November 20, 2012

Anime Review: Ben-To

It is an all out war for the last remaining half-priced bentos and noone is giving way. This is the anime about supermarket territories, gangs and all-out brawls just for bento.


Satou You is a high school boy who likes SEGA games. One day, he enters a grocery store to buy some food for dinner. When he tries to take a bento box, he loses consciousness. He comes around to find all the bento sold out. He notices there is a war game going on at grocery stores and players called "Wolves" compete for the half-priced bento. Yarizui Sen, the leader of the Half-Pricer Club, forces You to join the club and he enters the bento war.


As silly as it sounds, this anime is quite entertaining to watch. Why? Because watching a bunch of guys fighting over half-priced bento is somewhat serious business indeed. Not only that, the anime takes this huge 'supermarket fight' thing to a whole new level with players called "Wolves" fight each other to the end. Of course, the victorious will gain approval and recognition (as well as a title) among the Wolves. At first, it may seem weird that an anime is that popular just based on a supermarket war game, but somehow, it was quite interesting to watch. The story starts off with an ordinary high school boy named Stau You that finds himself unconsciousness after visiting the supermarket in search of food for dinner. He discovers that there is a war game going on in supermarkets across the area. With the help of the leaser of the Half-Pricer Club, he and Yarizui Sen take on the competition is the fiercest bento battle yet. Honestly, I found it entertaining and engaging to watch. This of course, is quite original and there is nothing out there like it. Not only that, there are also plenty of comedy moments as well as hints of romance.

The art was excellently illustrated and animated. The backgrounds and scenery were high quality and the battle animations were fluid. The characters also looked quite great. The art style isn't groundbreaking but it is quite accurately illustrated and places, just like your standard anime animation.

The opening and closing songs were quite catchy. The opening song was quite upbeat and suited the anime perfectly. In addition to that, the voice acting was perfect for the characters. I have no complaints here.

The reasons why I watched this anime was because I wanted to see how the characters would play out in this interesting story. Satou You felt a bit generic in design and personality, but that is probably just standard for any other action anime featuring an ordinary male protagonist. Yarizui Sen was perfectly portrayed for her character. She is a quiet girl but quiet understanding towards You. There's also Shaga Ayame, the lively cousin of You and tends to like to tease him a lot. Lastly, in the club, there's Oshiroi Hana. She is quite an interesting girl with hobbies that relate to yaoi related content inspired by other bento brawlers.

Overall, it was a weird and wonderful anime to watch. I didn't mind the unrealism of hunger-crazy people going all-out fighting over bento. It was both quite humorous and serious. If you want some quick light-weight anime to entertain yourself for a few hours, Ben-To should satisfy your (anime) hunger.


ART: 9