fate/zero 10 and ben-to 9

“I have plenty of time, after all.”

(Ten years.)

“See, you’re burning up.”

Not sure if this was the best or worst episode of Ben-to. Still rattlin’ it around in my head… one the pro side, it has a lot of Shiraume and Oshiroi, which are pluses, and features enough poor luck Sato moments. On the con side, it has probably too much poor luck Sato moments, not enough bento battlin’, and not enough Ice Witch or the Kyou twins. Mmm… I still don’t know.

(For what it’s worth, this show rose above its peers because of the ridiculous bento battlin’ subplot. Without it, it’s just yet another high school fanservice comedy. I feel like a little bit of fanservice is okay, but we’re going on three episodes of Ben-to without significant bento battlin’. For that reason alone, I’m inclined to give it Worst. Episode. Ever. tag. If we didn’t already have the superior swimsuit episode or the Kyoulicious twincest episode the prior two weeks, I would feel differently.)

(Ah, good to be able to use “Kyoulicious” again. I feel like parts of my lexicon get underutilized these days. Killer lolis!)

Asebi is the poor man’s version of Fuko-chan. She’s only there to fill up time. Like her whole lunch box thing was added because the producers started panicking that the the Shiramue x Oshiroi fanservice would only be 15 minutes at best. The horrible tasting food skit? Done millions of times before, and I would expect more from an anime that’s about bentos.

(Looks like we’ll have an NBA season starting on Christmas, but don’t expect me to be all desperate-like and run back into its hairy arms. I watched good chucks of MLG Providence and NASL, and I enjoyed it. There’s no commercial breaks during the action, which is fantastic. There’s no whining, bitching, or pouty faces towards the refs, which is fantastic. There’s no announcers plugging things I don’t care about… “Next on TNT, it’s The Closer! We know drama.” NASL was great with the player intros too, and I fully support more WWE-like player intros. If this leads to HerO running out and spitting on everyone, I’m all for it. Hell, if the NBA does this with LeBron James spitting on everyone, I’m so back in.)

Also not sure if this was the best or worst episode of Fate/zero. I guess if you like Rin and like lolis, this episode would be best ever for you. But if you’re into the Emiya vs. Kirei battle as well as Iskandar, this episode ain’t that great. While I do like the idea of a spinoff episode to focus on a future star of the fifth Holy Grail War, it seems Guilty Crown-ish for Rin to come back to the city to try to save her friend. It does show the impetuous and overconfidence of Rin, and it does start to setup an eventual backstab of Tohsaka-papa by Kirei, but not much was done for this war.

I like the composition of this scene. Just reminds me that with only a handful of episodes left, not much has been accomplished except Sola-Ui vaulting herself into a competition with Shiraume for most diabolical bitch. I feel like Fate/zero should have been hour long episodes… just works better with the extended cast, and you know ufotable is going to make their money back.

(Dear Aniplex USA, your ridiculous pricing is ridiculous. $50 per BD might fly in Japan, but not in the US market when Sentai, Funimation, and other distributors offer $50 per BD series. There’s an established price point in this market that BDs for first run movies is about $25, and TV series is about $50-100. Asking over $200 for Madoka and Fate/zero is just ridiculous. I think lowering your price point and selling more copies will ultimately work out better for you. Look at Amazon’s 40 top selling anime BDs… the most expensive series is Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood at $37 per half season with Fumoffu the cheapest at $13. Also there’s no Aniplex USA release in the top 40. I am certainly not paying a “discounted” $45 per Star Driver BD.)

Much better if you picture Oshiroi as Emiya and Shiraume as Saber. I mean, from the fifth Holy Grail War.

Bonus Penguindrum. Saddest moment ever.

Expect if you’re familiar with Ikuhara’s work. My favorite underrated moment has to be how Akio bonked every character in Utena. Not just a few– all of them. That’s a feat that has yet to be surpassed… not even by Sister Princess‘ Wataru.

(I am so disappointed we haven’t had a Rock over Japan sequence in forever. I hope Ikuhara trolls us all and just has nothing but Rock over Japan as the final Penguindrum episode.)

Definitely like Sato standing up to Shiraume, but it’s like watching a poor Flag challenge 00 Gundam. (And she’s 00 since she has both a left and right melonpan.) I do like how Shiraume is so viciously protective of Oshiroi, but it’ll be for naught if they can’t tie this back to the main bento battlin’ plot. We only have a few episodes left, and I’m curious to how Shiraume and the Kyou twins will influence the bento battles.

Main issue with this series is that it made Ice Witch nearly invincible from the beginning, and Sato went from loser to bento battler extraordinaire over the course of two episodes. I think if it were more about the plucky club overcoming hardships and obstacles to become a major powerhouse, the show could have more legs. Right now, there’s only so much you can do with so much power concentrated in Ice Witch and Sato. And they can only try to top it with more insanely powerful bento battlers (like why introduce the Kyou twins last episode if they don’t even fight in this one?) to the point where we’re hearing things like, “Sato, be careful, he has a bento power level of over nine thousand!”

Glad to see Tohsaka-papa do something other than swirling wine around. Who does he think he is? Akio Ohtori? One weakness of Fate/zero is establishing why Tohsaka-papa wants to win. Kirei wants to win it for Tohsaka-papa (yeah right), Waver wants to win to prove he’s a big boy and doesn’t need his mom to dress him, Archibald wants to win to rule the world, Sola-Ui wants to win to save Archibald (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA), Ryuunosuke wants to win to become a Penn State coach, and Emiya wants to win to save the world. What the fuck does Tohsaka-papa want? Kariya is fighting for his kids already, so, uh, awkward. Tohsaka-papa needs better motivation than to just kill time because he’s bored.

(If you can teach me /
the meaning of being here, /
I can always stay strong and unchanged. /

Holding up the light, I erase all my hesitation. /
What I wanted to give you was a future /
While holding onto crying nights, I scream out my griefs. /

My distant ideals take my footsteps and gently heals them. /
Tightly holding our certain bond, we can go anywhere.)

(Mmm… if only Herman Cain quoted Oath Sign instead of Pokemon, he might still be in the race. “I wasn’t sexually harassing her, I was just recharging her mana as any good master would do.”)

I think I would have liked this episode more if Iskandar rode in at this moment. Even if Ryuunosuke isn’t a powerful mage, I find it difficult to believe a 6 year old girl can outwit and outfight a twenty year old man… can you imagine if a battalion of the Emperor’s best, most highly trained, and best equipped Stormtroopers were defeated by a handful of giant two feet tall squirrels? It’ll be unpossible.

(I wonder if we’ll get an Illyasviel-based episode next season, which starts spring 2012. Or an episode of Emiya meeting Emiya.)

I did enjoy the BGM here. Set the mood well. Let’s get it! Let’s get it! Let’s get it! Let’s go!

(Again, your enjoyment of this episode will be based on how much you enjoy the standard female x female trope scene in anime. Why can’t we get one with two willing participants? Or at least match the Natsuki x Shizuru relationship?)

Camera angles. It’s all about dem plaid skirts camera angles.


1. Ned Stark as Saber. (Or Nadine Stark.) Khal Drogo as Rider. Hodor as Berserker. Jaime Lannister as Archer. Make this happen.

2. Jim Raynor as Saber. (Or Jenny Raynor.) Tassadar as Rider. Kerrigan as Berserker. Zeratul as Assassin.

3. Anri as Saber. (No genderswap needed.) Celty as Rider. Shizuo as Berserker. Masaomi as Lancer.

17 Responses to “fate/zero 10 and ben-to 9”

  1. Rin gets her trademark smirk this episode. I’m surprised you didn’t show that.

    Also, Iskandarinator is not pleased by this episode, or with the fanart that has Waver as John Conner.

  2. “One weakness of Fate/zero is establishing why Tohsaka-papa wants to win.”

    In episode 6, Kirei and Gilly talk about Tohsaka’s desire for the Holy Grail, which is to reach the Akashic Records. Apparently, it’s some kind Nirvana for Magi or something. Not as interesting of a wish as everybody else and even Gil calls Tohsaka boring because of it. Just wanted to point out that even though they only discussed for 2 minutes, the show does mention the motivation.

  3. Akasha, is kind of like the origin of everything, and it probably confers a certain degree of hax abilities to anyone who connects to it (like the two Shikis). But then, it probably doesn’t want to be found either, seeing how many magi in the Nasuverse take extreme measures to find it but end up failing.

    Also, being Kariya is suffering…

  4. Love how Oshiroi sits in chairs.

  5. Gregor as Berserker, Melisande as Caster, Jaquen as Assassin, Oberyn as Lancer.

  6. what’s so funny about this perverted dumbass Oshiroi? Ben-to is so much better without this freak.

  7. A creepy man leading a bunch of vulnerable children to a shady isolated place for a variety of unsavory fates and only one single Penn State joke.

    I don’t know if I should be proud or disappointed in you Jason.

  8. Not sure if this was the best or worst episode of Ben-to. Still rattlin’ it around in my head… one the pro side, it has a lot of Shiraume and Oshiroi, which are pluses …

    The worst. The fanservice just didn’t fit in in amusing fashion like in the swimsuit episode and everything before it, and I find Oshiroi and Ume best in small doses. To use your terminology, Oshiroi’s VORF (Value Over Replacement Fujoshi) is very low compared to OreImo’s Sena and Seitokai Ichizon’s Mafuyu. The production team need to take a cold shower, get some fresh air, then get back to Sen, Shaga, Sato and ridiculous battles like you say.

  9. I’m glad someone mentioned Seitokai Icizon. If it wasn’t for Mafuyu, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, I would have completely missed uke-seme parody in the 2nd half of Ben-to. Sure it had intensely creepy Ume being fanservice-y and creepy, but like everything else in the show, they almost play it straight while parodying the crap out of it. I’m not sure if I should be happy or disturbed that I got the reference…
    Next episode of Ben-to is in desperate need of some high octane bento battles, or at least Ume and the Twins in a no holds bared cat fight.

  10. Yeah I think this is a low point for Ben-to IMO. I don’t really like Oshiroi or Ume. Oshiroi’s fujioshi episodes feel misplaced most of the time (except for when Sato arrived at the store in a schoolgirl uniform). Ume’s lesbian obsession with Oshiroi isn’t explained, well thought out, and nothing’s really done with it. We just get this creepy bedside scene that takes up 15 minutes. Also, the way she beats up Sato isn’t funny. Funny is when it’s actually done comical and unserious way, like when Tomoyo beats up Sunohara, or when the character actually deserves it, like Team Rocket. But Ume’s beatdowns of Sato are played too straight and he doesn’t even deserve it most of the time. This isn’t comedy; this is badly done attempt for schadenfreude…. Alright I’m taking this seriously, but I guess if I have to sum it up: Ume and Oshiroi are holding back the show.

  11. Summary of all Blog Posts so far:

    “I’m not sure of anything”
    “Show did not do what I thought should happen”
    “This show should be more like other shows I’ve seen”
    “This show should be more like one another”
    “These shows aren’t that great because characters don’t cross over between shows”
    “None of my blog entries have any basis to whats going on in these episodes”
    “I want Iskandar in EVERY scene regardless of how ridiculous that would be.”

  12. Did Lil Jon help with the soundtrack of Ben-to? It really sounds like him. Given the show I wouldn’t doubt seeing him in the near future. Besides, he would make an excellent servant, YEAYUH!!!

  13. @Rawrsh
    the blog is very much for fun and enjoyment as it is for anything else.
    It’s an expression of thoughts and opinion on one individual.
    It is biased, it is lopsided, and you know what? we don’t care cuz that’s the way we like it.
    if you don’t like it, don’t read it… rather simple isn’t it?

  14. Rinservice FTW.

  15. Did Lil Jon help with the soundtrack of Ben-to? It really sounds like him. Given the show I wouldn’t doubt seeing him in the near future. Besides, he would make an excellent servant, YEAYUH!!!

    Thanks, this needed to be pointed out. I just started following Ben-to (I blame all the bloggers for constantly playing it up) and it has the weirdest fight music ever.

    Although now I’m a little freaked out- if being famous is the primary requisite for becoming a Servant (the next portable game may include Shakespeare???), we could be in for a slew of rapping Servants.

  16. …Not only in episode 6; Tokiomi did mention his goal for the Grail during their initiation of Kirei, which is to reach the Root, aka. the Akashic Records, aka. the Origin (also elaborated in Kara no Kyokai). It’s understandable that few hardly remembers it; Tohsaka-papa was really that boring, so it’s no surprise his purpose is also boring. The only exciting act he’s ever done in this series was sentencing his own daughter Sakura to a fate worse than death, by having her adopted into the Matou family. Considering how much of a doormat Aoi is, even their sex must have been boring.

    Being Kariya is suffering, indeed.

    Also, the twins are only the good thing in Ben-tou. They’ve managed to piq

  17. –whoops, last sentence was cut off.

    I was going to say that the Kyou twins are the best thing that ever happened to what otherwise would be a forgettable series. No, not the bento fighting, or the yandere lesbian or the dumbass yaoi fangirl (those are big minuses) and especially not the punching bag main protagonist. I don’t really like Touma either, but even I have to agree with his methods of spreading equality in the To Aru… series.

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