Hipster Recommendations #12: Beck – Mongolian Chop Squad.


Y´know, at first, I didn´t understand the hype surrounding Beck, people praised it to be one of – if not the best – coming of age and music anime ever and, even when I watched three whole episodes, I still didn´t get it.

It looked ugly, the story didn´t seem to go anywhere, the music up to that point was nothing but meh and while the characters felt real, I didn´t care for them.

So, what the heck? why is this supposed to be inspiring? why should I care? do I really have to finish this when the first three episodes were nothing but alright?

Well, somehow, I did, and man, am I glad.

Tanaka Yukio, or Koyuki is a 14 year old boy who, apart from liking J-pop music, feels detached from like. On one day, after returning from school, he saves a grotesque looking dog who belongs to the aspiring rock star Minami Ryuusuke, who recently came back from America. From that moment on, Koyuki´s life gets caught up in a whirlwind of rock, friendship and growing up.

I´m not sure how, why or when it happened, but somewhere along those 24 episodes, I fell head over heels in  love with Beck, it´s character that I was previously indifferent about, the stylization that at first felt dull but ended up feeling just right and, of course, the ambitious story that will touch every dreamer watching.

Beck was good, very good. I definitely think it´s one of the better music anime out there (Nana naturally being first, because Nana is perfect.) and definitely one of the better coming of age shows. It just works, y´know, the characters just worked.

As for the music, the show was full of references that your average music fanatic would drool over, hell, the music of Beck themselves is heavily inspired by bands such as Rage Against The Machine.

In the end, Beck Mongolian Chop Squad is a badass, touching and hilarious tale while simultaneously being a love-letter to music. Unfortunately, the anime only covers 33 chapters of the finished, 101 chapters and the beginning, aswell as the animation will put some people off. Regardless of any of that, I promise that Beck will be  rewarding experience if you want something different and I´m glad that I gave it a chance.


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