20 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Ben-To episode 1

If you have a stocking fetish, you may as well drop everything and watch the first episode of Ben-To now. The camera seemed to be permanently fixed on the upper thigh region of every girl, showing off their shiny black stockings or a particularly nice example of zettai ryouiki. For everyone else, read on.

The story for Ben-To was probably thought up by someone who caught sight of a lunchtime rush to buy the last bread roll in school and decided to combine that with the sales rush after Christmas to create the ultimate battle zone. Ben-To is my least favourite kind of anime to review. It is neither good enough to praise nor bad enough to rip apart. In something like Phi Brain, where it takes its puzzle plotlines with utmost seriousness, apparently not aware of how goofy a line like “set those puzzles free” sounds, I can mock it until the cows come home. There’s no joy in taking the piss out of Ben-To when it’s already taking the piss out of itself.

But if you’re going to have such a nonsense premise, you have to be funny, and Ben-To just isn’t. The only time I laughed was at the halftime eyecatch because of how enthusiastically the man yelling the title. The animation is fairly atrocious too, with the fight scenes devolving into nothing more than shaky cameras, speed lines and stills. Despite the harem set up, there’s very little in the way of T&A (apart from the aforementioned stockings fetish), which I might normally class as a good thing, but the T&A might have at least distracted me long enough to not notice the awful animation.

And then there’s the main character. OK guys, imagine this craaaazy concept: A main character with a personality. Woooaaaah, I know. Revolutionary, right? You might be forgiven for thinking that having no personality whatsoever was a pre-requisite for being the lead character, especially if this anime season was anything to go by. But no, just look at Steins;Gate. That anime was based off a visual novel, where usually you’re just meant to project yourself into the supposed lead, but it managed to overcome that obstacle and provide us with one of the most memorable anime leads of all time. It’s not difficult you know. You gave the side characters personality. Now apply that same logic to the main character and hey presto, you’re already better than 80% of anime out there today.

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  1. 3242
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Your saying the main character of a anime I shall never watch, ever, unless my life is at stake, has no personality? DARN!

    might of made me watch it.
    Just for the personality

  2. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    The only real positive I can say about this show, is that it really made me want to re-watch Evangelion for some reason…

    • romulus
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      wow there goes my third reason to watch this long-ago-written-off-as-shit anime. second was the personality. first was… :#

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Looks like this lunch was



    • DesuSexual
      Posted October 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        Not to mention the main character who’s pretty



  4. iCrab
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I think you took this show too serious. The whole thing came off spoofy to me and I thought it was great.

    Loved the Norio Wakamoto impression too, how did you miss that?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Really? I took it too seriously? Isn’t that exactly what I wasn’t doing? Isn’t this just a standard fall back argument people use when I explain why I didn’t like something?

      • iCrab
        Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

        so.. >:]

  5. Marow
    Posted October 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    This will so oh so great and you know it.

  6. Posted October 10, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed the pantyhose/stocking fetish thing going on. I’m sure it’ll be vital for character development later on in the series which is why they’re taking the time to detail every type of legging now.

  7. Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Fit for someone with a stockings fetish? Sign me up.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Well, I’m watching another episode too, so yeah. Stockings. Yeah…

  8. Anna Ki
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    That IS some quality Grade A zettai ryouiki… and I’m not even a stockings person.

  9. Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Huh, seems like it’s one of the few times I have to disagree with you. I thought it had a great sense of mystery despite the goofiness. Also, a Norio Wakamoto impression.

  10. Posted October 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The one thing that bugged me the whole episode was the question why the hell the main-character bothers… It’s not like he’s a candidate for a ‘Street Fighter’-character or something like that. And he isn’t poor either, at least nobody said anything like that in this episode.
    And why the hell do these guys who fight each other over Bentos bother to give each other nicknames?
    The weirdness of it was kinda funny as far as the idea goes but it seems very mediocre the way it’s portrayed in the first episode.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      They did do some little maths equation as to why he needed to buy lunch. Apparently it wasn’t economical for him to make his own which, as someone who cooks for myself all the time, I can say with certainty is bullshit

      • Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Ah, damn, forgot that part totally… But it doesn’t really changes much about how much sense it makes for him to go there, I guess. Can’t he simply go somewhere else? It’s not like he’s living in some backwater-town with only one puny supermarket. That supermarket should get concurrence in the form of one that not only allows its customers to fight for these Bentos but also features built-in deadly traps. Because it’s the challenge that attracts these group of customers. Seemingly they think that as long as they don’t fight like cavemen over their food it isn’t worth the trouble of buying it. It’s like they want to convince the audience that even Tarzan can find a place in today’s society.

  11. Chris
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    “tonight I dine on bento” Was that a 300 reference?

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