After collapsing in the street bloodied and battered, You Satou has no recollection of what happened to him – the only thing he remembers is going to the supermarket to buy a bento lunchbox. After having bizarre encounters the entire following day including a stern warning to stay away from the store, You returns that night to buy dinner. But when he spies the shelf of half-priced bento and reaches out for one, the penniless teen finds himself thrust into a world where the rush to get a good deal becomes an epic battle in which only the strongest survive…
Just like there is junk food, there is also junk anime, and Ben Tou is a fine example. Directed by Itagaki Shin, a guy with great talent in making SHITTY SHOWS (examples include Devil May Cry, Basquash, Mayoi Neko Overrun). There was no hope for this show from the very second it got green light. Anime regarding food usually have to do with cooking contests. How to gather the proper ingredients, how to cook them properly, and how to amaze the judges. On a basic level these shows are motivational, as they tell you about the beauty of gastronomy and how cool it is to be a chef. Ben Tou though has nothing to do with cooking, although it is about food. Instead of trying to show or tell something, it is just about fighting for whom gets to buy canned food and prepared meals from the grocery in half price. So basically, you have a bunch of guys and gals kicking the crap out of each other on a daily basis, just so they pay half as much for their dinner.So you will now be probably wondering if this is a fighting tournament show, with food discounts being the prize. Again, you are wrong because the fighting in the show is comical and definitely not exciting. They are kicking and punching simplistically without any choreography, and with violence always being bloodless and wounds magically healing in a few minutes. Which is a good thing, because if they weren’t the money they would need to pay for bandages and doctors would cost a thousand times more than a half-priced prepared lunch.The most interesting thing about the battles is the way the girls fight, as they do all sorts of motions than make their boobs bounce and their legs spreading and revealing stuff. So you will now imagine this is some sort of heavy on fan service anime with fighting chicks, in the likes of Ikki Tousen or Queen’s Blade. And again you are wrong, because there isn’t much fighting or nude. Most of the fan service revolves around zooming to dressed boobs and legs but you hardly ever see any actual naked girl. Most of the duration is about the protagonist trying to get his hands on the discount obentos and having his ass kicked repeatedly by chicks. In fact, he is the only one getting stripped all the time for pitiful reasons. Oh, of course, the ever present pussy/wimp/useless of a protagonist but otherwise “normal teenager” lead. He is constantly beaten and yet he is surrounded by pretty chicks. So this is a harem, right? You’d now think there are a dozen chicks who love him and constantly try to get in his pants. NO! They just kick the crap out of him and strip him while looking for food. That is not sexy at all and it is definitely not a show aimed at girls.So… what… is this a show about, I don’t know, the economic crisis? The fact that they go through all this trouble just to get a discount can only mean that they are in a very bad financial state and the whole thing could be a metaphor for the extremes poverty forces you to head for. And again NO IT ISN’T; none of the characters seems to show the least concern for money. They even appear to have a fine time spending most of their money on videogames, clothes, and just hanging out in fancy places. They don’t even MENTION they have financial problems. They are the typical anime teenagers with endless magical money.Ok, wait, maybe it is about the beauty of struggling for your food. It tastes better when you need to fight for it than just buy it. SERIOUSLY? How about growing it you idiots? It will be even tastier this way AND motivate the viewer to be a farmer or a gardener. At best, this show is telling you this way that it is all about the money. YOU FIGHT FOR DISCOUNTS! And you DON’T HAVE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS!Aha, I got it, it is a fighting shounen parody. It makes fun of fighting by making everybody going crazy about something as pitiful as a discount. At which case IT IS NOT FUNNY! I grew bored of the idea in just 10 minutes. You can’t stretch a single joke to last for more than a couple of episodes; you need to flavor it with more jokes. Yet this whole anime is based solely on making fun of a SINGLE THING! Of course and you will get bored of it fast. So after all this deduction procedure you realize early on that this show is about NOTHING! It is a retarded screwball school comedy without context and with a concept you get bored of in a few episodes. The production values are also nothing amazing, soundtrack and voice acting are passable, character figures are generic, and character personalities are stereotypes. I find no value in this show, and very little enjoyment if you are a seasoned viewer who likes some context in whatever he watches.
LETS GET IT! LETS GET IT! LETS GET IT LETS GET IT LETS GO! Story: It's about people fighting over discounted Bentos. That's it. That's the entire premise of this Serious Business show, and it works. While the plot is mainly non-existant apart from some token boss battle arcs, it works as a comedy over any dramatic moments it may toss to the viewer. The fights are fast and exciting, with fists flying, jiggling, kicks and aerial assaults of awesome. It's easily a highlight of the show and it has to be, to make up for the plot and being the plot. Surprisingly, there's filler but that filler had one of the best moments in the series. Animation: I thought it looked great, especially the fight scenes. In particular, when the hits connect or are repelled. Outside of fights still look good, but the fights are more noticable. Sound: Love, love, LOVE the OP. Fits the bill as a fast OP with being as badass as the show itself, and the EP as the slower, more somber song works but not as well as the OP. The voices are great, especially The Ice Witch and her rendition of an exerpt of Muscle Cop. And Muscle Cop with her rapid wording when thinking of something to add to Muscle Cop. Really liked it, but that bold up there, that sold it completely. Characters: Eh, it's a fighting anime so who cares about characters? Deep characters I mean. The cast is fun, there's backstory for a few, I liked their quirks and the nom de guerillas. Or nicknames. Code names. Those were cool. Overall: This is good, clean straightforward fun. It doesn't take itself seriously often, has some great fights, highlights, an awesome OP and it's bound to give you false teeth. I enjoyed myself watching this and it leaves itself open for a sequel.
Secret Santa 2012 Review It's a very straightforward action anime whith funny characters, especially enjoyed the fujoshi character Hana and the "bad-luck charm" Asebi. The show is centered around two things, and the combination of those two:Fighting, Food and Fighting over Food It has quite fluid animation and best of all, the fights are not incredibly superpower-laden nor is there really any powerups or powercreeping (might be due to the length though) Good points:Straight forward, it gives a premise and keeps to it.Funny Characters.Nice animation.Opening song was nice.Likeable. Bad Points:The ending feels a bit forced.Not exactly plot-heavy.Could've been longer, with better spacing and/or extended plotline.
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