Unsure if you enjoy
C) Impossibly Over-sized Weaponry
D) Huge Robots Piloted by Little Children
E) Vampire Ladies
F) Monolithic Creatures that Routinely Destroy Tokyo Neighborhoods, or
G) All of the above,
In honor of this momentous event, I’d like to recommend a fantastic and relatively new-classic manga called BECK, about the virtuoso singer and ever-improving guitarist Yukio Tanaka. Through a series of painful trials interacting with the local and–later–national music and touring scenes, Yukio and his band Beck (named after their dog, not the British songster Jeff Beck or nouveau folk artist Beck of “Odelay” fame) fight tooth, nail, blood, sweat, tears and callous fingers up the steep but slippery music-industry slope and readers benefit from riding alongside them throughout their disappointments, excitements, losses, hopes and frustrations.
The manga borrows so heavily from the authors knowledge and experiences in the Japanese music industry that you’d think you were following the exploits of a real band, hearing their music and even feeling what their audience feels once they take the stage and start their show.
Just as fun, the comic is liberally zested with major American musical references, bands, lyrics and trivia that only thrust you deeper into Yukio’s (who’s also know as ‘Koyuki’s’) world, as well as BECK’s (who, in the manga, is renamed “Mongolian Chop Squad” for American audiences).
What’s most exciting is that I just discovered (too conveniently, maybe) that TokyoPop has put all the way up to Volume 34 of BECK online for free! Just click here and I’ll meet you at the Expo to talk about it!
Hope to see you there!