Cover to the first volume of the manga series. Clockwise from far left: Haruki Nakayama, Akihiko Kaji, Ritsuka Uenoyama, and Mafuyu Sato.
|Written by||Natsuki Kizu|
|Original run||April 30, 2013 – present|
|Produced by||Crown Works|
|Original run||February 25, 2016 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hikaru Yamaguchi|
|Written by||Yuniko Ayana|
|Original network||Fuji TV (Noitamina)|
|Original run||July 11, 2019 – present|
Given (Japanese: ギヴン Hepburn: Givun; stylized as given) is a Japanese yaoi manga series written and illustrated by Natsuki Kizu. The manga has been serialized in the bimonthly manga magazine Cheri+ since 2013, and was adapted into an audio drama in 2016 and an anime television series in 2019.
High schooler Ritsuka Uenoyama is the electric guitarist for a band composed of himself, bassist Haruki Nakayama, and drummer Akihiko Kaji. He becomes a reluctant guitar teacher to Mafuyu Sato, a shy classmate, after repairing the broken strings on Mafuyu's Gibson ES-330. Ritsuka quickly realizes that Mafuyu is an exceptionally talented singer, and invites him to join the band.
Ritsuka learns that Mafuyu's guitar was previously owned by Yūki, Mafuyu's childhood friend and boyfriend who died from suicide. The band begins composing music in advance of a live performance, but Mafuyu is unable to write lyrics for the song. The day of the performance, Mafuyu has a breakthrough and sings a powerful song about his feelings of loss over Yūki. The song prompts Ritsuka to realize his romantic feelings for Mafuyu; he kisses him backstage, and they begin dating shortly thereafter.
The band names itself – "Given", in tribute to the guitar given to Mafuyu by Yūki – and begin to develop a following after posting a video of their live performance online. Given qualifies for a major amateur music festival, and begin preparing new material. Their efforts are complicated when Akihiko, who Haruki secretly has romantic feelings for, becomes involved with his roommate and ex-boyfriend Ugetsu.
- Mafuyu Satō (佐藤 真冬 Satō Mafuyu)
- Voiced by: Sōma Saitō (audio drama), Shōgo Yano (anime)
- A 16-year-old high school student, and the band's lead vocalist and guitarist. Though he lacks experience and professional training, Mafuyu is a naturally gifted musician and singer, and quickly becomes a skilled guitar player, singer, and songwriter. He suppresses his emotions following the suicide of his boyfriend Yūki, resulting in an outwardly shy and aloof personality, but he becomes ferociously expressive when he performs. He owns a nine-month-old Pomeranian named Kedama.
- Ritsuka Uenoyama (上ノ山 立夏 Uenoyama Ritsuka)
- Voiced by: Makoto Furukawa (audio drama), Yuma Uchida (anime)
- A 16-year-old high school student, and the band's lead guitarist. Having played guitar since he was a child, he is highly practiced and talented with the instrument. He has a kind personality, though is somewhat stoic and bullish in his interactions with others, and is inexperienced in matters of love and romance. As the series commences he has lost his enthusiasm for guitar, though his passion for music returns as he grows closer to Mafuyu.
- Haruki Nakayama (中山 春樹 Nakayama Haruki)
- Voiced by: Yasuaki Takumi (audio drama), Masatomo Nakazawa (anime)
- A 22-year-old graduate student, and the band's bassist and bandleader. He has a jovial personality and, as the oldest member of the band, often functions as the group's mediator. He has a longstanding crush on Akihiko, and resents his relationship with Ugetsu.
- Akihiko Kaji (梶 秋彦 Kaji Akihiko)
- Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (audio drama) Takuya Eguchi (anime)
- A 20-year-old college music student, and the band's drummer. He is majoring in violin performance, and is skilled in many other instruments. He has had relationships with women and men and is experienced in matters of love and romance, and frequently offers advice to others on these matters. He lives with his ex-boyfriend Ugetsu, which whom he maintains a strictly physical relationship.
- Yūki Yoshida (吉田 由紀 Yoshida Yūki)
- Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (audio drama), Takuya Eguchi (anime)
- Mafuyu's childhood friend and boyfriend, who died from suicide prior to the events of the series. Played guitar in a band with Mafuyu, Hiiragi, and Yagi.
- Ugetsu Murata (村田 雨月 Murata Ugetsu)
- Voiced by: Atsushi Tamaru (audio drama), Shintarō Asanuma (anime)
- A world-renowned violinist, and Akihiko's roommate and ex-boyfriend.
- Yayoi Uenoyama (上ノ山 弥生 Uenoyama Yayoi)
- Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi (audio drama), Yū Shimamura (anime)
- Ritsuka's older sister. Has an unrequited crush on Akihiko.
- Shōgo Itaya (板谷 翔吾 Itaya Shōgo)
- Voiced by: Junya Enoki (audio drama), Kengo Takanashi (anime)
- Ritsuka's friend and classmate. A soccer striker who is regarded as a rising athlete in the Kanto region. He has excellent motor skills and is skilled at other ball games, including basketball.
- Ryū Ueki (植木 涼 Ueki Ryū)
- Voiced by: Taku Yashiro (audio drama), Hiroto Amano (anime)
- Ritsuka's friend and classmate. Plays center for the school's basketball team.
- Hiiragi Kashima (かしま ひいらぎ Kashima Hiiragi)
- Voiced by: Toshiki Masuda (audio drama), Fumiyo Imai (anime)
- Mafuyu's former classmate. Formerly played bass in a band with Mafuyu, Yuuki, and Yagi. He cares deeply for Mafuyu's relationship, having been aware of his relationship with Yūki.
- Yagi Shizusumi (八木 玄純 Shizusumi Yagi)
- Voiced by: Daiki Hamano (drama CD)
- Mafuyu's former classmate. Formerly played drums in a band with Mafuyu, Yuuki, and Hiiragi.
- Kōji Yatake (矢岳 光司 Yatake Kōji)
- Voiced by: Daiki Hamano (audio drama), Hirosato Amano (anime)
- Haruki's college classmate. A bassist and vocalist, he also a video editor who helps promote bands.
- Tsubaki (つばき)
- Voiced by: Nakae Mitshiro (anime)
- A staff member at the music venue where Mafuyu works. Appears only in the anime adaptation.
Given has been serialized in the bimonthly magazine Cheri+ since April 2013. In Japan, the series has been collected into five bound volumes published by Shinshokan. An English-language translation will be published by the Viz Media-Animate joint publishing initiative SuBLime, with the first volume to be released in February 2020.
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||November 29, 2014||ISBN 978-4403664496||February 11, 2020||ISBN 978-1974711826|
|2||January 30, 2016||ISBN 978-4403665035||May 2020||—|
|3||March 1, 2017||ISBN 978-4403665615||August 2020||—|
|4||December 29, 2017||ISBN 978-4403666148||November 2020||—|
|5||April 1, 2019||ISBN 978-4403666742||February 2021||—|
An audio drama CD adapting scenes from the first volume of Given was included with the February 2016 issue of Cheri+. That same month, Crown Works began to release a series of audiobook drama CDs that adapt each volume of the manga.
|Given||February 25, 2016|
|Given 2||Jaunaury 25, 2017|
|Given 2 Live Edition||Jaunaury 25, 2017|
|Given 3||Jaunaury 26, 2018|
|Given 4||November 22, 2018|
An anime television series adaptation was announced during a Fuji TV press conference on March 14, 2019. The series premiered on July 11, 2019 on Noitamina, the network's late-night anime programming block, making Given the first boys' love series to air on Noitamina. The series is syndicated by Crunchyroll, which simulcasts the series worldwide outside of Asia.
The anime is produced by Lerche, with Hikaru Yamaguchi as director and Yuniko Ayana as scriptwriter. Centimillimental performed the series' opening theme song "Kizuato," while the in-anime group Given performed the series' ending theme song "Mirutsuke." The anime features a new voice cast, re-casting the roles from the Crown Works audio drama.
|No.||Episode Title||Original airdate|
|1||"Boys in the Band"||July 11, 2019|
|High school student and guitar player Ritsuka Uenoyama repairs the broken strings on a guitar belonging to classmate Mafuyu Satō, who asks Ritsuka to teach him to play the instrument. Ritsuka refuses, though he allows Mafuyu to observe a practice session for a band composed of himself, bassist Haruki Nakayama, and drummer Akihiko Kaji.|
|2||"Like Someone in Love"||July 18, 2019|
|Ritsuka agrees to teach Mafuyu to play guitar, and invites him to continue to observe his band's practice sessions. During one of their lessons, Mafuyu sings an original melody to Ritsuka. Stunned, Ritsuka invites Mafuyu to join the band.|
|3||"Somebody Else"||July 25, 2019|
|Mafuyu declines Ritsuka's invitation. Ritsuka and Mafuyu later encounter Hiiragi Kashima, a friend from Mafuyu's past, causing a distressed reaction from Mafuyu. Mafuyu explains that he declined the invitation because he cannot express himself, to which Ritsuka responds that Mafuyu's song shook him to his core. Mafuyu decides to join the band.|
|4||"Fluorescent Adolescent"||August 1, 2019|
|Mafuyu officially joins the band. Ritsuka and Mafuyu travel to Shibuya to purchase a guitar pedal.|
|5||"The Reason"||August 8, 2019|
|The band prepares for a concert, and Ritsuka begins to write music for Mafuyu's melody. A flashback reveals origin of the band: Haruki recruited Ritsuka after their respective bands broke up, and recruited Akihiko (who Haruki has long harbored a love at first sight secret attraction to) after sharing a class together. In the present, Ritsuka hears a rumor that Mafuyu dated a boy in middle school who later died from suicide.|
|6||"Creep"||August 15, 2019|
|The band finishes composing music for Mafuyu's melody, and instruct Mafuyu to write the song's lyrics. Mafuyu tells Ritsuka that he wishes to write the song about a person he once loved, inspiring feelings of jealousy in Ritsuka.|
|7||"Tumbling Dice"||August 22, 2019|
|Mafuyu struggles to write lyrics for the song. Ritsuka realizes that he has romantic feelings for Mafuyu. A flashback details Akihiko's relationship with Ugetsu Murata, a violin prodigy who is Akihiko's former lover and current roommate.|
The second volume of Given reached #39 on Oricon, selling 17,484 copies in its second week for a total of 30,308 copies as of February 2016. The third volume reached #37 on Oricon, and sold 24,345 copies in its first week. The series ranked #7 in the boys' love category on the digital manga service BookLive! in the first half of 2019.
The anime adaptation of Given was positively received by critics. In a review of episodes one and two for Anime News Network, Steve Jones called the series "one of the season's most emotionally resonant offerings," praising its soundtrack and Yamaguchi's direction. The series' writing, which Jones noted was "undercooked, but not egregiously so" in his initial review, was noted by Jones as improving in subsequent episodes. Specific praise was given to the relationship between Mafuyu and Ritsuka, with Jones calling it "one of the most compelling anime romances of the year."
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