September 05, 2014

Ben-To! Ep08

These are the times that try ducks' souls.  After the painful experience that was Ep07, it is with trepidation that I sit down and attempt to boil Ben-To! Ep08 down to a coherent and entertaining experience.  Still, it's unlikely that the show will stoop as low as a dolphin-fin "rudder" again, so I've got that going for me.  Which is nice.  I just spent twenty minutes watching youtube videos of alpacas.  That should give you some insight into the way my blogging process works.  So should this.  I've just spent an hour choosing just the right videos for those two links.  Are you not entertained???

Our story for this episode, such as it is, begins on the East Side of Chicago town.  Shaga and Ms Fortune are running in the halls, the way teenagers do, those rapscallions, when from out of nowhere, BAM!  A scolding!  GASP!  It's the twins from last episode's Important Encounter!  It appears that they are part of the Student Council as Shaga immediately apologizes and swears it'll never happen again.

Of course, the second the coast is clear, Ms Fortune heads for the stairs at full speed and... did you know you can fall down four flights of stairs?  Really quite impressive if you ask me.

The Student Council Office.  Dear god, it's better appointed than the Presidental Meeting Room at Duck U, and that's got a hand-carved oak table that's over a hundred years old and a fireplace.  Wait, that's awkward.  The table does not have a fireplace.  Neither does this one, though I suspect offscreen Leni Riefenstahl is just drooling over the place in general.

Of course, our two as-yet nameless twins are President and Veep (left and right, respectively).  Until further information becomes available, I'll have to come with something to call them.  Maybe a physical characteristic that's different between the two?  Hmm... AHA!  I've got it!  I'll call them Left and Right!  Left's the one on the left, Right is the one on the right.  Pure unadulterated genius! 

Wikipedia gives this bento's name as "Jumbo Garlic Chive Hamburger Steak Bento."  I think I prefer "Chives Aplenty" instead.  Mmmm... fresh chives.  They're not just for baked potatoes anymore.  Back at the Olde Home Pond, the northwest corner of the veggie garden was devoted to chives, a good half-foot square's worth.  Darn but that's tasty stuff, and it sounds to me like this episode's bento will be a winner in my eyes.

Seems there's one martial art that the Ice Witch isn't any good at... the Way of Sega.  I was never much into Sega games, truth be told.  Come to think of it, console games in general weren't for me.  The family had what became known as the Atari 2600, yes, but that was the last console system I owned.  I played Virtua Fighter in the arcades (Lau Chan for the win!), but that was probably the only Sega I have experience with.  Even Sonic passed me by.  But, as we know, Shaga and Our Hero are both dedicated Console Warriors.

After being soundly trounced by Shaga and Ms Fortune (not appearing in this shot), she insists that Our Hero takes a turn.  As expected, Ice Witch loses.  Also as expected, Shaga gloats hard... no "ggthx", just "u suk n00b."  What happens next came as something of a surprise to me.

Our girl Yarizui here, she's kind of a sore loser.  At least she has the good grace to ask how much it would cost to replace the old Sega Saturn unit before she chucks it out the window... not that that does much good at the moment.  What she forgot is what happens when you throw something of Our Hero's out the window... he's gonna go after it.  Last time, he wound up in an incinerator.

SAIL!  Did I mention that they're in the Half-Pricer's Club room on the 5th floor of the school?  No?  They're in the Half-Pricer's Club room on the 5th floor of the school.  My high school had two floors and a basement with a shooting range.  In gym class one week, we actually got to fire .22 bolt-action rifles down there.  Nowadays I suspect the idea of giving students weaponry, even ones as puny as a .22 bolt-action, would cause no end of apoplexy.  Not just parents, either... faculty would probably be nervous as well.  Then again, we also had a week of fencing that year, too.  Surprisingly, while I had all the accuracy of a spavined tarsier with the rifle, I was probably the best in my class with the foil.  Probably because of my berserker tendencies whenever you hand me a melee weapon... the local SCA chapter "champion" didn't much care for the fact that I beat him the first time someone handed me a rattan sword.  And the second.  And the third.

None of which is a patch on what's about to occur to Our Hero.  Even taking into account the fact that he lands in bushes and grassworks, he's still falling somewhere in the vicinity of forty to  fifty feet.  According to "Ten years of experience with falls from a height in children," in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 50% of all children who suffer a fall of that height will die.  Our Hero does technically fall into the age range of the study so his survival is not wholly unexpected.  He also has the added benefit of possessing plot armor, so one would almost expect him to jump up and walk away.  No such luck for him, however, as his scream of pain upon disappearing into the shrubbery would suggest.  If you had told me years ago that I'd be referencing medical journals in a blogpost about anime, I'd... well, I'd shrug and go with it.  It's not that weird, is it?  I mean, [citation needed] and all that, right?  Right?  Please tell me I'm right.  Meanwhile...

...on the other side of town, Student Council has let out, and Left is whining about... something something something seeing her face something something.  At this point in the episode, it is suggested that the accidental interaction between them and Our Hero (and his band of neer-do-wells) has left an impression upon both of them.  We also learn that Right's name is "Kyou."  So, just to correct the facts: Left and Kyou.

At the same time, an ambulance hurries the crushed and broken form of Our Hero, still desperately clutching his Sega Saturn, to the hospital and the awaiting emergency room staff.  Once there, it's clear that he's in very bad shape.  Shattered ribs, suffered by taking the impact on his side, have not only shredded a lung but lacerated his liver and punctured the spleen.  One kidney is missing altogether, his pelvis is merely a suggestion at this point, one arm and the matching leg are broken in multiple places, and there's serious deformation in the cervical vertebrae stack.  A suspected skull fracture is later found to be a twig that managed to make its way under the skin of his head.  His jaw and cheekbones are broken in multiple places, and it's decided that total replacement of his nose is better than simple plastic surgery.  In short, he done be messed up.  On the other side of town...

Left is still simpering and sniveling about how's its too much to bear, so much so that Kyou appears in an attempt to shut her up.  An attempt that, point in fact, fails miserably.  Left reveals that she has a plan!

They'll dress up as nurses and visit HER in the hospital.  Wait, what?  There are so many things going wrong during this conversation that I can't keep track of them all.  I mean, first off, they didn't meet any "her" at the water park, just Our Hero.  Second, why do they think she is in the hospital in the first place?  The accident happened just a few hours ago, on the other side of town!  And then, who is "she"?  Though that one's pretty obvious from context, wtf?  And on and on and on... and we still don't know what Left's name is!  It's not like we expect such difficult concepts as "plot" and "consistency" and "continuity" from anime in general, but come on!

Some unknown amount of time later, the two twins are in the process of being totally inconspicuous as they infiltrate the hospital.  Nothing to see here, move along.  For the record, that's Kyou standing, Left crouched.  After a few moments of James Bond-ing through the hallways, they make their way to a supply closet.

No, I'm not sure why I stitched this one together either.  I don't even have a thing for nurses... I've known too many of them, dated a couple, and helped a lot of them at the Bookstore, and I can honestly say that I fear for our healthcare system.  I mean, for heaven's sake, I convinced two of them to go out with me, what does that say?  That's just ducked up.  Just a few doors away...

There would be worse ways to wake up.  Everybody's pleased to see that Our Hero has survived his first attempt at powered flight, and I'll let you figure out how it was powered.  Hoo hoo, look at me, innuendo humor!  So, with all his injuries what does Our Hero look like?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Claude Rains.

The girls give him a hard time for a minute until they get kicked out by the end of visiting hours.  Probably the best thing for him, all told.  So they leave, Left pinpoints the room and returns to the storage closet to begin the operation!

Kyou's reaction is similar to mine.  One gets the feeling that if Left wasn't her twin sister, she'd kick the snout out of her daily, maybe take her lunch money in the process.  Alas, that pleasant image must go by the wayside for...

...Mission: Sneak In And Visit Ice Witch is engaged!  As Left is leaving, Kyou looks out the window and contemplates how her life has come to this, following her whiny sister in a rather less-than-legal act in a hospital.  FLASHBACK!

Left and Kyou approach a store as the Ice Witch leaves, freshly won bento in hand.  Kyou identifies her as the most dangerous Wolf in the West, and suddenly Left is all "I want to see her fight."  That's it.  That's why they're doing this stupid, stupid thing.  END FLASHBACK.

Fast worker, this Left.  While her sister watches and speaks to her via kleenex-box-mounted camera, she starts crawling into bed with "Ice Witch."  Our Hero, being a guy, begins to react as you would expect a teenage guy to react.  At least, the way an undamaged guy.  Seeing how he's head-to-toe bandages and casts because he jumped out a five-story building, any reaction is impressive.  However, Left panics and runs away, sure that the accelerated breathing and visible flushing is a sign of barely contained rage.  Kyou, unfazed, takes over whist sister watches on via camera.

This shot?  No, no reason that I've posted it.  Kyou comes in with a tape measure ("Her arms are quite long for a girl.  Maybe that reach gives her an advantage?"), and of course Our Hero begins to freak again.  Tagout, and here comes Left once again.

Our Hero is making sounds like he needs his bandages changed, if you know what I mean. This is getting ridiculous.  Thankfully, we now cut to the Ralph Store (" know the joke.  Ralph Store.") where...

... we discover that Our Hero isn't really as badly injured as he looked.  Seems Ms Fortune's family runs the hospital, so as a joke they wrapped him up in the bandages.  He'll be okay to go tomorrow!  Well, that's awfully sucky of Shaga.  Nice family, huh?  Looks sure don't cover an interior satanspawn, that's for sure.  It appears that the battle for the Chives Aplenty bento will be completed offscreen, as we now...

...cut back to the hospital, where a REAL nurse has finally encountered Left.  After making a few corrections to her uniform, the nurse, assuming that Left is the new RN on staff, tells her to change Our Hero's bandages.  Assuming that's the Ice Witch under there, she agrees readily!  Finally, a chance to study her chosen opponent closely!

Eager with anticipation, she begins unwrapping... and is somewhat taken aback by Ice Witch's muscular legs.  And deep voice.  And... and... and...

"Hentai!  Hentai!  HENTAIIIIIIIII!!!"  Now, it's not like he did anything wrong, being in his own hospital bed, it's all her mistake.  Does the rest of the world see it that way, though?  Oh, please; this is anime!  It's much more "funny" when Our Hero is made the fool... that's the way the trope plays out in shows like this.  Actually, it might be more of a "guys are dumb" thing, but let's not get into that little argument, shall we?

"You know, I was about to go off-shift.  Just another hour, and I would be able to go home, have some noodles, and sleep the sleep of the just and innocent," thought the Head Nurse.  "Now this is dropped in my lap.  I really should have become a chartered accountant, like my father wanted me to."  She sighed heavily.  Meanwhile, Left and Kyou sneak out in all the confusion, ditching the nurse costumes as they go... to the convenience store?

"For the first time in three years, I feel alive again," Left exults for reasons not entirely clear to the audience.  Then again, that pretty much explains this entire episode.  Well, what can you do, it's not like we're expecting something GOOD from Ben-To! by now, are we?  At the store...

...Shaga notices the two of them leaving with bentos.  Half-priced bentos, as a matter of fact.  Well, hey, that's curious, she thinks, then turns around.

Dun-dun-DUHHHHHHHN!  Fade to black, roll credits.

See, now this is how you do a fanservice episode, even if you don't like nurses outfits.  That's really all this was when it comes right down to it, and unfortunately it took what little brain was involved in the production of a regular episode and mushed it into something resembling a fig newton.  Well, at least we've got something to look forward to next time... maybe we'll learn Left's real name!

(note: I know what it is.  It's more fun this way)

Next zombies: more episode!


Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:59 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 It's brave of you to continue suffering this insanity to  bring us amusing blog posts, sir. Manalive, I'd never be able to finish the show...

Posted by: GreyDuck at September 07, 2014 08:37 AM (CUkqs)

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