Bento: Complete Series
DVD + Blu-ray
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Every day an epic struggle rages in grocery stores across Japan—the battle for half-priced bento boxes! Once the discount stickers go on, ravenous brawlers start throwing punches in a knockdown, drag-out war over who gets to take home the cheap eats. When a young, broke high school student named Sato joins the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club, he proves to be a rising talent in the world of insane food fights. But does he have what it takes to become the king of clearance cuisine? From the director of Black Cat comes a very different type of hunger games. Welcome to the world of Ben-To, where chopsticks are lethal weapons, the supermarket is a battleground, and there’s nothing more delicious than a deep-fried win.
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- Comments: This is a silly anime without a doubt. However, due to the serious-nature of the fights, it is more dramatic and suspenseful than it implies. It isn't plot-heavy, but is more simplistic and for those seeking both comedy and action, with a side of fan-service. The fan-service is moderate, considering it isn't enough to bump it up to the TV-MA rating just for that alone. But keep this in mind in case fan-service isn't for you.
- Analysis: While beating each other up for food may be exaggerated and silly, it is not all that surprising. People fight over things more than people might realize. This includes political, religious, sports, opinionated views, and many others. Even things such as console wars, pc vs. consoles, best girl/waifu debates, dakimakuras (body/hug pillows), animes, etc. In short, it doesn't matter what, people can always find ways to fight over things, whether using their body or words. This probably infers that life is filled with conflict, among other things.
Additionally, fighting over discounted food is relatable and relevant to reality, as well. Consider Black Friday. Although, I think most people typically aim for electronics, fundamentally, the circumstances are similar. Without too much effort, there should be plenty of videos or situations in which people fought over products or even died when they participated in these kinds of situations. Especially when new game consoles are released, such as Nintendo's Switch, caution must be exercised as a person's desires may outweigh their rationality.
Another addressed concept is the juxtaposition and dissonance of the two main genres related to this anime: comedy and action. Typically, comedy focuses on dialogue and exposition, as well as antics and character development to engage the viewer. Action typically revolves around cool and/or flashy fight scenes to impress the viewer. Many people might find this interesting and fresh due to variety. Others may find it inconsistent and unorganized due to lack of consolidation. Just about everything is subjective. So, you can decide which of the two applies to your experience with the anime: whether it's about variety to appeal to many viewers, or specialized content to appeal to specific viewers. The same could be said for a person's style and content of reviewing products.
- Features: English and Japanese audio with English subtitles. Includes 12 episodes on 2 DVDs, and 12 episodes on 2 Blu-rays. Rated TV-14 for moderate fan-service, and violence.
- Conclusion: A whacky and simplistic anime that's more aimed at males due to the contents: action and fan-service. To help balance out the action, there's plenty of social interactions to help with character development and comedy to keep the viewer engaged. Regardless of the anime, there's plenty of things to keep in mind or consider. If at least some of these addressed points align with your views, this anime might be for you.
- Recommendations: D-Frag!, Shokugeki no Souma, The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Needless, Ikkitousen, Sekirei, Sky Wizards Academy, Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, Freezing, Cross Ange, Code:Breaker, High School of the Dead, High School DxD, Maken-Ki!, Durarara!!, Kenzen Robo Daimidaler, Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar, Akikan!, So, I Can't Play H!, Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, and Chobits.
The animation and soundtrack fit perfectly together and voice cast selected for both the Japanese and English subbed and dubbed did a terrific job voicing their character roles. The extras are pretty much the same as with most of these sets commentaries and trailers. So if you like anime series like Baka&Test or fighting animes like Kenichi the Mightiest disciple this one is well worth getting for your anime collection.
In my personal opinion, it's one of my favorite anime's despite it being short. Perhaps they'll consider creating a second season. I would be ecstatic at that announcement, as i'm sure I wouldn't be the only one. If you haven't seen it yet, and are looking at reviews, I can safely recommend this show to you. Just to give you an idea of my tastes My top three shows in order from 1st to 3rd, are, Dragonball Z, Fullmetal Alchemist, & One piece, with Dragonball tailing not far behind. I'm not deeply into anime shows but i know a handful, and can appreciate the the style and storytelling that comes with them. With all that said, "Ben-To" has a spot in my top 10. I only wish they would expand on the show more. Maybe that time will be soon, but until then I'll just have to wait.
If you like intense action with great humor and no heart wrenching drama look no further.