Manorexic’s Anime Sampler – Ben-To

Posted on Oct 12 2011

Challenger Approaching! Manorexic’s Anime Sampler has joined The Fan! A bi-monthly feast on tasty reviews of anime pilots, and who throws a better feast than anorexics? Today our main dish is Ben-To, and with that last annoying food reference, let us begin!

Ben-To is definitely a nominee for the “Most Absurd Premise” award (that I may or may not have just made up.) As you may have should have noticed about the title is the familiar word bento (Japanese boxed meals.) That is because bento is exactly what this show is about. While casually reaching for a half-priced bento, Satou Yo ends up caught in the middle of an all-out brawl in the grocery store over the discounted meal.

In their defense, it is a pretty good looking bento.

After a short scene about Satou practically coming back from the dead because he was too hungry to die and a rather out-of-place fanservice-filled opening, we get down to business…slowly. Satou narrates a short recap of his rather uneventful life then sees a mysterious girl and passes out from fantasizing a little too hard. Which, if I do say so myself, is a much more entertaining way of getting past the dreaded “first day” period than a twelve-hour time skip or awkward “go home and contemplate” scene.

The next morning we find what is assumed to be our protagonist walking to school, when he encounters mystery girl two, Oshiroi Hana. Oshiroi is an energetic girl who gets excited from seeing others in bento brawl related pain, whom apparently Satou previously met before having the previous twenty-four hours wiped from his mind. Next we get introduced to the previously mysterious girl from the grocery store, Yarizui Sen, sharp-witted recycler extraordinaire. After a short back and forth and a quick American insult, Yarizui takes her leave. As if almost following some sort of cosmic checklist, Satou has his next run in with our third and final mystery girl for the episode, Shiraume Ume. Ume is the student council president who has a very impressive slap as her sort of go-to catchphrase. With this school day finished, we are now introduced to our tentative main cast. The squirrely schadenfreude, the cold and sarcastic intrapersonal, and the take-no-crap tsundere.

It’s night two and Satou and his tag-along have found themselves back at the scene of the crime. The tension slowly rises as the two walk towards the bento section with cutaways to various store-goers, one of which being none other than Composite Krillin. Because horrible judgement skills are now a part of amnesia, Satou dreamily skips towards the bento only to be surrounded by the shoppers, all of which end up unconsious in a matter of seconds from some powerful force called the Witch of Ice a.k.a. Yarizui Sen.

In his unconscious state, Satou remembers all of the events of day one. But before he can quite remember being able to look up Yarizui’s skirt, he is woken up by a store employee who took them in the storage until they woke up. The weird thing about this is the fact that we only see Satou and Oshiroi in the back, which means he left the other dozen or so unconscious bodies littered around the store. But being a conditionally gracious shop keep, he not only answers most questions anyone may have about the bento brawlers, he also gives them food. Satou goes home and here we see that horrible decision making wasn’t a side effect of the amnesia, because Satou puts his entire dorm in a power outage microwaving the food he brought home while it was still in its foil.

At school the next day the class is talking about “some moron” who blew a fuse microwaving a SoyJoy. While totally nonchalantly whistling this off, Satou is approached by Shiraume and thoroughly questioned about the previous night as he intensely stares at her skirt. Even after continuously getting smacked for not giving Shiraume answers, Satou still has his gaze fixated on that skirt, and eventually she storms off. Even as she’s walking away he finds himself staring at her skirt, and we are shown that he’s actually imagining staring at Yarizui’s skirt, something he’s somewhat of an old pro at.

We’ve finally got to the part everyone’s been waiting for, the bento brawl. Satou and Oshiroi stand confidently in front of the store, and after a quick exchange head in. In a déjà vu sequence we pass the store goers from before, Oshiroi freaks out about touching his hand, and Yarizui sees them in the aisle. Satou displays his spidey senses in being able to tell that the Ice Witch was just behind him. The two decide their target bentos and pretend to be checking out other foods as the employee marks the discounted bento, raising the tension to levels no super market should ever have, and after he leaves everyone attacks the bento like a starving lion release from its cage.

Now if something like this were to happen in real life, we’d probably just see that one trained fighter or a super-built guy dominate everyone. But this is anime, everyone is an expert in hand-to-hand combat. A brunette charges the bento and takes out at least three guys, everyone and their fighting partner deal and take nasty blows to the gut and face, Composite Krillin gets knocked out of the mob, and anyone who dares so much as touch the bento gets a kick or two to the ribs. Satou spends some time wondering why on Earth people would do this over half price bento, but his stomach growling answers it for him, and he runs in as well. He does manage to take out one guy, but is then headbutted in the back by another into the path of someone’s kick. Right before impact, Yarizui steps in and takes over. What follows really cannot be described unless I wanted to write a two page essay on how the Ice Witch almost single-handedly taking out nearly every brawler with an array of moves that both tenth-degree black belts and Olympic gymnasts would envy. Satou rushes towards the bento one last time, but is stopped by a punch to the side by Composite Krillin into an uppercut by the brunette that sends him into one final mid-air crane kick by the Ice Queen. Before he manages to pass out though, Yarizui tells Satou that the weak perish in her territory, and offers to show him how to survive if he comes to the club room at school. And then the credits roll.

But we can’t let it end just yet. Satou accepts Yarizui’s invitation to room 501, the club room for the Lovers of Half-Priced Food Club, whose only member and president is none other than the Ice Witch herself, and of course Oshiroi came there as well. Thus officially starting Satou’s adventures in bento brawling.

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  • Kayarath October 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Welcome to The Fan Manorexic! It feels great to have more people but it feels bad that you out weirded me on your first article D:

    • TheManorexic October 15, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that Kaya, an article devoted to praising Every Fight is way up there.

  • nerdwerld October 15, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    Hey Manorexic nice article, I wasn’t scared at all, in fact I want to check this out now!

    • TheManorexic October 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      Thanks so much, it’s really awesome to hear that people like it ^^ I wish I could put video in it, there’s no way to describe how intense the brawl is.

  • Damian Dragne October 24, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    Hahaha VERY nice article dude! 😀

    • TheManorexic October 25, 2011 at 7:13 PM

      Thank you, I’ll do my best to keep the awesome coming!

  • afrosamuri95 January 25, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Hiiii guess who i am :D……oh yeah and thanks now i’m hungry and out of bagels

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