Given anime: What is the series really about – Music or Love?

Given is a captivating Japanese anime series that has garnered a massive fan following around the globe. Directed by Hikaru Yamaguchi and produced by Lerche Studios, the show initially began as a manga written by Natsuki Kizu. The story of Given anime follows four young musicians brought together by their love for music and the complexities of love. The series blends music and romance flawlessly, taking viewers on an emotional journey that appeals to all ages.

What is Given anime about?

A still from Given anime series
A still from Given anime series (Image via Lerche Studios)

The anime Given centers around the lives of four main characters: Mafuyu Sato, Ritsuka Uenoyama, Haruki Nakayama, and Akihiko Kaji. Each character has a unique personality and background, contributing to the rich narrative of the series. The story commences when Ritsuka, a talented guitarist, stumbles upon Mafuyu, who is carrying a broken guitar. Intrigued by Mafuyu’s singing and the potential hidden within his melodies, Ritsuka decides to help him fix the instrument. This spontaneous encounter marks the beginning of a profound musical and emotional journey.

Exploration of the themes of music and love

1. The importance of music in the Given anime

Music is undeniably the backbone of the series “Given.” Each character finds solace and self-expression through their music. The anime beautifully portrays the power of music as a medium to convey emotions that words alone cannot capture. It serves as a therapeutic outlet, helping the characters navigate through their inner turmoil and past traumas. Furthermore, the exceptional soundtrack of “Given” enhances the emotional impact of the series, drawing viewers deeper into the story.

The portrayal of love in Given

While music plays a significant role, love is equally central to the plot. “Given” explores various forms of love – romantic, platonic, and familial. The blossoming romance between Ritsuka and Mafuyu is tenderly depicted, resonating with audiences who appreciate heartfelt relationships. Additionally, Haruki and Akihiko’s complicated love story brings depth and realism to the series. The anime beautifully showcases how love can be both a source of comfort and vulnerability for the characters.

Analysis of the central characters

Mafuyu Sato

Mafuyu Sato in Given anime
Mafuyu Sato in Given anime (Image via Lerche Studios)

Mafuyu, a reserved and mysterious character, struggles to express his emotions verbally due to his past trauma. Yet, his capacity to express emotions through music becomes a defining part of who he is. As he discovers his love for music and his feelings for Ritsuka, Mafuyu undergoes a profound transformation. His character arc poignantly portrays the healing power of both music and love.

Ritsuka Uenoyama 

Ritsuka Uenoyama in Given anime
Ritsuka Uenoyama in Given anime (Image via Lerche Studios)

Ritsuka, the guitarist of the band, initially seems indifferent and reserved. However, upon meeting Mafuyu, his perspective on life and music begins to change. Through Mafuyu, Ritsuka learns to open up emotionally and embrace love. His character’s growth emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and acceptance in finding happiness.

Haruki Nakayama 

Haruki Nakayama in Given anime
Haruki Nakayama in Given anime (Image via Lerche Studios)

Haruki, the bassist of the band, is depicted as a caring and supportive member of the group. His love for his friends and music knows no bounds.  He is often shown as the most pure-hearted member of the group. Although Haruki is always supportive for his other band members, he is deeply insecured about his music skills. Despite hiding his own challenges, Haruki plays a crucial role in the series, supporting his bandmates like a pillar.

Akihiko Kaji

Akihiko Kaji in Given anime series
Akihiko Kaji in Given anime series (Image via Lerche Studios)

Akihiko, the drummer, is portrayed as a charming and enigmatic character. His relationships with others in the series are intricate, which creates more dramatic atmosphere in the story. Akihiko may be a womanizer in the past but this is due to his trouble with expressing his romantic interest in others. He is often seen as a confident but blunt guy. The anime explores his complex emotions and past, making him an essential component of the narrative.

Impact of music and love on character development

The exploration of music and love significantly influences the character development in “Given.” Each character’s journey is intricately connected to their passion for music and their relationships with others. Music leads to self-discovery, while love sparks personal growth and understanding. This interplay elevates the emotional depth of the anime, captivating viewers on a profound level.

Representation and Inclusivity in Given

Given is also lauded for its representation and inclusivity. The anime features diverse characters, including LGBTQ+ representation such as Satou and Uenoyama. This provides much-needed visibility and acceptance in the medium. The portrayal of relationships is handled with sensitivity and respect, contributing to the show’s overall positive reception.

Comparing music and love as themes

While both music and love are central themes, they are not mutually exclusive in Given anime. Instead, they complement and reinforce each other throughout the series. Music acts as the language of love, bridging the emotional gaps between the characters and connecting them on a profound level. This synergy between the themes adds layers of complexity and depth to the story, making “Given” a standout anime in the genre.


In conclusion, Given is a masterpiece that beautifully weaves together the themes of music and love. The series emotionally explores the transformative power of music and the complexities of relationships. Through its well-developed characters and engaging storytelling, Given anime leaves a lasting impact on its audience, resonating with their own experiences of love and self-discovery.

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