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Ben-To – 07, 08 »« Ben-To – 05

Ben-To – 06

「特製ザンギ弁当 795kcal」 (Tokusei Zangi Bentō 795kcal)
“Special Seasoned Duck Bento 795kcal”
♦ ♦ ♦

Dare I say short hair works better on her?

That’s not to say this arc was particularly bad, seeing as how they turned around the generic plot of taking over the world into one man’s quest for vengeance gone bad… which is, ok, still a little generic. But I’ll admit the surprise was refreshing, and parody-like with the characters almost mocking the fake plot. I couldn’t really get into the whole thing though. While the “twist” was great, the downside that came with it inevitably left the antagonists little screentime to develop. There was definitely potential for sympathy with Monarch, but he stays as a two-dimensional angry man who simply needs an ass whupping. The Fox guy also plays out exactly as I called it when he was introduced, so no variety there, except to reveal himself again when future arcs call for it. The girl in between it all remains the Disposable Woman, though to be fair, her gender didn’t really matter. Again, that’s only because there was hardly any time to develop the relationship between the three except a meager picture of them sharing a lunch one afternoon. However, the plot had layers, was weaved between multiple characters, revealed relationships between our protagonists, and put down the building blocks to support future arcs. Written down, a story arc like that sounds rather successful. So like I said, not particularly bad.

Momentum, how does it work?

A unique point to reflect on from recent eps is that the reason for which you fight always beats an inferior reason, despite all odds. It’s like the moral backbone of the show, and sorts out justice from injustice. Or so it shows. There’s actually a viewer’s bias, since we hear everything from the Wolf’s POV. We’re repeatedly told that the Dog clan is complete shit when they simply have a different way of doing things, such as efficiency vs dignity. But who defines dignity but the one stating it? One could say the Wolf clan is shit because they’re hypocrites. Banding together to fight a common enemy might be reasonable normally, but it should mean losing your honor since you’re not fighting your own battles. As such, the Dog clan is no less dignified, hence why I remarked in episode 3 that it made no sense if the aim was simply getting the bento. It’s the preference of how that happens that varies, and that’s subjective. There are also those that break the morals of what’s “humane,” but of course the Wolves are quick to label those as Dogs as well. There’s some connections to religion here, if not humanity’s terrible inability to accept difference in general. To be honest, it’s more likely that the Dogs are more of a trope than anything meaningful, but having not read the source material, I can’t say for sure. Alternatively, the emphasis on importance of Wolf pride is by no accident similar to the bushido code, where honor is king. As it stands, this POV is treasured in the show so far, and while as a homage to samurai is cool, it’s overdone (but what do you expect when it’s from Japan?). At this point, it could be considered even narcissistic. But if down the road the view is questioned, it could very well be seen as a deconstruction of Japanese values, if not asian culture in general, which would be awesome.

♦ ♦ ♦

The best result of it all is that generic villain #9465328 is begone! Satou is also oddly rising the ranks, having even beat Shaga in a one on one duel, completely undermining her title and weight as a character. So why is that not an important development? No battle shown, no reaction given. Very curious. Pretty sure he’ll get a title easy to ridicule as well. In any case, I genuinely look forward to the direction the rest of the story will take, and with a light arc authors generally start out with cleared, there might be some unique plotlines yet. And if not, welp, it will just join the thousands of other anime from wasted potential due to stupid choices from up top.


November 14, 2011 at 12:57 am
  • November 14, 2011 at 1:02 amfragb85

    Monarch was a douche. I really don’t mind the arc finishing fast, largely because the villain isn’t really that compelling. And its nice to see Satou kicking ass again.

    Only Satou can beat the crap out of a hot girl for food, then have the same girl sleep on his lap afterward. What a lucky bastard.

    P.S. Sen with torn stockings = Hawt!

  • November 14, 2011 at 1:57 amAshaman

    Didn’t Monarch mention that Shaga’s title was ‘just for show’ or something? Makes me think she might not deserve it as much as the others.

    And I’m calling it now. Satou’s title is going to be Pervert or some variation of, making the one time he fought in girls clothes an epic case of never living it down.

    • November 14, 2011 at 3:40 amKiiragi

      I believe that was only an insult, not a fact.

    • November 15, 2011 at 3:14 amBob

      really, how much are we supposed to trust Monarch’s judgment of fighters?

      in the end, for all his boasting, its presented as if he’s actually a pretty lousy fighter who is completely dependent on blindside cheap shots (using his “dogs” as cover) and the like.

      not sure if i’d believe the opinions of a guy like that!

  • November 14, 2011 at 2:30 amx

    Fun episode. Specially like how they didn’t beat Satou to a pulp this time. The ending of this arc was a tiny bit disappointing after all the setup from the last episode, but it’s still good enough. Wonder what will come next…

  • November 14, 2011 at 2:53 amewok40k

    LOL of the episode for me were the excerpts from the “Muscle Cop”, courtesy Oshiroi-chan :)
    Yay for yaoi fandom at its extreme!

  • November 14, 2011 at 2:53 amEspada

    i really should pick this up

  • November 14, 2011 at 3:16 amoutcast

    There’s an old hag in my bento!

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:41 amewok40k

      Dont insult – shes perfectly fine WOLF (Woman Of Lovely Form!), and dating the timeline well before 30. She was in college when fighting and retired year ago after graduating-n-marrying.

    • November 15, 2011 at 3:08 pmStranger

      Your hormones are malfunctioning.

      She is dead sexy.

  • November 14, 2011 at 3:22 am1-31

    I’ve got a feeling Satou’s nom has already been given, seen in the OP. What I’m thinking is Oshroi’s “Muscle Cop” is a big hit with the wolves, and seeing as he’s the main character for it…

  • November 14, 2011 at 3:26 amoutcast

    Where did my funniez go? You better be back next episode.

  • November 14, 2011 at 3:28 amoutcast

    Also what’s with the whole middle section of this review about moral constructs and so. Was the episode on itself so boring you start pulling serious shit into a battle bento anime. Son you are lost me thinks.

    • November 14, 2011 at 3:34 amKiiragi

      Serious episode = serious talk. Git wit it. Besides, there’s really not much to say about the show in general, so I try to throw in a little variety. Straightforward story, the rest are jokes.

      • November 14, 2011 at 3:46 amoutcast

        Then don’t or focus on the holes in ice queen’s leggings.

      • November 14, 2011 at 3:58 amKiiragi

        Right, because I must write to make you, and only you happy.
        Yeah, I don’t think so.

      • November 14, 2011 at 4:36 amoutcast

        Sounds good to me.

      • November 14, 2011 at 5:18 amKinny Riddle

        Judging by the speed your many responses to Kiiragi, it’s safe to say you’re just a Wind-Up Merchant. Unfortunately, the joke’s on you, since Kiiragi is the one that’s been doing all the trolling, including your inevitable response to this article in the first place.

        So go ahead and enjoy having the last word in this sub-thread now that I’m being generous and fed you this bait. As if anyone would care.

      • November 14, 2011 at 5:19 amoutcast

        Takes one to know one.

  • November 14, 2011 at 3:31 amHrmmmm


    Coolest punch I’ve seen in the past few years.

    • November 14, 2011 at 3:32 amHrmmmm

      *edits link

      This keeps happening for some reason =[
      Same steps but different result =\

  • November 14, 2011 at 4:51 amKinny Riddle

    First there’s Ma-chan, and then there’s the supermarket staff at Shaga’s turf – both are ex-Wolves. This gets me wondering if working as a supermarket “half-priced marker” is the standard career path for most Wolves? (The Wizard being the exception here, or maybe he plans to work in a supermarket overseas to help pay for his fees? lol )

    • November 14, 2011 at 6:28 amSerapita

      Maybe they work there just because they get to eat leftover stuffs at half-price too! Old habits die hard… >_>

  • November 14, 2011 at 4:53 amKunagisa

    Honestly my favorite episode this week among all the series I’m watching. Having never read the novel, I’m so glad I didn’t know they completely raped the novel’s plot.

    For a gag series, I never took the plot nor the lack of characterization seriously. The whole before I pass out I must eat my bento scene just sent me to the floor laughing (while spitting all over my monitor …). The only real complaint is that the episode started out stronger than the end, which was kinda whacky; however, the ridiculousness of everything honestly just out-weights the scripting issues for me.

    BGM and sound effects are so awesome (the close up shots are nice to blur the lack of choreography); screenshot 11 was actually a pretty badass sequence in the episode. 10/10 from me.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:03 amCybersteel

    Hmmm. Hentai Shounen would be a good name for him.

    • November 14, 2011 at 10:05 pmLuxorcist

      He is the one, the only… Hentai Tensai Shounen.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:06 amstarss

    Damn that woman is FINE.

    And yes, short hair does suit her better.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:24 amricz

    Can’t wait to see the two (twin?) white hair girl :/

  • November 14, 2011 at 6:30 amSerapita

    And I thought Monarch would last longer than this and we get to see some kind of the wolf-all-out-war. :/

    • November 14, 2011 at 7:38 amewok40k

      Seems his career was short… as a butterfly’s lifespan!
      (puts the shades on!) cue CSI theme

  • November 14, 2011 at 9:59 amSnicket

    This last episode felt more like an end.Instead of a mid season episode. There isn’t really much left to go beyond this. Unless they switch gears and focus on character development.(Not saying this should turn into a slice of life series.)
    Another villain would just seem out of place at this point.

    • November 14, 2011 at 5:21 pmomeganx

      I feel the same way

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:11 amYanDaMan263

    Well im disappointed with this development, after all that build-up the previous episode had for this invasion of territories, it turned out to be so petty and got wrapped up in just 1 episode.

    You would also think the Monarch would’ve put up a better fight than mindlessly swinging a shopping cart around. From the looks of it he probably couldnt even beat Yarizui 1 on 1 which is pathetic for a supposed “boss” character.

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:22 amStöt

    This review was Okay.
    It just could have been shorter.

  • November 14, 2011 at 11:37 amThe Shizard

    Not the strongest episode but certainly still entertaining.
    Can’t get enough of this nonsense! LOVE IT!

  • November 14, 2011 at 1:34 pmShirt

    Kiiragi’s presentation alone makes me want to pick this up.

  • November 14, 2011 at 5:45 pmSOSAnimeBoy

    Was I the only one who thought “RAPE TIME!” when the fox-guy was leaving the room and looked back and the lady had that oddly creepy smile on while Monarch lay there on the couch?

  • November 14, 2011 at 7:48 pmThe Moondoggie

    So Monarch Butterfly(now retired and is a Half-price Goddess), the current Monarch and the other dude were friends who dominated the West? And all three of them were defeated by eastern wolves?

    Sounds more like a shounen samurai fantasy adventure rather than some fight for lunchboxes…

  • November 14, 2011 at 8:54 pmAlex

    Good episode, I hope when you say “bright future”, I hope you’re saying “less Ume”. Because to me, any episode without her and her brand of “comedy” is a always a good thing.

  • November 14, 2011 at 9:39 pmHalfDemonInuyasha


    So adorable…

    Nice to see Brunette again too for a few seconds, lol.

  • November 14, 2011 at 10:12 pmFlamingYu

    preview is that fat dude? Shiraume is returning.
    Whenever there’s that fat dude, there’s Ume.

    I hope Satou’s title won’t be “The Main Character”. As shown in the OP.

  • November 15, 2011 at 3:56 amAndré

    “So why is that not an important development?” I think because he’s a perverted.

  • November 15, 2011 at 1:56 pmMarow



  • November 15, 2011 at 7:04 pmGeoff

    I don’t see too many anime with a motorcycle in them, let alone a kawasaki 250r :D

    I thought that was cool but I’m totally bias.

  • November 17, 2011 at 2:00 ammomogoldfish

    I respectfully disagree with Kiiragi’s interpretation of this anime as an deconstruction of traditional samurai values. Rather I submit that this anime should best be interpreted as a critique of capitalism using the half-priced bentous as an microcosm to illustrate the reification of the supply and demand paradigm and consequently the degeneration of human civilisation back to a primitive cultural levels of ‘rule of the jungle’. Notice also the return of irrational superstition with the ‘half-priced gods’ and the feminist angle whereby the capitalist nature of society reinforces traditional gender roles since the only way women can escape from the jungle is through marriage.

  • November 17, 2011 at 12:34 pmshin

    lol looked like kyo clones in this episode (king of fighters) fighting for bento. Now that the beat one of the strongest, I wonder if they are going to turn to conquering the nation XD.

    Train ticket 3800 yen
    bento 320 yen
    Beating the crap out of people for food…priceless