Another fun installment in one of my favorite current manga series! I absolutely love the pacing of this series and the author’s ability to keep us interested in all four members of the band. This series started out as though it would be a typical romance sort of manga, but I feel like it’s really evolved from that and included a lot of the side characters to the point in which there are no “main characters” now. Everyone seems to be treated equally and as important as one another which I really like! It keeps things interesting and doesn’t mean you get burnt out on reading the same relationship drama over and over.
Per usual, Given Volume 5 picks up from where the last volume left off. Akihiko and Haruki are both still trying to figure out how they feel about not only one another, but life itself. Akihiko is trying to get over his on and off ex and roommate and reassess his love for music while Haruki is doing his best to move on while also letting Akihiko stay with him so he avoids running from his problems. Of course, this brings about more problems, but they’re surprisingly facing these issues head on rather than continually running from all of their problems. Mafuyu is trying to get the confidence and inspiration to write a new song for the band’s next competition, and he uses his friendship with his bandmates and their lives as inspiration as the day of the performance grows closer.
It’s hard to talk about this series as it goes on because there’s so much that’s a spoiler and also so much that it makes it hard to explain if you haven’t read the previous volumes. This is absolute a series in which you have to read everything in a specific order or you will miss out on all the nuance and backstory within these relationships, but I think that’s one of it’s strengths. The relationships between the four members of the band, be it romantic or friendship, is what really drives this series and for that I think it’s absolutely stellar.
Title: Given Vol. 5
Author: Natsuki Kizu
Three Descriptors: Honest, Emotional, Hopeful,