Bennett White, a.k.a. Bennett the Sage, is an Internet video producer on That Guy with the Glasses, whose matter-of-fact style contrasts with the more theatrical reviewers on the site. He can be found here and on his own site. Bennett hosts or has hosted five series:
Sage Reviews, in which he covers recent video games in a traditional analytical review style (ie, to help viewers decide whether or not to purchase them) rather than purely for entertainment. In November 2013, he announced that he was formally retiring Sage Reviews.
Anime Abandon, where he looks at vintage anime primarily from the '80s and '90s, some classics, some terrible. This series is closer to the entertainment-based sketch reviews done by other TGWTG contributors.
Sage Vs, where he reviews new movies in a vlog format with his friend Gabe.
Super Toolshed, a podcast he does with Mark the Engineer, in which they talk about pretty much whatever they feel like.
Bennett also makes regular cameos in other TGWTG personalities' videos, where he portrays himself with a sadistic persona, thanks to an early crossover with Ask That Guy with the Glasses. He does an annual anime review crossover with the Spoony One (which led to the creation of Anime Abandon) and makes frequent appearances on The JesuOtaku Anime Review, where he subjects her to truly horrendous softcore garbage.He also voices a hapless announcer on Zone Archive's YouTube series.
Accentuate the Negative: 90% of his game reviews are like this (it seems like the only triple-A FPS title he genuinely liked over the past few years were Killzone 3 and Resistance 3, two titles he really gushes over, while cross-platform and Xbox titles tend to get much more critical treatment). Unlike Yahtzee or Bennett's own Anime Abandon reviews, the negativity is played completely straight instead of done in a bombastic, jokey manner, which has led detractors to complain it comes across as grouchy, nitpicky, and Feigning Intelligence.
Sometimes averted in his Anime Abandon reviews, where even if he doesn't like a certain thing he will acknowledge some of its good points, or in the case of AKIRA and Neon Genesis Evangelion, its influence on anime culture as a whole. This is especially evident in his review of Perfect Blue, which he says he doesn't hate but doesn't really like either, and that he can tell it was Kon's first film since certain parts of it feel weak compared to his later work.
Suave, well—as poor Censor Kaiser asks in horror, "Are you more boner than man?!"
Art Evolution: In the commentary for Mad Bull 34, Mark the Engineer notes the horrible animation from the earlier episodes of Anime Abandon, and says that will change in upcoming episodes. Cue the next review, Apocalypse Zero, where Censor Kaiser goes from his original still shot to an updated animated version based on the Laughing Man logo.
Based on his Macross Plus review, he hit Rob Paulsen's button regarding Evangelion.
Apparently for Mark the Engineer, using two dashes and a carat as an arrow in a review instantly wrecks the quality of the video, according to the Mad Bull 34 commentary.
Hearing Kuwabara's name mispronounced as "Kuwahara"note the main difference being the lack of a dakuten when written in hiragana in the dub of Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report. If you listen close he yells so loud it echoes.
In the show itself, the point in the Junk Boy review, where Sage is suddenly visited by the floating head of Vic Mignogna.
During the Tokyo Revelations review, he decides it's time to retire his Big Book of Gay Jokes. Cut to a scene with Sage giving a tear-filled goodbye to it, only for it to suddenly turn bitter as he realizes that it used to belong to Jeff Dunham.
Bishōnen: Dislikes the trope, as seen in the Devil Hunter Yohko, Fatal Fury, and Armitage reviews.note Could be construed as somewhat heteronormative. See the YMMV tab.
Sage: I know that I'm a mostly straight male and I'm not supposed to get it, but I just feel like women who like men who look like women are probably lying to themselves a little.
Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When reading My Immortal, the caption states that he couldn't decide whether to voice a secondary character as gay or annoying, so he made the character sound annoyingly gay.
Happens YET AGAIN in "Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer Part I", with him noting that while it was just a wild guess in X that he got right, Gowcaizer straight up shoved it into his face, making him cringe badly.
Doug Walker appears in The Ultimate Teacher and Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
Ed Glaser appears in Garzey's Wing and Space Thunder Kids (the latter of which also has Angry Joe)
Todd in the Shadows showed in two music list episodes (Top Five Best and Worst Covers of All Time, asking him to do a music list; and Top 20 Worst #1 Hits, both calling out Bennett for just putting "Glory of Love" at #19 and being called out for not including Ciara's "Goodies" in his list of the worst hits of 2004).
Cheshire Cat Grin: Sage is a master of the really pervy, unsettling grin. It helps that he has really prominent cuspids.
Chivalrous Pervert: Sage really doesn't like it when people get Fanservice wrong, especially when they clearly lack restraint and do things that are laced with Unfortunate Implications. He's also noted how Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, and hates it when works depict most women in their casts as incompetent or nothing more than fanservice fodder. During his review of the 2012 Tomb Raider reboot, he also mentions that he was really rooting for it to be a good game, because he wanted there to be a strong, admirable woman to be a real icon in video games again. That being said, he will revel in fanservice that is done well, such as in Cutey Honey where he explains that he finds fan service much easier to stomach if the character it's done to is actually likable, citing Honey as one such character.
Another example: When he reviews the Lady Death animated film and discusses the comic book it was based off of, he views its complete reliance upon sex appeal and unrealistic female body proportions very negatively, and gives the film's subpar animation and writing no passes because of it either.
Country Matters: Used on a number of occasions by Bennett himself, particularly in Angel Cop,Love Hina and Virgin Fleet. However, he has recently said that he wants to cut down on gendered profanity like this, because he knows how much it can offend the female members of his audience.
A Date with Rosie Palms: Subverted during his Starchaser crossover with The Nostalgia Critic, while apparently getting orgasmic at the sight of the Critic breaking down upon realizing that both this film and the Garbage Pail Kids movie are distributed by the same company:
Bennett: *holds up bottle of lotion* "Excuse me for a moment, folks. I've got some business to take care of." *cut to commercial*
*cut back after commercial, he is rubbing his elbows* "What? I have crusty elbows!"
Drowning My Sorrows: When one of Sage's friends explains that most Sonic fans treat Sonic The Hedgehog The Movie either with Fanon Discontinuity or booze, he responds by saying "Whelp, mama didn't raise me to be no liar," and pulling out a bottle of bourbon. He manages to drink three bottles of Wild Turkey over the course of the first half of the review.
He elaborates on this in the review itself, saying that it's actually very hard to say anything about it because of several reasons: he can't show the violence, he can't make jokes about it because there's basically no humour in it whatsoever (and he doesn't want to make jokes about gang-rape and child murder), and he doesn't hate it enough to rage at it.
Played straight with his review of Violence Jack, where he couldn't bring himself to actually review it. That's right, the only person to make Ask That Guy squeamish found something even he was too offended by to review.
Evil Overlord: What Bennett would become if he had a Galaxy-Destroying Cannon.
Fangirl: He doesn't have any, as memorably said in his Q&A video.
Faux Symbolism: Brings this up in his Golgo 13 review, pointing out how the title character being named after Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified, as well as the number of people at the Last Supper is the most interesting thing about him as a character. invoked
He realizes that for Jubei to have casually shown up while Kagero is being raped in Ninja Scroll means that Jubei must have been there for a while but didn't do anything to stop it, and concludes that Jubei is a dick. invoked
Also invoked in the X review, as seen under Freud Was Right above. He proceeds to scream his head off when he makes the connection.
Fridge Logic: Starts to wonder how it is that Koenma in Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report is not only drowning in the River Styx, but also gargling, when he has a pacifier in his mouth before he interrupts himself with "Wait! Cartoon! Fuck it." invoked
Gagging on Your Words: After a Virgin Fleet character says that nobody believes in Virgin Energy anymore and that it's an old myth — even though it was established earlier that this energy do exist in the universe of the OAV — Sage finds himself forced to apologize to Evangelion: Death & Rebirth:
Bennett: *Holding the DVD in his hand* I'm... I'm s... I'm s... We're cool, right?
German Language: In his End of Evangelion he rages about the terrible pronunciation of Seele in the series (which is actually quite alright), and then gives his "correction" (which he fucks up royally).
Girl on Girl Is Hot: He laments that the girl-on-girl scene in Cloud Mows the Lawn comes after virtually nothing but scat scenes.
Giving Up On Logic: Subverted. During his review of Project A-Ko, he starts to wonder about whether he is so used to strange things in anime that nothing can faze him any more. Naturally, we get an immediate cut to something weird that disconcerts him, which prompts Sage to conclude that he hasn't reached that point just yet.
Gratuitous Rape: He's brought up several times in Anime Abandon that he hates it when shows use this trope just for shock value, and takes special issue with the incestuous rape subplot in Doomed Megalopolis, and seriously considers ending the review right then because he'll just continue to be pissed off about it for the rest of the review. Rather ironic considering how he acts in character. He even lampshades it:
I know who I am when I'm saying this, but rape is possibly the worst thing one can do to another. Such an act, if included in a narrative, will bring it to a grinding halt. You have to respect your audience and address the issue directly. You do not diminish this violent act by making it the sidestory.
Has something to this effect towards "The End of Evangelion", pondering his life choices.
One for Censor Kaiser in Apocalypse Zero, as Bennett's need to show certain risque footage conflicts with his need to censor nudity, resulting in a Logic Bomb that causes him to explode.He got better, however.
Sage himself has one when he tries (emphasis on tries) to review Violence Jack due to his moral boundaries, to the point where the entire review is him and Mark trying to puzzle out a format he thinks he can stomach, until he decides to not do a review at all.
It also takes him most of the second part of the Genocyber review to figure out who else the female doctor's voice actress has voiced. See I'm Going to Hell for This for the result.
Bennett quickly realizes that the voice actress playing the Muggle Best Friend in Devil Hunter Yohko is the same one who played Asuka in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Bennett doesn't have anything personal against the voice actress, but he makes it clear in the Evangelion reviews how much he hates Asuka.
Remarks "That explains everything" when he realizes that the voice of Koenma in Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report is the same as James from Pokémon.
Hypocrisy Nod: In the 8 Man After review, acknowledges he's hardly one to criticize the pronunciation of names, and cuts to the still shot of the SEELE monoliths from the Neon Genesis Evangelion review and clears his throat.
I Liked It Better When It Sucked: In-Universe: His view of Uwe Boll and Masami Ōbari. They're best when they're doing off the wall stupidity. Boll's original films had terrible acting, plots, etc. and were So Bad, It's Good, and when he improved the films lost their insane charm, and just became regular bad instead of the fun kind. He feels that Ōbari is an inversion and comes to enjoy the insanity in his later works.
I Need a Freaking Drink: He keeps a bottle of scotch on hand during the Doomed Megalopolis review, and runs out near the end. He also drinks three bottles of Wild Turkey over the course of his Sonic review.
I'm Going to Hell for This: Said in the second part of the Genocyber review when he dubs over a genuinely heart wrenching scene at the end where the doctor is begging the wild child (who she thinks is her dead daughter) with dialog from Golden Boy where the biker chick is begging Kintaro to screw her.
Jail Bait: He's horrified to realize that the two leads of Plastic Little are underage (16 and 17 respectively) when they reveal as much during a scene of them bathing together completely naked. When the review comes back from the commercial Sage is on the phone with his lawyer.
Karma Houdini: He's incensed by the fact that the rapist brother in Doomed Megalopolis gets off with only a few punches to the jaw.
Made Myself Sad: Jokes about this in the Macross II, where he utters this after imitating the mustached pilots' Contemplate Our Navels speech about how the Earth isn't the center of the universe.
Male Gaze: One of the similarities between Masami Ōbari and Frank Miller is that they abuse this trope to the extreme.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: In character, he delights in all manner of depraved acts to the point that Ask That Guyis afraid of him, while out of character he's disgusted by the incestuous rape subplot of Doomed Megalopolis and the treatment of women in Mad Bull 34. It's also the ultimate reason why he can't force himself to review Violence Jack and eventually abandons it.
The Engineer as well. His character has a pretty sizable hatred of Bennett and he goes to a number of lengths to insult, mock, and belittle him. The commentaries make it clear that they are friends and Marc even mentions that he's almost uncomfortable with how mean his character is, with Bennett laughing it up and loving all the grief the Engineer gives Sage.
Mood Whiplash: He had to snap his head loose after an extremely bad instance from Doomed Megapolis.
One of his and the Nostalgia Critic's biggest complaints with the first Guyver live-action movie. The film can't decide whether it wants to be dark and violent or Denser and Wackier, and ends up wildly schizophrenic as a result.
Moral Dilemma: The review of Violence Jack turns out to be this: Bennett doesn't love the show enough to give it a glowing review, but he doesn't hate it enough to go on a screaming rant about it. He knows that it's possible to make the show's horrific material (which includes child murder, gang-rape and cannibalism) funny, but he actually doesn't want to. And even then, there's one huge overriding problem: half the show is too obscene, too violent, or too gratuitous to show. Ordinarily, he'd just say 'OK, let's try something else' and do another show, but after months and months of hyping it, he feels that he has an obligation to his fans to give them something. He finally ends up realising that the show isn't worth the agony he put himself through and ditches it.
The Nicknamer: In "Anime Abandon" he hardly ever calls any character by their actual name unless he can't find anything he can compare them to.
Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Given that he reads the most vile, disgusting and horrendous fanfics in existence without batting an eye... yeah. And that's not even getting into his guest appearance on Ask That Guy, where he manages to do the impossible and make That Guy With The Glasses Squick.
No Sense of Personal Space: Even when Sage is trying to convince Critic that he's a good guy, he still can't resist grabbing him more than he should.
"Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In Odin after the soundtrack suddenly goes to, as Bennett puts it, an "out of place Engrish hair metal montage" it cuts back to him staring into the camera and saying "I shit you not, I did nothing to that footage."
Nostalgia Filter: Although his current series is about bad yesteryear Anime, he still openly considers the medium to have gone downhill since that time, to the point where he finds increasingly harder to consider himself to be a fan nowadays.
OOC Is Serious Business: Most of the time, Bennett remains in-character for his reviews, delighting in the perversity and wrongness of many of the shows he reviews. However, even he has to remove his hat and speak frankly when getting to the rape subplot in Doomed Megalopolis.
Pants-Free: During Twilight of the Cockroaches after Jeremy suggests giving the female viewers Fanservice in the form of Sage's bottom half the camera cuts to a full body shot of Sage showing him only in boxer shots while Sage says he doesn't think that's such a good idea.
Pass the Popcorn: Bennett sits back, drinks a soda, has some popcorn and just shows clips of Ultimate Teacher until Rob Walker calls him out on it. Then Rob starts to watch the show... and joins in.
Plot Hole: He points out the rather large one in Doomed Megalopolis concerning the fact that Yukiko claims to know that her father is really her mother's brother, even though he supposedly impregnated her after Kato tried to use her as a conduit to summon the spirit.note the actual explanation seems to be that he raped her more than once, but it's still not clear in the show
Either the asshole has time-traveling sperm, or we've got a plot hole the size of fuckin' China.
Prequel: Spends most of the Iria review complaining about them, using most of the arguments on the page.
Punny Name: He frequently points out the various Japanese puns that don't translate to English, such as the fact that in Mezzo Forte the names Momokichi and Momomi Momoi are roughly the equivalent of "Peach Peacherson and his daughter Peachy Peachman."
Evidently Bennett's feelings on it, since whenever he sees rape being played less than seriously or in a juvenile manner, especially with Mad Bull 34, he gets very mad. Before that review, he said this during the review of Vampire Wars:
Japan, what is this, the third fucking time in a row we've had this discussion? If you can't write a story without rape in it, could you at least wait until AFTER the five minute mark?
Brought up again in the first part of the Genocyber review, with the added squick that the victim is a child who's being molested, and Bennett comments that he doesn't even feel comfortable showing the censored scene.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: He gives an extended one to the brother in Doomed Megalopolis after he launches into a wangsty whine session about how hard his life is since he has to take care of his sister, who, Bennett points out, he raped and impregnated, and his own niece/daughter, and Bennett concludes that he should have a fundraiser concert thrown for him. The pure vitriol in the last line really sells it.
Oh my dear sweet Lord, how tough do you have it? Not only do you have to take care of your mentally damaged sister that you raped, but you also have to take care of your daughter/niece. You know what? I think I'm gonna start a fundraiser to help you out, in fact, someone get my Bob Geldof's number, I'm sure he'd bend over backwards to throw a benefit concert just for you! Don't you worry, asshole, because when Bono is up there on stage, guilt-tripping the audience about you and your plight, you'll finally get all of the sympathy you've been waiting for since you first took your sister's virginity, you worthless sack of shit!
Reformed, but Rejected: The Guyver review has him being really nice to Critic because he's trying to convince him that he's not Devil!Sage, but Critic keeps throwing any kindness back in his face. Given that the reboot reviews have made it very likely that Critic Came Back Wrong though, it also works to further that Story Arc.
Running Gag: Outside of videos, his refusal to admit he has fangirls.
During the Mad Bull 34 review, the "Blondes in Peril" count.
His "No Shit" counter in response to characters making narrations and statements on the obvious in his Baoh review.
Not a "gag" per se, but his constant refusal to review Violence Jack, culminating in him throwing his copy into a river. Well, judging by The Stinger of the episode where he threw the copy away, it isn't gonna stay down if the warning "Violence Is Coming" says anything.
Satan: He's the devil, to nobody's surprise. Okay, not really. (Or is he?)
Heel Realization: He must have erased the Critic's common sense along with the memories of all these bad sequels. Then he told him to jump off a cliff, and the Critic did so. He is the devil!
During the Yu Yu Hakusho: Poltergeist Report review the visual style briefly mimics that of Zero Punctuation.
In his Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer review, he mocks the Calling Your Attacks trope by uninterestingly mumbling "Wave Motion Fist", which happens to be the English translation of one of Ryu's (and Ken's) signature attacks, the Hadouken.
He's similarly enraged by The Reveal in 8 Man After that the original 8 Man was simply deleted — offscreen — so the new 8 Man could replace him. He goes on to explain that not all cases of a Legacy Character replacing a character who dies are bad by nature (with a cameo by Linkara specifically comparing it to Ted Kord, who Bennett points out at least got to die on screen and tell his killer off one last time), but the way his show did it was downright disrespectful for the original.
He evidently does not like Vic Mignogna, judging by the long sequence in the Junk Boy review where he beats up Floating!Vic Mignogna's head with a baseball bat.
After realizing that Superman and Wonder Woman are the parents of the title character in the Project Ako review, he calls the anime the Superman Returns we would've gotten if Brian Singer "weren't up his own ass".
His feelings on the fact that Doomed Megalopolis only introduces Keiko, who, as he points out, is the one who beats the Big Bad, in the third out of 4 episodes. He concludes that she would have been more interesting to focus on rather than her asshole, incestuous rapist husband. invoked
He also thinks this about the Odd Friendship between Elaine and the street urchin boy in Genocyber, which he remarks is actually well done since it's done almost entirely without dialog.
Unfortunate Implications: Brought up in Space Adventure Cobra with the whole romance subplot. Short version: The love interest and her two sisters are essentially part of a Hive Mind with each of them forming one third of a whole person. So after his love interest dies, he meets her sister, who declares that because her sister loved him, she will now love him too and he will love her, and promptly abandons her role in La Résistance now that he's shown up apparently Because Destiny Says So. And neither of them get a say in the matter. Even though Bennett takes a shot at Tumblr feminists in the process, he describes this plot as deeply uncomfortable for multiple reasons. invoked
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: His biggest complaint about the random Cat Girl in Pilot Candidate isn't that she exists or her ears are never explained, it's that no one reacts to them at all or even seems to notice.
Valley Girl: The titular character of Devil Hunter Yohko is dubbed with this style of speech. Bennett's annoyance with this finally results in Bennett himself adopting a Valley Girl persona for an extended gag... for which he slaps himself.
You Just Had to Say It: In Virgin Fleet, when the headmaster of the Virgin Academy says that she's responsible for choosing the characters that will be competing for a spot in the fleet (including one character Bennett finds incredibly irritating), Bennett has this reaction:
Bennett: So you're the reason we have to deal with this character's loli-schtick? Oh, bitch, you should have kept that to yourself!
You Need to Get Laid: He speculates that this is the reason Sho Aikawa's earlier work is so nihilistic and hateful, and he thanks the anonymous person who finally did give him the blowjob that made his later work less hateful.