I went into Beck thinking that it was going to be just another run of the mill music series about a group of nobodies eventually getting noticed and becoming famous... and I wasnt wrong. A lot of the plot points in Beck can be guessed from an initial viewing of its description but thats not to say that it is bad. Far from it I believe that Beck does prove to be a really strong story albeit with a few flaws here and there. And let me tell you why With every aspect of the story of Beck I find myself seeing problems yet ultimately deciding that they dont necessarily ruin my experience with the story. Take the plot for instance: the band gets a show people start to notice they get booked for another show but then problems occur. They then overcome these problems and put on a good show and the process repeats itself. Its simple and straight forward but in a lot of ways I feel like I should get tired of it by the third or fourth arc of the story. Yet why didnt I? Well I think the reason is because there is a lot more complexity lying beneath the plot than you might notice at first. A big contributor to this is the fact that while the conflict and resolution remain mostly the same from arc to arc the path up to the climax shifts each time. Beck uses the character development moments of the lead characters to create the problems so the climax of each arc feels genuinely unique when reading. Beck is also great at upping the ante with each consecutive gig in a realistic way. People the band have clashed with in the beginning of the story exercise their force later on down the line so that the more popular Beck gets the more backlash the industry has against them. Every surprise blessing the band is able to come by there is an equally strong curse to meet them. And all of it comes to a head near the ending of the story which is where I think Beck really shines. This is a story that starts off slow but becomes better and better the longer you read on. And heres an underrated part of the story that I think should gain a lot of credit: the balance between serious drama and comedic relief is done very well here. This also goes a long way towards making the story feel fresh. Now thats not to say that the plot of Beck was perfect. There were quite a few plot threads that felt very unfulfilling throughout the story. These pertain mostly to anything relating to romance and with the relationship the band has with their peers. In a lot of ways I feel like the mangaka didnt want to add any romance but was kinda forced to do so with how poorly a lot of was done. And while the mangaka tried to make it feel like there was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst bands it never really felt that way unfortunately. These ultimately were all just side plots for the main story but it would have been nice to see them come into fruition more. Also an even bigger fault with this manga is that so many conflicts get resolved really quickly. This is once again especially true for anything involving romance. Some things like the idea of family are mentioned frequently but are never really talked about either which is once again just a little disappointing. If you arent going to develop plot threads then dont introduce them and throw them out moments later. The thing that I find myself most puzzled by is the character writing in this manga. On one hand I really enjoyed how the characters meshed within the story with each having their own history goals and relationships both inside and outside the group but on the other hand Im hesitant to say that Ill remember any one of them in the near future. I think the best example to explain this confusion I have is Taira the bass player. I like the way he is introduced and shown to be a natural leader without anyone explicitly saying that he has these types of skills. He frequently takes charge when the band runs into trouble he goes to learn new skills the band needs on his own and he is consistently there when some other characters arent. And I honestly really enjoy that type of characterization. But the thing is I dont think hes that interesting since I feel that he never grew as a character. If you look at the Taira from chapter 20 and the Taira from chapter 100 Im not sure if I could tell you anything different about them. I dont know any characteristics about him other than that hes a groovy bass player that hes a leader and that he likes the band. He gets some more character development in literally the last chapter of the manga and thats about all I can remember. And this goes for a lot of the characters. Yukio our main and Chiba the singer are exempt from this criticism though and maybe Ryusuke. I think they both have really nice character arcs of change truly become multidimensional. This criticism may just be a me thing though so if you dont put strong character development on a pedestal then youll be fine with this manga. A slightly bigger problem I have with the manga is the characterization of the antagonists. Ive always believed that antagonists that are evil just to be evil tend to be pretty lacking in general and the main antagonist and his lackeys are basically just this. Its unfortunate that this is the case since Leon was showing signs of being a good multidimensional villain. Just another small thing about characters though Im kinda sad that they dont use Maho more in the story. Shes supposed to be the girlfriend of the main character and she doesnt do anything except for causing useless romance drama and occasionally showing up to shows. Its a shame but what can you do. Everything else about Beck was fine to good though. The art was kinda weird for me to look at at first but I got used to the style later on and the pacing is pretty on point for the most part. The references are on point the comedy usually lands and it is thematically consistent. I didnt really touch on themes here because there isnt much to talk about really theyre what you would expect. This is also the music manga that had me the most invested into any performance scene through its dynamic artwork when compared to other music manga. So if I were to sum up how I feel about Beck Id probably say that it is a manga that can easily get me invested but struggles to have staying power in my mind. I was sucked into everything that was going on in the moment but when I step back from it I dont foresee myself reminiscing upon this manga. So is this manga good? Yeah. Should you go read it? If you want a fun experience then sure. Will I be recommending this to my friends or rereading it anytime soon? Probably not but dont let that stop you from having a good time.
80 /100
11 out of 12 users liked this review