Anime for the Bento EnthusiastsPublished on October 24th, 2011.
Posts on Bento are really popular around here so I’m assuming we have a lot of Bento lovers in our midst! Well, you’re in for a treat because this Fall, a new anime premiered and it’s all about Bento (with a slight twist)! In Ben-To, students at a prestigious high school must cope with school and life expenses that usually leave little budget for food. In this town, students fight hunger by…fighting each other of course! Half-priced bentos that are offered everyday at local supermarkets are fought over like treasures. Fists fly, and blood pours. Winner gets a full stomach while loser eats instant noodles.
The fighters called themselves “wolf” and fight hard to get the limited amount of half-priced bentos. The story centers on Satou You (main guy), Yarizui Sen (the quiet but tough one), and Oshiroi Hana (the weirdo). Other characters are introduced later, but this is the main trio so far. This is a harem-style anime with one lucky dude in a sea of females. I don’t usually watch these shows, but my love for bento makes me watch on and I’m glad I did.
Despite the crazy plot, I find it really funny and interesting. The show combines slice-of-life (with the mundane topic) and action similar to the likes of Cheeky Angel. There’s also a healthy mix of comedy to lighten the mood. Each episode is titled around a particular type of bento and you learn more about the wolf’s way of life as the show progresses. For instance, there are rules to the ways these fights are carried out like you are only allowed to get one bento and you can’t attack and take someone else’s bento. So there’s an underlying pride to these fighters despite their facade of desperation.
However, what makes the show great isn’t the fighting but this great sense of closure at the end of every episode when everyone manages to win a bento and eat together. So if you’re willing to suspend belief for 30 minutes and enjoy this bento-craze universe, I think you’ll really enjoy this show.