Synonyms: Beck - Mongolian Chop Squad
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 2004 to Mar 31, 2005
25 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.451 (scored by 55663 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama music shounen slice of life
SynopsisTanaka Yukio, better known by his nickname Koyuki is a 14 year old who feels disconnected from life in general. Through the act of saving a mismatched dog, he meets guitarist Minami Ryuusuke, and becomes involved in Ryuusuke's new band BECK. Koyuki's life starts to change as the band struggles towards fame.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Beck
Characters & Voice Actors
I ended up rewatching this series recently to kill some spare time, and -- I don't know why -- I found that I liked the whole series a lot more the second time around. I mean, I liked it the first time... but the second time, I really liked it.
It's about this middle school kid named Koyuki, who finally connects with the world around him through music and what eventually becomes a band called Beck... blah, blah, blah.
Story-wise... it's a little kooky. I don't know how other people viewed it, but being from the U.S., well, I had to remind myself a few times to take it with a grain of salt. I really enjoyed the slow development of Koyuki and the band and the relationships between everyone... I thought that part of the story was really well done. It's just that (especially in the second half), you have to be prepared to suspend your disbelief a little and accept the oddness of the whole Lucille subplot.
The art? I really liked looking at it. There was something very appealing about it. I think I especially liked how the everything was kind of gritty and muted looking to match the mood of the underground music scene. Also, the color palette they chose fit really well with the tone and vibe of the main characters and the story line, I thought.
Okay, the music really, really grew on me. I thought I was going to hate it and I have to admit that the grammar kind of bugged me at first... but I totally hum/sing a bunch of the songs to myself without thinking about it now. Even the opening song is catchy and fun. And even though you do hear bits of a few songs over and over again, it's nice, because I felt like I was getting more and more familiar with their sound... and it gave me a chance to become a "fan" of the band. ;) Also I thought that the people who were singing Koyuki and Maho's parts did a *great* job.
Character-wise... I don't think you get to know anyone as well as you get to know Koyuki. In fact, I think you only get to know everyone else as well as Koyuki himself does. But that's one of the nice things about the show, actually. They don't always like each other. They're bandmates and they aren't each others' whole lives. ...So, it felt okay to be irritated with or irked by some of the characters. And personally, I really prefer characters who are flawed and honest and real, so I really didn't mind not always liking the people on the show because it felt so much more... authentic, in a way.
And I don't know if this is character or story, but I also liked the way the series kind of kept us updated on Beck's rival band and used their story as a contrast to the main story.
I would say though, that if you're not used to the way heavily accented English sounds, listening to some of the conversations and the songs might be a little jarring at first. It didn't bother me since I was watching it w/ subs anyway and I'm used to thick accents, but I know some people who found it distracting... they couldn't concentrate on what was going on because they were too busy listening and trying to figure out what they were saying.
Overall, great show. It's different from your typical perky, funny, energetic sort of high school shows... it's sort of more of a "My So-Called Life" type show, without all the drama and with a band. ;) So, this probably isn't what you're looking for if you want sort of a funny, light-hearted high school slice of life show; it's ...quieter than that. But if you're looking for a break from all the sugar, this is a really nice change of pace. read more
I can honestly say that I have never seen another anime like BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. Slice-of-life anime is common, of course, but usually it’s that rosy Azumanga Daioh view of high school that resembles real life only in place and time, like a Disney sitcom. The best way to describe this show is that it’s an animated independent film. Except for the patchwork dog and an only slightly far-fetched mobster side-plot near the show’s climax, the series feels grounded not in picturesque reality like a lot of high school slice-of-life, but in the persistently disappointing ennui of real high school life, and the grit of teenage emotions, obligations, hormones, and escapades, much more like someone with a camcorder running around on the set of that aforementioned Disney show capturing the teen stars complaining about the previous take and the director scratchin’ his bum.
This is consequently both awesome and alienating, of course. For those of us who like watching what feels like a real life through a keyhole, it’s a gripping and refreshing experience. For a lot of other people though, it’s probably slow and boring. The writers feed you Koyuki’s life through exciting days and bland ones and while I think the choice makes this a more visceral human story even for the musically uneducated (MEEEEE!), it’s clearly not for everybody. It’s impossible to categorize BECK, and you will either LOVE it or fall asleep in ten minutes. I loved it and I still fell asleep sometimes if I tried to watch at weird hours.
On the technical side of things, the animation is a little weird. I can’t say it’s bad, because the stilted look is intentional. I think the idea was to make this show like one of those blurred picture montages of real life in jerky motion you see in many music videos…or Evangelion’s druggie moments. Greater attention was paid to the character’s band performances than the doldrums of their daily motion, as we get to see mad finger-picking, cymbal-smashing, and sweat dripping down screaming faces.
Which brings me to the music. There actually is no music in this show unless someone in the show is listening to it or playing it in the show’s world, with the exception of some moments where there is ambient noise in its place, which adds to the realism. Anyway, I’m going to cover the music and the voicework in the same breath here, because while you cannot have a show about battling bands and the power of music and have the music suck, with an English dub you have an entirely new hurdle. Even if the Japanese music is great, because the actual characters in the show’s story are singing it…all of the music has to be dubbed. If they left it in Japanese, the voice disjunction would ruin the experience. Besides that, most of the songs are already in Engrish. The music in BECK, all of it, is fantastic rock, from lite British classic to rap-heavy punk, and there is ooooodles of it. So after hearing the dubbed result, I’m going to say something I don’t say too often.
By my personal experience and estimation, I’d say about 60% of anime sounds much better in Japanese, 35% of anime sounds equally good in either language, and the rare 5% or so of anime sounds much better in English. BECK is firmly in that 5%, and while it is due to stellar singing and acting, most of the issue is just cultural. Of course anime is more rewarding in Japanese if you speak Japanese, but this particular show is more rewarding in Japanese if you DON’T know any English, because Ryuusuke, Maho, and several other “American” characters speak a lot of Engrish in-show and it really takes you out of the story trying to pretend that these guys are native speakers and singers. The dub makes very minimal changes, but flavors the dialogue with the natural crassness of how teenagers really speak, real f-bomb patois in all its glory, and tweaks the lyrics to sound like an English song as the creators no doubt intended, something that really would “hit in America.” Performance-wise, well, Greg Ayres, Brina Palencia, and Justin Cook can belt it with the best of them, and acting is stellar throughout, with nary an awkward line or delivery in the whole package. I may be combated on this as some people think the language barrier in Japanese is infinitely more charming, but I prefer realism to anachronistic charm, personally. Such an intense adaptation can’t be missed, because it’s the best and the most dub singing you’re ever going to hear.
No matter what your language, however, BECK’s concert performances, especially the pivotal final episodes at a music festival, have truly captured what it feels like to be at a concert and lose yourself in the passion and the sound, and that’s what’s so important and special about BECK. The diverse cast feels familiar and it’s always rewarding to hear them ROCK.
All in all, this show is incredibly unique and rewarding, a great coming-of-age story that rings so true and rocks out loud, but it has very limited appeal due to its sluggish pacing, dramatic modesty, and pandering to hard-rock fanatics far more than anime fans out for action and melodrama. It really brought the noise for me, even when the show was silent and slow, but it’s such a hard experience to share or revisit in full, so it's really up to viewer preferences.
*THIS IS A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MY VIDEO REVIEW WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE:
Thanks for reading! read more
Music, music, music. Both series have great music scores to keep you entertained, not to mention the underlining drama that eats away at each character. Even if you're not a fan of the drama, you'll probably end up enjoying the music in some sense~
Both are good music series. Competition of two bands, romance, drama, and of course good music. Must see both
Nana feels like the love-child of Beck and Honey & Clover. If you liked Nana, I'd suggest Beck if you liked the struggling band/musical aspects of Nana. And vice versa. =)
Nana and Beck tell us about the musical industry and everything concerning the creative process. We'll meet naive novices and tycoons of record labels, rookies and stars. Although in Nana the story is focused on love and relationships, it's also about the life of musicians, including live shows in small clubs, the recording process, promotion and music videos. If you want to know more about the musical industry you'll enjoy watching these series.
Both series are done by Mad House. Both have their good share of drama and music, and overall the atmosphere is similar. They both have similar characters and the struggle of a new band trying to show this world their talent.
Prominently-themed in Indie rock music and relationship experiences through growing up.
Music and life.
Both are great anime about a group of friends trying to make a rock band.
Slice of life, drama, and romance are the predominant elements of both series (Nana is more girl-oriented, though).
There is also the competition between 2 rival bands.
We see the characters growing up during the series, and struggling to make their dreams come true.
Also, both anime are by Mad House, and Takumi and Ryusuke are similar.
Both anime have a theme of music, BECK is more of a music fans anime while NANA is more centered toward a shoujo audience . never the less both anime are amoung my favourite. Although I feel BECK is my favourite anime of all time NANA is the closest anime you will get related to rock music. (next to BECK that is)
Both NANA & Beck are focused on music. NANA has female main characters and the serie centers around them. Also, they're already in their twenties. Beck on the other hand has young boys as main characters. Their both great to watch and have their own amount of music and drama.
both are portraying a struggling rock band for their path to popularity, their love problems, friendship... although, nana is a more emotional, and from a girls point of view, while in beck, except their music (and all around it), we do not get to know their other side: family. both have some great music, that will stuck to your mind hours and days later. enjoy!
There both are about trying to make it big in a band and falling in love.
Revolving around music and in a way relationships. Beck is more of an anime I'd recommend if you enjoy having your adrenline pumping. Captivating, slow at times but worth every minute of every episode. Catchy music.
Nana, more if you want to have your heart thumping, rising, tears in your eyes. Yet still some essences of adreanline. Creative characters, good story lines. Overall both series are MUST-WATCH for all music fans be they pop music, indie, rock, heavy metal, punk.
Both focus on the mentality and hard work it takes to become the biggest rock band in the world. Both feature AMAZING soundtracks plus references to big rock bands.
Both are well-received anime centered around drama and music. Both have fantastic soundtracks.
Wow, both of these series reminds me of one and the other in a variety of ways.
Both series features music as a prominent theme. They have a band who are trying to make a name of themselves in the music industry. But more than that, there is a complex friendship between the two main characters in both series.
Beck and Nana are like brothers and sisters imo. They have comedy, romance, drama, and is presented in a mature way that is more than the typical shoujo/high school romances.
Both series also has that slice of life feeling detailing some of the events of the characters' every day lives whether involving their careers or their love lives.
If you like Beck you might just enjoy Nana. They both have rock bands and awesome music and are pretty realistic. The only difference is Beck is light, comedic and shounen. Nana makes you cry its Shoujo.
Both of these two anime revolve around the topic music in one way or another, for example they both involve bands trying to make their debut. The overall feeling is the same, in both they are dealing with everyday issues and things that "ordinary" people can relate to.
Beck is a modern high school coming-of-age story where a nobody becomes a somebody by becoming a member of a rock band. Kids on the Slopes is a josei romance drama disguised as a high school coming-of-age story centered around jazz in the 1960's.
On the surface the two series appear similar. They both use music as a way of introducing and connecting their characters with the rest of the cast; including love interests that act as motivational factors. However, where as jazz is just a means to romantic ends in Kids on the Slopes, in Beck music is the most important aspect: it's the driving force of a story where character growth is linked into the titular band's successes and failures. There's a romance subplot in Beck that causes frustration and rage, for sure, but there's no denying that Beck is, first and foremost, about music.
Kids on the Slopes' greatest problem is this: its manga was serialised in a magazine called 'Flowers'. Hardly the ideal platform for a coming-of-age story with a a male lead, and that shows through; both in terms of the romantic focus AND male lead characterisation that's overly feminine. Jazz barely gets a look-in aside from when the cast hang out together. In contrast, Beck is more male-orientated with its lead's characterisation, and although romance gets far less attention, the heroine has caused anger in more than one fan for being realistically bitchy. That sort of naturalness is missing from Kids on the Slopes with its far more shoujo / soap operaish approach to romance.
In short: if you're looking for something shoujoish with music on the side, watch Kids on the Slopes. If you're a male looking for a coming-of-age story centered around music, watch Beck. Simple as that.
The similar part is that both anime are for high school students who play music.
The difference is that Sakamichi no Apollon is more about the love stories of the characters and is full of cliches, while Beck is more about music and characters' development as persons through music.
If you're musician or you just enjoy heartwarming stories featuring music and romance, then both shows are must-watch.
Similar premise, just replace Jazz music with Rock music as the main music focus. Characters are all in high school as well in both, however Beck takes place in present day.
Tbh, I found these two series quite alike in terms of their pace and feeling when watching them.
Both Beck and Sakamichi no Apollon (also known as Kids on the Slope) explores the theme of music and how the main characters of the series embraces them.
Both series' artwork is naturalistic and has realism that reflects the older ages compared to the more modern 2000's style.
Both series has a slice of life theme in it that features comedy, drama, and romance.
Both series are a breath of fresh air so give it a shot.
It's not only about music. BECK - ROCK, Sakamichi - JAZZ.
But also it's slice of life about musicians lifes. About problems of everyone of us, because everyone've got plenty of them. It's about how hard is love, friendship and keeping your existence in society.
Both of these titles are set in the present and feature high school kids as the main characters. There is a great deal of high school drama, but at the end of the day the characters best relate through music. Beck is much more lighthearted and funny; kids on the slope tries to be more thoughtful. Both are excellent animes.
In my opinion, there are only two kinds of animes. Drama and Action.
Beck and Sakamichi share a feeling through the whole series. The action is slow and you can't expect a bloody gunfight every episode. The characters will always be presented as very simple, but the more you dive into the understanding of the characters meaning in the series, you will obtain that everyone has a light and a dark side. The character you thought were a ugly scumbag, will maybe turn out to be the nicest character in anime history! Judge the book by the content, not the cover.
Also, both animes has a love to music. Beck is for all the rock/pop-lovers, and Sakamichi is for 60's jazz. Both animes will create a big view of both genres, and you will understand why the music-culture is very important. If you don't like this kind of music, you should consider watching either Beck or Sakamichi.
Last but not least, both animes aren't just about music. Actual themes is also friendship, love, hard work and accomplishing goals and following dreams!
same music but smaller and better than beck less complicated some times and some time more complicated then beck unfortunate it doesn't have a ending like beck which can keep the viewer hoping that there would be more. so to sum it up smaller and better similar in a lot of ways love music and a whole lot of fun included that kids on slope for you :)
Music, Music, Music. While Beck deals with rock music, Sakimichi no Apollon deals with jazz. If you're a fan of jazz, this is a must-watch. Add that to the brilliant writing and character development, and you get one of the best shows a music fan could watch.
Both are about a band and their struggles revolving around music
Opening Theme"Hit in the USA" by Beat Crusaders
Ending Theme#1: "My World Down" by Meister (eps 1-20)
#2: "Moon on the Water" by Sowelu and Beat Crusaders (eps 21-25)
#3: "Slip Out" by Beck/Mongolian Chop Squad (ep 26)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
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