Ben-To

September 9, 2012

Where in the world can you find a decent meal that is good and cheap? Well, I’m not a foodie expert but according to Ben-To, you can get delicious and tasty Japanese box set lunch at just half the price! Woah! What a bargain! But wait! There’s a catch to it. If you noticed you don’t see old ladies or mommies queuing up to buy those bento sets at half its price, then something wrong. Hey, how come there are young people fighting out and staking their lives over half priced bentos?! Yabai yo! Looks freaking dangerous just to get into a massive brawl with others just to get a cheap meal! Do you dare step in? Well, that’s the price you got to pay if you want your good food at a cheaper price. Like they say, it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

Of course this isn’t going to be a mindless brawl over the leftover bento sets that couldn’t be sold throughout the day at the supermarts. Many of those people who fight for their right to purchase the bentos at half price have their own code of honour and set of principles that they stick to. These are called Wolves. Then there are those who don’t give a damn and break every damn honour just for their own selfish gain. We have other names for that but you’ll find out as we go along. So as long as you want to eat your bento at half price, make sure you have good martial arts so that you’re not always at the receiving end. It’s sometimes good to ‘give’ too. And yeah, lots of endurance and stamina to take in those painful punches and kicks. Man, who’d know that just trying to get a decent meal would be so tough.

Yoh Satou is a high school kid. A poor kid. One who will soon be getting dragged into the world of fighting for bentos at half price. So what better way to get your money’s worth of food by buying those half price bentos with your limited funds, right? Seems okay. Wait till he sees the fierce competition that comes along with it. Oh, don’t forget the pain too. So it’s either you shape up or you don’t eat. Simple. And thus, begins Satou’s journey from just a mere filling his own stomach to the thrill of getting involved in such battles and yeah, some other conspiracies and powerful opponents he’ll face along the way.

Episode 1
The series opens with Satou getting beaten up. Real bad. And worse, he doesn’t know what hit him. How did he end up so messed up? Badly bruised and with nothing to eat, he collapses outside the mart. Next day, he begins his second day of school by walking out from the emergency room. On his way, he meets a girl, Hana Oshiroi. She was one of the many that observed Satou getting pummelled at the mart. Of course he doesn’t remember who she is. Initially she was shocked but soon gets excited thinking he is the kind of man who has abandoned his past. In school, he sees Sen Yarizui taking out the trash. He thought she looked familiar and realized she was also the girl at the mart that kept staring at him. He thinks she is in love with him! Dream on! Under Satou’s nose, Oshiroi gets kidnapped by Ume Shiraume! Satou is made to help Yarizui to take out the big bag of empty bento boxes. In class, Satou is eating his consolation fish cakes he bought at the mart when Shiraume confronts him. She gives him a hard slap since he unwittingly made fun of her name. Hope he doesn’t lose more memories as he already had. She warns him to stay away from Oshiroi. Satou narrates Karasuda Private High School that he transferred to have a dorm and though it serves breakfast it doesn’t serve lunch and dinner so students usually have to cook themselves or go out and buy their own. With his limited budget of course Satou makes his way to the mart again and Oshiroi is happy to see him here. Stepping inside, he also sees Yarizui who had earlier warned him not to come. After some guy puts the half price label on the bentos, Satou thinks it is his lucky day and rushes to get them. What he didn’t expect is to see a crowd of hungry brawlers behind him and gets beaten up. Again. So now do you remember how you ended up like that? Satou’s consciousness is fading but he notices how many of the brawlers called Yarizui the Ice Witch and speaking of her, she easily won her bout and got a bento.

Satou wakes up in the employees’ break room as the store owner known as Abura Kami (Oil God) was kind enough to let him and Oshiroi (still unconscious, though she didn’t get beaten up like him) sleep here. He wants Satou to escort Oshiroi home once she wakes up and says that he is a Dog. He further adds that though this is an ordinary supermarket, there are some that stake their pride by testing themselves in battle. He warns if this is all Satou has, don’t bother laying his hands on the bento. Plus, this store, Hoki Mart is the hunting ground for Ice Witch. Next day in class, Satou gets more slaps from Shiraume for defying her warning to be with Oshiroi. Yeah, she slaps him first and then asks if she could get mad. It’s like shoot first, ask questions later. That night, Satou and Oshiroi try their luck again at Hoki Mart. Now they are wiser and observe the crowd who are waiting for the God of Discounts (Abura Kami in this case) to mark the half price bento. Once he disappears to the back, it’s the beginning of the mad dash and brawl. Satou observes the many people turning into savages once the half price sticker is attached. Then he goes in but gets beaten up though he fares better this time. Yarizui enters the fray and easily overpowers her bigger and stronger opponents. Satou thought he could finally get one but Yarizui kicks him out. He lost again. Yarizui tells him if he wants to survive this ordeal, come to the clubroom 501 at 7.30am tomorrow. Satou finds it is the clubroom of Half Pricers Association. First he heard something ambiguous coming out from the room. Turns out to be Yarizui giving Oshiroi a back massage with her feet. Yarizui introduces herself as the only member and president of Half Pricers Association.

Episode 2
Satou also learns Oshiroi is from the novel club and is writing a novel and since she spends too much time on the computer, Yarizui was giving her a much needed massage. First thing, Yarizui is forcing Satou to sign an application paper to join this club! She’s rubbing her boobs against his back! Can he resist it? Nope. Welcome to the club. Oshiroi already lost a long time ago. To start things off, Yarizui shows them the wall of all the half price stickers she got from the supermarkets in the western territory. Hell, that’s a lot of stickers covering the entire wall! Describing some of the marts in their territory and those that will make better training. Then she explains some of the basics when entering the fight. For instance, you can’t start until the God of Discounts has left; One must also hunt for only 1 bento and not more; Have manners and wager your pride. This is how Wolves fight. Trying a different store tonight, Tokiwa, Satou and Oshiroi meet other Wolves: Bouzu (literally means monk but I would’ve preferred to call him Hage – Baldy), Agohige (literally means Goatee but I would’ve preferred to call him Headband) and Chappatsu (literally means Brown Hair but I would’ve preferred to call her Oppai – Boobs). The God of Discounts for Tokiwa is an old grandpa named Jiji. Before Jiji could finish putting the stickers, an unruly lady termed Big Boar ignores all the rules to grab all the half price bentos. She even reprimands Jiji in applying the stickers too slow. The Wolves try to stop her but are no match for this Pig who has no shame in baring its ‘fang’s in front of others. Because of that, all the Wolves line up to but instant noodles. Satou and Oshiroi share their little meal together. But soon, Satou gets into trouble because Shiraume confronts him. She’s threatening him about bringing Oshiroi around stores to fight for half price bentos. Despite Satou mentioning she is tagging along on her own free will, she doesn’t believe him and slaps him, followed by a kick.

Next day Satou asks Oshiroi about Shiraume. Seems she is her only friend since elementary school. She read her novel and had always been nice to her. Before Satou knows it, that overprotective b*tch kidnaps Oshiroi once more. Now you see her, now you don’t. Satou visits Tokiwa again but the other Wolves notice the arrival of The Tempest: A group of unruly rugby players. In addition, the Big Boar is also here. The Wolves give up and are about to head to another store when they see veteran Wolf, Wizard coming in. Satou remembers Yarizui’s words that those who have tasted blood cannot return to being Dogs and those who can’t handle it become Pigs. As Jiji starts putting the stickers, Big Boar scoots right to him. Alas, Satou uses all his might to stop her advancement. He is no match but sees Wizard easily reading her strategy and made the charging Pig crash into an aisle. Jiji has finish putting the stickers but now they have to deal with The Tempest. Wizard is going to teach those Pigs a lesson and though they play dirty, the other Wolves join in. Once they’re done, the Wolves stake their pride among each other. Did Satou win? Oh yeah. Elsewhere Yarizui wins hers easily as Satou gets a threatening call from Shiraume to prepare himself tomorrow. She blames Satou for being the cause of Oshiroi’s depression. Satou makes his way back to the club room and sees Yarizui waiting for him. Yarizui notices a laurel wreath on his bento as it denotes a bento that’s been handpicked by to God of Discounts. Many Wolves seek this laurel wreath because the one who gets it is deemed the victor for that day and territory. For Satou to get a laurel wreath on his first win, he must be something big. Sure, it’s not just luck? Mentioning about Wizard, he is Yuu Kaneshiro and is a third year in this school. Showing a scrapbook with all his sticker and victories containing the laurel wreaths from both Wizard and Ice Witch, each with their own stories to tell, Satou places his sticker inside the scrapbook. Before they dig in, they say grace for the food and the ingredients as honour and gratitude to those whom they had overcome. Yummy. Bento had never tasted so delicious, eh?

Episode 3
There’s this rumour that a first year student ran around in his boxers and jumped into the incinerator. This was how it all started. Without shame, Shiraume strips Satou right in class to confiscate his handphone as said in her warning last night. Everyone is turning a blind eye… Then at the club room, Yarizui has him strip again so that she could sew back his clothes. Because Satou wasn’t listening to her about the upcoming quality bento that involves sushi, once she finishes sewing, she throws all his clothes out the window! Then Shiraume comes in. She apologizes to Yarizui for her rash behaviour last night and learnt from Oshiroi that she was fighting for bentos as part of her research for her novel. Oh, Shiraume is also the student council officer. She approves the club since it has now 3 members. Satou then remembers his clothes and rushes out to get them. However a pair of girls found them lying on the ground and think they’re junk and burnt them. Kids, don’t try this anyhow because Satou jumped into the incinerator just to retrieve them! Yeow! I’m not having roast buns… Meanwhile a group of Dogs set their target on recruiting Satou and Oshiroi into their group known as Gundogs. The duo are at Tokiwa when the leader from Gundogs, Tomoaki Yamahara introduces himself. He offers them to join and by doing so, it will guarantee them a bento. As tryout, he gives them their jersey and when it’s time for the brawl, their Gundogs members set up a human barricade and make way for them to easily obtain a bento. Satou relishes in his bento but still feels he needs more time to think before joining them. The other members feel this is a lost cause since they are reluctant to join but Yamahara notes they can’t resist the lure of an easy bento.

As Satou heats up his bento that is coveted by others he notes that it doesn’t taste as good though it was easily obtained. Something doesn’t feel right. I can think of a reason why. He didn’t put in effort to get it, right? So for the next few nights, Satou and Oshiroi continue to obtain easy bento but each time, Satou doesn’t enjoy his meal as before. Hearing one of Yarizui’s stories of how she overcame 10 Wolves to get the last laurel wreath bento in an icy cold place and it made her victory sweet, Satou came to realize that the stronger your opponents, the more exciting it is. He has decided. That night as he meets Yamahara, he is going to give his answer later and his way. Once the brawl starts, Satou didn’t grab a bento but pushes away a Gundogs member. This is his answer. Doing it this way is boring and getting a bento with no effort isn’t interesting. The taste of bento that you desperately battled with Wolves to win is so good that you could cry. He returns the jersey to Yamahara and is going to get a delicious bento tonight. Satou fights his way for the bento when Dandou sensei lands a punch on him. Luckily Satou blocked it and since he already had a bento in his hand, it’s game over. Oshiroi sneakily grabs one too. Dandou tells Yamahara that Satou isn’t like one of them. His eyes are not of the likes of Dogs but of Wolves. Satou wonders if Oshiroi is okay being a member of Half Pricers Association. Ever since young, she was called a weirdo but Satou and Yarizui never did. She is glad she to have met them that’s why she is a member of this club. Back in the club room, Yarizui notices Satou had a good fight and asks him is a half price bento just a bento that didn’t sell. The duo reply it is something more than that. Yarizui hands them the key to the club room.

Episode 4
Another Wolf, Ayame Shaga AKA Beauty of the Lake racks up an easy victory over her bento. But what is this hot babe sleeping next to Satou in his room?! She is Satou’s cousin and what is she doing here? Does she need a reason to see him? Satou knows her tricks well enough not to get seduced. She wants to play one game of Virtua Fighter and if he wins, he can do anything to her like touching her anywhere. He’s trying hard to resist but eventually agrees to play. Unfortunately he lost. Now he has to do as she says. She needs a spare uniform of his school so Satou borrows it from Oshiroi. This is so that Shaga can enter Half Pricers Association and confront Yarizui. Shaga is a Wolf from the eastern territory and when a title bearing wolf enters another territory, a battle will ensue. Yarizui will be waiting for her at Hoki Mart tonight. Shaga continues to molest Oshiroi but she manages to escape after she can’t take it anymore. Then she reads the novel she is writing. Oh… Seems like yaoi fiction and Satou is the main lead! Saitou? Oh God… Shiraume barges in and blames Satou for harassing her Oshiroi but realizes the real culprit is Shaga. But when she gets to link Satou to it all (he got the uniform for her, right?), it was enough for her to kick him. Then she is going to prepare a warm bath for Shaga and drags her into it. Late that night, Satou is surprised to find Shaga in a frilly dress. Somehow she barely escaped from Shiraume. She tried to give excuse that her harassing on Oshiroi was to deepen their friendship so Shiraume too wants them to deepen theirs and stripped her to bath together. Shaga couldn’t handle it and ran out taking any dress she could find on her way out.

The duo meet Yarizui at Hoki Mart and it seems Yarizui and Shaga are aiming for the same bento. Yarizui also notices that Shaga is well informed about the marts in this territory. Then as the brawl begins, Yarizui and Shaga face off but the former has the edge. Shaga hasn’t given up yet and continues fighting with a pair of chopsticks. Yarizui notes she won’t win because she is focusing on her and not the bento. Since the desire for bento doesn’t drive her actions, they are no more than senseless violence. In the end, it is Shaga’s loss. Yarizui reminds Satou not to get his heart clouded and focus on the thing he should be thinking about. He faces off with Ren Nikaidou for the last bento and gets it. Shaga hoped Satou could eat with her but he says he’s going to do so in the clubroom. Yarizui can see how frustrated Shaga is and tells Satou to go with her. Satou still insists so she says she hates guys who don’t do anything when a hurt girl is in front of them. She asks if she was crying, would he do nothing? Nikaidou reports to his boss, Tadaaki Endou about putting their plan into motion before they can realize it. Endou doesn’t care how many Wolves bite the dust for this plan. Satou eats with sulking Shaga though she apologizes that she was also at fault. Since Satou lost the rock-scissors-paper game, he has to apologize too when Shaga steals a big chunk of his hard earned bento. In return she gives him a big hug. Meanwhile Yarizui is reading Oshiroi’s works but she’s reading it without emotion! So funny! Does she understand what she is writing?

Episode 5
Nikaidou notes that Shaga hasn’t leaked anything of their plan yet because if she did, they would’ve taken action. Endou wants Nikaidou to keep silent about this and continue observing Shaga. Nikaidou narrates his group is called Gabriel Ratchet. A pack of unsightly Dogs who have restricted their own way of life. Shaga patiently waits for Satou at her dorm but it seems that guy has been stripped down to his boxers by the officer for interrogation! He doesn’t care what reason Satou has because he’ll never let him or any guys approach Shaga. She’ll beat the crap into him to make him understand. That includes shoving up a battery up his ass!!! WTF?! So Satou makes a run for it before he gets screwed while the officer and his military men chase after him! Shaga manages to sneak Satou into her room and since she has no other clothes, she lends him her uniform. Actually it’s from her roommate, Asebi Inoue. Before Satou could shake hands with her, Shaga sends her to buy coffee at the vending machine. She warns Satou that coming into contact with Asebi means a terrible misfortune will befall on him. She gives him a protective charm just in case. Then it’s time to get some food and Shaga thought of going to a different mart: Ralph Store. As for Asebi, they don’t have to worry about her as she’s having trouble at the machine. Yeah, all the cans are flowing out! The good thing is that she doesn’t realize how unlucky she is. Shaga distracts the officer and tells Satou to head to Ralph Store firs. Of course everyone sees him in a girl’s uniform and especially Nikaidou who is somewhat disappointed in him. So disappointed that he held high hopes in him that he would rather see him get crushed by the Monarch. And for Oshiroi, she totally gives the thumbs up! Satou asks Yarizui who this Monarch is and as she explains, this store is one of this territories and he is not afraid to use dirty tactics to win. Shaga is not pleased to see Yarizui here since this is Monarch’s territory. She’s here because of a flyer that states a rare Hokkaido fair. The God of Discounts for this store, Kiku Matsuba AKA Macchan puts the stickers on. Until a year ago, she was a well known and active Wolf.

The brawl starts as Yarizui and Shaga face off. Yarizui emerges the winner again while lucky Oshiroi lands one without getting hit. With the last bento on the line, Nikaidou and Gabriel Ratchet surround Satou. Then Endou who is known as Monarch comes in to beat up Satou. Yarizui tells him he has already won but he asserts Satou will become a sacrifice to an all-out war between east and west to determine who is the strongest. He further insults Shaga as a useless mongrel. Satou wakes up (in his boxers again) in the employees’ room and he thought he ascended into adulthood with Macchan. He wonders about his performance (sexual) but she notes it’s satisfactory (the brawl). Yeah, he thought he should make it up in terms of quantity since he still has a youthful body! Till Yarizui and Shaga come in to pick him up. They are getting so close over him that Oshiroi got inspiration for her work when she saw this. Now if the ladies were only men… Before they start eating, Yarizui asks Shaga’s connection with Monarch. She says he wants to rule all supermarkets in the city and that operation begins 3 days from now. Gabriel Ratchet will launch an attack on all stores in the western territory and Monarch intends to settle an old grudge. Apparently the strongest Wolf of the east lost to the strongest Wolf of the west. She meant to tell Satou this but decided to keep it a secret a little longer (that part of hers sulking). Bringing him here today was just a coincidence. Yarizui feels she shouldn’t act alone as she may be targeted. But Shaga is not worried since she is just a pawn in his hands. Besides, he called her a mongrel and can’t let that pass. Nikaidou reports Yarizui has started contacting other western Wolves so Endou tells him not to let anyone close to this room where he is isolating himself. Three days of starvation will give him the ultimate power to crush Yarizui.

Episode 6
While Oshiroi gets inspiration to write more on her twisted yaoi story, Macchan sees Wizard. He tells her he is going overseas to study. Macchan feels she should’ve stopped Endou’s plans but Wizard assures her the Wolves will stick by their honour because those who don’t will be weeded out. Yarizui meets the other western Wolves and discuss about the impending invasion. But she’s going to Ralph Store because she heard a laurel wreath of a bento made by Macchan tastes superb. Meanwhile Shaga finds out more information from a retired Wolf. She learns Macchan’s title as a Wolf was Wanderer Butterfly. Every eastern Wolf admired her and was hailed as the strongest in the east. Till she battled the strongest in the west known as Wizard. Wizard won and since barely had the strength to go home and eat his bento, ate it all on the roadside before he lost consciousness. Yeah, he finished it clean. Endou was Macchan’s younger college classmate and when Macchan got married, he and his gang took over east in a blink of an eye. So ruling the west is just a facade as they want to recreate the ultimate battle a year ago for their own generation. Endou considers himself as the successor of Wanderer and wants to defeat Wizard’s successor: Ice Witch. While Gabriel Ratchet prepares to face off with the Wolves in western stores, lone Yarizui gets assaulted. Shaga takes Satou away from Tokiwa to tell him what’s going on. Seems Endou has an attachment to the name Monarch and he wants to become Monarch Butterfly because Wanderer means that said butterfly. So by defeating Ice Witch, he thinks he’ll become the ultimate successor in both name and fact. Satou needs to go warn her but it’s too late because they hear word in the streets that a certain girl got brutally attacked. Well, they didn’t see her body but just a pool of blood. When Yarizui limps into Ralph Store bloodied, Macchan understands what Nikaidou and Gabriel Ratchet are doing. By mobilizing the group, so that they could vacate eastern territory and even feign an all-out war. Though she is not a Wolf anymore, she finds them loathsome. Do those words hit a conscious nerve, buddy?

Endou is ready to beat up Yarizui to claim his title as the strongest. But Nikaidou stops him. He tries to make sense to him that he won’t be the same person he yearns to since it’s not the title of the strongest he has been pursuing but the free and beautiful form of the butterfly. Endou doesn’t care and beats the lights out of him. Then he tells Macchan to finish her labelling. Satou and Shaga come in and Yarizui is surprised to see him here. He reminds her about that ‘not doing anything in front of a girl’ line from her. They tell off Endou that he is not even a Wolf let alone a Dog, but a rat. Then the fight begins. Endou claims that his 3 days of starvation makes him the strongest but as Yarizui points out, as long as his target is her and not the bento, the power of a hungry Wolf will do him no good. Endou couldn’t get the better of Yarizui and resorts to using the trolley. Satou, Yarizui and Shaga combine their skills to knockout Endou and Gabriel Ratchet. Yarizui passes up the chance to take the laurel wreath so Satou and Shaga fight it out. Satou won. Yarizui is glad to see Oshiroi who tells her they have successfully defended their territory. Nikaidou wakes up in the employees’ room and he settles everything with Macchan. As of today onwards, Gabriel Ratchet is dissolved. Satou and the rest are enjoying their bentos but as usual, Shaga steals some from his. Oshiroi gets her fill by writing up her fantasies. Shaga wonders if she’s a wolf seeing Satou is always in the spotlight and she has never beaten Yarizui. For one thing, Satou thinks she’s not a Dog and something greater. Then talking about Wolf titles, Yarizui says as soon as he catches up being a great Wolf, he’ll earn a title of his own. Finally Wizard leaves the country for good.

Episode 7
Shaga shows the gang free tickets she got courtesy from Macchan to the Hawaiian themed pool run by Ralph Store’s conglomerate. Taking a train there, Satou seems to be the ultimate loser. Losing in the card games (because he’s got his mind focused on seeing Yarizui in a swimsuit), carrying all their luggage and guess what? Shaga realizes she is short one ticket and who is the one left out? Yup. That guy has to pay for his own ticket. He’s so darn poor already… Even worse, his Wolf title is Pervert! It doesn’t help that Nikaidou is also at the pool and has helped spread this around. I guess Satou lives up to that name as he can’t hold himself back to peep when he hears the girls changing in the opposite room. So pool, babes, bikinis, fun. You get the picture. Satou asks Yarizui how Wolf titles came about. Yarizui remembers her coming from when she grabbed a beer and it’s not that she wanted to drink it but she was attracted to its design. As for Shaga, when she won her first laurel wreath bento, she ate it all and ended up sleeping on the bench at the lake. Yeah, the titles don’t seem glamorous as they sound. Meanwhile Asebi’s rotten luck has her rolling off the truck (she’s sleeping on top of it?!) right to the pool. But she got to enter since she has one of Shaga’s lost tickets. So that’s where it went. The pool isn’t just what the Wolves are here for. Every Sunday, an hour before closing time, they also sell half price bentos. So for Satou, he still has hope to get some food after spending an awful lot today. The God of Discounts turns out somebody to be in a penguin suit. Since he can’t properly put the stickers, he rips the costume arm to do so! To make things more interesting, the bentos are put in a capsule and float in the pull, making battles harder to predict. Ready, on your marks, begin! If you haven’t done your warm up, you might experience some muscle cramps. Nikaidou wants to get some twin rice omelette because it is made by Macchan and they resemble her boobs… Unfortunately that lapse in concentration means Yarizui beats him to it. During the brawl, Asebi unaware of her surroundings fools around but doesn’t get a bento. Maybe she brought bad luck to others? Satou easily gets the laurel wreath bento because he is steering through the pull via ‘rudder’. Is his ‘thing’ that big?! Okay, it’s not his ‘thing’ and some board. While he is bragging in his victory, his pants drop. He wouldn’t have guessed Oshiroi was here too and she beats him up for showing his indecency in front of Oshiroi. Shaga also gets one that was surprisingly unguarded. So as the winners enjoy and share their meal, all is not lost for Nikaidou because Macchan made a special bento for him. As for Asebi, she felt she had so much fun but somehow ended up coming out from the sewerage.

Episode 8
A pair of twins who are also the president and vice president student council, Kyou and Kyou Sawagi hold a meeting with the student council body. Wait a minute. Kyou and Kyou? How can we tell them apart? Well, their name may sound the same but they are written differently in kanji. But still, how can we call them apart… Yarizui may be the best fighter in reality but in the gaming world, she sucks. She even lost to Satou. Then she asks how much this old video game console is worth. Why? Because she throws it out of the window! Sore loser?! Satou jumps out to save it!!! Kids, don’t try this anyhow. Now everybody sing, “I believe I can fly/I believe I can touch the sky“… Satou falls like a rock but this gives inspiration to Oshiroi who is experiencing writer’s block. Older Kyou can’t seem to hold her feelings in ever since they saw her in action that day. They decide to do some detective work and start by logging in to the Gabriel Ratchet’s website. It’s still operating? Anyway Older Kyou plans to sneak into the hospital and has Younger Kyou tag along. Because Satou cannot fly, he ends up in hospital covered with bandaged. Yeah, he’s like a mummy. What do you expect? He jumped from the fifth floor. Yarizui is alone with Satou in the room and to repent what she did, she’ll give him half her bento. The twins have infiltrated the hospital and it seems Older Kyou wants to meet Ice Witch whom they believe is hospitalized here. Older Kyou goes into Satou’s room thinking he is the Ice Witch while Younger Kyou observes with a laptop and all other gadgets they have prepared for this. Flashback reveals they heard about Ice Witch defeating Monarch and wanted to meet this powerful western Wolf. Older Kyou goes in to take measurements but Satou starts fantasizing that this might be his dream come true. A hot nurse babe seducing him? Yeow! Don’t want to wake up from this dream! However Older Kyou sometimes screws up so she had to switch with Younger Kyou to continue the measurements. I’m sure Satou won’t mind the nurse running riot over his body, right? The twins nearly had their cover blown when the head nurse comes in but she thinks they are trainees and wants them to change the bandage. Plus, Older Kyou can’t seem to contain her excitement and has this penchant of squealing loud enough. So back to the bandaging part, Older Kyou is puzzled to find ‘Ice Witch’s muscular legs. Then she realizes… It’s a guy! She got so panic that she ran through the halls screaming pervert. Yup, that’s his title. Satou chases her down but the further he goes, the more his bandages come off. Ooohh… He’s totally naked… Then Asebi accidentally spills hot milk over him. Guess what is Oshiroi’s reaction when she saw this scene? More sick inspirations…  Yeah, she’s nose bleeding. The twins regroup and realize they had the wrong person. However they feel a burden has been lifted off their shoulders and for the first time in 3 years, they race down to the supermarket to have a taste of what they’ve been missing. Shaga notices the president and her vice of her university coming out of the mart. She is further surprised to see every Wolf out cold. Speaking of food, where’s today’s bento?!

Episode 9
Asebi’s morning is another of her usual bad luck. One bad luck chain leads to another so when her kitty stuffed toy goes flying out of the window, she did a Satou. Miraculously she didn’t end up in hospital. Later she meets Shaga and intends to make a bento for Satou. Shaga sees Shiraume coming into her university and has a bad feeling about this. Satou tries out the bentos Asebi made. Let’s say it does not taste what it seemed. It gets weirder and weirder that he doesn’t know what he is eating. He has to finish it all? God help him. Meanwhile Shiraume is summoned by the twins as Older Kyou gets cocky showing her a clip about semi-naked Satou trespassing their grounds and wants and apology. However Shiraume plays cool and shows them a video how Shaga too trespassed her school grounds and also seeks their apology. So they settle it that they both apologize to each other and let this incident to further enhance their school relations. While Shiraume later tears up the letter, Older Kyou can’t help let out her squealing frustration that they had to apologize. That’s what you get for being arrogant. It backfired. Shiraume confronts Satou and thanks to him, she got humiliated. Guess what comes next for that poor chap? In her room, Shiraume sees Oshiroi and her heart is at ease. But she got riled up when she sees Satou joining her. Oshiroi is on fire! She’s typing down her yaoi fantasy like nobody’s business. Shiraume calls to check on her and since Oshiroi doesn’t want her to see her work, she tries to give excuses but clearly her body action is a dead giveaway. So much so she accidentally spills her coffee on her laptop. There goes her work… More accidents for her when she tries to fix the situation. Goodbye Saitou… Shiraume got cut off and fears something has happened.

The next time Oshiroi opens her eyes, she is surprised to see Shiraume on top of her! In bed! Warning! Yuri scenes ahead! Seeing Oshiroi is a little hot, Shiraume stays by her side (rubbing, touching her body…), makes porridge and then get them both naked for some yuri action in the name of cleaning her sweat. Oh Oshiroi, isn’t this what usually happens in your novel? Only thing is that they are men and somebody else? Oshiroi got so embarrassed and told her to stop. It accidentally bumped a magazine off the shelf (the background voice of the manly “Let’s get it! Let’s get it, let’s get it, let’s go!” sounds so hilarious!). Shiraume got curious and picks it up. I guess she didn’t like what she sees and leaves in a huff. So poor Satou… Another confrontation. It’s bad enough his perverted buddy is trying to get him to like some masochist porn, Shiraume shows him the magazine from Oshiroi’s place and inside it are pictures of macho men but Satou’s picture is overlapping each of their faces! Super impose?! Shiraume accuses him of harassing Oshiroi so when Satou explains Oshiroi is writing a weird novel involving macho men and that one of the characters is modelled after him, Shiraume slaps him with the magazine. She says she has read her works and it was nothing of this sort. She cannot believe Oshiroi would make a collage of him and would have a character modelled after him. The abuses get worse and worse, do they? Yeah Satou, maybe there is some appeal in all this… As if Shiraume wasn’t spiteful enough, her actions are making her climbing up the ladder of most hateful b*tches in history. Oh speaking on bento, where is my bento for this episode?!

Episode 10
The twins see Shaga to get submit her video game club activities or else the club will get no funding next month, though she doesn’t even know a thing. Then they ask her about trespassing Karasuda in their uniform so she says she wanted to meet the Ice Witch then. This excites Older Kyou but Younger Kyou plays it cool and tells her she’ll be receiving a summon before the student council soon. Satou checks out of hospital and he is 9,580 Yen poorer. Shaga meets Nikaidou and learns about the recent appearance of Orthrus. They have begun defeating notorious Wolves in the east one by one and it seems Endou was badly beaten up. There are any eastern Wolves that are able to take on them. Those who once fought them are too scared to even say anything. The only common thing the defeated Wolves remember is that they were plunged in darkness before their defeat. Everything else they don’t remember. Shaga tells Satou about this and wonders if he would come to the eastern territory mart for once. However he has been told by Yarizui to head to Kamoshida Mart as part of his rehabilitation and return. Oshiroi again is with a writer’s block (seems all the cliches she used are getting old) but then she gets an idea of a duo and heads back to pen it down. Satou is at Kamoshida when he sees the twins. They greet him as pervert but he doesn’t remember them. When Shaga comes by, she is shocked to see a basket over Satou and he is badly beaten. Satou recuperates outside and it seems he doesn’t remember what happened. The twins are disappointed that Pervert didn’t live up to his hype since he defeated Monarch. But Older Kyou feels the need to apologize to him seeing she overdid it but Younger Kyou reminds her their attacks have rendered him unable to remember. They will continue to scour marts near Karasuda in their search for Ice Witch.

Satou sees a Greek mythology book in the club room and is surprised it’s from Oshiroi. Greek mythology as her reference material? Turning to the page of Orthrus, he learns it is a twin-headed dog, the brother of Cerberus. Unlike Cerberus that guards the gates to hell, Orthrus guards the cattle but was killed by Heracles who had come to steal them. Satou’s thoughts wandered when he thought Yarizui would finally want to ‘do it properly’ with him tonight. Well, dream on. She wants him to come with her to a store instead and properly celebrate his victory. At Hoki Mart, Satou meets the twins once more. They apologize but he doesn’t remember for what purpose so the twins introduce themselves. When the brawl starts, a strange darkness engulfs the Wolves. Actually it turns out to be the twins using the basket to cover the visions of the Wolves. As you wouldn’t have guessed it already, they are Orthrus. When they hear Ice Witch, they get excited to know she is no other than Yarizui and fight her. She is no match for the twins’ perfect combo as Older Kyou is even cocky enough to taunt her if this is all she’s got. With their adeptness in using the baskets to their every advantage, the other Wolves see a sight that they would never see in their lives: Ice Witch has been defeated and lying unconscious in her own pool of blood! Gasp! Say this is isn’t true! Older Kyou taunts her and puts a basket over her head.

Episode 11
Nikaidou who has barely enough strength to stand, confronts the twins. They thought he wish to exchange contact information with them so they give him their contacts as they view it would only be polite to inform the supermarkets that they plan to visit. Back home, the twins are relishing in excitement about being Wolves. They remember the time when they were young and first saw Wolves brawling it out. They were so taken by it that when the teacher asked them what they wanted to be when they grow up, they replied honourable Wolves. However Older Kyou feels she didn’t do something honourable because she said something terrible to Satou last night. Or it might be just her dreaming and feels the need to apologize. Satou is too bothered by what happened last night that he couldn’t give a hoot to Oshiroi ranting about her novel. Yeah, he didn’t realize she got kidnapped by Shiraume in broad daylight in public! He learns Yarizui is absent from class since she is sick so he pays her a visit at her home. Sure, he got carried away with some pervy fantasies but back to serious business, he apologizes for letting his guard down last night. But it’s no big deal as Yarizui mention the Summer Solstice festival the day after tomorrow at Audrey Supermarket. To keep the freshness of the eel bento, they are made every hour and that means they can get some fresh bento during the labelling. Satou and Nikaidou meet the twins at Tokiwa and Older Kyou apologizes and since Satou doesn’t remember a thing, she flusters and Younger Kyou calls for a timeout. After a short discussion, Older Kyou changes her colours and acts cocky, calling them lowly mongrels huddling together. She ran out of what to say so Younger Kyou had to interject and looking around her surroundings, relays to Older Kyou that the duo should be called Two Dogs. They are going to beat them today too. And true enough, the duo lost.

Shaga meets the duo and informs them about what she has found. In a neighbouring town called Yumehiro, Sonic Store is managed by Sawagi Corporation and its president is the father of the twins. They were in Yumehiro till 3 years ago they quit being Wolves and left town. Nikaidou is heading there to get more information. Satou is also here to let the twins know about the eel bento. But since he sees the security officer holding up batteries in his hand, it’s that traumatic memories once more so he leaves it to Shaga to relay the information. The twins will gladly be there since they get to fight Ice Witch again. However they remember exactly on this day 3 years ago they tried to obtain this eel bent too. Satou is not happy that Yarizui is worse than before. Seems in her attempts last night to get rid of her cold, she took a hot bath. Then she got out and dressed lightly while blowing herself with the air-cond… Typical blunders… But she is adamant that she is game for tomorrow night and sends Satou to the pharmacy to get her some medication. Meanwhile Nikaidou talks to a Wolf of Yumehiro. He has asked lots of other Wolves but they are reluctant to give out any info and as a last resort, he called Macchan and she recommended him. Since this town has its own customs, by doing so he may lose his Wolf status tomorrow. However hearing the name of Macchan, who was his old friend, brings back nostalgic memories so he tends to ‘talk aloud to himself’. He says that a pair of Wolves used to prowl this town till they met their downfall via the Club of Heracles. Speaking of which, Older Kyou is experiencing a bad nightmare on that dreaded day. Younger Kyou thinks they should withdraw but Older Kyou feels they can’t let this chance slip since Ice Witch and Two Dogs are in this town. The Yumehiro Wolf continues that since word of Orthrus’ appearance has reached this town, he is sure ‘he’ will make his move too. And speaking of which, that guy has just arrived in town to take down Orthrus like he did 3 years ago. He hopes they can save Orthrus. Back to Satou, seems the only medication the pharmacist recommended is the suppository type. Who is going to insert it? Someone has got to do the ass job, right? Satou calls Oshiroi but it is Shiraume who picks up! Oh great. He tries to explain the need for Oshiroi to help insert the suppository but you know, Shiraume always cuts him off and thinks he wants Oshiroi to do it to him! Even if he manages to say Yarizui’s name, Shiraume tells him off to let her to it then onto him. Not only he has to prepare himself for her wrath, the pharmacist then recommends an oral version that works as fast as this one too. Damn…

Episode 12
Yarizui is still adamant that she wants to go to Audrey to defeat Orthrus and will use this remaining time to rest up. However Satou knows she is in no shape to do it and changes the setting of her clock. Besides, once in a while he wants to look cool and promises to get the eel bento. On his way he meets Heracles and is surprised by the things he said. He knows everything to even his intention to treat Yarizui with an eel bento. The usual Wolves see Satou in front of Audrey. Then he runs away. Could it be that he chickened out? Heracles meets them and tells them the story. Shaga and Nikaidou pass by Satou running the opposite direction and as they enter Audrey, they sense a very unpleasant atmosphere. Finally when the twins make their entry, they are shocked to see Heracles. He quickly reminds them they have no place here and to leave before the tears start falling. Of course they refuse despite being scared to their pants (or skirts rather). Heracles in unfazed since he has told every Wolf about their story. Orthrus was so strong then that they undermined the balance of the battlefield. He is going to bring their downfall once more. Older Kyou believes there are people who will fight them like Satou and Yarizui but their hopes are dashed when they learn Satou had just run away. Heracles continues to seek everyone’s cooperation to save this sacred supermarket from Orthrus. Giving an example if a nail sticks out too much, one must pull it out. Flashback 3 years ago when the twins once again made their regular visit to Audrey. Heracles greeted them and when it’s time for the brawl, he tells them off that they are a nuisance. Day after day, they are the only ones who win and all the rest got were leftovers. A fight like that is no fun and thus everybody decided not to fight them anymore. He tells them to take any half price bento they want and scram. So once they took what they want, the rest happily start the brawl. The twins are shocked and saddened as Heracles added more insult to their wounded pride as everything is the same as usual. The difference is that they don’t pummel them first. And thus this led to their ‘downfall’.

The final batch of fresh eel bentos comes out and they have only 1 hour to get the 6 bento boxes. Heracles flexes his muscle as he tells them to hurry and take what they need while the other Wolves could only stand around and look on. The twins prepare for their sealed fate when Satou comes running back, seemingly out of breath. The labelling is done and Shaga wanted to move in but Satou tells her not to be hasty since words are meaningless between Wolves. At times like this, they should let their gut do the talking. Suddenly there is a huge rumbling in the supermarket. OMG! Is it an earthquake?! No! It’s the growling stomachs of the hungry Wolves!!! Shaga understood why Satou ran away as it was his plan to wear himself out hungry. With them hungry, all they have to do know is obey their instincts. In that instant all the Wolves start fighting each other. Some Wolves realize that if they grab a half price bento after letting the strongest Wolves go, it wouldn’t taste good either. They regret listening to Heracles. Heracles isn’t happy his plan is ruined and joins in the fray to show his true strength. I guess he isn’t called Heracles for nothing. He really is strong but with cooperation from other Wolves, they still can beat this guy. Satou couldn’t give a sh*t about Heracles’ balance preserving ideal because to him if the nail is sticking out too much, he needs to pummel it down with force! Satou tells the twins to come fight them if they want the bento and this brought them to tears. With them back in the action, they let loose their usual stuff. Oshiroi who has been lacking inspiration on her works waltzes in to the mart to see everyone fighting. I guess all that thinking made her hungry, eh? In the end, I don’t even know how Oshiroi got the half price bento and the twins didn’t. But still, bento or not, food tastes good when you’re hungry, right? The usual gang minus Satou sit down and eat together. That guy rushes back to Yarizui and presents her with the laurel wreath eel bento he got for her. On his knees. He’s got all this figured out, eh? Yarizui shares it with him and lets him taste first since he earned it. So good that he doesn’t even want to talk. Yarizui is amazed at how he got this laurel wreath bento. Since so many amazing things happened, he himself isn’t sure. But one thing he does know for sure, that a supermart is not a place for tears of sadness or tragedies. Yarizui agrees that smiles suit the place best. Well, if you’re winning maybe. Things return to normal as the Wolves continue their half price bento brawl. This time the twins come to Hoki Mart.

Food Fight!
Okay, it was fun while it lasted. On par with other food themed animes like the Chinese cuisine of Chuuka Ichiban, the pastries in Yumeiro Patissiere and the breads in Yakitate! Japan, I enjoyed this one too. Wished they had more servings, if not desserts to go by. They make it look like as though buying a bento isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s not like you can just waltz into the store, slowly take your pick and decide which bento you would like to have for dinner and in the midst probably do a little analysis what your palate and stomach would like to have tonight, take the nicely wrapped bento to the counter and pay for it. There, simple? But nooooo… Now you’ve got to fight, punch, kick and do whatever it takes just to fill your stomach for the night at half the price. Yeah, half the monetary price but at the same time you get bruises all over. Is that all worth it? It won’t be if you’re the one at the losing end and go home without food. Probably that’s why the half price bento brawl is only placed at night. A time when innocent children and family people are back safely in the sanctuary of their homes. This is a time where hungry Wolves prowl. Eat or be eaten. It’s the basic rule of survival. So if you’re thinking that a bunch of teenagers are stupid to fight each other over food, you must be one person who always had dinner served on a silver platter at the time you want, when you want. Like they say, a hungry man is an angry man. Ironically with them so hungry, their punches and kicks pack lots of power as compared when they are full. It’s odd, right? Probably that’s what you call desperation and iron will. That’s what separated the winners from the losers.

For a short series, I guess the flow of the story was pretty okay. We see Satou getting introduced to this world of bento brawl and as he gets used to its customs and traditions, he gets involved in other plots. From Endou’s scheme to seek revenge and gain the ultimate title he wanted to the salvation of the Orthrus pair. It’s great that he has his own principles that he sticks to and in no time, he’ll become a respected Wolf if he keeps this up and proper grooming from Yarizui. Just that his nickname may be a little bit of a problem. His would probably be the first that doesn’t sound so glamour. The way he ‘earned’ that title was already a big misunderstanding, now that name sticks to him. This will be messy… Another messy affair would be that he is modelled after in Oshiroi’s works. I’m sure he will know what it means to be gay seeing that security officer would love to stick batteries up his ass! Traumatic! Another ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feature of Satou is his ability to take in lots of beating. This is good because he needs all the endurance he needs to withstand the punches and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It is bad because after taking so many knocks to his head, he’ll have some health problem when he grows old. Because he constantly gets beaten up in every episode, to me it sometimes yo-yos between amusing and annoying. Of course I feel pitiful for him initially for getting trashed as a rookie and those that come from misunderstandings especially Shiraume. But he gets whacked so often that the ‘joke’ has become stale. Of course it’s different if he is in the brawl. You can’t always be having a perfect victory like in video games. You take some, you give some.

Despite Yarizui’s lack of emotion which probably helps explain the other half of her Wolf title, she is quite a considerate and kind senior. It’s not that she never smiles. She does. I was hoping there would be a final showdown in the final episode between Yarizui and the twins. Unfortunately she went ‘out’ with a whimper. Maybe it’s time somebody else hogs the spotlight instead of the strongest Wolf of the west. Speaking of Orthrus case and hers, if Orthrus were ousted because they were too strong, then shouldn’t people like Yarizui become targets too? I mean, as far as I can see in this anime, Yarizui has always been winning her brawls. If she can accumulate so much of those half price stickers in her room and even have a scrapbook containing lots of laurel wreaths, this shows she must have been winning every, if not most of the fights, right? Wouldn’t then there be other Wolves like Heracles who will feel it’s always the same ol’ winner and do the same thing? Maybe for a different town, yes. Shaga feels like a secondary character and someone who is just there to support Satou albeit she teases him a lot and steals a big chunk of his hard earned bento. Just like Yarizui, Shaga’s fighting skills are no laughing matter so think twice if you feel like going easy on them just because they are girls. As for Nikaidou, he is someone who has fallen and tries to redeem himself after Endou’s failure.

Both the twins are an amusing pair. Despite being twins, their personality is like day and night. Older Kyou is the most amusing one because she displays a range of emotions depending on the situation. When it is in her favour or trying to stamp an impression or authority, she acts very cocky, proud, arrogant and haughty. The kind of words that would make your heart feel small. Then when she’s nervous or ‘lost’, she’s like getting panicky and frantic. Of course she also bears the scar of the traumatic past when the twins were forced to retire from becoming Wolves. Younger Kyou on the other hand is calmer and displays lack of emotion which could surpass Yarizui. She is more level-headed and the one who always supports her older sister whenever she’s at a loss of words or ideas. I just wonder why when they attack as Orthrus, nobody initially remembers their face. It’s not like they’re wearing a mask and just use baskets to cover your head. Their beat down techniques that will render you to have amnesia? So why subsequently when everybody knows them, nobody gets this amnesia service anymore? Maybe they lost their ‘fang’? As for Heracles, I think he has some grudge over Orthrus and is using this scheme of his not to fight them as a cover up. For something bigger I don’t know. I mean, he came all the way to a different town just to stop them. Maybe the fact that they always win has diminished some of the Wolves’ morale but not fighting the strongest means that you are taking the easy way out and not proving your worth to earn that bento. The twins are not that bad as portrayed. Maybe because of Older Kyou’s tendency to get a little excited but all they wanted was a chance to live and experience the brawl like any other Wolves. On to the other minor characters, the other Wolves like Bouzu, Chappatsu and Agohige even though they are regular Wolves, feels like they are just there to make up some numbers for the Wolves that support Satou. As far as this anime is concerned, I don’t think I’ve seen them win a bento brawl except the final episode when they fought with the revived Orthrus. Finally they manage to get some hot and good food in their bellies, eh? Say, now that I have noticed it, I have never seen Chappatsu’s face before… Don’t you agree?

Asebi’s role may be comical and so minor that I feel without her, the series can still move on. She may be cute with bad luck following her everywhere but her presence lacks any impact that it made her character forgettable. Hey, even her bad luck has reached this level, huh? Oshiroi the yaoi lover can never get enough of her fantasies involving her Saitou. I suppose that this is her ‘fuel’ instead of the bento. I think the reason she follows Satou to the brawls is just to draw inspiration on her twisted novel. Currently she’s in a slump so maybe she needs to eat more brain food. But when she’s on a roll, see her typing down in her laptop like as though the words are naturally flowing through her, her actions make it feel like this is like sex to her. Get what I mean? If Asebi is what this show calls bad luck, then I suppose Oshiroi must be the opposite with lots of good luck. That’s because she has never gotten a single scratch during the brawls. Amazing, isn’t it? I don’t think the hungry Wolves would differentiate and treat differently cute innocent girls. As long as they step into the fray, everybody is their enemy. Thus it is mind blowing to see her ending up with a piece of half price bento at the end. Sure, she sneaks up to the bento when everybody else is pretty much busy stuffing each other’s face with each other’s fist. But hey, she did follow the rules too, right? No foul play. I wonder what happened to Wizard. I know he left for overseas and in the final episode’s ending credits, he makes a short cameo appearance just to assure us that he is still alive and kicking (and I don’t mean literally brawling for bentos in a foreign land). So how significance was his role in the first half, I don’t know. Maybe it’s to assure that Yarizui has a worthy successor before he leaves? Then what about those Gundogs? Are they still around? Finally, not to say saving the best for last, the character that everyone would love to hate goes to… Shiraume. I really don’t like her hitting Satou and blaming him for being a bad influence to Oshiroi. It’s like almost every time she sees him, she wants to whack and abuse him. And she does it before asking him. It’s as good as not asking in the first place, right? If she really wants Oshiroi for herself, lock her up like a doll in your room forever. Her yuri fetish on Oshiroi is equally bad as Oshiroi’s obsession for yaoi. Weird girls and they’re not even straight. But one thing bugs me about Shiraume’s knowledge on Oshiroi’s works. If she has claimed she has read them and not the yaoi kind of works that she recently came to know, what kind of novels did Oshiroi write anyway? Does she even know Oshiroi likes macho men x macho men? Maybe Oshiroi does a fine job in hiding it away from her. Very tightly concealed till it’s “Let’s get it! Let’s get, let’s get it, let’s go!”. Haha! Still love that part.

I won’t say the fight scenes are totally mind blowing awesome but you get to have your fix of some action. Not to say that each of the Wolves have their own special exaggerated moves but it’s fun to see Wolves like Yarizui twisting, tossing, turning and somersaulting through the air and landing her kicks in her opponents face like as though she is defying gravity. If she was real, she could be the female version of Jackie Chan. But something about the brawls do bother me. You know how messy a fight is, right? How come at the end of it all, the aisles of the store are still clean and tidy?! It’s like either everybody was kind enough not to fight ‘outside’ the designated ‘ring’ or the fighting place is hell of a big. Very big. Enough space for you to punch a big fat guy and send him flying a few metres across the room. Still, notice no foodstuff fell off the shelves? Amazing. I don’t know, the supermarkets in my country especially the locations that sell this kind of fresh food which are right at the back of the store, the place is pretty small and sometimes tight. So much so you have to manoeuvre and make way for others. So when a big brawl that involves many people commences, are they fighting in a time-space dimension? I’m not too sure about the rules of the brawl but if Shaga can use chopsticks and the twins’ baskets to aid in their fight, wouldn’t other Wolves also at least take something in hand as ‘weapon’? Certainly if Orthrus does it, it must mean it is legal, right? So you wouldn’t mind if I use the trolley or the salmon? Don’t play with food!

As food is one of the main attractions of this show, I must say that watching some of the half price bentos on offer made me want to taste them too! Hell, I’m not a martial artist so I won’t break a limb to savour such taste. Boo hoo! No pain, no gain for me. Really, I really would like to have a taste of those mouth watering bentos. Oddly in a way some may not be popular since if they were, they would have been sold out instead of being left as leftovers for the night brawl. So as to know which bento will be the ‘main star’ of that particular episode, you can see that bento’s name being featured after several minutes into the opening credits animation. Yeah, each bento comes with calories too. Hmm… I’m not a foodie or nutritionist expert so does a sticky natto okara rice bowl bento with juicy cheese topping that is worth 440kca a bad thing? What about mackerel boiled in miso bento which is worth 674kcal? Would Ginger Fried Pork Bento 852 kcal be considered as guilty pleasure? Oh, and the highest calorie of them all has got to be the western and Japanese food mix amounts to 2,910kcal! Better do a good workout after chowing all that. Yeah, maybe that’s why we all fight to work up a good appetite, eh? Even with episodes that don’t feature a bento, at least they feature some of the other food like the bottle drink Yarizui loves drinking from and the porridge Shiraume made for Oshiroi when she’s sick. Then there’s one episode whose title is so damn long that it’s like Yarizui being nostalgic about the taste of her grandma’s dish. Oh wait. It is that. It’s worth 480kcal if you want to know.

On a trivial note, the next episode preview feels like a movie take. A character is supposed to narrate the next episode preview but I guess some went off tangent like Shiraume doing what she loves best to Oshiroi, sleepy Shaga not interested in doing so but would rather continue her video game with Satou, Yarizui reading from the wrong script (she read Oshiroi’s sick novel instead), Oshiroi giving her own episode preview of her Muscle Detective work in place of the preview and Older Kyou bragging too much on how she memorized the script but ended up with no more time for the preview. The mid-intermission shows the characters fitting in the bento box while we hear somebody screaming or sexily moaning the word “Bento”. There are also a handful of trivia to spot albeit not much and that is just Satou’s video game posters like Sonic the Hedgehog and the Virtua Fighter game that he loves playing. He is still having a Nintendo NES system which means he is an old fashioned kid when it comes to video games. Or either that, he must be one poor kid that he can’t afford to upgrade his console. Heck, he can’t even afford proper dinner. I have watched a couple of specials called Picture Dramas but they weren’t interesting. If they are the so called ‘desserts’ as to the anime as the ‘main course’, this ‘dessert’ isn’t as sweet as I hoped to be. As its name suggest, they are still pictures while we hear the characters blab away. The first one is about Oshiroi as she rants about her yaoi fantasy involving Saitou and others for over 8 minutes! Eight freaking long minutes! I don’t know. I didn’t want to stick around to hear her twisted story because I feel if I do, she’ll add me into her story and make some fictitious modelled character ‘stick it in’ to me too. Then there’s this part where she starts moaning like a crazy sex maniac like as though she’s totally turned on as she writes her novel (which was what happened). Maybe she climaxed herself. Till Oshiroi interrupts her with a call then she stops her deep breathing and puts away her work since she’s coming. Good riddance. For the second Picture Drama, it’s that loathsome Oshiroi beating us viewers for trying to take unauthorized pictures of her and Oshiroi. She can be a good interrogator, you know. And the way it is shown, we are supposed to like her beating?! NO WAY!!! If this girl is your wife, you die straight away, I tell you! Thank goodness she’s a yuri… Seme type most probably.

The best voice acting has got to go to Yukari Tamura who does Older Kyou. I love the way she uses her voice to portray all sorts of emotion from her character. Her trademark squeaky high pitch voice doesn’t disappoint and she’s like the food version of Katanagatari’s Togame. And since Yui Horie (Kotori in Da Capo) is deadpan as the Younger Kyou, this is the other major difference (apart from Older Kyou’s longer hair to Younger Kyou’s short hairstyle) why I could tell the twins apart without breaking a sweat. In many animes that involves twins (like the one in Ouran High School Host Club and Kimi To Boku), I can never seem to tell the other apart. Other casts include Hiro Shimono as Satou (Akihisa in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Mariya Ise as Yarizui (Riko in Hidan No Aria, Aruka in Needless), Emiri Katou as Shaga (Kagami in Lucky Star), Ao Yuuki as Oshiroi (Tooru in A Channel), Ai Kayano as Shiraume (Ayaka in Kamisama No Memo-chou), Ayana Taketatsu as Asebi (Azusa in K-ON!), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Nikaidou (Tasuku in Seikon No Qwaser), Sayaka Ohara as Macchan (Alicia in Aria The Animation), Hiroki Yasumoto as Endou (Sado in Bleach), Akira Ishida as Heracles (Zeref in Fairy Tail) and Mamoru Miyano as Wizard (Death The Kid in Soul Eater). The opening theme by Aimi, LIVE for LIFE ~Ookamitachi no Yoru~ is a rock outfit that perfectly suits the action and brawl nature of this series. Even the lyrics are about being a Wolf and fighting as one. The ending theme, Egao No Housoku by Mariya Ise sounds a bit Chinese and despite being a moderate slow pop ballad, it doesn’t sound as bad. Why is the animation solely on Yarizui? There is a special one-episode-only opening theme for Shaga. The lively rock beat of Treasure by Emiri Katou describes best the kind of character Shaga is.

Despite the violent nature we see from the Wolves, the deeper meaning is that we should be grateful for the food, the ingredients and the people who made it. We should give thanks to everyone involved down the line in making such a delicious meal. There are many more subtle lessons we can learn from the Wolves. Don’t waste food. Don’t take more than you can chew. Food tastes better when you’re eating with your family and friends. You appreciate food better when you earn them the hard way. Shows that money can’t buy you everything, eh? Even so at half price lah :). And even if you have won the right to your food, that doesn’t mean you cannot share it with others. You can be stingy on money but not on food. If there is going to be a sequel, I’ll definitely want to watch it to see the development in the characters, plot and of course the food. Yummy, yummy bento. If so, I hope to catch it while it is fresh and hot and not near its expiry date. Oh dear. Typing this long has made me hungry. Now I just need to get some chocolates for my sweet sugar rush and watch more animes to feed my need. Hmm… Food for thought: Would I actually fight all out if I am ever that hungry? Let’s just say it’ll be safer for me to get a boring cup noodle than getting waste on the battlefield. Well, food no matter how plain or extravagant is all the same when it goes down into your stomach, right?

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