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Friday, October 5, 2012

Anime review: Ben-To

While innocently reaching for some half priced bento, You Satou finds himself beaten up on the floor of a supermarket. He soon learns that getting half-priced bento is an all-out brawl between customers. Satou is invited to the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club by one of the top fighters, Sen Yarizui (a.k.a. The Ice Witch), in order to train to compete in these battles.

Ben-To is a "shounen ecchi comedy battle series" with an incredibly ridiculous (the good kind) premise and harem tendencies.
The harem aspects are much less serious and 'in the way' than I expected - which is very good. But unfortunately, it does still have some tendencies to that category.
The battles are decent (I guess...) sometimes, and pretty damn bad other times.
The comedy is a waste of potential most of the time. Sometimes it can get me to smile or chuckle, but it usually fails to make use of it's crazy premise. It should be WAY over-the-top. Like Gintama, Sexy Commando, Hare + Guu, HSDK or Ouran to name a few.
Fortunately, the ecchi is well done. It's not too much and doesn't get in the way of the show. It's merely a side dish. 

The characters aren't great, but they are neither annoying nor terrible. Just like the show as a whole - they're merely kinda 'meh'. They're either stereotypes that are somewhat enjoyable, or they start out as fun and interesting characters, but become boring after a few episodes.
The main character, Satou, is the far too common wimpy male lead. Sure, he's better than most of his kind and he's a great fighter in the anime and all - but he's the kind of guy who takes every beating (emotional, mental, physical etc.) he gets from the ladies and does nothing but let out a complaining "eh", or something to that effect. Ugh, I hate these characters. I also hate the voice actor for Satou. Whenever he tries to be all intense, loud and/or funny, it makes me grind my teeth.

It's not a boring or completely un-funny anime. It's just that it could have been absolutely hilarious, but ended up being nothing more than a big pile of forgettable 'meh'.

Ben-To is a good idea handled terribly. Instead of making it over-the-top silly and focusing on humor, they decided to go with the 'ecchi harem comedy' approach.
This anime can be summed up in two words - Wasted potential.


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