Ben-To – 05
「北海道の鮭を使ったあら汁 326kcal」 (Hokkaidō no Shake o Tsukatta Arajiru 326kcal)
“Fish Soup with Hokkaido Salmon 326kcal”
All right, so, relatively plot-heavy episode this week. As one would first guess, the big baddie Monarch wants to take over all the supermarkets, even if it means he’s destroying his own “clan.” Shaga, being an Eastern wolf, finds herself tangled between the mess, but she’s not exactly torn between sides. The clue of the computer room being the Civilian Economics Research Club suggests the enemy is also in high school, most likely Shaga’s. The foxy dude from last week apparently did lose to Satou, accepting him as a rival (then losing it promptly), and I’m going to assume he’s the “moral underling that will rebel when the opponent’s chips are down.” All this conflict is reasoned to a grudge from an older generation, a la Naruto’s plot. Presumably the half-price god from Ralph’s is from that generation, and will explain everything next week. There’s nothing much to marvel at here, since it’s all pretty standard fare to anyone that’s experienced these types of plots before.
The last new main character (according to the opening anyway) is Inoue Asebi (Taketatsu Ayana), a semi-retarded girl with an extreme case of bad luck. Unless she’s just some random young girl that happens to be hanging out with high-schoolers, the slowness in her speech and babyish reactions suggest mild retardation. But she’s cute, right? You know how babyish features in the female face is also an attraction? Big eyes, smooth face, small mouth and nose? Explains anime faces quite well. Not surprisingly, that same attraction translates over to mentalities of babies too. Girl explodes coke in her face and then giggles about it = cute. So it’s moe. Throw in that some find moe sexually attractive, and you’re all subconsciously babyphiles. Now, what does make Asebi stand out from the crowd is the seemingly random attribution of bad luck. She’s also portrayed as a catgirl-lite, so maybe she’s a black cat? Whatever the case, it certainly makes her pitiful, and along with the naivete, she’s another character that’s easy to like. She continues the trend. There’s no question this trait of hers will serve a role, and be the brunt of a thousand jokes, but I like it. It’s new. Sort of. Maybe Satou will use her in battle.
Here’s something else that’s new: I got angry at the show today. Our resident ragdoll may get beat to a pulp every week by miscellaneous people and things, but everyone standing aside so he could get his ass whupped by Monarch rubbed me the wrong way. Considering how close his relationship is with the other characters by now, none of them really went out of their way to protect him. Shaga might have an excuse from initiating a betrayal, but Yarizui? He’s your club member! Where’s the camaraderie? That wouldn’t fly in One Piece, I’ll tell you that.
The plot keeps things chugging along, but I’m starting to find the comedic skits to be far more entertaining. The reactions to Satou walking into the supermarket with a sailor uniform, and him stoking himself up to reimburse a “weak” night with “Macchan” were definite highlights. The lack of typical joke patterns really helps, and somehow Oshiroi’s fujoshi observations never fail to get a laugh out of me. Oshiroi doesn’t even sound like Yuuki Aoi either; that girl’s got some serious range. To close, I am a bit puzzled as to why specifically that guy wanted to shove a D battery up Satou’s ass… Torture weapon of choice? Secret fetish?