Ben-To: Initial thoughts
October 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Ben-to is an odd anime to describe, but if I were to, I would probably say that Ben-to is fightclub with boxed lunches and a samurai drama thrown in for good measure, and that about sums up this show, it really is that simple. But don’t for a second think that because its easy to describe, and sounds a bit on the mad side that this show is bad, in fact it has been the surprise shoe of the season for me and is quickly becoming my favourite.
The show starts off with the main character, Sato, trying to get a cheap, discounted bento box from a local combini, only to be beaten senseless by a random group of people, who all fighting over the food. We are then introduced to Sen Yarizui ‘The Ice Witch’ a student at Sato’s school, who apparently is one of the strongest in this fight for the mighty half-price bento boxes.
We are introduced to more random, and increasingly mad people as the series is progressing. We have the short, glasses wearing, Hana Oshiri, who is a bit mysterious, and down right weird sometimes. Ume Shiraume, who is apparently either a lesbian, or immensely protective of Hana, every time she appears Sato gets abused.
We have also been introduced to various random terms, such as ‘The Wizard’, ‘Boars’, ‘Storm’, ‘Wolves’ etc, all of which make no sense whatsoever half the time, not that this matters of course. Sato of course joins the club that Yarizui is part of, the so-called ‘Half-Priced Food Lovers Club’, and starts taking part in these bento fights on a daily basis.
This is the plot of the series in its entirety, quite honestly it might as well not exist for all the good it does, and yet I don’t care. I have enjoyed all the episodes so far; they have been funny, bizarre and quite simply great entertainment. There is also a harem element to the show judging by the opening sequence and because the only other people who seem to be around Sato are girls, not that this will make much difference, perhaps adding some romance. And quite frankly this show is about fighting girls.
All the characters are completely off the wall, the little bits of dialogue to do with honour and such might as well have been stripped from a Samurai, or some martial arts film, and the fight sequences are great. I have in fact been enjoying this series so much that I don’t even care that Sato, who in the beginning seems to be immensely weak can suddenly do aerial attacks, somersaults and other mad martial arts moves by the second episode.
This show also fixates quite unapologetically on various parts of the female body, with long shots of thighs, buts, breasts etc. But it does it as I said in an unapologetic way, there is fanservice, we know there is fanservice, the staff know that there is fanservice, that’s about where it ends. There is however an odd girl with long brown hair, only we have never seen her face, the camera only focussing on her breasts.
The production value is relatively high for such a show with nice backgrounds and as far as I can see any CG used has been pretty good, nothing especial, but there many worse shows out there.
I would definitely recommend this series as one that is completely mad, does not make any sense, but is great fun to watch and is simple entertainment. As my original description said, Ben-to is fightclub with boxed lunches and a samurai drama thrown in for good measure, and that about sums up this show, it really is that simple. It is definitely growing on me, and I look forward to seeing how Sato and the other characters interact in later episodes.