English: Beck - Mongolian Chop Squad
Published: Feb 17, 2000 to Jun 5, 2008
Authors: Sakuishi, Harold (Story & Art)
Serialization: Shounen Magazine (Monthly)
Score: 8.731 (scored by 5876 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsdrama music romance slice of life
Feb 9, 2009
Beck follows the life of 14 year old Tanaka Yukio (Koyuki to his friends) as he grows from a shy, directionless teenager (with terrible taste in music) into an ambitious young musician. After a chance meeting with talented guitarist Minami Ryusuke, his life starts to change and gather momentum as he discovers music's ability to affect people. He begins to learn the guitar, and there is the budding romance with Ryusuke's sister, Maho. He joins Ryusuke's band, Beck, and the series follows the band's struggle to achieve success, both in Japan and the rest of the world. Because this is predominantly a slice of life style manga, many of the minutiae of Koyuki's and Beck's day to day life are covered, but the manga spans 5-6 years, which allows the various characters and their relationships to properly develop. The one aspect of the story I felt should have been developed a bit more was Maho and Yukio's relationship, it was very well done when it came up, but I think it should have been given a bit more development over the course of the manga.
Sakuishi Harold has a fairly distinctive art style in Beck, which I found a refreshing change from much of the overly disproportioned characters found in many manga and anime. I thought his more realistic style perfectly suited the realistic tone of the manga. His full page frames of the band's performances perfectly captured the spirit of a 'live', and were a personal highlight in the artwork of this manga.
In a manga of this length (both in chapters and period of time covered) there is real space to develop and flesh out both the main and some of the supporting characters. Koyuki's character develops beautifully over the course of the series, from an apathetic teenager into a determined young man. The other characters don't develop in the same fashion, Ryusuke's background is fleshed out and provides much of the conflict in the series, and while more time could have been spent developing the rest of the band members, especially Saku and Taira, they all have their moments during the series which give them real depth.
As I said at the start, I read this manga after finishing the anime adaptation and found myself wanting more. This was the first time I have watched an anime and then gone on to read the manga, as well as one of the first manga I have read, and I was unsure if I would be able to enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed watching it. Turns out there was nothing to worry about, and I even rate the manga higher than the anime, predominantly because I feel the story reaches a much more satisfying conclusion.
To anyone who loved the anime, I thouroughly recommend reading the manga, as it has everything the anime had, as well as a complete storyline. I would also recommend this to anyone who is a fan of rock, or music in general, as it is the only series I have come across that deals with music in such an in depth and genuine way.
Best read with the OST playing in the background, just like this review. read more
Jan 16, 2010
The story follows Koyuki, the protagonist, and his band-mates, as they work to launch themselves into rock 'n' roll stardom. The story of BECK is special, for the simple reason that it (generally) depicts the road to gain fame as a prominent band very realistically. It shows that just because you have a sweet voice and some crazy guitarist does not mean you will skyrocket into the music scene and gain a legion of fans. There is much more work to do, finding a good manager, producer, and establishing good connections and making sure not to make the wrong enemies just to name some.
Another prominent element of the story is the romantic relationship between Koyuki and Maho, this is where the melodrama accumulates in this story, some of the incidents are just too coincidental and it feels as if they are happening just for the sake of creating melodrama. Melodrama is fine, but the relationship becomes very predictable and boring by the end.
The main storyline, thankfully, knows how to deliver the drama correctly and it can really get to you sometimes. It's unpredictable, it feels real, and that's what makes it great. The characters can be celebrating on one page only to have tempers rise in the next. Tidal waves of drama and emotions between the characters in this manga is what ultimately makes the story such a good one.
On a side note, this manga is packed with fanservice. No, not as in panty-shots or anything perverted, but as in its references to popular music. Koyuki and the band travel from the grave of Jimi Hendrix to Abbey Road Studio, and with chapter covers filled with endless homages to album covers and bands, and backgrounds packed with references. There is even a dream containing all the deceased big name rock stars. It makes the series even a bit more fun to read.
Like a lot of manga series, the art starts out a bit shaky but eventually gains ground and becomes more defined as the series progresses. Backgrounds are carefully done, if not just for the author's love to add music references into them. What I liked a lot about the art is that the author takes notice to the character's growth, the manga covers around five years and the author makes sure as to show that through the character's height, hair length etc.
This is the central focus of the series, and what makes it so enjoyable. Sakuishi fleshes out all the band members very well and they're just simply very easy to relate to and three dimensional. Readers will all find a bit of themselves in the members of BECK; from the rash hotheadedness of Chiba, to the lack of faith in oneself sometimes found in Koyuki, or the aggressiveness of Ryusuke.
Another thing about the characters that works so well is that so many different personalities are all packed into one cast, and it makes character interaction fun to read and interesting. Koyuki is the soft-spoken, well-meaning but sometimes misunderstood vocalist/guitarist, backed up by his kind and selfless drummer friend Saku; while lead vocalist Chiba is determined to prove himself and loudmouthed, matched only by the blunt, enigmatic, and sometimes troubled lead guitarist Ryusuke. All four of them being balanced by the cool-headed and collective bass player, Taira. Throw this clash of personalities together and you're in for a hell of a ride.
The rest of the cast is pretty colorful too, but some feel out of place and I sometimes have a hard time imagining what's their purpose is in this story and why they were introduced in the first place. Of course the majority of the non-BECK cast is very intriguing and fun. From the intimidating Leon Sykes, to the charismatic Eddie Lee to the sheer assholery of Ran, the useful cast far than makes up for the uselessness of characters such as Saito, Sayaka and Izumi, who are there, really, for bad reasons or no reason at all. One loses all significance after the beginning chapters, another one is a plot device used to poof up more melodrama, and the final one seems like an early character that was scrapped from the story by the editor.
Very enjoyable, but some subplots are unnecessary and can get tiring, and one has to question why pages would be spent talking about Kurt Cobain besides the author getting a bit too self-indulgent. But overall this series is a fucking pleasure, you read and read and before you know it, it's already over. When the manga gets good, it is addictive.
This is a great coming-of-age series about a boy's discovery of a passion for music he never knew he had, the importance of friends and values and how not to lose yourself in the midst of fame and recognition. The story is well-written, and exciting; only to be occasionally dragged down by some irritating subplots. The characters, however, are well worth reading this series for. Hell, just read it because it's a great series in general. So if you want less Bankai's, or Sharingan Arms, and more real life drama and struggles, or just something more down to earth, read this.
Happy reading. read more
Aug 11, 2009
This story centered about Tanaka Yukio(Koyuki) and the band named Beck(Mongolian Chop Squad).The story starts slowly with main characters acrossed each other and slowly developed but strong friendships and not too much but enjoyable love parts.Even if it's a manga about music life and even it's music's part was great/awesome/amazing the relation parts was the most effectives on me and I enjoyed it till the end.
Every character in this manga have it's own attractiveness about it(main/supporting doesn't matter).I love this manga cuz you can find a character to bond yourself to him/her.This is important cuz if you cant bond your toughts to an anime/manga you can't enjoy it fullfilly(atleast that's what I think).
The drawing was good and fit for manga's reading age gap.Atleast I can say Sakuishi Harold did a great job in this manga's drawings.(I wrote but I don't find right for writting about drawings cuz every people has his/her own taste so it doesn't matter how it's drow)
There is nothing much to say I already say over and over this manga full of enjoy ;D
In The End:
It's a manga worthy of reading(i didn't mean when u bored you can read this,this manga will be your best enjoy treasure when u read it ^^)and I know if you read this manga because of me you will thank me(don't think bad :D)cuz when my friend lend me this manga and after I finished it I was really thankful to that guy for letting me enjoy this kind of pleasure... read more
Feb 25, 2011
First off i'd like to point out that i've never read nor watched a music anime/manga so i really had nothing to compare it to, with that in mind i'll get started
To be honest the story was one of it's own being good nor bad; based around real life and real people. sometimes it drags a bit and you feel like your going know where but despite that i really enjoyed the struggle, pain, loss and joy beck go through as they learn more about themselves and each other (being music or otherwise). if your under 13 maybe you shouldn't watch it (depending on how mature) it has a lot of blood, weapons and sex references; sometimes it isn't always needed but i think it was just part of the humour the artist was going for so i let it go through saying that i did enjoy the drama.
At the beginning i have to say i really didn't like it all to well; it had a stiffness about it which i have to say improved without even realising. it reminds a little bit or hajime no ippo (fighting spirit) which also got a lot better.
I know i scored this setection low but i can't say i have a reason; all members of beck have there known hardships they have to over come rather being school, themselves, music or each other- they do however break down every wall and end up trusting each other and realise that with even one missing nothing would have happened or could ever happen- but this took all 34 volumes to do and even though for the style he was using it was right; i wanted results quicker.
What can i say? beck (even though as i said before brags on) is a great manga and i can see why it was made in to a anime, it's funny and filled with drama it kept me hooked for hours; heck i even reread the four last chapters, once the art style became more nature and easier on the eye was very likeable and one of my personal favourites; though sometimes it can feel repetitive and boring, i continued to the last volume and was very happy with it; also if watching because you've watched the anime; the manga has more back story(even though thats usually the case) and goes way past the bands reunion:).
I hope you read and enjoy it
P.S. i did this a bit impulsive and wrote this close to 1am so am sure there are a lot of mistakes that i will take care of once i've hap at least 7hours sleep. night night read more
Oct 26, 2012
Ahh, Beck. After rewatching anime two times, i finally gave Beck manga a shot. I don't regret one bit. The story in manga goes on 70 chapters onward. Everyone who has watched anime and wants to know what happens with our loved characters afterwards should give this manga a try as well. And if you haven't and don't know anything about Beck, why not give it a try? I've seen quite many anime and manga already and this is one of the best among, really.
I am not going to retell the whole story, there is summary for it. But what i can say it sure at first it feels like some typical shounen, as yes, someone becoming stronger, but aren't you interested to know how to become stronger as a person as well? I think that kind of stories are one of the best ones, because hey, it can leave and impact in your life as well.
The thing you learn most of it is that going through a hard path is something that gives you the best results. Don't give up and just go forward! Be true to yourself! Be nice even to your enemies.
I am not sure if anyone noticed this, but when someone says something bad to you and you reply like Koyuki: '' Still, you are one of the best i know because .. ; You are excellent at what you are doing..'' etc it can actually make the other person think of what he said wrong to you.
So overall 10/10,
STORY was truly a masterpiece, nicely wrapped into 103 chapters, which 33 first chapters you can see in anime. A hard path where something good can't always be on top. Something that is always on top is not always the best. Good things, bad things happen but in the end you need to give it your best to make something amazing happen. It really makes you interested in music as well!
ART what i truly liked is how you can see characters grow, change as they mature. There are so many mangas and animes where characters look the same for years, i'm happy beck isn't one of them. This just shows how close to real life can sometimes story be.
CHARACTERS is one of the best parts of this. You will start to like every character in their own way. Its how different people make up a great group. Koyuki was just too good for the world he lived in ; Ryusuke was so called the ''bad boy'' who got all the girls and got into deep ****; Taira was collected person who had some really nice skills, he followed by his instincts not by how others told him to, i think i want try out bass guitar one day because of him hehe; Chiba was that mambo-jambo drunken kung-fu panda, Yuji always smiling, growing talent, close relative to Takeshi from Pokemon - never opened his eyes, except one chapter but i was not sure if it was him. Maho was interesting female lead, really excentric, something that you don't see in every story.
ENJOYMENT im not sure i'll enjoy any other manga or anime like i enjoyed this. Those face-drawings they made were just hilarious. And ahh that great feeling that not many stories give :)
I think the questions that anime left unanswered were:
Why did that dog look so weird? Because hey, that dog looked really weird..
What was it about the dream they all saw?
.. Beck was a lousy name but you will find out why was perfect for them.
Aug 12, 2012
The first thing I noticed about this manga is the art. It is actually not very good. The gag faces are fine, but there are times when the mangaka fits a character's full body in a small panel, resulting in bad body proportions. Well at least the character designs are realistic, the eyes are not very big and their poverty was shown perfectly :)
Next is the plot. I SO LOVE IT. It's very real and full of unexpected happenings. Unlike the usual stories where in the series of darkness comes in light in every conflict, here in Beck, the flow of unfortunate events is very long and the people barely get lucky, which adds to the comedy. There are even times when I predict that their luckiness would come in at the last minute and then I end up being wrong. There was even a scene when Ryuusuke is missing and the band needs to perform, and there was a fan looking forward to seeing Ryuusuke because people says he is handsome (and she is the first person to send a letter to the band too). At the last minute before the performance, a man from the guitar shop where Koyuki buys volunteered to be Ryuusuke's substitute. He is VERY ugly, so the fan ended up being disappointed.
Anyways, for the plot, the only problem I saw is Sakuishi-sensei didn't illustrated the story's progress finely sometimes.
This series is not popular yet unexpectedly magnificent. I recommend this one especially to the people who are tired of the mainstream manga and want something different. Yes it is about music and being no expert in that field may make this manga corny, but then, I really like it and it's cool the way it is. Yes it is about music and that may make you say "It is better in anime" since manga is only drawing and text, but then, the mangaka successfully illustrates the feeling he wants the readers to feel while the characters perform. This is an awesome manga and I rate it 4 out of 5 so you guys - BETTER ADD THIS TO YOUR MUST-READ MANGA LIST. No, BETTER READ THIS NOW.
Credits: mangatraders.com, stoptazmo.com, mangareader.net and my classmate codenamed JF for recommending this to me.
NOTE: If you are planning in watching the anime instead of reading the manga, BETTER dispose of that plan. The anime can be boring for first-timers of the series. It is better to read the manga first and then watch the anime second. Well, that's just my opinion. Go on and watch the anime if that's what you really want. And there's also a live action movie of the series, though the plot was really messed up there. read more
Apr 29, 2009
Like most people I'm sure I first saw the anime before I ever picked up the books. After finishing the anime I obsessively starting reading the manga. I've been reading manga and watching anime for over 10 years now and never before has a story, group of characters, and an artist ever hit me in a way that this series has. The way the characters develop (through gradual growth as they age all the way to baptisms by fire) and interact with each other despite their varied backgrounds and personalities will keep this as one of the all time best for me. After finishing this I'm not sure another manga can ever replace it. read more
Jul 19, 2011
Aug 26, 2010
Along the way he encounters many awkward and new situations, things he has never had to deal with before. If you've ever gone through things similar to what he's gone through, you'll immediately connect with this anime.(Actually I somehow dun like how the anime ends xp)
Beck relies heavily on this connection with it's viewers, so if you do not make the connection, you will probably not like the anime. It's not the standard slasher series, and focuses much on the viewers emotion.
So if you like music (Has an awesome rock soundtrack so good I even imported it) and storyline and want a break from the overplayed bloodshed scenario, this anime is for you. ^^
Apr 26, 2012
Premise: Loser kid Koyuki meets guitarist extraordinaire Ryuusuke and then gets sucked into the world of music. It's neat to see Koyuki's progression from loser kid to rocking musician. Kind of reminded me of "Almost Famous". I felt myself liking it more and more as I read through it and the ending was just so perfect, I sighed happily. The performances, especially near the end, were .... just incredible. So satisfying.
I actually really want to find another manga just like it. I love stories about bands, the journeys they take, the adventures they go on, the memories they make. Read this! It's amazing. read more