Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works



Mangaka: Harold Sakuishi ハロルド作石
Born: 16th of Mar, 1969
Original Publisher: Kodansha
English Language Publisher: Tokyopop
Published: February 2000 to April 2008
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 34
Serialized: Monthly Shonen Magazine 月刊少年マガジン
Genre: Coming of Age, Comedy
Demographic: shonen

The plot follows two teenage musicians, Yukio "Koyuki" Tanaka, an ordinary student bored with his ordinary life, and Ryuusuke "Ray" Minami, a cosmopolitan Japanese kid with a checkered past largely spent overseas. The two students meet when Yukio rescues Ryuusuke’s dog named Beck, who incidentally looks like a Frankenstein creation, from a bunch of pestering kids.

Ryuusuke introduces Yukio to rock music and lends him a guitar. Yukio learns to play guitar, mainly to impress a girl, but also so he can join Ryuusuke’s new band, named Beck, in honor of Ryuusuke’s mismatched dog. Yukio practices till his fingers bleed and takes music lessons from Kenichi Saitou, a sexually frustrated middle-aged former Olympic swimmer. After eventually getting accepted into Ryuusuke’s band, it’s discovered that he has a hidden musical talent: he’s an amazing singer.

Filled with sharp humor and solid musical references, Beck is a fast-paced rock and roll coming of age story.
Background & Impact
Madhouse created a 26-episode anime television series from the manga that aired from 2004-2005, and a live-action film adaptation was released in 2011.