Ben-To (ベン・トー) is a comedic Japanese light novel series written by "Asaura," with illustrations by Kaito Shibano. The story was spun off into a manga prequel (Ben-To Zero: Road to Witch) and an anime adaptation that premiered in the Fall 2011 season. Funimation picked up the US streaming rights in February 2014, and will release the dub Summer 2014.A freshman high school student named Yō Satou sees some half-priced (translate: 4-hour old) pre-packaged bento (think: lunchboxes) in a nearby grocery store, and goes to grab one, only to end up unconscious on the floor of the store a brief moment later. He soon discovers that the half-priced bento are Serious Business in this neighborhood. A group of young punks referred to as "Wolves" fight each other in a series of ultra-violent brawls just to get one of the discounted packages, and Satou is warned to stay away from them if he values his life.However, he continues to ignore the warnings of both his classmates and the stockboy at the store until one day, when the "Ice Witch" offers to train him in the ways of the Wolves. With her help, he just might survive long enough to buy a half-priced bento box at the grocery store.Don't believe us? See for yourself.
Ben-To provides examples of:
Action Dress Rip: Played with. During her first fight, Shaga's wearing a dress she was forced into, and uses a pair of chopsticks to hike it up to her hip.
Boobs of Steel: Zig-zagged. Ayame is the bustiest character (so far) but is below a less-endowed Yarizui in terms of fighting capability, but Matsy used to be the "Monarch Butterfly", the strongest Wolf in the east, and she's bustier (even back then) than Yarizui is.
Hounds, nothing. The Club of Heracles figured out a rather smart, if incredibly dickish, way of dealing with Orthros. Rather than trying to beat them, he got all of the other wolves to not start the brawl until after the Sawagis walked up and took the bento they wanted. Because the Sawagis' Goal in Life from a very young age had been to participate in the bento brawls, this ended up as an extremely traumatic experience that they still have nightmares about three years down the road. Thanks to Satou being the Hot-BloodedDeterminator that he is, however, this didn't work when he tried it again.
Dark and Troubled Past: Orthros, since the Club of Heracles essentially ejected them from the only thing they'd wanted to do since they were toddlers. They were traumatized to the point where they retired from hunting for three years, moved to another city, and still have nightmares over the incident.
Determinator: Pretty much a necessary quality for all of the Wolves.
Satou shows this fairly early on, as he keeps going back for half-priced bento, despite a near concussion and the warnings of several people.
Yarizui also deserves mention. She is ambushed on her way to a store, but still manages to stumble into the market, determined to fight a larger, and demonstrably powerful fighter to claim her half-priced bento. And with a Big Damn Heroes moment by Shaga and Satou, she delivers the coup-De-grace and wins.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: Not here. Ume forces her way into Oshiroi's room to sexually harass her. The scene is quite creepy and Oshiroi is in visible distress throughout. The sad thing is that Ume is more than likely very sincere about her affections for Oshiroi.
Embarrassing Nickname: Nikaido brands Satou as "Pervert". This also applies to just about every nom de Guerre, despite most sounding cool on the surface.
Enemy Mine: It is not uncommon for rival Wolves to team up against common threats, like Boars and invading Wolves.
Eye Catch: One having a hand pull off the cover of a bento with the show's logo upon it, with "Ben-to!" being said along with revealing the contents which included a female character relevant to the episode lying in it in a fairly Fanservice-y way. Episode 9 had the hand try and fail to pull the cover off and stopped saying "Ben-to!" half-way through the "o" sound. In the Bluray release, this episode's eyecatch had the hand reveal the entire female cast naked, instead of failing to pull the cover off.
In the Pool Episode, Nikaido tells Satou that he's been spreading around "Pervert" as the latter's nom de guerre. Sato protests, but totally drops the issue to eavesdrop on the four girls discussing their underwear and bodies in the neighboring locker room.
Nikaido promptly chews him out for this, but as soon as Matsuba joins in, he starts listening alongside Satou.
Ayame becomes uncomfortable when Ume gets handsy with her, despite her molesting Hana just before.
Imagine Spot: Satō gets one, of the Ice Witch blushing and covering herself while nude, as he wonders what the Ice Witch said to him beyond the store window and thinks it was a love confession before collapsing from his trauma.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: The identity of Orthros is initially a mystery because their victims always end up beaten so badly that they somehow remember facing Orthros, but not seeing them.
Long Title: Episode 10 of the anime is titled "It tasted warm and kind, just as my grandmother used to cook. Japanese food, kind to the heart and the body. Fried chicken with plums, dried sardines and seasonal vegetables. 480 kcal."
Magic Skirt: Females involved in the brawls fear not flashing their goods.
Made of Iron: In episode 3, You dives into a lit incinerator to try and save his clothes, gets out with only a few bruises, and he's perfectly able and ready to dive back into the food fight that following night.
Male Gaze: When talking with Ume, Yo never pays any attention to her face. The camera shows him looking at her legs instead.
And it does NOT stop there. Even Sen and the faceless brunette are targets of his Male Gaze.
Sen's and Ayame's are also the result of this. Sen once attempted to buy a Chu-Hi Ice (a type of Vodka mixer) with her bento, while Ayame fell asleep in Lake Park after eating her first Honor Seal Bento.
Orthros is the only example that averts this trope, as their name derives from a genuinely fearsome two headed dog from Greek myth.
Episode 12 cuts away from the final battle between Satou, Nikaido, and Shaga vs. Kyo & Kyo, only stating afterwards that the trio won.
The final brawl when Orthros suffers their first true loss in the series only shows the very start.
One-Hit Kill: Surprisingly enough, none of the characters in the anime really have a signature, instant kill move. The closest we get is in Zero, where Uzu's special move is the ability to completely paralyze a person with a single blow.
Panty Shot: After his memory returns after being attacked by "Ice Witch" for a second time, Yo tries to remember whether or not he saw her panties when he was getting kicked. He is woken up just before he could remember.
Put on a Bus: Episode 6 ends with the Wizard leaving to study abroad.
Raging Stiffie: Satou in Episode 5 after he gets knocked out by the Monarch and wakes up with the store's young, female God of Discounts standing over him. And again in episode 7, when Brunette's top rips open and Shaga rubs her breasts against his back. It ends up working to his advantage, however, as he can use it on a costume's arm as a rudder to help steer him to the Bento.
Rage Quit: In Episode 8, Sen throws Satou's Sega Dreamcast out the window after losing consecutive matches to Ayame, Asebi, and Satou without being able to land a single hit on any of them.
Reality Ensues: Satou actually does get hospitalized for his injuries in episode 8. However, said injuries were the result of jumping out of a 5 story window rather than a Bento brawl. Also subverted - he's perfectly fine, and the bandages were a prank by Shaga.
The Tease: Sen in getting Satou and Oshiroi into joining her club.
Ayame is also one.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: When Satou runs from a guard unwilling to let him see Shaga in her dormitory who strips him down to his underwear and seeks to shove a D Battery in his ass for the attempt, other guards eventually join in on the chase, wearing military-grade armour and carrying assault rifles. Footage of the chase in episode 9 reveals they fired on him, threw a grenade at him, and used Fast Roping to get to him. After a boy in his underwear.
Weirdness Censor: For the most part, the regular grocery store shoppers don't seem to notice or care about the fact that their supermarkets turn into literal warzones every night.
While the blood-splatter from Sen being attacked attracts a crowd and gossip spreading word of it, no one seems to have cared enough to alert the police about a gang in black attacking a high-school student.
Wham Episode: Episode 10, doubling as Gut Punch. The Kyo twins curbstomp the entire cast (except the Wizard), including Sen herself, over the course of the episode.
The Worf Effect: Monarch gets beaten up by Orthros so badly that it's implied he'll give up on half priced food hunting all together. He doesn't though.
Also, many of the recurring Wolves like Brunette, Monk, and Beardy have suffered this fate as well.
To heck with all those characters, the real one who gets Worfed is The Ice Witch, who gets beaten up rather easily by Orthros, see Worf Had the Flu.
Orthros themselves suffer this multiple times, such as when get beaten by the Wizard later on.
Worf Had the Flu: The episode after her defeat by Orthos, Sen would later reveal she had a small cold that night and would stay home in bed trying to recover the next day, only to sabotage herself and make it worst.