Have you ever witnessed an Anime where the sole objective of the Anime and it’s characters are to fight over discounted food? Probably not, and that is why Ben-To sticks out – it’s unique.
Ben-To is known for its fight scenes, some that I think are really well planned and choreographed. Never did I think that I would watch an Anime that revolved around fighting over food.
Now, go through the very, very quick rundown of the Anime. Airing in the Fall of 2011, Ben-To aired for a total of 12 episodes, amassing just over 177K following on MyAnimeList and currently sits at a 7.45 rating. The genres Ben-To is labeled as are: Martial Arts, Action, and Comedy.
Basically, Sato Yo went to get a half-priced bento one day, but then he got beaten up and loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he has no memory of what happened in the supermarket. A girl then warns him (Sen Yarizui, AKA the ice witch) never to go to the supermarket again. However, Sato goes again with his friend, Oshiroi Hana, and gets beat up again. Yarizui then invites them to the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club, where she teaches them all about being a “wolf” (fighter for half-priced bentoes).
The story is very comedic, with Sato getting embarrassed and the fights full of action-packed battles. The characters have their own special names, which the “wolves” refer to by. Then, there are “boars,” “wolves pride” and “rulers of the east and west”. This turns the plot into a great story, basically expressing how much fighting for a bento means to them.
I generally thought the Anime had really good Art and Animation. It was a really bright and colourful Anime, and it excelled during the fight scenes in the store. The various moves and how they were animated really made up for the story that could be seen as ‘weak’ mainly due to the fact that they’re fighting over discounted food.
The seiyuu did a great job, doing voices that fit the characters perfectly. The BGM was good, but aside from the battle scenes, it’s pretty average. The OP is upbeat, which fits a series like this one. My favourite part of the OP was the electric guitar, I thought it was amazing just hearing it jam out at the start of each episode. All that being said, the ending was not bad, but the song didn’t really fit the series, in my opinion.
This is one of the categories where it truly shines. Character design and seiyuu fit the character’s respective personality, and everyone had a colorful and unique personality, which blends into the overall story and humor. I also got attached to some of them, like Orthrus and Ice Witch. Everyone was great, and I found the characters to be very enjoyable with their interaction with each other. The only downside is that there’s barely any character development, but I didn’t really expect it to cover every character’s backstory in a mere 12 episodes or even 3-4 characters. Still, it didn’t hinder the experience for me and the characters are fun to watch even though.
Should it be watched? Entirely up to you. I enjoyed this Anime because of the weird concept. Never would I have ever thought that I’d see an Anime where the characters fight over discounted food. That weird storyline really appealed to me, especially when you watch those fight scenes, I personally thought that they were very special.
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