The following may contain spoilers for Given, by Natsuki Kizu, streaming now on Crunchyroll, as well as containing a brief mention of suicide and child abuse.
Given is a popular boys' love anime and manga series with Mafuyu as the main protagonist. It's a tale of love, loss, complicated relationships, and figuring out how to move on. Mafuyu, the protagonist, suffered a troubled upbringing that greatly impacted him. His childhood friend Yuki, who was always there for him, eventually helped the two fall in love. After a struggle, Yuki kills himself, leaving Mafuyu all by herself once more.
He needed a lot of time to recover and find Ritsuka, who would become his new love. Ritsuka Uenoyama and Mafuyu Sato's burgeoning romance is the main subject of Given. Mafuyu occasionally experiences overwhelming anxiety and fear of losing his new partner, despite the fact that the two are dating. At times, much like when he was with Yuki, he even starts to reject music. This begs several questions, chief among them being whether Mafuyu has really moved on from his past.
How Mafuyu Was Affected by His Childhood
Fans learn that Mafuyu was raised by an abusive father, despite the fact that his childhood was not depicted in detail. In a vision from the past, Mafuyu was curled up beneath a tree. Mafuyu was unresponsive when Yuki tried to speak to her as she passed. Mafuyu responds by saying that his father would hit him whenever he talked, contradicting Yuki's belief that he was speechless. That was their first encounter. Later, Yuki arranges for the father of Mafuyu to be taken into custody, leaving the two kids in the care of single mothers.
Mafuyu is an introverted youngster who used to be shy around people. Any child would have suffered lifelong trauma from the abuse he had to endure from his father. Mafuyu was raised as an infant who hardly ever spoke. Because of this, Mafuyu would often suppress his emotions and be unable to express them.
Relationship between Mafuyu and Yuki
Mafuyu's childhood sweetheart and lover, Yuki, was the one person with whom he felt comfortable sharing his feelings. They naturally fell in love because they had grown up together. Yuki was the snow that made the world around Mafufyu, who resembles the winter's melancholy, more cheerful. Up until Yuki decided to join a band with their other friends and started seeing Mafuyu less, the couple had been together constantly. Mafuyu felt as though Yuki had abandoned him despite the fact that he was busy. He couldn't imagine Yuki leaving him behind due to his past trauma. After a fierce fight, Mafuyu demanded that Yuki die in his place.
Yuki heeded Mafuyu's request despite the fact that he obviously did not mean it literally. Mafuyu went to meet Yuki two days after their altercation but didn't find him dead when she arrived. Mafuyu was speechless at the unexpected loss of the person he loved, unable to understand his own feelings, and unsure of how to express his grief.
Mafuyu and Ritsuka's Ongoing Relationship
Ritsuka was Mafuyu's summer if Yuki's presence was the winter snow of his presence. Winter is a time when people tend to feel hopeless, lonely, and depressed, which fits with Mafuyu's portrayal of herself in Given. Mafuyu carried his guitar around with him after Yuki passed away as a connection to the love he had lost. The fact that Mafuyu couldn't express his feelings made things worse for him. He ultimately had no one to rely on. As time went on, Mafuyu started to bottle more of his emotions, which made him lose.
Summer, on the other hand, is a time of optimism, joy, and hope for the future. Ritsuka, whose name is Japanese for "summer," brings all of these uplifting qualities into Mafuyu's life. Mafuyu is urged by him to join his band and pursue music. Mafuyu performs a song about everything he wished he could have said to Yuki after his passing during their band's debut live show. After the show, Mafuyu was finally able to cry and acknowledge his developing feelings for Ritsuka. Ritsuka hears Mafuyu's confession, and by the end of the first season, they are dating.
Has Mafuyu Overcome His Past Trauma?
Mafuyu constantly tells himself he is not alone. He starts a band, writes music, plays basketball, and even develops a new love interest. All of these indicate that he will be able to move on. Actually, he is still being held back by his past. Mafuyu still harbors the worry of being left behind. Fans can glimpse Mafuyu's distress in an OVA episode that covered the majority of the scenes between Mafuyu and Ritsuka. Ritsuka was angry with Mafuyu because he had stopped talking to him and appeared to be avoiding him.
In fear, Mafuyu commands him to engage in a proper discussion or else everything will degenerate once more. Because the two of them didn't communicate well, he was afraid that things would turn out the same as they had in the past. Ritsuka temporarily joins Hiiragi's band in the manga and aspires to finish Yuki's song for Mafuyu. Mafuyu, however, starts to worry and worries that the past will repeat itself. He appears to completely reject music for weeks at a time while not singing anything. The hesitation and trepidation of Maufuyu reveal his fear of history being repeated. Though Mafuyu has been able to emerge a little from his shell, he still hasn't fully recovered from his traumatic experience.