Ben-To - Reviews

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Thrawn's avatar
Mar 25, 2012

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.

5/10 story
8.5/10 animation
9/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
Jensling's avatar
Dec 24, 2012

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.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
8/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Apr 12, 2012

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.

4/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
6/10 characters
4/10 overall
Dionkeykong's avatar
Nov 22, 2017

This is by far the best anime i have EVER seen.Honest to god this anime is,for me,one of the best of the bestest.Pick whateva you want.Story?Magnificent.Animation?Eye waternigly good.In fact i'm struggling to find something wrong with it for 2 days now..But since this is a review i had to,even if it's nitpicking.

Beware though i do fucking swear a lot and if you're the oversensitive kind of chap or girl take a hike cause i'll slap you silly,make you cry your eyes out and off to years of psychotherapy.

With that begins my review of this glorious anime called Ben-To...And i have to say what a great name for an anime..The pun is out of this world cause as it so happens our MC's name is Ben...Well no it isn't it's actually You Satou which to me sounds like the name of a Viking God or something equally great and eternal.This lad puts David Hasselhoff to shame.Little curly David is a little whiny bitch compared to Satou.Satou can take a punch in the nuts by Goku even and he won't feel a thing.That's how badass our MC is.He takes what he wants,when he wants it.He wants a silver haired bitch on her knees?He slaps her perky ass and gives her some D and leaves her crying and then goes to a bar for a fight.What more can you possibly want from an MC?

The story is also great.It's basically the creator's version of the apocalypse.The humanity has plunged into the darkness of war and we follow some high school kids who fight in order to survive.There's mayhem and death everywhere you look.So what does Satou do?He takes under his pretty wings 2 bitches,two prostitutes who sold their bodies to fat,disgusting middle aged men......But only to satisfy his sadistic urges.

Can you now tell me that this premise isn't interesting?One thing though..

This is some shit i just came up with.Ben-To has absolutely no relation whatsoever with any apocalyptic bitchslapping.Slapping it has,just not the one i described.So i fucked with ya enough,so let's cut the crap and see what this piece of shit is all about.

I take it you're not allergic to reading the synopsis so i won't bother with the premise.It's there for all to see.Now you must be thinking "what a fucking stupid anime"..And boy you'd be right.Now stupid isn't necessarily always a bad thing.Cause even a stupid premise can sometimes make for a good anime if you make an effort.And at first i thought that this might be the case with this one.I thought it was gonna be a parody or something of the fighting animes.Well sort of no.Cause after 1 or eps it's all downhill.Satou at the beginning was a somewhat nice lad.Mind you we have seen his kind over and over in animes..Yarizui on the other hand was the "airhead" with a knack for action and kicking the shit out of everyone.But as the series progress we are unfortunately introduced to some other characters.And that was it,that was my line in the sand.

Let me explain.I can forgive the show's idiotic premise.What i cannot forgive is wasting my time with characters who are as useless as a watch that has both hands missing.And if useless was their only prob that would be ok too..But they're also obnoxious to the point of meltdown.Take Ume for example.The only thing i recall her doing the most was kicking the shit out of Satou.Now i'm ok with slapstick comedy IF it's able tobring out some actual laughter.This wasn't funny,it was just idiotic and out of place.It's as if you're sitting now in your living room and i come over and punch you in the fez cause a dog was barking in fucking Alaska.The other annoying as hell trait of hers is that she's an absolute psycholesbian.So when Satou goes near Hana she goes berserk and almost kills him.And not in a funny way.In fact she abuses most of the cast and goes home with a tiara for it.Then there are the Kyo sisters who are just as annoying with a splash of in your face arrogance.

So you might be thinking now,it's not too bad,it's just them that ruin a small portion of the show,you're overeacting as usual.Firstly i hope your dick turns into a dead husk and it's not a small portion of the show.And it's not just them.If you take off the series half of the cast it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference.They bear no weight whatsoever to the flow of the story.Even characters who are supposed to be part of the main thing are pushed to the side,doing absolutely nothing.The writers didn't make any effort at all to develop them,make them part of the show.

Animation and sound dept was bad.Bad bad bad.The overall animation was ok it had it good points here and there.It was when a "battle" ensued that things got all wobbly.The songs and VA were good.Just good nothing more nothing less.

All in all i think this was as bad as cacthing gonorrhea.It's not as interesting as it sounds and it sticks with you no matter what spoiling the relationship.It tried too hard to be silly and over the top that it lost it's way and became outright stupid to the point of destruction.I cannot possibly recommend it to anyone.Or at least anyone i like.And if you think it can't be all that bad,go ahead,be my guest.

Review was possible while listening to Dirtcake "Dirty Blues"

1/10 story
3/10 animation
3/10 sound
2/10 characters
2/10 overall
Archaeon's avatar
Jan 27, 2012

Times are hard, and in these days of global economic crisis and recession more and more people have joined the hunt to find the best bargains. As with anything in life though, experience is what counts, and veterans in the ways of saving money will usually have the upper hand in the war of the aisles. While there are a few young hotshots who have a natural talent for finding a store's bargain products, the truth is that wherever there are discounted groceries, there will undoubtedly be kings and queens who rule over them.

Now it may sound as though that whole paragraph is nothing more than a flowery representation of Ben-Tou, Asuara's light novel series (and its anime and manga adaptations), about Satou You, a highschool student who unwittingly becomes embroiled in an all-out brawl between people wanting half-price ready meals, but that's actually incorrect. Surprisingly, it's more akin to the reality of discount shopping than most people think, but while there's generally a lot of shoving, actual combat is ... uncommon.

Ben-Tou has a relatively simple storyline that isn't encumbered with complex philosophical questions or existential uncertainties. The plot is straightforward, but very typically shounen in its repetitiveness and predictability, which may explain why there are attempts towards the end of the series to add a layer of depth to the narrative. Unfortunately it doesn't really work as the show spends too much time trying to be funny, justifying all out brawls in grocery stores (which never seem to attract the attention of the police), and servicing hormone crazed teenagers.

The sad thing is that Ben-Tou has potential as a concept, but when it comes to execution the author, and then everyone else, seem to have left their artistic sensibilities by the wayside. There are some genuinely good flashes of inspiration in the narrative that come about because of the fact that each territory is "ruled" by the strongest fighter (or "wolf"), in that area. Sadly these sparks of inspiration never really amount to anything, and the anime becomes little more than a parade of characters, brawls, inane comedy and pointless fanservice.

Given that this is supposed to be an action anime, one would assume that the emphasis would be on making the combat scenes look good, but unfortunately that isn't the case. The characters are decent enough, but the reliance on stereotypes can make some viewers think that the designers lacked imagination. In addition to that, the settings for many of the show's fight scenes are grocery stores, so it's remarkable that the post-battle shop floors remain unscathed. The animation quality is fairly reasonable, but it's not up to the standard that David Production are capable of (they made Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra), and the series can sometimes look like a rush job (which may explain the unusual postures and the odd jumps and glitches).

The opening sequence features the song "Live for Life: Ōkamitachi no Yoru" by Manami, an upbeat rock song set against a backdrop of character introductions, action and fanservice that make a surprisingly accurate presentation of the show's content. There's also an additional introduction for episode four that focuses on Shaga Ayame while "Treasure" by Kato Emiri plays out in the background. The melodic ballad used for the ending theme, "Egao no Housoku" by Ise Mariya, serves as a nice counterpoint to each episode, and the rather placid sequence fits well with the idea that it's a post-battle scene.

As for the rest of the music, although the series is well served in the variety of pieces on offer, the usage of particular tracks can seem a little repetitive.

Ben-Tou likes to wear its shounen heart on its sleeve, so the dialogue is filled with juvenile sentiment and lots of shouting. Like almost every other action/harem/comedy/fanservice anime out there, the script is a little too reliant on familiarity with the genre, but within that there are a few decent little deviations from the norm (mainly about fighting for discounted food). Unfortunately the acting is pretty much what one would expect from this type of show - lots of effort and not much actual skill, but maybe that's to be expected. The four leads have little experience with serious roles, which isn't an indictment of their abilities, but rather an observation about the anime industry's propensity for churning out mediocre titles that cater to the minority of fans.

Seriously, stop wasting talent. It's too hard to come by.

In true shounen fashion the characters are about as one-dimensional as they come, and there's very little in the way of refinement throughout the series. That said, the main focus of the story isn't to develop each person, but rather to put them in situations where the warrior mentality can be prominently displayed. Unfortunately it doesn't work out that way as Ben-Tou is a veritable who's who of stereotypes, and pretty much every trait and personality associated with genre are on display, especially the wishy-washy lead male - Satou You. The problem is that viewers may become too familiar with a character's behaviour outside of combat, so watching them fight can often raise several questions, the main one being why does someone who is supposedly capable keep getting slapped around by Shiraume Ume.

Like many harem lead males, Satou You seems to be a bit of a masochist.

As a concept, Ben-Tou has some merit, but somewhere along the way a decision was made to try to appeal to a specific fanbase, and that's what ultimately lets the show down. The addition of multiple love-interests, inane comedy, innuendo and fanservice seem tacky at best, and can often feel more like hasty additions to the plot. Although there is some entertainment value in the series, this is mainly due to the fact that audiences can watch this as though it was a half-decent action movie.

The truth is that Ben-Tou could have held up a mirror to the real-life tribulations of discount shopping, but sadly the show fails to realise its potential because it tries too hard to jump on the harem/comedy bandwagon, and this gets in the way of it being a true parody.

5/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall