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Friday, December 10, 2010

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Review

Koyuki is a 14 year old boy that is going through a somewhat rough patch in his life.  Everyday he wakes up feeling more and more disconnected from his life.  He is your normal nerd-ish teen.  Socially awkward,  no luck with women since he has no any self-confidence to speak of.  The only thing he really enjoys is his J-Pop music. All this changes when he saves an odd looking dog from a group of young hoodlums.  Because of this chance meeting with said dog, he meets a guitar genius named Ryuunosuke, and his life will never be the same again.  His new friend Ryuunosuke at his side, Koyuki is introduced to the world famous rock band Dying Breed.  Gaining new found confidence in himself thanks to his new friend, Koyuki uses his natural signing skills, and his beginner skills at the guitar, to join up with the Indy start-up band Beck.  Kyouki's world is changed, and he begins to learn how to live a life that is completely new and wild to him.

----------Possible Spoilers Ahead!!----------

Story: B+
Like I said before, I am not a huge fan of music oriented anime.  But this one blew my mind.  The idea seemed simple enough: Boy hits it big, thus overcoming his confidence issues and loneliness.  Seems simple right?  Wrong.  After a few episodes of set up (nothing wrong with that), the story gets deep and involving.  You start to feel for the characters.  The attention to detail that allows them to make a realistic musical world, and fantastic character creation, allows the story to take center stage in this one.

The story is laid out for you in pretty much black and white.  Usually I don't find that a good thing but in this case it was amazing.  No fancy tricks or gimmicks with this anime.  It was all about great characters and great plot.  It need nothing else. The drama is intricate and refreshing, no soap Oprah-ish like I was afraid it would be. Not once does this series lose pace or divert into silly unrelated subplots in order to bulk up the mid section. If anything, the level of entertainment rises consistently until the very satisfying climax.

Animation:   B
The animation in Beck is defiantly different.  It does not strive to impress you.  It doesn't need to.  There are no bold colors, no flashy movements, none of that.  Beck goes against the norm in this case.  Presenting us with a world that is fantastically realistic in the way it is drawn out.  

The one aspect that impressed me the most were the CG shots of the characters playing their instruments.  This blew me away, mainly for the fact that it wasn't expected!  It was so clean looking that one could swear it was a real person playing that guitar.

Sound:  A
If you haven't figured it out by now, this anime is all about sound, and they did a damn good job!  All the characters want to do in this anime is make beautiful sound, and the did just that.  The opening, ending, and all the music chosen for Beck matched perfectly for what they were going for, and Indy feel.  

I am by no means a fan of Indy Rock, I actually don't like it much at all.  That is why this anime shocked me so much!  I didn't think I would enjoy a show with a bunch of Indy beats abusing my ears, but I couldn't have been further from the truth!  I found myself bobing my head more then once to some of the tracks, and searching YouTube for others!

Characters:   B+
 What can I say?  The characters, in every way possible, make this anime so great.  The approach at character creation was a breath of fresh air.  There are no stereotypical norms in this show, well expect maybe for Koyuki, but even that works out greatly.  The way all the characters interact, their own personalities, habbits etc. makes for the effect that these people could be real.  They are just that well made. 

Overall:  B+
The idea of this anime is nothing new.  You can find loads of musical, coming of age, nobody becoming somebody, animes out there.  So what makes this one so special?  The attention to detail.  The characters are so rich and entertaining, the story is involving, and the music is extent.  Beck is a brilliant piece of work


1 comment:

  1. I have to say, that I did enjoy this anime. The music wasn't too bad... I have to agree with your review of it, I found it lacking in a few areas.