Granted the anime adaptation was a huge hit – but is the film worth watching?

Granted the anime adaptation was a huge hit – but is the film worth watching?

During the summer of 2019, Granted began airing and became a surprise hit. Considering that shows like Vinland Saga, Dr. Stone and Fire strength also premiered around the same time, as well Granted as a Boys’ Love series, this came as a surprise to many. BL enthusiasts loved it, as expected, but it reached an audience beyond that scope. When you watch the series, it’s not hard to see why. Granted actively avoids many BL stereotypes that might make audiences uncomfortable, while also taking care in its portrayal of Mafuyu and Ritsuka’s blossoming romance. There is a clear balance in their relationship that allows them to be equals, rather than their personalities revolving around their “role” in the relationship.

Following the anime’s success, Studio Lerche, who produced the anime, and the new animation studio Blue Lynx produced a sequel film covering the very end of the manga’s volume 3, through volume 4 and volume 5. Although it is the same series, Granted the movie is very different from the anime because it shifts the focus to older cast members Akihiko and Haruki. Because of this, some fans question the value of watching it. For anyone wondering about this, there are a few things to consider. RELATED: Why Given’s English Dub Left Mafuyu’s Song Alone

Maturity in relationships

given the film ugetsu akihiko first break up

The first story between Ritsuka and Mafuyu has a completely different tone than Haruki and Akihiko’s. For Ritsuka, this is a case of first love where he has no idea what his feelings are or why they are so strong until halfway through the anime. Meanwhile, Mafuyu has had one previous relationship, but it was intense and ended in tragedy. Because of this, there is an innocence about the couple. Ritsuka panics at the thought of being alone with Mafuyu, or doing something as simple as holding his hand. He fumbles and worries if his actions are okay because he’s never had feelings like them before. Mafuyu is stuck on the first, as many teenagers are. Many of his first ones were with Yuki, so Mafuyu goes out of his way to make new ones with Ritsuka.

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In contrast, Haruki and Akihiko are much more experienced in dating, having been with different people before the series started. In Akihiko’s case, he is still in relationships with other people to varying degrees. To highlight this, the content is more graphic than the original anime. Sex is a prominent aspect of this arc, as not even ten minutes into the film it is clear that Akihiko and Ugetsu still sometimes sleep together. This was hinted at throughout the anime, but now it’s confirmed and the tone of the arc is set.

Their relationship is toxic. Both Akihiko and Ugetsu admit that they hate each other and are bad for each other, but continue to become entangled with each other. Because of this, Akihiko’s mood drops dramatically and he sleeps around. This leads to the largest BL trope Granted uses that many anime fans want to get away from: questionable or lack of consent. It’s not as extreme as other BL, but it’s still a scene that those who are sensitive to such themes should avoid. However, it is not accepted as it is in other series. Both characters regret what happened, and trust must be rebuilt between them afterwards. Regardless of those who enjoy Granted For the lack of sexual content, this information should be remembered. RELATED: The Chainsaw Man’s potential romance is already better than Gore

Subject given: the film

Given the movie Mafuyu it's fine (1)

While more mature, the content of Granted the film sticks to the main themes. While not about grief in the way that Mafuyu and Ritsuka’s story is, Akihiko and Haruki’s arc still focuses on moving on from the past. However, this is mainly on Akihiko’s part, as the big event is the breakdown of his relationship with Ugetsu. The anime stated that Ugetsu was Akihiko’s first love, and he explains that loving Ugetsu was the most painful thing he has ever experienced. Yet they live together in a way that is too intimate for them to be simple roommates.

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Where Mafuyu’s continuation is tied to grief after Yuki’s death, Akihiko’s progress is finally getting out of a relationship that brings more pain than joy. That fight is portrayed wonderfully, and resonates with viewers who have been in similar situations. Akihiko and Ugetsu’s relationship is a mess. They broke up years ago, but they still act like a couple. They hate each other, are jealous of each other, but can’t get enough of their partner. Ugetsu tries to send Akihiko away, only for Akihiko to finally do so and he falls apart. It is difficult to see, but even more difficult to experience.

Just like how Mafuyu’s process is one step at a time, it takes time for Akihiko to go through this change. This arc begins in the summer, where season 1 left off, and doesn’t end until the spring. Almost a year passes and it takes all that time for Akihiko to recover. Anime fans who like this aspect of Granted it would be remiss to overlook this part of the story.

The characters

Mafuyu and Ritsuka write a song together

For many fans, the reason they are attracted Granted are Mafuyu and Ritsuka. Their meeting is the inciting event for the series, and at this point their relationship is the most developed. The most important parts of the story come from Mafuyu and his growth as a character, so someone who watched the anime might even be happy with where it ends. The story can and does continue from that point, but the first concert and Mafuyu and Ritsuka deciding to start dating brings some closure.

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That said, many people will continue to consume a series if it means more content from their favorite characters. While Granted presenting itself as Ritsuka and Mafuyu’s story, it has since grown beyond that starting point. Like other BL series, there are several couples that the author focuses on. The movie is the point in the manga where creator Natsuki Kizu makes this pivot point. As a result, Uenoyama and Mafuyu take a back seat to the story, but are still present. Uenoyama’s absence is addressed early in the film, when Haruki explains that he is taking remedial classes for two subjects. Meanwhile, Mafuyu flutters in and out of the story as needed.

For fans who wanted more of the main pairing, this will be disappointing to watch, especially if they’ve read the manga. This is because certain parts of the manga were left out of the movie to make the plot more cohesive. In these cut sections, Ritsuka and Mafuyu have larger roles, and a certain chapter deals more with Mafuyu’s trauma since losing Yuki. While it is understandable that these cuts were made, this may turn off viewers who specifically care about Ritsuka and Mafuyu. Anime fans shouldn’t worry though, as these bits were compiled into an OVA that’s also available on Crunchyroll.

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