Following the young life of shy teenager Yukio Tanaka, nicknamed Koyuki, BECK charts his highs and lows while learning amd falling in live with rock music. Animated by Madhouse and running for 26 episodes, BECK is a terrific coming of age series set amidst the world of Japanese rock clubs and music. Featuring music from BEAT CRUSADERS, the musoc itself is quite good and fans of Japanese rock will have plenty to enjoy. Of note is the very well done English language version which features translations of the music into full performances.
The strength of the series is definitely the strength of Koyuki as the lead. He’s a good kid who has to navigate hormones, bullying, his shyness, and fulfilling a very real love for music. The trials he encounters and the successes and failures are all very compelling and it is very difficult to watch a single episode at a time. With a diverse and great cast of characters to round out the show, you see real development and have protagonists you really want to root for.
The show is not without faults; some animation is distractingly choppy (swimming scenes in particular) and while the music is good, the poorly pronounced English in the Japanese language version of the songs requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Overall, the show is a very funny and entertaining series that builds investment in its story and makes for one the most unique anime experiences in years. Absolutely worth more viewership, BECK is one of the best anime series of the last 10 years.
What are your favorite underrated anime? Let us know in the comments below, we’ll credit you if we use your suggestion!