This post is part 3 in a quadra-collab. The other sections are available to read at the links below:
- Part 1 with Irina (I Drink and Watch Anime)
- Part 2 with Scott (Mechanical Anime Reviews)
- Part 4 with Karandi (100 Word Anime)
—PART 3, BEGIN!—
- Karandi = K🍣
- Scott = S🚀
- Shoujo = SJ🌸
- Irina = I🐇🍸
K🍣: Mafuyu plays such a pivotal role in this movie despite having less screen time. It is wonderful seeing him being far more proactive about what he wants and working in the background to support those around him. He continues the transformation we saw him go through in the second half of the series and while it is no longer the central driving point of the plot, it just shows that these characters are written to be real in that even when they aren’t at the centre of the story, their lives continue.
I did feel Ueno got a little sidelined but then again with only 59 minutes we just couldn’t have given him more time without detracting from the other characters here.
S🚀: I would love a little more Ueno too and having the film be a little longer to catch up with his relationship and place with Mafuyu right now would be nice. At the same time, I kind of feel like Ueno would be out of place in a way. He seems a little too pure with what is going on when these adults with life experiences are handling their own messy problems. There is a lot of complications in this film that would be a little beyond him, so I think he might be in a little bit of a lose, lose kind of situation here.
That being said, I did like Mafuyu’s place as being the message in this film is great. I think that him being around and providing a different perspective into the drama at hand to help the others solve problems. He doesn’t get much beyond that and being a genius all of a sudden, but his wrong is definitely important and he is great at what he does. He’s grown so much and is such a good guy. I appreciate him so much.
SJ🌸: I would have loved to see this movie (and more) be a second season. The relationship between Mafuyu and Ueno was a bit sidelined, but no more so, I feel, than that of Haruki and Kaji in the series if you allow for the fact that 11 episodes permit greater distribution of time per each member of the main cast. The movie carried on the story, but I want MORE.
I agree with Scott in that Mafuyu’s powerful music continuing to support the main theme of the movie’s arc is a nice tie in to its role in the series. His music (thank you, Centimillimental and Shougo Yano!!!) touches audiences so powerfully. ❤ I haven’t read the manga (though now I think I’m going to have to!), but I am confident that his expression through song and how those songs touch others continues to be a huge focus. I just want a second season. </3 Given is one of those manga that is simply made for a screen adaptation.
I🐇🍸: I liked the movie but I won’t lie, if I had not seen the series before, I probably would have found it just o.k. And I think that for my taste it was too condensed. After rereading the manga, I realized that season 1 of Given really took its time. It’s stretched out chapters and went at its own pace, allowing characters to grow and develop organically. The Haruki + Kaji arc in the manga is shorter but it’s not that much shorter. This was a one-hour movie, I feel like it should have been at least six episodes. Heck throw in some Mayu and Ueno shenanigans and make it into a full season.
The problem with condensing everything like that is not only that the audience doesn’t get as much time to properly form an emotional reaction, but it also makes everything seem so much more dramatic. Someone was having crazy feelings every 5 minutes because they had to fit all the visceral scenes in. As a not so much fan of either romance or drama, I personally would have preferred to see them spaced out a bit more and tempered with moments of humour or just casual slice of life stuff. I would have watched Kaji and Haruki happily cohabitating for at least two episodes without complaint, instead of just a few montage scenes.
But that’s just me.
K🍣: I absolutely loved this movie, however going in with a prior attachment to the cast and story is kind of a prerequisite because otherwise it really doesn’t have enough time to develop any kind of deep connection with the characters at the start of the movie. It just kind of gets into the drama and you are either already on board or you aren’t. As a follow up to the series it is magnificent. As a stand-alone movie, I kind of think most viewers will find it watchable but that’s about it.
Usually, I’d agree with Irina that most anime movies would actually work better as a season or half-season of episodes but here I feel like the intensity of what these characters were feeling and going through might have been lost. The 59 minutes really drag you through the emotional wringer but it is because there’s no time to contemplate or breathe that it works.
Then again, I wouldn’t object to another season (or two or three) of Given because the whole cast just deserve more screen time and following them on their journey has been an absolute joy.
Thank you for reading, and thank my other collaborators for having me! This was fun!
- Please see part 4 with Karandi (100 Word Anime)!
Until next time…
…stay home when you can, wear a mask when you can’t, wash your hands, and stay safe!