Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
Hi there! Lince here with my first review in ages. This time I decided to go back and check up on a well praised anime named Beck. Beck revolves around some main character voiced by Greg Ayres [Can't remember his name] discovering his love of music and eventually joining a newly formed band named Beck. Got it? Good. [I aint gonna spoil why the band is called Beck. Not getting that out of me ]
The story is... cool. Not many anime's can claim they have a cool story, but this one can. For all the music anime out there, this one has got to be one of the most genuine. There's other music anime out there that tries so hard to envoke an emotional reaction from you that it's almost pretentious [I'm looking at you Shigatsu]. I felt like the writers knew they wanted to make a grungy anime about the life of a newly forming rock band and didn't give a shit about how the audience will react.
That's kinda cool if you think about it. Typically, a good rock band will play the type of music they love to play and people who like their music will support them at concerts and buying their albums and such. I think the writers actually dealt with this story the same way a rock band would deal with their music. They wrote the story exactly how they wanted it and the people who like it will like it, almost as if they didn't really have a target audience they were going for and just wanted to write the story they wanted to write. It's a pretty cool way to look at it if you ask me, and people did seem to like it as this anime has garnered praise from many an anime fan.
Sorry for the rambling, now for some more rambling. Beck takes place in some city [name forgotten] where the grunge setting is all but obvious. As far as plot points and plot elements go.
Beck has some pretty interesting moments [Bonus if you like skinny-dipping ]. You pretty much get exactly what you'd expect from a grunge anime; cursing, attitudes, posers, and of course music. But Beck builds on that by adding in some crazy shit. I'm not gonna spoil everything, but let's just say it involves some men in suits. From a viewer's perspective, the crazy shit feels a little out of place. But Beck needed it in order to avoid being too predictable. I enjoyed it, but from a production value standpoint it's a hit or miss.
So, main character is main character. Greg Ayres voicing him is literally the only thing I remember about him besides the fact that he played the guitar and liked the band. I didn't hate him, but if Greg Ayres turns you off, and you don't want to sit through tons of Engrish, this isn't your cup of tea.
Let's see... other characters...
Maho was probably my favorite character, but I'm biased cause I like women. She didn't take shit from people but she was also kinda cute [Bonus points ]
The band, outside of the main character, was actually pretty memorable. You got your hothead Chiba who can spit some sweet lyrics, your chill Bassist Taira, and your other guitarist and pretty much the leader of the band Ryusuke. This is the strongest aspect of the anime by far. You grow attached to these characters even if you really don't like some of them [I personally think Ryusuke is an ass, but that's just me]. The bond that these characters share will definitely keep you hooked.
Who cares. It's a grungy rock anime, what do you expect? Next.
Huge points here. The opening is great, the ending is great, and the music in the anime is fantastic. I'd easilly re-watch this just to hear the music. Anyone who's a fan of rock will be a fan of what this anime has to offer. I don't remember the song names, but they're damn good. Don't skip the opening/ending if you know what's good for you.
The voice acting was good. I can tolerate Greg Ayres [I don't really understand why he gets so much shit in the first place], and the rest of the characters had great voices. Any anime with the godly Jerry Jewell playing any character has their damn priorities figured out. The man's a voice acting saint, and Taira was great to listen to because of him.
If you choose to watch subbed, prepare for Engrish. My recommendation, watch it dubbed. Trust me, it's better.
Final Rating: [8.3/10]
8.3 is the final score here [8 on MAL]. Definitely a quality anime for anyone who has an interest in music or anyone who just enjoys music in general. Too bad the ending couldn't have just been split off into a second season. I'd watch that shit.