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Bocchi the Rock! Fans Will Also Love Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

CBR 1/23/2023 Jonathon Greenall
© Provided by CBR

Bocchi the Rock! quickly gained a massive and vocal fanbase upon its airing in late 2022, with many viewers falling in love with Hitori Gotō and her attempts to find self-confidence and reach her musical dreams. However, now that Bocchi has ended, many are looking for a new musical anime to fill the void.

The often-overlooked Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is the perfect music-based anime for fans of Bocchi the Rock! to check out next -- especially as both shows tackle similar themes. Here's what Beck is all about, as well as the two series' key similarities and differences.

RELATED: Bocchi the Rock Set for Rockin’ Collab With Yamaha

The Plot of Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is based on the manga Beck, written and illustrated by Harold Sakuishi. The series quickly became popular, and Madhouse created an anime adaptation in 2005. The story follows Yukio Tanaka, an average teenage boy living a regular life. However, his existence gets turned upside down when he saves a dog from a group of mean kids. Yukio learns this dog belongs to Ryusuke Minami, a 16-year-old musician; the two quickly become friends, with Ryusuke encouraging Yukio to take up the guitar.

This experience turns Yukio's life around, and as Ryusuke starts his new band, Beck, Yukio is suddenly thrust into a new world. It's not easy for the young man to navigate though, and as time goes on, he'll find his relationship with music and the other members of Beck changing. It forces him to constantly reevaluate his life and decisions, especially when the band's success looks like it may drag him away from Japan.

Related: Bocchi the Rock’s Fictional Kessoku Band Tops K-Pop Idols Stray Kids in Sales

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad Contrasts Perfectly With Bocchi the Rock!

These two series share one key element: both feature young people finding themselves and a community through music. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad spotlights Yukio Tanaka as he becomes part of Beck while Bocchi the Rock! follows Hitori Gotō as she finds her community via the internet and Kessoku Band. Interestingly, both youths are given nicknames by their bands that become their primary form of address, with Yukio getting the moniker Koyuki and Hitori earning the name Bocchi.

However, the shows do differ in several key areas, most notably that Beck has a much darker tone than Bocchi. The former doesn't have as many comedy moments, and they tend to be much drier. On top of this, Beck's cast is more emotionally complex -- with everyone going through several ups and downs throughout the story -- and goes out of its way to show how hard it can be to please groups of creatives with vastly different desires. Because of this, the group's interpersonal relationships become increasingly tangled as the episodes progress.

Related: Bocchi the Rock's Hitori Gets Special Illustration From Food Wars Artist

One other massive difference between the two series is their plot structure. While Bocchi the Rock! follows a standard anime format by showing Bocchi joining the band and them making their way to a big concert, Beck performs the big concert in the middle of the series before a major conflict arises. Now that he and Beck have reached the pinnacle of what he believed possible and learned the downsides of fame, the final act sees Yukio debating his future. This is very true to life, with many bands splitting up after their first prominent record or concert, realizing that the reality of their dream is different from the idealized version in their head.

The visual styles are different as well; Beck uses a more realistic but highly stylized animation style that captures the look and feel of the early-2000s music scene, a time when grunge-influenced alt-rock was popular with many underground bands being thrust into the limelight. This can be seen and felt in every facet of the anime, from the small and dirty venues the band plays to the individual members' fashion choices and the equipment they use on stage.

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad and Bocchi the Rock! make a stunning double bill. While they both focus on the lives of young musicians, they do so from two different angles, with Beck presenting a darker and more grounded take on the concept. Plus, they both capture the feel of the music industry at the time of their creation. While Bocchi the Rock! depicts the modern age of social media superstars, Beck shows the classic grunge-era touring band clawing their way up the ranks one venue at a time.

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

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