Reviewed by Alicia Glass
In a land where students have very little pocket money, Yo Sato finds himself caught up in the underground world of street brawling over half-priced ben-to (meal boxes)!
I’ve watched a lot of anime at this point, and Ben-To is refreshingly original. There are all these interesting interpersonal relationships and long standing almost samurai-like feuds between these students, but remember, it’s all over fisticuffs involving half-priced food! Each combatant is considered a brawler, they all get told the rules very quickly, and often earn an unfortunate Title amongst themselves. Rule-abiding brawlers are considered Wolves, newcomers are called Dogs, and those with no respect for any rules or anything are commonly called Boars.
So Sato is brand new to this mess, but he has friends in the Half Priced Food Lovers Club. The Ice Witch, Sen Yarizui, whom Sato has a crush on, who takes him under her wing to learn the rules and how to fight. Ayame Shaga is apparently Sato’s first cousin, though she’s awfully touchy for all that. Ayame is known as the Beauty by the Lake, due to an unfortunate instance where she ate a ben-to and fell asleep on a park bench by a lake. Hana Oshiroi is an amateur yaoi (if you have to ask what that is, don’t bother) novelist who doesn’t seem to have a title, and that’s mainly because she doesn’t fight, she sneaks past the brawlers and grabs a ben-to for herself.
It truly is a well-done show, in the rather Anime fashion, with lots of drama and fighting and sexual tension, but remember, it’s all about Ben-to! For something new and honestly refreshing, certainly never stale, try Ben-To!