Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Beck Review

Beck - Vol. 1 & Special Case, originally uploaded by millermz.

To be young, bored, and beat-up. So is the life of Yukio Tanaka, a.k.a. Koyuki, who is a kid with an average life and he assumes he'll grow up to become about as much of a nobody as he is know.

Then one day Koyuki meets Ryuske, an older teen who moved recently back to Japan after living in New York. Currently with his grandmother in a run down shack, Ryuske would seem to be even worse off then Koyuki, but he's got a passion that drive's him and that's music and his hope to form the greatest band ever. At about the same time, Koyuki reconnects with Izumi, a girl who was best friends, and likely Koyuki's only friend, when he was younger. Now though, she has changed - becoming more popular, and with her knowledge of music rivaling Koyuki's by far, even more distant in this new world he's discovered around him.

So Koyuki, infused with the sounds of the popular rock band Dying Breed, takes it upon himself to learn the guitar, and maybe one day become more than that average teenager he so seems to be.

As always, I feel I've left out so much, because Koyuki discovers so many friends along the way, and while this isn't a show that can easily be spoiled, I believe that you should still discover the show on your own as I did.

Which leads me to my overall perspective, which as you may have seen with my recent posts is just great! I love this show, and as I remember hearing in the commentary for the first disc, Beck as an anime truly comes off as a long running indie movie. For while there are some points which are conclusive, overall you truly are watching Koyuki grow up and discover what his passions are and what he should do in life. While some movies would make the ending turn out obvious, you never know what will really happen, and that's with all of the sub-plots as well.

Next to the music, which I'll get into in a second, one of my favorite aspects are the characters. There are some you love, some you hate, and some you just wonder about, but in their own way they are true. As cliche as this concept might b, you most likely know someone who's just like a certain character in the show, because there is nothing overall strange. While I know this is an anime, the show could, and maybe should, be done in a live-action format easily.

As far as music, I'd read from a couple posts on other blogs that overall it was so so; however, having watched the dubbed version, and then getting the original Japanese soundtracks, I'd say it was all amazing! As you'll hear often there is a heavy Beat Crusaders presence, with their song "Hit In The USA" as the opening song, and several other tracks supposedly sung by bands in the show being actual Beat Crusaders tracks. Even more so though, Toru Hidaka, vocalist and guitarist for Beat Crusaders, actually assisted with the music production for the show. If you hated that "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" Bleach song, don't worry because these are the Beat Crusaders at their best, and the songs composed by other Japanese bands, real and in the story, are likewise pretty awesome, so I think you'll get swept up in the sound just as Koyuki does.

So if you're into music, and more down-to-earth anime, then this should be an immediate rent or buy.

--- Well, I'm surprised how long it's been since I've done an actual anime review, but I'm glad I did... Now onto more otaku goodness elsewhere, and maybe I'll review Samurai Deeper Kyo next time, but I guess you'll just have to see.

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