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From Tokyopop: For the first 14 years of his life, Yukio Tanaka has been one heck of a boring guy. He has no hobbies, weak taste in music, and only a small vestige of a personality. He yearns for an exciting life, but his shy, and somewhat neurotic personality makes him his own worst enemy. Little does he know that his life will be forever changed when he meets Ryusuke Minami, a wild and unpredictable 16-year old fresh from America, who happens to be in a rock-and-roll band named after his Frankenstein-like patched dog--Beck.
ベック 摇滚新乐团BECK Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Mongolian Chop Squad
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Awesome! Except for...
...the romance. If you're looking for a good romance manga, this isn't exactly it; this is a music manga that happens to have romance - not that it's a bad thing. What's particularly annoying is the author's penchant for introducing romantic interests... only to conveniently write them off. It does pack romantic drama, but I'm really not fond of how the tension just seems to get written off.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Even the ending wasn't spared, IMO. It would've been perfect had Maho not been left out; for all that Koyuki and her have been through you'd expect her to make an appearance, yet she doesn't Of course, this is my personal preference.
Probably another pet peeve I have with Beck is how everyone just seems to stand agape whenever Koyuki sings. Yes, he's supposed to be good... but does everyone really react like that, and in a concert no less? And it just gets cheesier every time it happens.
Joking aside, Beck is an excellent read. Music buffs will definitely enjoy this, and non-buffs... may suddenly get the urge to pick up an axe in the end. I know I did.
Weird art in the beginning, lacks pacing in the middle, but...
(might contain minor spoilers, just to warn you)
Beck is a brilliant manga. The first 2500 pages are great, you constantly get to see something new, showing the character/band development. The main selling points of this manga are the character development and the emotions it manages to create in you even if you can't hear the songs.
It has it's weak points, too, for example, in the beginning it has a really weird art style, but that changes over time, I think it was gone about 2000 pages in. It kinda loses it's pacing in the middle, the exciting points are more spread out than in the beginning and in the end.
The last 1400 pages are truly amazing, everything that was built up to that point truly comes to shine, allowing for a magnificant finishing marathon with a very great ending, wrapping up every loose thread remaining.
To finish it up, my 3 favorite scenes from the manga:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
1. The whole avalon festival, but out of it, especially the moment when MCS was announced to play on the main stage in front of 100k+ people, nothing short of epic.
2. Maho reuniting with Koyuki at the train station, very powerful scene.
3. Koyuki getting pulled on stage by Dying Breed at their secret show.
Personally I think the score here might be just a bit overrated. It's an excellent manga, that much is true, but it definitely has it's shortcomings. Still, it left me speechless, screaming and with "goosebumps from head to toes" every now and then, which isn't something your every manga achieves. It's a long read with some pacing difficulties, but overall it's a thrilling, exhilarating ride.
I think any manga fan should read this at least one. There's little not to like. I think the end of the first volume should tell you enough about whether or not you're going to like this manga. I for one was sold.
... Last updated on March 13th, 2012, 2:00pm
wring out emotions
this manga made me feel a whole variation of emotion, from sadness to happiness to anger to disappointment...but the most important of all it can bring out the sense of wonder and awe out from a couple of page of just shots of the band and the fans and made my heart beat fast as if i was hearing the song at that moment.
out of hundreds of manga i had read, this is the most realistic group of 'nakama' i had ever read - there's no blind sense of loyalty or people putting up with other people for the convenience of the plot, but their friendship actually blossom slowly from a little seed to a very strong bond that will never be broken.
and the romance - well, the romance is beautiful. koyuki is possibly the most romantic guy ever. who the hell just drop everything and run to his lover's side just by hearing her name? their love ring true - there's no sappiness, no cheesiness, just undying love that's no need for hollow declaration but shown through their actions.
the only reason i don't give a 10 is because it's my policy to never give a full mark for anything.
This is good.
That last chapter especially, what a powerful ending. Makes me want to know so much more.
I read this in two days, during my exam time (probably almost failed one because of it) but I don't regret it too much. Because this was freaking awesome. I don't play the guitar and I'm not really music savvy, but that's irrelevant. Because this was FREAKING AWESOME!
EDIT: The only problem for me was trying to imagine the songs. for some reason, I kept hacing the Arctic Monkeys running through my head and It was kind of annoying because I don't think match Beck.
... Last updated on August 8th, 2011, 4:04am
This Manga Needs A Soundtrack
The only real flaw with Beck is that when you're just reading it, you don't really have a proper sense of how the author intended for the various songs to actually sound. It's almost like the actual manga books should have come with a soundtrack.
I otherwise found this manga to be very enjoyable to read just because of how all the characters were handled. The art may not be the greatest and some of the characters would not be nice to look at even with super pretty art, but it does work for Beck.
The one fault this manga possesses is, ironically, its emphasis on music. You can see when the band pulls off something to the point of getting goosebumps, but you can't experience it. You can't taste the elements that make the main character's voice so special. Instead of recognizing that the band members improved, you have to believe what the other characters are saying. Other than that, I did enjoy the series and the characters immensely. It did seem odd, however, that all their outside lives ended up in the rain.
... Last updated on February 5th, 2011, 6:14pm
This is one of the worst mangas I have ever read. Now I admit that I didn't get very far in it but I'm amazed I got AS far as I did, it was such a drag to read I was waiting for so long for it to get to a good bit and for the action to start but it took it's damn time and when it finally got there it was a total let down. I honestly hate myself for wasting my time with this manga. Manga about music I generally expect to inspire me and make me wanna take up some kind of instrument but this definitely did not. I do not recommend that you read it. Never in my life have I given a manga such a bad review. But hey maybe it I gritted my teeth and read further it would have got better?
Man, I screwed up one week of my surgery rotation just because I was too immersed in this manga. Such a great manga, one of the best I've ever read. The plots, characters, information and all are very well-written. The author certainly has a very good sense when it comes to arranging his stories. Well I truly hope there will be a little sequel of this manga, like, one or two chapters about their later achievements. After more than 30 volumes of painful life, I think the readers deserve to be presented with some happy events. Highly recommended shounen!
the manga rocks
I read the manga before the anime (and am very glad i did so) BUT (very important) I listened to the songs from the anime and almost always made a point to play them during the points that the songs played in the manga to better immerse myself into the story. It was a wonderful slice of life story that had great character development and a good romance that did a wonderful job of not overtaking the story while still being an integral part of the plot.
And while I might have liked to have seen Maho relate to the other characters more often, I do like the resolution to their relationship and the fact that the author made sure that the band was by far the most important aspect of the story.
The anime in comparison merely felt like a highlights reel of the first half of the story as many anime series do, And the broken engrish was a little tough to handle sometimes, Nonetheless, I am thankful for the music that came from it.