Anime at a Glance: Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

One dream….an epic destiny to unfold!

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is a 26 episode anime series based loosely off of the manga series of the same name. The main story of the series focuses on the trials and tribulations of the rock band Beck and the intimate relationships between the band members.

Yukio Tanaka (also known as Koyuki) is an ordinary 14 year old Japanese boy, who has the deep inner passion to be something greater in this world than live the same old dull lifestyle. Koyuki’s life is changed when he saves emerging rock musician Ryusuke Minami’s dog Beck from a bunch of bullies. Ryusuke takes a liking to Koyuki and sees his passion for music and decides to take him under his wing and teach him about western rock music and how to play the guitar.

Unfortunately, this newfound friendship does not last long. After Koyuki accidently breaks a special guitar given to him by Ryusuke, he is banned from ever speaking to him again. Koyuki refuses to give up on his new-found love of the guitar or allow his friendship to be lost. In exchange of having the guitar fixed, Koyuki works for a rock music enthusiast Kenichi Saitou. Kenichi always dreamed of being a rock star but lost out on his opportunity, and thus wants to live his dreams through Koyuki. So while Koyuki wasn’t working for Kenichi, he was practising guitar under the instruction of Kenichi.

Ryusuke at the same time forms his new band “BECK”, with vocalist Tsunemi Chiba, bassist Yoshiyuki Taira and drummer Togo.

A year later, Koyuki confronts Ryusuke and shows him both his determination to be a part the Ryusuke’s band and his honorability in having the guitar fixed. Ryusuke and the rest of the group are sceptical of Koyuki whether he has enough of a skill to be in a band that will “be a hit in the USA”….until they hear him sing. Koyuki is made a full member of the band….his dreams are within his reach.

After playing various gigs around Japan, BECK is picked up by an independent record label in the United States and release their first album under the band name “Mongolian Chop Squad”. The album thrusts the band into international popularity, and earns them a spot in the music festival Grateful Sound 5, wherein they are the most talked about show in the whole festival. This leaves Koyuki finally achieving his goal to be on top of the world.

Though this anime series is from 2004/2005 it caught my eye as I was searching for a new anime to indulge in and it had me hooked. Think of it as a “Chill and Anime” moment! I was interested by the relate-ability of the story to most teenagers, the dream to leave being the dull boring school life and go aspire to something greater. The main songs “Moon on the Water” and “Follow Me” are catchy and give some depth to the inner feelings of the character interactions.

I definably recommend taking a browse of this anime on Crunchyroll. Its only 26 episodes, but you won’t want to stop at one.