Ordinary Middle School Student
Yukio "Koyuki" Tanaka wonders if his life will ever be interesting enough to write an autobiography. This all starts to change as he steps in to rescue a frankenstein-looking dog from a bunch of pestering kids. The dog, Beck, turns out to belong to Ryuusuke "Ray" Minami, a Japanese kid with a checkered past that was largely spent in New York in the company of a currently world-famous singer/songwriter
. Ryuusuke introduces Koyuki to rock music and lends him a guitar.
Ryuusuke is also setting up a band, which eventually gets named BECK, after the dog. After Koyuki has learned to play the guitar to a somewhat passable level, he gets accepted into the band. There he impresses everyone with his fantastic voice. From then on, the whole story is mainly about BECK's struggles to become famous, both nationally in Japan and internationally. Well, that and Koyuki's romantic troubles with Ryuusuke's sister, Maho.
The other members of the band are:
- Ryuusuke Minami: The lead guitarist and front man for BECK. Raised in America, he and his sister Maho often stick out because of their personalities. While in America, he had befriended Eddie Lee, a prodigious guitarist who goes on to be famous in his later years. Ryuusuke vows to Eddie that he will make a band worthy enough to play alongside him, and goes on to learn guitar. Ryuusuke himself is rather talented, and has a bit of an ego.
- Yoshiyuki Taira: The bassist of BECK. As the oldest, he is the most mature member and has the most experience with music (his father was the bassist of a jazz band.) He has no problem with staying in the background, but will speak up if he feels he needs to. His play style is based off Michael "Flea" Balzary of The Red Hot Chili Peppers fame. He also has bleach blonde hair and doesn't wear a shirt on stage.
- Tsunemi Chiba: The lead vocalist of BECK. His rougher vocals suit the band's faster songs, but he raps for the majority of the songs. His brash and hot-blooded nature usually gets him in trouble, but he's just passionate about what he does. In his spare time he participates in rap battles, and apparently he knows some martial arts. His look and rapping style is a shout out to Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine.
- Yuuji "Saku" Sakurai: The drummer of BECK, and a transfer student. He quickly befriends Koyuki through the music of The Dying Breed. Not one to conform, he is unafraid to speak to Koyuki after a school-wide silence is imposed on him. He is surprisingly talented, and the moment the band hears him play, they recruit him.
Not to be confused with the alternative rock musician of the same name
Essentially the Manga is a Seinen
BECK contains examples of: