Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at GateCrashers! Join Patrick and Amanda as they talk about the queer romance anime given!

Content Warning: this episode repeatedly references homophobia, depression, and suicide.

given, released in 2019 and finally receiving an English dub in 2022, follows high schooler UENOYAMA Ritsuka, a guitar prodigy, as he meets fellow student SATŌ Mafuyu, who has a guitar but doesn’t know the first thing about playing or maintaining the instrument. Their relationship quickly develops into something more, with Mafuyu even joining Ritsuka’s band with college students NAKAYAMA Haruki, the bassist, and KAJI Akihiko, the drummer. Soon it is discovered that Mafuyu can sing, and feelings begin to develop between Mafuyu and Ritsuka.

In this episode, Patrick and Amanda talk about how wholesome this story of young, queer love is, and how happy it makes them feel despite some of the more stressful, dramatic parts of the story. They discuss the English dubbed performances from some prolific anime voice actors, which ranks among some of the best dubbed performances. They discuss the dynamics of Mafuyu and Ritsuka’s relationship, as well as the feelings developing between Haruki and Akihiko. The supporting cast is discussed including Ritsuka’s sister and his friends, as well as Mafuyu’s old friends from his previous school.

The hosts discuss the importance of queer stories like given, and with Valentine’s Day upon us, how nice it is to have stories that show the characters truly in love with each other. They also discuss how universal this story feels due to the manga and anime’s use of shōnen-style characterizations despite it technically being a BL josei.

So come join Amanda and Patrick as they jump into romance with the boys in the band!

Warning! This episode contains spoilers for the first season of given and the corresponding issues of the manga.

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