DVD Review: Ben-To Complete Series Collection
It’s not just dinner, it’s a matter of victory!
Ben-to is originally a Japanese light novel series written by Asaura, with illustrations by Kaito Shibano. Shueisha published 15 novels from February 2008 to February 2014. Shibano also illustrates three manga adaptations, and a fourth manga is drawn by Sankaku Head. The name literally is to mirror the word Bento box but adding that ‘-‘ makes it a lot more easier to Google against all those tasty packed lunch photos online.
After the success from the light novel it was adapted into a 12-episode anime TV series You follow protagonist Sato Yo who is a high school boy who is really into SEGA games and is a poverty stricken student. One day, he enters a grocery store to buy some food for dinner and finds a section of reduced bento boxes, when he tries to take a bento box, he loses consciousness. He comes around to find all the bento sold out.
It turns out there is a professional war game going on at grocery stores, one of the larger groups are called “Wolves” who compete for the half-priced bento. Yarizui Sen, the leader of the Half-Pricer Club, notices Yo and starts off warning him off from the fights but then eventually tricks him into joining the bizarre club and is engrossed into the bento war.
Throughout this confusion before it turns into his life mission he also encounters Hana Oshiroi, at first glance a bit of a ditz and also obsessed with Yo and the bento war. She follows him around all the time. Later you discover she writes Yaoi erotic novels, she also is the reason Yo get’s beaten up a lot as the Student Council President Ume Shiraume is in turn obsessed with Oshiroi.
Also the term ‘Wizard’ gets thrown around alot this guy is a veteran and previous half pricer Club president who taught Sen everything she knows then eventually left the club, his name is Yū Kaneshiro and is encountered by Yo who is always left in awe by his movement.
This is anime simply follows the club members and their mission to beat other fighters to get bento boxes, you learn the un said rules of the games, respecting and playing as fair as possible to gain the stickers to symbolise your victory. I would class it as slice of life as they often hang about at school doing not a lot and when they are not they are fighting or there are some mild etchi moments.
The animation is pretty slick and apart from that I didn’t really love anything else. Not the sort of anime I would go for but at least it was short and easy to digest.
Label: Manga Entertainment
Release date: 16th March 2015
Running time: 24 min. per episode
Genre: Slice of Life/Martial Arts
Director: Shin Itagaki