Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Vol. #05 (Mania.com)

By:Jarred Pine
Review Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Release Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Harold Sakuishi
Translated by:Stephen Paul
Adapted by:Jay Antani

What They Say
Beck plays its first gig as a five-piece - Koyuki, Ryusuke, Chiba, Taira, Saku. Will Beck ever be good enough to make the Dying Breed Tour in Japan? To add fuel to the fire, Eiji resurfaces with his new high-powered band, Belle Ame, rivaling Beck for rock supremacy. Koyuki shows his true talent with a new song about someone special. Is Beck ready for the big time?!

The Review
Beck has their first gig as a five-piece with Koyuki and Saku, and guess what? It sucks. But as with all things in life, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. In fact, once Koyuki asks Ryusuke to do vocals on a new track, �Sister�, it's Koyuki's voice that shocks everyone and triggers what will be the true beginning of Beck: the dual vocal attack of Chiba and Koyuki. As long as the band can keep its chemistry, the sky is the limit.

The music business is also about making the most out of an opportunity. When the rock gods Dying Breed come to Japan, two of the members go out for a night on the town and they end up at BECK's show! Will the new found dynamic of the group impress Dying Breed enough to get invited to their invite-only show? For Koyuki, meeting a super-group like Dying Breed and being able to party with them is an aspiring rock musician's dream.

This fifth volume of BECK delivers almost everything that I could hope for; not only for this title, but for manga as a whole. There is strong character development throughout, not just Koyuki but the band as well. There is a good chemistry and cohesiveness building between the guys and it feels quite natural. A little rushed possibly, but the quickened pace is actually quite a welcomed change as the title has been in warm-up mode for quite a while. But even as things get good with the band, life outside for Koyuki with Maho and Izumi gets more complicated. Do I smell a love triangle?

One the production side of things, the printing takes a bit of a step back. There are some alignment issues, to the point of text bubbles being cut off, and some screentones look muddy. The translation and English script are almost perfect, with a good deal of translator's notes, with the only blemish being that not all of the SFX are translated.

There is just a lot of momentum building with this title and it's all going down a path that should please each and every fan of this title. You're invested in these characters and you want to see their rock and roll dreams come true. I also am quite impressed with Sakuishi's knowledge of not just music, but the whole process of making it as a band as well. Screw volume level 11, turn this puppy up to 12 and rip off a hellacious A-chord!!



Mania Grade: A
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 208
ISBN: 1-59532-774-6
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left