Ben-to 01: Half-Priced Food Lovers Club

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Of the three shows that seem to have goofy action sequences (Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon and Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!!) that pass off as overblown comedy, Ben-to finally takes the lead of the three to actually have a decent and recognizable back story. Ironically, all three shows tailor to school environments, but Ben-to takes the fantasy elements prominent in the other shows and just gives us some good old street fighting. Kind of reminds me of a certain YouTube video I watched not too long ago.

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The story begins with You Satou waking up after falling unconscious from a convenience store brawl he has no idea how he got involved in. With only hints being dropped of a ‘Ice Witch’ terrorizing the store soon after the sale lunch boxes hit the half-price mark, we soon come to realize that there’s more to fellow classmate Sen Yarizui and her white-haired, leggings-donned self than meets the eye.

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And the convenience store brawl? It’s a nightly battle royale for those seeking the best deals on the convenience store’s cheapest lunch boxes. Talk about dramatics. I went into this show thinking we were going to get nothing but a comedic and lighthearted look into the phenomenon of timed-sale bento and instead, I emerged jumping for joy at finding the next over-the-top, ridiculously dramatic show for this season to replace the likes of last season’s seemingly naive Sacred Seven. Sprinkle a hint of harem and you have yourself a fine full course meal of laughter, outrageous fight sequences over food that’s bad for you if you eat too much too frequently, and a great cast of characters to witness getting pummeled in their futile attempts at stopping the Ice Witch’s wrath of hunger.

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Notable Seiyuu Mentions:

– Hiro Shimono as Satou You; previously voiced Takuma Higuchi in Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu.
– Emiri Kato as Ayame Shaga (no appearance in 1st episode, unforunately); infamous as QB from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and my personal favorite – Kagami from Lucky Star
– Mariya Ise as Sen Yarizui or the ‘Ice Witch”; previously voiced my favorite Mayo Chiki gal, Masamune “Usage” Usami.
– Aoi Yuuki as Hana Oshiroi, Satou’s delightfully hyper stalker; previous voiced Victorique of Gosick and Madoka from Madoka Magica
– Ai Kayano as Ume Shiraume; previously voiced Hibino from last season’s Kamisama Dolls and Ayaka in Kamisama no Memochou
– Ayane Taketatsu as yet-t0-be-seen Asebi Inoue; previous voiced Kirino and Azusa in Oreimo and K-ON!, respectively

Next week: Sen proves that what she’s doing isn’t just for fun. And if this first episode is an indicator of how they’ll be doing these episode previews, then I’m more than delighted to see how the characters will be explaining it themselves – on-camera, after the last take, and paraphrased for your convenience.

First Impression Rating: 9/10. Extreme fight sequences, whacky sale bento concept, and enjoyable cast of seiyuu to listen to, Ben-to left me in stitches as the comedic high point of the Fall season so far.
Likelihood to Blog: 10/10. No way I’m going to miss what the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club is all about, especially when I’m such a glutton myself.

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