For all the time that you lunatics have been recommending this show to me, I figured it was some crime show about a biker gang running a chop shop. BREAKING BAD meets SONS OF ANARCHY, perhaps - - that’s what “Mongolian Chop Squad” evokes in my mind. Seeing it, now, I can totally understand what all the fuss with American recording artist Beck was about. It’d be kind of equivalent of doing a manga/anime about an indy metal band and calling it KISS.
This was an alright opener. Just alright. I can picture how this show ratchets up the interest as it goes along, even if the pilot doesn’t the sharpest hooks. Honestly, if I spun a couple levels around in Photoshop and turned off “rasterize” or something, I think I'd find myself looking right at an American indy flick. This is one of the least anime-like anime shows I’ve watched. There’s no chibi, no speedlines... just a bunch of angry and aimless kids dropping plenty of F-Bombs.
I suppose the hook is in the overall premise of the show - - getting to see a rock band rise out of the suburban doldrums. I don’t know if that interests me enough to pick this over all the competition, but it is a subject that’s alternately fascinated and frustrated me for a long time. Notice how the lead is 14-years-old? I feel like most every other field of entertainment has a longer curve that wannabees must trudge through before reaching some level of life-altering success.
Rock music, though? The number of times you see kids jumping to some level of “life-altering success” - -t hat is, the kind that allows them to tour full-time instead of going to school or holding down a day job - - makes it seem like more of the rule than the exception. When I was 15, I had a silly public access show, sure, but it’s not like I was making any money off of it. The bulk of my existence was ruled by homework, sports and getting friends together to watch that year’s LORD OF THE RINGS flick. I couldn’t imagine being on some label-funded tour without learning so many important life lessons.
And I guess that's why BEHIND THE MUSIC has profiled enough rock star meltdown to make it a cliche. Maybe this show's hooked my interest more than I initially suspected...?
Couple that with how this kind of music is meant to be flippant, almost by definition,Watch this episode, “The View at Fourteen" here and decide for yourself.