Ben-To Anime Review

1Title: Ben-To

Director: Taku Iwasaki

Studio: David Production

US. Distributor: FUNIMATION

U.S. Release Date: Feb 3 2015

Format: DVD / 230 minutes / 12 Episodes

Genre: comedy, action, harem

Age Rating:  TV 14+

Overall Personal Rating: B



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?

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.


From the beginning, Ben-To proves to be an unique and quirky show. Despite the show’s overall quickness, many aspects of the show are fairly standard: the characters are standard anime archetype, it has a high school setting, and it is a harem show with fan service. Where the show truly shines is with its premise. The idea of people having all out brawls over half price food is in and of itself is silly enough, but when the fights are more of a sport and the combatants have a very strict code of honor, it become truly absurd. It is through this mix of over the top zany actions and the level of seriousness and commitment that the characters have for the actions that made the series to be both humorous and engaging.

One of the few complaints I have with Ben-To is with about half of the entire series. With the show only being 12 episodes it isn’t all that long, however with the show’s premise it was twice as long as it needed to be. It is quite unfortunate that the show’s greatest strength may also be one of its biggest downfalls. The show is divided in to two main story arcs: the first being about turf wars, revenge and who will emerge as the strongest fighter; the second is two bento brawlers who moved there from elsewhere in Japan. While the second story is not inherently bad, the first was much more interesting and by time the second story started, the novelty of the series had worn off. Combine that with a rather inconclusive ending, and it makes for a disappointing second half that just fell flat for me.

Overall Grade: B

Ben-To is by no means a profound or thought provoking show, but it is none the less entertaining. If you are looking for a campy comedy show, then Ben-To is fits that perfectly, being something one could watch without complete focus but still maintains enough of a plot so as to still be enjoyable.

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