The series follows a 14-year-old boy named Yukio Tanaka, who is known by the nickname "Koyuki," and how he develops from living a boring, ordinary life to becoming an accomplished guitarist for the band BECK. In the band, Koyuki plays second guitar and sings the group's slower songs.
The band BECK is founded by Ryusuke Minami, who is a slacker that is a talented guitarist. Ryusuke meets Koyuki when Koyuki saves Ryusuke's odd-looking dog named Beck. Ryusuke encourages Koyuki to learn to play the guitar by giving him one. Ryusuke has a younger sister named Maho, and she is a talented singer. She's a brash but emotionally fragile girl, and Maho ends up developing a romantic relationship with Koyuki.
Yoshiyuki Taira is BECK's bassist. While he can come across as being uncaring and apathetic, he's actually the most mature of the band members. Taira also offers helpful advice. Tsunemi Chiba is BECK's main vocalist, and he was included in the band at Taira's request. Yuji Sakurai is BECK's drummer, and he and Koyuki are good friends and classmates.
Harold Sakuishi, the creator of the BECK manga, has said musical influences are included in his work. He has said that BECK the band is inspired in part by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Tsunemi Chiba is based on Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against the Machine, Ryusuke is based on Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin, and Yoshuyuki Taira is based on a younger version of Flea (the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist).
The anime also includes visual references to musical influences. Some of Koyuki's shirts have altered versions of real band names: Ramonne (with the subtitle "Johnny"), Rodiohead or Radioheat, and Pixis. During the ending credits for BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, images of such music icons as Freddie Mercury, Bob Marley, and Kurt Cobain are seen sketched on the slideshow. Also, one of the names Ryusuke suggests for the band before settling on BECK is R.E.M. (however, in this case, it was for "Ryusuke Excellent Minami" instead of "Rapid Eye Movement"). During the anime series, there are also references to The Hives and Jewel.
After seeing BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, I would say that this anime is not being aimed at younger children. With the language and some of the situations that arise, I would recommend this series for anime viewers who are 15 or 16 years of age and older.
|BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad||26||2004-2005||Osamu Kobayashi||Madhouse||FUNimation Entertainment|