Quadra-collab Fails to Form a Band: Reviews Given (movie)” – pt 4 (Final)

Regular readers will know that I was a huge fan of the Given anime and once I found out about the movie I was super excited. And then Irina went and made it even better by suggesting this collaboration between Scott, Shoujo, Irina and myself after we viewed the movie. Hopefully you have already seen the first three parts of this collab but if not be sure to check them all out:

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Meanwhile, here is the final part of the discussion with Scott 🚀, Irina🍸, Shoujo🌸 and Karandi🍣.


This movie really does take the characters and the audience on an incredible emotional journey despite the short run time.

S🚀: I enjoyed this film quite a bit because of how much of a ride it was. I mentioned listening to Nana music afterwards on Twitter because this made me feel like I was watching Nana again. All of that was because of how messy the relationships were, how everything was made by characters making the wrong choices, and how wrong and yet right relationships felt.

It kind of stunned me in a good way. I think that Haruki and Kaji meeting up with each other felt a bit rushed in some ways, but it feels natural too. Just a lot of good writing I think. Very natural sort of character drama. I do think that adding maybe 30 minutes to put in some breathing room with Mafuyu and Ueno dating would have helped to make it feel complete, but this was good.

It is a sequel movie, so it only makes sense to have the context from other sources to know more. If I would be a new viewer, I think it would work to get the viewer interested in watching the series. I wouldn’t mind more sequels too. More of this softness, please? Thank you. 

SJ🌸 : I didn’t mind the pace of the movie; I agree that it added something that all their emotions were so breakneck, so jarring. Still, an hour-long movie wasn’t enough to scratch my Given itch, and I agree that if one were to go into the movie without having seen the series, one wouldn’t have the experience necessary to form as deep of a connection to the events as they would having watched events prior. I, like Scott, would have liked to see the movie be longer. I think that something closer to feature length (75 to 210 minutes) would have given the adaptation more room to explore without taking away from the jarring twists and turns.

Personally, I felt so much anger—so much indignation and sorrow and frustration. Without getting into spoilers, I can’t say much, but I can say that events that occur earlier in the movie colour my viewing experience for the rest of the film, leaving me conflicted at every turn as I watch Haruki and Kaji’s relationship unfold. A second season taking place after the events of the movie is greatly needed. Given (haha, oops) the amount of content available, I think we actually have a pretty good chance of seeing these characters on screen again. Given is nothing if not good at evoking emotion. I would like more of that, whether that’s in the form of movies/OVAs or a series. (But series, please!)

So much pain here for all of the characters.

I🍸: Even with all this criticism, at the end of the day, it was great seeing Given again. It made me happy and reminded me just how much I loved the series. I might actually rewatch it. And if they ever announce another season, I will be watching it as it airs!

SJ🌸 : Me, too!! I sure hope that our wishes come to fruition!

S🚀: Nod, nod!

I🍸: Random thoughts – the orchestral piece at the beginning was gorgeous. Just amazing. Also, I think the character designs may have gotten a subtle boost. Maybe it was just me projecting my happiness.

K🍣: The music was brilliant. 

I’m not sure if the character designs got any better but I know that one of the most heartbreaking moments had nothing to do with the emotional story being told and everything to do with me being devastated that one of the characters underwent a hairstyle change mid-movie. I totally get what was driving him at that point but it still nearly made me cry.

This expression kind of shows my horror at Haruki’s decision to cut his hair

S🚀: I think it looked about the same honestly because Lerche isn’t that much of a power house studio, but their style and direction is always good. They still hid the hands when everyone played music instruments and there was some obvious cg with Mafuyu, but the writing was still great and the music was on point so it all worked in the end. 

SJ🌸 : I actually really like the art of both the movie and the series. There was a bit of a distracting CG work I noticed here or there, but overall, I was very impressed! Further, Karandi, I KNOW!!! THE HAIRCUT. I was… so angry on his behalf.

K🍣: On the other-hand Shoujo, they do this all the time to female characters who are undergoing a transition or dealing with something. I guess it is a nice symbolic ending of one thing and the start of something else. That said, poor hair.

I🍸: Just so you know, in the manga there’s a flashback where Haruki decides that until he starts dating Kaji, he will let his hair grow out. As such, the long hair represented his one sided attachment and devotion to Kaji and him cutting it off was a visual way to tell the audience that he was ready to move on from Kaji specifically. Which was absolutely necessary if they were to ever have a healthy relationship. 

You’re breaking my heart, Haruki.

I also like Haruki better with his long hair. He’s my phone’s lock screen.

SJ🌸 : I love the symbolism! Yes, he cut his hair when he was originally growing it for Kaji, and yes, it represents an end to his pining (in a great, visual way), but his poor heart!!

S🚀: I wasn’t expecting haircut discourse, but I am kind of inbetween. He looked great with it, but I think his hair being cut is also pretty attractive. It gives him such a different edge that I kind of like. I am apparently the outsider though. 


And so the collaboration ends. A huge thanks to Shoujo, Scott and Irina for this as watching a movie by yourself can be a great experience, but watching a movie and then being able to discuss it with people who were also very attached to these characters and anticipating it and how we felt about it just made it an overall wonderful experience.

I will post an individual review of the movie later and may even do a rewatch first, but for now that’s our thoughts on the Given Movie. And seriously, if you didn’t check out the other 3 parts of this discussion, I totally recommend you do as it was great fun to write and we’d all love to know your thoughts on the movie.

Images used for review from: Given (movie). Dir. H. Yamaguchi. Lerche. 2020.


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3 thoughts on “Quadra-collab Fails to Form a Band: Reviews Given (movie)” – pt 4 (Final)

  1. Araragi cut Kanbaru’s hair in Monogatari. KIno cut her hair in Kino no Tabe – Life Goes On. Not the only time a haircut was used to symbolize a major change in a character. It works.

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