Given 1×05 Review: “The Reason”

The Reason Given
Haruki is all of us.

I can’t believe we’re getting a Hoobastank reference in this year of our lord 2019, much less one in an anime, but “The Reason” is actually an incredibly apt title, considering the subject matter of this episode.

“The Reason” has quite a bit of plot, despite how slow-moving the series has been. We learn a little more about Mafuyu and Haruki, we know that the band has a gig approaching, we get flashbacks to how some of our core characters met, and we end with a cliffhanger that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Trigger Warning: This review contains mentions of suicide.

First, we have to talk about the thirst. The thirst in “The Reason” is off the charts, and it’s not even from Ritsuka; it’s from Haruki. This episode came out and confirmed that Haruki is in love with Akihiko and also seemed to indicate that Akihiko is most likely bisexual. We got flashbacks to not only how Haruki and Akihiko met each other, but also how they met Ritsuka and formed the band. Surprisingly, Haruki is the linchpin behind everything.

The Reason Given

I couldn’t help but get a bit giggly over Haruki’s awkwardness around Akihiko, because that’s a boy after my own heart, but we don’t know a whole lot about Akihiko yet. You don’t know if he’s being purposely flirty or if he’s completely oblivious to his effect on Haruki; not to mention there’s his undefined relationship status with Yayoi and now the mysterious housemate and how he fits in. Akihiko comes across as a bit of a player (that flashback where he may have been cheating does not help matters any), so I’m dying for an episode from his perspective.

“The Reason” also confirmed that someone close to Mafuyu did indeed kill himself – Yuki, who we now know was his boyfriend. We can assume this is why Mafuyu had a guitar he didn’t know anything about and why he carried it around with him despite having absolutely no knowledge of music. (He didn’t know what instrumental meant. Please tell me that he’s airheaded because of grief and he isn’t this clueless.) Hiiragi seemed surprised Mafuyu had Yuki’s guitar, so did he steal it, or was it given to him?

Can I register my complaint that Kasai, a girl that we know has a crush on Ritsuka, is the one who passed on this piece of information? She shared things that weren’t hers to pass on – namely that Mafuyu likes boys and that his boyfriend committed suicide – and it’s as of now unclear what her motivations were. Is she genuinely worried for Ritsuka, or is she simply trying to drive a wedge between the two of them?

The Reason Given

I continue to love certain little moments in this show. The in-between scenes or the things that pass by quickly in the montage. I love the relationship between Mafuyu and Ritsuka, from the sparkly eyes Mafuyu gets when he thinks about the song to Ritsuka admitting he’s totally obsessed. I love the way Ritsuka reacted when he learned that Mafuyu could smile, or his awe that he can play basketball pretty well. I love that they shared headphones. Their relationship is developing so naturally and beautifully and I love every second of it.

One last thing to note – at least for those of us streaming this show on Crunchyroll – the lyrics for the OP and the ED were subbed on this episode. The songs make so much sense with the characters and their stories. I just wasn’t expecting the ED to be so damn sad.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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