Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beck - Mongolian Chop Squad II|
Actors: Taliesin Jaffe, Jamie McGonnigal, Greg Ayres, Christopher Sabat, Eric Vale
Director: Osamu Kobayashi
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
From the creators of Gunslinger Girl and Paradise Kiss Bullies, chicks a la complications and pissed off friends?not really a smokin' start to the new school year. Life might sort of be a drag for Koyuki Tanaka today, but... more »
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5 stars with a few reservations
sanoe.net | 09/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A couple of years ago, I was able to see this series in its entirety and I remember thinking, "Animation is okay, the Engrish takes some getting used to but the story is refreshing."
Beck-MCS is about a young man's coming of age and a band in its birthing stages. Although the backdrop is Japan, the setting could be Manchester or Cleveland or any other city or town where there are young men (or women) who love music enough to want to make it their dream.
But what sets Beck-MCS apart is that it is set in Japan, but not the Japan that we've seen through anime. In many anime, intermediate and high school is a time of fun and exams but one can still find time to jump through a well to another era and fight demons and whatnot. In Beck, school is a place of boredom and bullies for lead character, Koyuki. It isn't until he meets up with a strange dog and its owner, Ryuusuke, that life for Koyuki, as bland a boy as you can find, starts to get interesting.
DVD 1 is almost pure intro to the characters and the setting so don't be surprised if the pacing seems slow because it is a bit slow but it is worth it by the time you get to the 5th episode and things start to really pick up in DVD 2. While some characters are a bit stereotypical, they don't come off as cookie cutter either. Ryuusuke, for example, is a guitarist who is mature for his age, breaks up with girls because his mind is on other stuff, and sort of seems to be the brooding type. Except he's not brooding at all. He loves music and he has his ambitions, but he is mostly laidback except when his temper gets to him. Saito, the former Olympic level swimmer and part-time guitarist, is the resident pervert but he's got true redeeming qualities so he isn't there just for laughs. He actually plays a part in the series.
If there is a fair criticism at the series, it is that the animation is on the economical side. That is, it isn't always "pretty" but with the story that is being told, that economical style actually works in its favor.
The English dub is serviceable and if you don't like heavily Japanese-accented English that permeates the Japanese tract, it works fine. For those who prefer the original Japanese with awkward English dialogue and all (like me), it is easily accessible.
Overall, this series is holding up well. After two plus years, it is still refreshing and welcome change of pace to me with its humor, its awkwardness, its tensions and its grittier look at the life of a teenager in Japan who dreams of making music that is both unique to the setting and universal in its pursuit."
Don't f*ck with Koyoki!
Jonathan Lane | Crestview Florida U.S.A | 06/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well I'll have to tell you Beck vol. 2 had me worried for a few episodes, but by the end I was rocking along just like for the first volume. This is a slow show, lets make no mistake about that, slow to the point of driving me mad even, but it ALWAYS makes up for that slow pace with some killer rock and roll. The sound of Beck is back and stronger then ever, with a rhythm and beat that will have rock fans begging for more.
Vol. 2 focuses on fewer characters, which is a god send to say the least considering the many different characters we have here, while also introducing us to a few new ones. Izumi, Kyuki's love interest from the first volume, is almost completely dropped in the second in favor of Maho, Ryuuske's little sister. This seemed like a double edged sword to me; although Maho is a much more interesting character completely dropping Izumi seemed out of place and unnatural.
I have to point out one flaw to the show I missed in my last review, the characters ages. It seems like they should all be at least two years older. They all act as if they're older then they actually are, and it would make the troubles they face seem a lot more realistic if they weren't all still in school.
Other than that all I have to say is that the show is coming along nicely. There are a few shockers, along with some really hilarious moments. If you can get through the dreary pace this show has a lot to offer. Also, for those annoyed that the songs keep getting cut off, each volume comes with a music video to watch. It's great for those who just want to listen to the bands music.
Replay value; high.