Watch the 2nd OP!: Streaming ▼
Quite the contrary to last week, this is the best episode so far, by far. Starting off with Shaga, the massive fanservice vehicle, certainly didn’t let my mind wander this week, and while I’m usually bugged by fanservice, this works. Why? Because the anime doesn’t go out of its way to do it. Almost all fanservice in the episode is related to her, and the close-ups and pans have their reasons, eg. Satou-can’t-help-it. It also fits her outgoing personality, and represents the close relationship she has with Satou (though I wonder how many of you were comfortable watching knowing she’s his cousin), which leaves erection fuel dead last on the list. It’s like as blatant as you can get to incorporate fanservice into your work to make money, and still come out with some dignity as a writer. I approve. I also really like Shaga’s character. Who wouldn’t? The episode sold her everything. She makes every character even more likable, even the annoying one, because who isn’t going to love Ume now for generating a lesbian scene? She’s also skilled, endowed, outgoing so your introverted ass doesn’t need to do anything, and roleplays every single archetype there is. Throw in Kagami’s fanbase from Lucky Star, because that’s her voice actress (Katou Emiri). Fuck, she’s so amazing, she got her own opening. Brain twist of this week is to reimagine this whole episode with Shaga as a guy instead. Suddenly it’s creepy, rape-y, and disturbing. Yay double standards!
Shaga wank aside, the “story,” as feeble as it is right now, tacks on an antagonist who plans on sacrificing the wolves to achieve worl-bento domination. Yarizui and Shaga create a rivalry due to territory intrusion, and if it wasn’t obvious enough with the foreplay, Shaga’s reason in keeping such a rivalry is a desire to keep close to Satou, which she probably won’t admit to for a while. Satou most likely impressed the fox-haired guy that probably threw the fight, so more of that “chosen one” development. The rest were random skits for humor and selling Shaga, which, as promptly explained in the previous paragraph, was quite enjoyable. Oshiroi and Ume are still a mystery, but I’m starting to think the fujoshi antics are her outlet to deal with the influx of lesbian trauma. In general, I’ve decided a coherent enough of a story to match together eventual fights is good enough for me.
I’m still seeing the same lectures/morals during fights, which isn’t actually the main problem. The problem is that they’re not molded uniquely enough to Ben-To’s world, which has too much flavor not to have something memorable. Nonetheless, the fights this time around destroy the past few episodes thanks to some actual tactics in trading blows. Chopsticks are used by Shaga to defuse punches detailed succintly in animation, with Yarizui countering by switching to her boots, and hey look, I’m watching a Jackie Chan film. This is way more incredible than it seems, since the only studios I can think of that can match style/coolness in fight choreography is Gainax, Madhouse, BONES, A-1 Pictures, Funima- okay there’s a lot, but you won’t see a better known studio like J.C. Staff care to pull this off. David Production’s matching the top-tier studios through some way other “better” known studios won’t/can’t, so props to that. Either way, my mind is blown probably as much as their budget is right now. Hope it doesn’t affect the later fights.
So, girls, fights, and food. If you eat while watching, you can complete a trifecta of testosterone-inducing heaven. Keep this up Ben-To, and you’ll be second favorite only to Chihayafuru this season. Only watching 3 though. The monotone erotic fiction bit from Yarizui alone was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen (probably because it was so unexpected), and ended the episode even better than it already was. The only question remains, will Shaga be the only thing you’ve got?
Lesson of today’s episode: Describing the contents of your future lunch will make you stronger in brawls.
But damn, THIS is how you introduce a new character. Everything about Shaga’s introduction was just perfect, she’s hot, funny and awesome and her interactions with everyone is just perfect. Also HOT lesbian baths.
Even this post had me laughing, while the episode had me on the floor in tears. Definitely the best so far.
damn it this show just keeps getting better! 😛 first u got a cute girl like Oshiroi now u thrown in a fine piece of hotness like Shaga. Also I have never laugh so hard @ a fight scene such as this having Shaga wearing that dress then use chopsticks as a weapon of choice ROFLOL!!!
If Ume deigned to participate she’d dominate the Bento brawls.
Of course, I’m quite certain that not only does Ume not need to buy half-off bento, she doesn’t buy supermarket bento at all.
Also, for all that Ayame was persistently sold to us the entire episode, you did note that when the chips were down, she failed, twice actually (once against Ume, and again against Sen). Interesting twist.
Only so that you can even sympathize with that pouting losing face.
I got the exact same vibe. That’s how you know these are well-choreographed. well-animated fight scenes.
Shaga vs Shy Guy 😛
So we’re taking every opportunity we can find to bash J.C. Staff huh? ;P
Maybe Shaga would have won if she has better quality chopsticks. Mmmmm… tofu burger
No mention of the awesome Yuri scene or how you’re tired of Ume being a bitch (O.o)? I am disappoint.
To quote Asami Mizuki from Cross game:
“Cousins can get married [in Japan]”
I CAN’T GET THE SUPERMARKET SONG OUT OF MY HEAD!!@!
sakana, sakana, sakana…
sakana wo taberu…
me too man, me too.
Yeah, same here. I keep hoping this series will get an OST with all the BGM. The Supermarket theme is an earbug and then the fight scene music is pretty boss also.
The music is almost the best part of the show.
here you go:
-.- I’ll keep waiting for Ume to be put in her place. Shaga kind of disappointed me here. She should have kicked Ume’s ass after bullying Satou and not for “fall for her”.
World half-priced bento domination! 😀
Ume’s the strongest character in the show. She just doesn’t fight in the Bento wars.
I really do love this show lol and for some reason, despite the character designs not being wholly original, I’m really attracted to Shaga. It might also be her character too.
etc etc, continue watching I must
As expected, Ume is awesome!
and a Hoshii Miki + glasses look-alike appears.
Sweet Fei Fong Wong is in this show! Can’t wait to see him unleash his Kem Po Karate!
Hmmm… no Xenogears fans here I guess -.-
Lol, no, I thought the exact same thing X03! He’s the spittin’ image of him, lol. So much so, I wonder if it’s a homage.
Pssh… Fei could knock this douch upside his ass in 1 minute. (30 seconds as ID)
LOL, Kiiragi – I was thinking watching this ep “Boy, if Shaga was a guy, the fans would be ripping this show to shreds. But I bet they’re going to eat it up.” There’s no medium as double-standard friendly as anime… Hey – I was laughing along with everyone else – when Ume wasn’t on-screen, anyway.
This show just gets more and more over the top each episode. Not that its a bad thing.
This show is still hilarious. I miss the first OP though. It’s nice having a change, but I hope it goes back to the first OP. 😛
Trying to imagine Shaga as a guy is so wrong. D:
I still don’t get Ume.
For some reason, the banner image isn’t working x_x Keeps giving me a 404.
Anyway, definitely LOVED this episode. Took a month, but it was definitely worth the wait for Ayame!
Apparently I didn’t upload it. It’s up now.
Given how well she’s been received by pretty much everyone commenting so far, I’m probably going to get ripped apart but…
So far, I don’t like Shaga. From the get-go with her own special opening, it feels like she’s just barging in here and trying to steal the show. If it weren’t for Sen defeating her in their showdown, I’d be putting out a Canon Sue early warning alarm; gorgeous, skilled, gets most of the main cast to like her without difficulty and seems to make every scene she’s in all about her…
To be fair though, this is her debut episode so it’s kinda expected that the focus will be on her and I’m just getting paranoid. Time will tell.
Otherwise, yeah, some great fighting this episode and the beginnings of a potentially bigger plot/conspiracy. Good times.
Actually, my favorite thing about this episode was that Shaga was practically a subversion of the Canon Sue. She’s given her own special OP, has the most sexual tension with the protagonist of perhaps every character in the show and pretty much disrupts everything in her wake…only to run screaming from Ume and lose badly in her first big fight with the Ice Witch. I think it says something that while she was happy and carefree at the very beginning of the episode, she was very despondent by the end–considering that she got her very OP at the beginning, maybe things didn’t turn out as well for her as she thought they would.
It’s little moments like this–coupled with chopstick-fu and the sheer ridiculousness of what appears to be a secret organization devoted towards keeping tabs on ben-to fighters–which make this show so much better than it honestly has any right to be. Sure, the fan-service was occasionally over the top and Ume remains a pretty unlikable character, but when dime-a-dozen light novel tropes are executed with this much intellegence…
I wouldn’t say she lost “badly”.
Hard to dislike this episode. I liked this anime so far anyways XD. Can’t wait to see what comes next…
gods have mercy… now I have 9th show in a weekly schedule…
btw, my GF is so much like Shaga, from being into brawls to teasing me mercilessly…
“Oshiroi and Ume are still a mystery, but I’m starting to think the fujoshi antics are her outlet to deal with the influx of lesbian trauma.”
Lesbian TRAUMA? As a guy, that’s inconceivable! Yuri is always welcome( = ヮ = )৩
Dammit, my anime watching schedule has just gone busier. Blame it on all the lesbian-charged innuendo this episode, started by Shaga and fuelled further by Shiraume.
And to cap it off, at the end of the episode we have Yarizui with her deadpan rendition of erotic dialogue from Oshiroi’s yaoi novel. My stomach hurts from laughing too much. LOL
PS If you ever find time to visit your local Japanese supermarket (usually attached with your local Japanese department store), then you’ll most likely recognize some of the background jingles being sung in the supermarkets shown throughout the series.
Oh God yes. Those jingles, they HAUNT me. I just went shopping at my local grocery store in Aichi Prefecture today, and… my GOD… even down to the “sakana, sakana” kind of song in the fish dept. And the store’s theme song replays itself about, oh, every 15 seconds, in case I haven’t heard it enough to make me want to jam chopsticks in my ears until the pain goes away. (Kids, don’t try this at home!) And of course, you can hear 2-3 different songs playing against each other if you stand in the right spot. It’s so awful, it’s wonderful.
The production staff did a great job of reproducing the generic grocery store I keep running across in Japan. (Well, in Aichi-ken.)
Shaga was awesome… especially when she would put on the “Voice” for Satou. That cracked me up. I love Ume, too. She’s totally whacked in the head. Is it Saturday Night already?
Heh, the “sakana” song, tell me about it. I ALWAYS hear that particular one everytime I visit those supermarkets, what was heard cannot be unheard, so it’s become practically impossible to erase from my mind. lol
here you are:
With all the awesome shows this season, this one one of like 2 that I keep up with on it’s weekly release. That’s how much I’m enjoying Ben-To!
(double post sorry)
Also did anyone else notice the way Shaga handled that *ahem* fight stick?
Kiiragi’s reviews suck, majorly.
I think this anime is about bento.
Oh come on now, you’re not even trying!
This episode was pure win…! Also Shaga looks like a Megane Hoshii Miki! (the multiple outfits at the OP plus the singing didn`t help either giving her the idol vibe)…
I genuinely like your article. It is evident that you have a great dealexpertise on this subject. Your points are nicely produced and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and fascinating material. I discovered this on Yahoo and I’m happy I did