November 04, 2014

Ben-To! Ep10

So we have come at last to the dreaded Ep10 of Ben-To!.  "Dreaded" because it reintroduces the show to the concept of "plot", and as we've learned in the past, Ben-To! is at its worst when it tries to be even vaguely serious.  Ep09, for all of its squicky moments, is an excellent example of what the series does right... namely, fanservice and goofy.  But I'm getting ahead of myself, I think.  No, I should let you experience the sad flailing attempts at legitimate scripting as it comes.  So let us do just that!  I welcome you to the episodic writeup for Ben-To! Ep10! 

It's a beautiful day in East Bento City: blue skies, school-sponsored video games, and a cheese-and-watercress sandwich.  Really, what more could one ask for in life?  Don't ask Shaga, she's too busy reading a manga as a East High club-approved activity.  Really.  When I was in high school, I was in radio club.  I mean, that was cool, don't get me wrong, but as cool as the gig Shaga's got running?  Not even in the same area code.  But this being Ben-To!, it's not like we're going to get an idyllic episode watching Shaga eat a samitch and Ms Fortune wearing a silly animal hat.  No, the production staff is too cruel for that.  What they give us instead is...

...the East student council President and Veep.  They've come to the NES Club to point out that a) they haven't submitted their monthly activity report, and 2) to ask Shaga just what the hell she thought she was doing visiting West High and wearing its uniform to boot.  Ooooh, continuity from Ep09, who would have thought?  Shaga waves it off, saying that she was meeting her cousin "...and the Witch."

Left (on the right) gets all excited about this, fangirling all over the possibility of tracking down the elusive Ice Witch but Kyou, the more logicial of the two, runs roughshod over her sister, in effect telling her to shut her yap.  Wouldn't want to give the Beauty of the Lake a reason to be suspicious or nothin'.  Finally, after chastising her one last time, Left and Kyou take their leave.  Shaga quickly fills out the activity sheet, Ms Fortune falls out the window and causes a major traffic accident, and then...

...Pointy Chinned Bishy makes a reappearance.  This can't be good.

"It was a warm, gentle flavor that reminded me of my grandmother.  A Japanese dish that was kind to both the body and the heart.  Plums and dried baby sardines over rice with plenty of seasonal vegetables stewed bento."  Well, it appears that someone let John Irving write the descriptions today.  What is it about sardines that people like them so much?  I've never understood this.  Is it because of the novelty of having whole tinned fish?  What?  It is truly a puzzlement.

PCB is bringing Shaga up to speed on something bad that's been occurring recently.  It appears that, in the East, an unstoppable force has begun showing up at the usual places.  It comes, it kicks the daylights out of any Wolf it encounters, it leaves.  And it's been working its way up the food chain.

For example, The Monarch, last seen getting his arse handed to him in Ep06.  This incredible fighter is called "Orthrus", and victims remember very little of their so-called contests.  One thing they all have in common is a loss of spirit and a sense of impending darkness.  So, they're recapping Ben-To!, too, huh?  There's few left in the East that are willing to face Orthrus, and fewer still that could last with it.  Like, none... which means it's heading West.  The only thing anybody knows is that Orthrus is a duo.  Hmmm... let your mind wander back to the end of Ep08, why don't you?  Later...

...Our Hero is recovered from the injuries suffered when he dove out a window after a Sega game system in Ep08... continuity!... and I'm going to sidetrack for a moment here.  A couple of days ago, I was leaving The Old Home Pond and stepped on the broken spot of a concrete step.  Instead of being a nice right angle, it was more like a slope.  Anyway, it's been there for a long time, but for whatever reason my brain didn't remember that.  My right foot immediately went down, my left foot came around to balance myself, and I actually thought to myself "I got this!"  Then I wound up propelling myself headlong into the decorative shrubbery stage right of the stairs.  A few scratches from that, no biggie... but my right shin came down hard on the row of upended bricks lining the greenery... like this, but half-buried and not cemented together.  My right leg has a brick-end edge shaped wound carved into it, there's swelling and pain when I bend the knee, but nothing is broken.  I bring this up because I was in agony from this injury, it hurt like the blazes, and I was very nearly immobilized (and let me tell you, removing myself from the shrubbery was not fun)... yet Our Hero can fall multiple stories and he was basically uninjured... and had hot nurses (wellllllll...) crawling all over him.  I want to be an anime main character in real life, because there are days I don't even feel like the protagonist in my own story!  Right, end sidetrack, back to the writeup.

That night, Our Hero is at a grocery shop on the East side, sent there by the Ice Witch because it doesn't have many schools nearby and thus should be an easy fight.  Gotta work your way back into shape, don'tchaknow?  Except when he gets there, he finds the aisles chock full o' hungry Wolves...

...and these two, who refer to him as "Hentai-san," his Wolf name.  Dear readers, what happens next is so hideous, so disgusting, so terrible, that the episode doesn't show it to us.  Here, watch this, it should relax you some.  Better?  Better?  Okay, cool.  Shaga walks into the grocery store sometime later and finds...

...Our Hero.  He's a basket case.  Ho ho, aren't I witty?  I've been stuck at this point in the writeup for three days now, the only activity I've managed was adding in that link.  Instead of letting it annoy me, I'm going to try and write my way out of it, and you all get to be my victims lab animals test subjects partners in crime blogging.  I believe I've gone over how I do these things before, but over the years the process has changed quite a bit.  It used to be that I would get and edit the screengrabs first, then upload them, then do the writeup around the framework of the pictures.  I did it that way because, at the time, I had a horrible piece of "anti-"virus software on my computer that was so intrusive that it would literally take up to a minute to upload a 70kb screenshot.  The moment I got rid of it for being less an anti-virus program and more of a virus matador ("Ole!" it would shout, then dodge the virus entirely, letting it run roughshod through my system), uploads returned to the correct pace.  Anyway, before that occurred, it would take a substantial amount of time to upload all the pics for a writeup... I think it was close to three hours for the final episode of Ga-Rei Zero, for example.  Doesn't leave a whole lot of time to do the rest of the things one needs to do in a night, y'know?  NOW, however, with a good broadband connection and such, I watch an episode, taking screenshots, uploading and writing as I go.  I assume that how others do it, too, but have no way of knowing because nobody else seems to be as desperate for an attempt to get past a block than I am, and thus doesn't actually talk about their writing process.  Here's something for your time wasted reading this.

Meanwhile, while Our Hero is getting pummeled, the Ice Witch waits... and wonders.  Did she make a mistake, sending him out tonight?  Or is he fully recovered?  Or, as is more likely, is she trying to decide between fish sauce or soy?  Across town...

Left is being all whiny again, this time about how "unsatisfied" kicking Our Hero's arse up between his shoulder blades left her.  While Kyou dislikes the whining, she can't help but agree with her sister's point-of-view, and together they declare that tomorrow, they'll go hunting themselves some Ice Witch.  Cue dramatic music.  Later that night...

...Ice Witch and Our Hero are "teaming up" to go bento hunting.  One gets the feeling that the Ice Witch is watching out for the loser who got his arse kicked up between his shoulder blades the night previously, and Our Hero gets the feeling that Orthrus won't show up hunting the Ice Witch.  Did I mention that he hasn't mentioned this lil' detail to her yet?  No?  He hasn't bothered to tell her that she's being hunted.  Way to go, hero.  Strangely, this little grocery store is populated by just about every Western Wolf tonight, as well as Beauty... and then Left and Kyou walk in.

They apologize for going too hard on the clueless Our Hero.  For just a moment, he vaguely remembers something about the previous night, but it's gone in a flash.  After moving on, they make a quiet remark to Beauty, and Brunette, an earlier victim of Orthrus feels strangely discomfited.  And then it's time for the food.

The bento battle goes the way it usually does.  Everybody charges willy-nilly, then squares off with someone else.  The Ice Witch and Our Hero begin to do what they normally do, with the Beauty doing similar, until...

...darkness falls.  Shaga is left unconscious on the floor.  Our Hero is launched into a semi-ballistic trajectory towards the dairy products.  Every other Wolf is sent flying, leaving Ice Witch completely unscathed.  As Brunette falls, she screams out a warning: "Watch out for the baskets!"  A brief flurry of violence reveals nothing of the full capabilities of the two parties.

It does, however, give us this kick-arse pose.  Orthrus has taken the field.  A quick bit of speechifying gives Our Hero and Beauty a chance to recover and rejoin The Witch, and violence resumes.  Beauty tries to disarm them with her famous chopsticks, but...'s going to be a bit tougher than that.  The force with which she is sent towards the paper products aisle is enough to curdle milk.  Next up is Pointy Chinned Bishie, ex-leader of Gabriel Ratchett.

"An ant has no quarrel with a boot."  He lasts just as long as you might expect said ant to last under aforementioned boot.  This does, however, give Ice Witch enough to time gather herself and launch a furious counterattack.

This is a triumph.  I'm making a note here, huge success.  Everybody watching is amazed, as much by the maneuver as by The Witch's magic-stay-down-skirt, and a feeling of relief washes over the grocery store...

What are you doing?  Stop that right this instant!  Orthrus is smiling and laughing in a very, very creepy way.  They're diggin' this moment, and right then and there you know that they are entirely insane.  I mean, more than normal for this show.  You also know something very bad is about to happen. 

Yes, this is probably A Bad Thing.  The Ice Witch is sent corkscrewing towards the floor of the grocery store at relativistic speeds.  The result is inevitable.

Fade to black.  Roll credits.

Well.  Not the best of episodes, this Ep10.  I have a hard time taking Orthrus seriously, but that's something of a bummer of an ending, to be sure.  But what now for our intrepid heroes?  Find out in the next exciting episode of Ben-To!, coming soon to A Pond near you! 


Next episode: more zombies!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:15 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 1999 words, total size 15 kb.

1 Second use of the "no" duck... high-larious.

Thanks for bringing the funny despite life messing with ya.  Love these writeups.

Posted by: Mikeski at November 04, 2014 07:31 PM (luDkn)

2 That blonde sure is nicely built. Is she a candidate for my top rotation? Is there a reasonable supply of cheesecake mixed in with all the lunches?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 04, 2014 08:14 PM (+rSRq)

3 Actually, I just looked at RandomC's frame grabs for the series, and it looks like most of the pictures of her also include at least one guy. Oh, well; too bad.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 04, 2014 08:46 PM (+rSRq)

4 Thumbs up for the write-up, with an extra shout-out for "virus matador."

Posted by: GreyDuck at November 04, 2014 09:06 PM (AQ0bN)

5 "Is she a candidate for my top rotation?"

Yes, she is.  RandomC's frame grabs don't tell the story.  You will have zero problems getting top rotation-level shots from the entire show.  There are whole episodes where you practically never see Our Hero.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 04, 2014 09:20 PM (jGQR+)

6 1. Yay! I've been waiting for this. It's amazing how much enjoyment you give me, from shows I don't actually watch.

2. Landing on paving bricks? Ouch. That's much worse than sliding down the hallway and colliding knees with my hard shoes. I got housemaid's knee on two knees at once out of that one. It goes away after a while for most people, but icing it down a lot of the time helps the bursitis not develop in the first place.

Hope you've got the traditional icepacks and bags of frozen peas.... The itty bitty lunchpack ice things are great for sleeping under the covers.

Posted by: at November 05, 2014 08:45 AM (ZJVQ5)

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