specifically for me, it dealt with these things just the way I liked it. With lighthearted humour and a goofy touch as my second favourite dork, Uenoyama only realized the next day what exactly had happened at the show! Of all the approaches they could have chosen, they went with fun! Thoughts?
It definitely went with the idea that the whole kiss had happened very much in the heat of the moment and as an impulse. So impulsive apparently that Uenoyama didn’t even immediately recall it. That definitely worked with last week and with what we know of these characters, and was just kind of fun – not to mention gave a meaningful reason for flashbacks of certain scenes which I was not opposed to having a flashback of.
I once wrote that Given is a show full of nice people. I hadn’t realized just how right I was. The girl who went to middle school with Mayu not only attended the show but sympathized with him on a deeply human level. Take took it upon himself to make a video of their performance and later immediately became their first Twitter follower! Despite his snide comments Murata seems to really want to help them progress and my buddy Hiiragi was relieved to the point of tears that Mayu found his voice…
These are all very nice people, I really appreciate that Given takes the time to give them their own lives. Supporting characters is what makes the world seem alive.
I’ll admit, this is something I normally appreciate in Given but this week, with my own focus so broken I honestly had to stop the episode and go back through previous notes just to remember who she was and why it mattered that she went to his concert. I’m certain that normally this would have had a bit more impact on me but largely I found the additional characters at school a little distracting this week as I was struggling to follow what was happening. That’s entirely due to my own being sick and nothing to do with the episode though.
So they succumbed to the sick boy trope… Pun intended! I don’t think I can put my feelings on this into words. Karandi – help!!!
I found my spirit-animal this week in Mafuyu as he lay in bed with the cooling patch on his head. Given that had been my state for most of last this made me smile a little bit. That, and tropes are easy to follow because they don’t require a lot of thought from the audience so this part of the episode was much easier on my brain.
I like that they came up with the name Given in such a silly and casual way. Although, I’m just a tiny bit sorry they didn’t decide to name themselves, Salted Tongue! Of the double entendres!
Yeah, the story works because you hear of so many bands picking names fairly randomly. I’m glad they didn’t go on and on about it but just got to it and went with it.
It’s a very small thing but to me, Mafuyu going to buy strings by himself was a huge leap. Somehow, it seems unthinkable that the boy we met in episode 1 would be capable of such a thing. It’s an actual marker of character growth and of Mayu slowly coming out of the shock and grief that had him paralyzed.
I know it wasn’t presented with the emotional gut punch that last week’s show was, but this is the scene that did it for me. The one that made me think, oh wow, it might be o.k. Things might work out. Am I overthinking this?
I don’t think it is over thinking it. Given has shown us a number of times how carefully crafted the story is with multiple things linking back to previous events and ideas. That said, I didn’t really think about it until you mentioned it but Mafuyu buying strings by himself is a massive leap and a great sign of him not being dependent on Uenoyama which would make it hard to really get behind a relationship between the two.
We didn’t get to see too much of first dork Haru this episode. The early scene with Take was funny though. This said, he and Kaji really make a great odd couple. I’ll admit, Murata was just oozing sexiness this episode but Kaji is just so much more fun when he’s with Haruki. There’s no point to this paragraph, I’m just trying to drag Karandi over to team Haru. Apparently, that’s what matters to me right now!
I’m all for shipping Kaji with Haru, I just still think Murata has more sex appeal in general. That said, if he messes with Mafuyu it will be war. His comment about him needing a trigger to bring out his potential set off alarm bells in my fevered brain and I hope I don’t have to declare war on a fictional character but I may just go there.
The last scene between Mayu and Ueno parallels then end tag between Yuki and Mayu last episode. Both not quite dates, both by the sea and in places that Mafuyu has never visited before. But this is the Mayu I was expecting. Excited and nervous. Both of them standing side by side instead of walking one behind the other.
It was such a happy and sweet scene in contrast with the cold slightly depressing one we got last week. I loved it!
It was perfect. It made me smile even though I was exhausted from focusing on the episode and just wanted to go back to bed. It also made me really sad this season is ending soon.
Karandiiiiiii, I don’t want next week to be the last episode. I mean it makes sense, this is the perfect spot to stop the story but also I don’t wanna. What’s gonna happen with Haru and Kaji? Given JUST got their name! Who’s gonna make my Thursday nights gleeful? I don’t want them to be a one hit wonder!
Yeah, we definitely need a sequel here though in the grand tradition of brilliant shows this one will probably not get a part two meanwhile somehow Granblue Fantasy did and I’m still wondering how on earth that happened.
You know how you can relive all the fun of this episode? By looking at all the screencaps I took! Yup, Gallery is over HERE
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
Want more rambling thoughts from Irina and Karandi on Given?
Images from: Given. Dir. H Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2019.