Caleb likes to think he's Jiraiya, a ninja/author. In reality, he's never thrown a punch in his life. His pen serves as his lone weapon.
Are you looking for anime like Given because you're a sucker for slice of life anime? Or maybe you just can't find any good anime series in the music genre? I'll help you with a few recommendations because I understand how challenging it is to get over the touching story that Given has delivered. Here are a few anime that you should start binging right away to keep that happy feeling going.
Anime Similar to "Given"
- Piano no Mori
- Carole & Tuesday
- Sakamichi no Apollon
- Kono Oto Tomare!
- Bakumatsu Rock
- Banana Fish
- Scum's Wish
Aired: February 2016
Doukyuusei follows a similar narrative as Given. In this anime, two students, Hikaru Kusakabe and Rihito Sajou, with entirely different personalities start developing feelings for each other. While Kusakabe is a straightforward chap, Sajou, on the other hand, is serious and quiet. While preparing for their chorus festival, one thing leads to another and they soon find that they can’t keep their hands off each other. However, like every love story, this one too is not as easy as you may think. Both Given and Doukyuusei portray high-school romance between two boys and everything starts because of music.
2. Piano no Mori
Aired: April 2018
Passion for music, deep friendship between two male characters, and a story about unconditional love – no, this is not the synopsis of Given. While the plot may sound extremely familiar, Piano no Mori has a different storyline altogether. It is about two boys, Kai Ichinose, the son of a prostitute, and Shuuei Amamiya, who was born and raised in one of the most prestigious pianist families. Although they have different upbringings, their passion for music brings them together. This leads to a blooming friendship that fast develops into a stage where the two guys share an unconditional love for each other.
If you are one of those who love touching stories with a hint of music and love, Piano no Mori will not disappoint.
3. Carole & Tuesday
Aired: April 2019
While Given portrayed the love story of two male characters, Carole & Tuesday shows the unconditional love between two girls. Unlike Given, the protagonist in this series is a female. Carol, who lives in Alba City, wants to become a musician in the future. Tuesday, on the other hand, comes from a wealthy family. She, too, wants to become a musician. Carole always feels lost in her thoughts and Tuesday believes that nobody understands her. In a chance meeting, Carole's and Tuesday's paths cross, leading to a friendship that slowly blossoms into love.
Like Given, Carole & Tuesday follow a character-driven story with the common theme of music.
4. Sakamichi no Apollon
Aired: April 2012
Kaoru Nishimi frequently moves from one city to another. In the summer of 1966, he moves to Sasebo, Kyushu. He hardly manages to make friends anywhere because of his habit of moving frequently. This has made him an introvert. But things change when he meets a delinquent guy, Sentarou Kawabuki while attending classes in school. Kaoru loves jazz music and he also plays the piano. The two friends soon share their passion for music as their bond starts getting stronger. The protagonist is similar to the one in Given, thus making this show a must-watch for Given-lovers.
5. Kono Oto Tomare!
Aired: April 2019
With high-school students willing to learn music and a love story blossoming out of nowhere, you will bet that Kono Oto Tomare! is a replica of Given. But it's not. This series portrays the life of Takezou Kurata, who is a part of his high-school band. But after graduating, the band starts to fall apart. It comes to a point where only Takezou Kurata survives and he desperately searches for people who would become band members.
And like seeing light at the end of the tunnel, he finds a new student with a passion for music. Takezou Kurata teaches this student how to play various instruments. This slice of life series will interest those who want to watch an anime like Given. Give it a shot and you won’t regret your decision.
6. Bakumatsu Rock
Aired: July 2014
A series in the Bakumatsu era with Heaven's Songs playing as background score – this combination provides the most beautiful setting for a show inspired by Given. Although you may not find the plot similar to Given, it is a guarantee that you will love the show nonetheless. The series focuses only on Heaven's Songs because Tokugawa Shogunate from the Bakumatsu era is trying to brainwash Japan where no other songs work. There is one common link with Given though: and that is music. With a group of people playing rock music like it is the end of the world tomorrow, you will literally binge this show in one sitting.
7. Banana Fish
Aired: July 2018
First of all, this series doesn’t resemble the music part of the plot in Given. But I found it very similar to the actual theme: love between two guys. In Banana Fish, Griff, a soldier fighting in the Vietnam War starts killing everyone he sees in his platoon. Eventually, he ceases to kill and only utters the words "Banana Fish." Years later, he finds Ash, who takes care of Griff. But Ash has a dark past. He was raised in a Mafia family and also worked as a sex slave to Papa Dino. But he now wants to unravel the secret behind Banana Fish and why Griff continues to repeat it.
Aired: October 2000
A pop star trying to sign his own record label meets a man who tells him that he has zero talent. This is the plot of Gravitation that keeps everyone on the edge of their seats for the entire series. Shuichi is the pop star here who wants to sign for a record label but can't find the appropriate words to finish his song. At this point, he meets Eiri Yuki, who feels that Shuichi doesn’t have any talent at all. This makes Shuichi angry and he is hell-bent to prove him wrong by finishing his song.
With the show featuring a love story between a struggling artist and a cold man, it is a musical anime that you can't afford to miss.
Aired: April 2006
Like Carole & Tuesday, Nana is the story of two girls. Both share the same name, Nana. Nana Osaki is a punk rocker while Nana Komatsu, on the other hand, is a naïve and shy girl. They meet on a train and coincidentally rent the same apartment. While Nana Komatsu wants to figure out her life, her counterpart wants to make it big in the musical world. The show wonderfully captures their passion for music and how they slowly harbor feelings for each other. The plot is quite similar to Given, especially when you see the relationship growing between the two girls because of music.
10. Scum's Wish
Aired: January 2017
Mugi and Hanabi are the perfect couple in the eyes of their friends. But deep down, they know that they are dating because both of them can’t date the people they actually love. It is the need to keep their loneliness away that they find solace in each other's arms. Although this series is slightly different from Given, I have kept it in this list because of the strong emotional storyline. Once you watch a few episodes, you will not feel as if it’s different from Given.