Given: Ritsuka Uenoyama

Name:Uenoyama, Ritsuka
上ノ山 立夏
Birthdate:August 1
Age:16 (from start to Chapter 16)
17 (from Chapter 16)
Height:175 cm
Hair Color:Black
Eye Color:Blue
Blood Type:B
Family:Uenoyama, Yayoi (older sister)
Seiyuu:Uchida, Yuuma (anime)
Furukawa, Makoto (drama cd)

Why am I writing a post about Ritsuka Uenoyama from Given (ギヴン)?

To start, I am hoping to write many posts about characters or pairings that I like from different series. So, since I just finished my write up about Given the anime, I decided to jump in with my favorite character in the series.

In general, I do like all the characters in the series and although, Haruki Nakayama comes in pretty close as my second favorite (it may be I have yet to finish the manga or seen the movie yet), I don’t find myself identifying to him as much as I do Ritsuka. Haruki is definitely the nicest, always understanding and accommodating, which makes him a great character and I can see why he has a lot of fans. And I hope Haruki’s fans don’t take this the wrong way, but the reason I don’t identify with Haruki is that he is a little too weak/push over especially with Akihiko and just a little overdramatic at times, which is a personality that I find a bit infuriating.

For myself though, I identify more with Ritsuka’s feelings and struggles. His brash, unrefined emotions when he’s not sure how else to react is something I definitely relate to. Underneath the irritable, annoyed facade though, Ritsuka is genuinely nurturing and protective of the person he cares about. By the way, this goes without saying, that this is only my analysis of Ritsuka’s character (I am certain others will find different aspects of him that I may not have caught or care about, so please be nice^^). As I write more of these character profiles, I wonder if I’ll start to see a pattern to the kind of guys that I like in an anime.

Anyway, back to Ritsuka.

When the series first introduces Ritsuka, he is an apathetic high school senior – bored with basketball and guitar. While heading to his “secret” place for a nap, upon arriving, he is annoyed to find someone else is already there. I would have been too if all I wanted was to get away from people, only to find someone else there. And Mafuyu, to me in the beginning, was actually annoying too (please stop saying うん! Like, are you listening?! XD).

By the end of the first episode, when Ritsuka had his jam session with his bandmates, his vigor and enthusiasm solidified his place in my heart as my favorite character from Given.

There were still some scenes in Given that bothered me about Ritsuka. In episode 3 where he gets really upset with Mafuyu due to Mafuyu’s assessment of his own inability to express himself, so he though that he shouldn’t be in the band. Maybe it was due in bit to the writing (although as far as I have read from the manga, it is the same), but I felt Ritsuka’s words were overly strong for that point of the story. I mean I understood why he said the things he did, just maybe I wasn’t ready for Ritsuka’s “confession” so soon.

So the reason Ritsuka got all riled up was due to Mafuyu’s explanation why he shouldn’t join Ritsuka’s band, which irritated Ritsuka since the reason he invited Mafuyu to the band was due to this voice. Basically, Mafuyu’s singing had haunted him and evoked a feeling in him since hearing it. I did wonder if it was an indicator of the awareness of Ritsuka himself – that while he knew he was upset at Mafuyu’s words, he may have also felt the same of himself in being unable to express what he wants to say clearly. That he also realizes that he is speaking through his emotions. His confession to Mafuyu in Episode 9 kind of reaffirms this, I think.

Also, leading up to episode 9, we know at this point, Ritsuka has been really apprehensive to hear what kind of song Mafuyu was going to sing about, especially knowing about his previous lost love. I definitely felt the same fear and trepidation as Ritsuka, not knowing if his heart and mind could really handle hearing Mafuyu sing about it. As we know, the song is about Mafuyu’s past love. It should have hurt Ritsuka a lot more. I know it would have hurt me! ^^;

But Ritsuka also understood that Mafuyu had a lot of unspoken words about his situation that he kept bottled up inside and that those words needed to be heard, especially knowing how long Mafuyu was unable to express it himself. Ritsuka supported Mafuyu because he cared about him, even though it might hurt to hear the words. Ahh….that is love.

I want to be able to be strong and supportive of the person I care about too. In any case, I’ll leave it for here for now and will update if there’s anything I can think of to add to this.

His signature animal mentioned in the manga is a munchkin cat.
His guitar is a Fender Classic Series ’72 Telecaster Custom Electric Guitar.

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