Tanaka 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 toward fame.
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
First of all, it is much better than expected. The storyline was so interesting and wonderfully executed, that I even disregarded the sub par drawing style . I like the idea of a band struggling to make it big not only in Japan, but as well as in America.
Speaking of the band, the BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad was a good band (I say it's "good" because I am not a fan of rap-rock music). Earlier in the series, when Ryuusuke was talking about chemistry in a band and stuff, I did see the chemistry among the five. First you have Ryuusuke, who reeks of pure rocker, Taira, the mysterious bass player, Chiba, the crazy rapper/singer, Saku, the awesome drummer and even Koyuki, who irritates me sometimes, the wide eyed lead singer/ budding artist.
These guys make wicked music. It's definitely not typical j-rock, it actually sounds modern and americanized. A lot of the songs were in english, but there were definitely a few mistakes in grammar (These grammatical mistakes can also be found in between dialogues with Ryuusuke, Maho and all them americanized Japanese kids). The mistakes are just minor ones anyway that can be overlooked. A few of my favorites are "Hit in the USA", "My world coming down", and "Moon on the water", who are supposedly sang by the fictional band, DyBre. I also like the insert song provided by the band "The Pillows" which makes their cameo as "The Heroes", Taira's 4th band.
I mentioned that Koyuki irritated me sometimes. I just don't like the fact that he gets picked on everywhere he goes. Is there some sort of sign in his head that says "bully bait" or something? I also hated it when he cried. He is such a crybaby. I know he's a kid and all, but I never met a 14-year old boy who would cry at the drop of a hat. He did win me over during the parts when he would sing. His Japanese accent was heavy when he would sing the english songs, but he does have a considerably good voice.
In the beginning of the review I said the drawings were sub par, and that's mainly because the characters were not proportionate, but then again, all anime characters are not drawn proportionately anyway. I did like the different look, cause in a way I was getting tired of the usual way anime are drawn, as well as weird hair and eye colors. As I've said, the storyline does make up for it. Other than that, the inanimate objects are seemingly drawn well. The guitars and cars had very intricate details, and it almost looked life like. Even the electric fan earlier in the series was well designed.
The voice acting was also good. I like the fact that the american characters sounded like americans, and even the italian american guy had the accent going. I did kind of think that Eddie and Ryuusuke kind of sounded like hip hoppers more than rockers, but A for effort anyway.
It was a really good anime, and I hope there's going to be a sequel. I want to know what happens next!read more
I Loved this show, but my rating is coming with a bias, because i basically just watched my life in an anime. I am a musician who has had many bands playing clubs and an arena, so this show was a great watch.
Story- My opinion on the story is heavily biased, i was instantly drawn into it through the main character Koyuki (Yukio) and his feeling of emptiness at the beginning about how he didn't see his place in the world, and then finding it by being introduced to a well known bandand falling in love with music. Ruyuuske is the average underground musician in the beginning with his experience. The story is about Ruyuuske creating a new band out of nothing after his old one falls apart and starts a rivalry between him and the other guitarist, which always happens betweens underground musicians. upon the 2 of them meeting they have a rocky friendship which in the end works out as they both complete the new band together and set off to try and make it in scene.
Art- the dark tones and colors really put you in the mood for whats happening. You can see the cold and somewhat dampness to the streets and alleyways. the darkened clubs and bright school atmosphere perfectly give the feel of the true life. Although some people have complained about the art being a little bad, i enjoyed the nice change up. And seeing places named after famous American clubs and other places added a type of comic relief of sorts.
Sound- Sound is a big one, especially for a music anime. I watched both versions, sub and dub, and i prefer the dub solely because of the music. The accents isn't what got to me about the sub it was the tone of voice. During supposed "in your face" songs the Japanese singer seemed lacking. Both versions had the acting done great, and the music quality pushed my rating up to 10.
Character- This is the part that seemed the most realistic to me. The band members being different from one another especially, never have ai seen a band with all the members listening to the same music. You have Chiba as the punk and Rap influenced singer, Koyuki Classic Rock Guitarist, Saku the Hard Rock Drummer, Tyra a New Wave bassist, and Ryuuske the Blues and rock lead Guitarist. Each one brings their own sound and feel and they combine them all for the bands sound. How the characters had their flaws, got on your nerves, and excited you seemed natural, like real people.
Enjoyment- Once again, I'm heavily biased. I enjoyed this anime a lot, I was drawn in and just couldn't stop watching. towards the end it just got better and better as the reality of the scene comes into play even more. The last couple of episodes could be seen as unexpected or a bummer of sorts, but hey, it happens people, take it from an underground musician. lol
Overall- This anime wont be enjoyed by everyone, not even every music fan. It's one of my favorites and its ranked that high because of how I felt wile watching it, as if I saw myself. I doubt anyone will make the connection I made to this anime, but its worth a shot to try and see. You don't have to know anything about music in roder to enjoy the drama that unfolds in this show.read more
Being a fan of rock music I wanted to find a good musical anime that exemplifies my love for the genre. Unfortunately watching a show called K-ON derailed me for a year on trying some other musical based anime. However I came across a great rock anime called Beck.
Yukio Tanaka A.K.A Koyuki is our 14 year old main protagonist. After helping out a strange looking dog (Beck) he meets 16 year old Ryusuke Minami who is making a name for himself in the music business. After witnessing Ryusuke play guitar Koyuki is encouraged to take up playing guitar.
The story is mainly focussing on the band Beck and the relationships that Koyuki has with each member in particular Ryusuke and his sister Mao.
Beck is a journey of a band trying to make it big. Being a fan of rock music there is nothing thrilling than the thought of being up on stage with your friends playing with all your heart. The bands journey starts off with regular rehearsals and writing up original material in a studio. The band has a few line-up changes before settling on its final five members. Yukio Tanaka plays rhythm guitar and vocals on the slower songs. Ryusuke Minami plays lead guitar and is the lyricist. Tsunemi Chiba is the lead singer/rapper. Yoshiyuki Taira is the bassist. Yuji "Saku" Sakurai is the drummer.
We witness the start of the band as they go from playing in small bars to eventually headlining at a festival. Each member of the band collectively runs into a character which will make their life more difficult which varies from school bullies to cooperate businessmen.
The other focus of the show is the romance between Maho and Koyuki. I'd have to be honest I didn't expect anything from the two at first as they got off on bad terms, but the two eventually become friends and love blossoms... maybe.
Koyuki is our main protagonist. He starts off as being a relatively quiet guy who has above average grades and has a taste for J-Pop music. After meeting Ryusuke he listens to an American band called dying breed and then his life into the rock and roll world begins. Koyuki feels like a relatable character as at one point I was also listening to shitty pop music that had little to no meaning. He also had determination to learn to play guitar something which I also had experience with.
Ryusuke is a perfectionist guy who is also a bit of a slacker. He strives to make Beck the greatest band in the world and will disregard others feelings to do so as we see with Chiba. Ryusuke is not the type of guy that I like, but I will agree he is talented musically.
Chiba is a loudmouth guy who is very energetic. He gets the crowds going with his enthusiasm and his great vocal techniques. He is quick to help those being bullied and is not one to back away from fights. Chiba is by far one of my favourite characters in the show.
Taira is a much grounded guy he is aware of Ryusuke’s talents as well as the other band members. He is aware of his own skills as a bassist and believes the band can achieve something together.
Saku is the drummer of the group (A.K.A Squinty) He transfers into Koyuki’s middle school and the two forms a friendship over their love of music by dying breed. They have the closest relationship out of all the other band moments which is very sweet.
Mr.Saitou is an honourable mention to this list. He is a middle aged pervert with a big heart. He teaches Koyuki how to play guitar and teaches him how to swim better which in turn helps him with his vocals. Saitou is a mentor to Koyuki and the two form a strong friendship.
The characters in the show get a great deal of development, hell even Mr. Saitou changes to a one man woman by the series end. The characters show a strong bond that can pull through even in the hardest of situations.
I wasn’t a fan of the art for the most part as it looked very under budget maybe it was to make up for the money put into the music. However I will give props to the up close guitar playing which looked good, also the character designs which did have distinctive features. However its falls flat for background and movements are often restricted in scenes.
The sound gets major props in this anime with the soundtrack consisting of written songs which are very rock oriented. Tracks like ‘Moon on the water’ by dying breed and ‘Brainstorm’ by Beck our stand out tracks. As for the opening and closing songs they are also pretty enjoyable, the opening being ‘Hit in the USA’ by Beat Crusaders and the ending ‘My world down’ by Dying Breed although I may be wrong on the ending song.
I enjoyed this series a lot. It portrays my wish of hoping to be a rock star and that with hard work and effort you can make it a reality. There was a good mix of music, comedy and drama all of which suits the tone of this series.
However… this series does have its flaws. I fail to believe that a band like Beck can emerge so quickly when it took even the greatest of bands to do the same. Nirvana took five years to make it big. This series also has a slow start to it which can put you off investing your time into it. Other than that effort put into the artwork could have been better.
Although Beck has minor flaws its major points strung a chord with me… (Sorry for the bad joke.)
I would only recommend this to fans of rock and roll music as it has references to a lot of well-known bands. Any fans of romance, drama and comedy may find something in the show so give it try I’d say.
I give Beck a well-deserved 8 out of 10
Thanks for reading guys, have a nice day! read more
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