The anime which is not like an anime. That is Beck.
Beck follows a typical 14 year old Japanese kid who somehow runs into a older, cooler Japanese guy who has been living in America for a few years. The kid gets interested in music, learns to play the guitar and eventually winds up joining a band led by the older guy.
Its a bit annoying really that so much is given away in the synopsis of this anime and the opening titles. You know whats going to happen over much of it and you're just waiting for it to come to pass.
This series is...very strange. Very strange indeed. Unlike anything I've ever seen before. The style of this anime takes some getting used to. It makes a heavy use of long shots with not much happening. It really is shot more like a film than an anime.
Being a anime about a band the music is pretty decent. Though the main song by Beck is a bit...crap. A odd rock-rap (that hasn't been cool since forever) about tobasco. There is a bit of a problem with Beck that is common to most musically focussed media though: too many scenes just filled with music and shots of characters listening to it. Not particularly thrilling.
Also one annoyance for me- the English. Two of the main characters supposidly lived in the US for a long time and apparently speak 'fluent' English, they use it when communicating between themselves. Yet when they speak it just sounds...crappy. Not just crappy in the way a person who doesn't speak English would sound bad. Crappy in the way you can tell the actors are just reading something off a sheet without knowing what it means. I guess with this anime being a bit of wish fulfillment for 14 year old boys (get into a succesful band, start going out with a girl who despite being your age is hot and kind of adult like, etc...) the intended target audience generally won't notice the bad English but its a bit of an immersion killer for me.
Also a bit weird are the band names they mention. Some of the bands they talk of are real. Others are obvious warped versions for copyright reasons (Pixis). What is strange is that they speak of a false version of Joy Division in one line then in the next line use the real name of New Order...Its a minor concern but its odd.
Also odd is the name of the anime. I know its going to be explained later (thanks synopsis spoilers!) but...Beck? What's so good about him?
Sounds like I'm complaining a lot here but really. Overall this anime is very good indeed. I am a music fan so I'm probally not representative of the typical anime fan but yeah. Cool.