BECK/Mongolian Chop Squad
As promised after the end of reading Bremen, I decided to resume my consumption of BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. I used to read the manga…but then, I feel like I wanted to quickly go through the story, I watch the anime instead. Cos I have only one week of holiday with assignments to finish (which I have not done yet!). Reading the manga might slow me down (as it has been..) because of the connection. And also, by watching the anime you get to know how the songs sound like.
Unfortunately, I found way to many English versions of BECK in Youtube. It’s not like the English version is bad, but somehow it made the anime seem kinda slow and boring. It wasn’t until I reach episode 20+ when I accidentally found the Japanese version argh! So I previewed the first Episode of Japanese version (with English subs), well, at least it has more ‘life’ to their expressions.
Storywise…it’s pretty much realistic. You don’t get to see the loser for a main character instantly become talented musician. Instead, we get to see how he slowly improves in playing the guitar. Which took him about one year to actually master. Impressive… There’s no GAR in the story…as you can see the person who was initially enthustiastic about forming the ultimate band almost gave up, but thanks to the protagonist persistence (and awesome lyrics + vocals), the band made it big.
When it comes to romance, too bad there was a lack of expression (i dunno if it’s bcos of the dub or the low quality of an animation), so I couldn’t feel what the characters feel… jealous? Shy? Embarrassed? Awkward..? I dunno…sure it’s no shojo genre, but still… this part should give a lot of impact.
Another thing… the author seem to have a grudge against bubble-gum pop, visual kei (or anything bishie-licious) and metal. Well, I have to say I that I agree, but that’s a lil bit of a one-sided opinion. I mean, oh well…maybe cos I like visual kei…not only because they’re pretty, but their songs are not that bad. But in BECK, the author purposely showed a bad example of pretty boy rock band ahaha 😄
The band name was named after a dog called BECK….
BECK or Mongolian Chop Squad known in the USA is a five-piece rock band, the members are;
- Yukio “Koyuki” Tanaka – The protagonist and also the last member for BECK. He plays the second guitar and takes the role of the vocalist for slower songs. He started off as a nobody…until he met Ryusuke Minami, his life changed as he got himself involved in music. He learned how to play the guitar from an old ex-olympic swimmer (also his swimming instructor). He had a crush on a childhood friend, but was merely an unrequited love as she thinks of him as a little brother.Later, he developed a relationship with Ryusuke’s younger sister. Koyuki may seem like a typical coward, but he’s different from Kobayakawa Sena (Eyeshield 21) – he has a strong determination and even dared himself to perform on stage..alone.
- Ryusuke “Ray” Minami – The founder of the band, the lead guitarist and the owner of Beck (the dog). He first met Koyuki when Koyuki saved Beck from a bunch of rowdy kids. Ryusuke lent Koyuki one of his guitars which eventually becomes the cause of all the trouble. But if that didn’t happen, there’s no amazing Beck as you see to the end. He’s close friends with one of the band members of “The Dying Breed” (hails from USA). Ryusuke is the one night stand type of guy, and though he went out with random girls, the band is always his top priority. Unless it’s about the rock band or music, he doesn’t care much about other people… nor about being friends. His favourite guitar, Prudence (or Lucille in the manga) has her own backstory.
- Yoshiyuki Taira – The bassist and the first person to be recruited into Ryusuke’s band. I don’t see much of his character in the anime, but he’s the most rational person among the five. He even questioned Ryusuke’s decision about taking in two newbies into the band and doubts their skillfulness. He’s too good of a bassist that Ryusuke and his rival fought over him.
- Tsunemi Chiba – The vocalist for fast-paced songs (and rap) and also the one responsible for naming the band, after staring at the dog for a few moments. Taira agreed to join Ryusuke only if Chiba is recruited as well. Chiba is loud and crazy! But ironically, he’s the class president and also the top student in his high school. To my surprise, he’s like the protective big brother type, where he voluntarily dealt with anyone who bullies Koyuki.
- Yuji “Saku” Sakurai – The drummer, who joined the band along with Koyuki. When Koyuki suffers a massive silent treatment by the school bully, he was the only one who talked to Koyuki (since he’s a transfer student, he probably had no idea what was going on lol). He’s a strong character, he didn’t feel threatened when the bullies confront him for talking to Koyuki. And..yeah… he’s the only person who stick with Koyuki all the way… >///>
Other characters…malas nak citer ahahah. go here la… List of Beck characters…
Cos i wanna talk about their music. Er…i’m not much of a fan of random rapping (In terms of Rock + Hip-hop, I only like Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda’s rap cos they make sense) so most of their fast paced songs aren’t my cup of tea. But I’m currently addicted to Like a Foojin, By Her and Brainstorm. As for their slower songs, I dunno why they remind me of some…local indie band..or issit Indon band? I’m confused… but yeah, they do remind me of either one. It would be a turn of if it wasn’t for their lyrics. Srsly, i notice Japanese songs have much more beautiful lyrics than English songs and Malay/Indon. Er…of course I may not understand Japanese, but when I read the translations, I simply fell in love.
The Opening theme, HIT IN THE USA by Beat Crusaders is a worthy song as an intro for each episode. I don’t get tired of listening to it. So…I downloaded some of the BECK songs that i like… and was a lil disappointed that the Japanese versions had a lot of mispronunciations that slightly made the song go bad. So I lurked for the English versions, which sounded a lot better.
Okay, I can’t hold back anymore. I love this song (below)!! This is the English version of Slip Out (Little more than before) – vocals by Greg Ayres. Lyrics and mucis by Takuma (but the English version altered a few lines). My first impression of the song is… “omg…rock jiwang lulz…”. But listening to it while reading the lyrics, I think it has a powerful general message that I think everyone should indulge to. =)
I don’t know since when I changed to such a cold, cold-hearted guy
I have to thaw this frozen, icy, lonely heart of mine,
I like being wrapped with warmness more than anything else for sure
I’m gonna make my coming days and fill them with laughter and joy
I let myself down but being crueler than I thought I would be
I’m just a loser learning to care for the soul inside of me
I don’t give my heart to no one cause I don’t wanna waste my time
I tried to love this loneliness to slip out from where it hides.
Sorrow is what I hate but it’s grown my sensations
Regrets taught me how to make any hard decisions
Peace is always by my side but I’ve never felt it once
Love is not a word reserved only for the sweet romance
Well, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared to death
And I’m scared to keep on going on my way
Well, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared, I’m scared to death
And I’ll tell myself I’m special till the end
Recalling my torn, broken, aching heart of these long days
And all the memories I wanted to forget for making waves
Recalling, breaking, aching, crying, making sure I see
And I take all and grin at my future on the way.
So far…this is one of the few songs I dared myself to sing out loud (because I usually never do).
I shud consider reading the manga…cos the ending is not so satisfactory. D: