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DVD Review

DVD cover

Complete Series


Starring (voice): Emiri Katō, Hiro Shimono and Mariya Ise
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 16 March 2015

On a regular visit to his local convenience store, Yo Sato finds himself unconscious on the floor. Being a change from his normal boring life this unexpected event makes him want to go back and find out what had happened. Returning to the store, he is again beaten when he reaches for some half priced Bento. This introduces Yo to the secret fights over half-priced food...

Ben To (2011. 12 eps) is an anime show directed by Shin Itagaki. The show’s main theme is the fight that the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club gets into over Bento, which is a Japanese form of TV dinner, usually of rice and fish. Yo gets recruited by one of their best fighters, Sen Yarizui. Think less fight club, more fish club.

Following his introduction to the group, the show takes the traditional model for shows aimed at teenage boys, the girls are sexualised, expect to see a lot of panties on display and characters who are a little over endowed for their age. The rest of it revolves around Yo being at high school and the romantic liaisons and jealousies which abound.

The characters are wacky and do get some progression through the show, but the real reason to watch the show is the fights. Like many contemporary shows Ben To has fighters with different styles, which they use to change up the pairing. It’s a silly idea for a silly show and will only work if you buy into the idea that high school kids would engage in violent fights over half-priced food.

On the audio side you have option for the original 2.0 Japanese cast, with subtitles or the 5.1 English dub. Bonuses on the discs include a full length commentary for episode three and seven. The second disc has the three textless opening and closing sequences for the show which covers all of the three songs used. You also get the U trailer and Bento Brawl with Justin Rojas and Joel McDonald (3 min 01 sec) which has real people recreating a Bento Brawl.

It’s a silly, light show, which does have some charm.


Charles Packer

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