Ben-To – 09

[EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_00.36_[2011.12.03_23.58.23] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_02.43_[2011.12.04_00.00.30] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_14.13_[2011.12.04_00.11.16]

After three blessed weeks of almost none, we endure an episode dedicated almost entirely to Ume.  And it seems to have achieved the impossible – it made me hate her more.

You don’t want to hear me go on and on about how awful a character Ume is, so this is going to be a short post.  If you like her, great.  For me, I say let’s cut to the chase.  In anime we often have characters who are annoying or obnoxious.  In my view, Ume easily crosses the line into actually being evil. To be blunt, she’s doing stuff that would, if she were a guy, put her in jail.  What she does to Satou is vile – repeatedly physically attacking him with no provocation (and having delusions is not a legitimate provocation), forcing him to undress in public…  But what she did to Oshiroi in this episode came pretty damn close to sexual assault.  I have nothing against yuri, but this wasn’t yuri – it was disgusting, comedy or not.  It wasn’t sexy, it was sick.  And if I’m supposed to feel sorry for Ume for being lonely or some such BS, sorry – she deserves everything she brings on herself.  If she escapes this series without someone (I have no delusions that it will be Satou) putting her in her place, it will piss me off mightily.

The sad thing is, the entire tone of the series changes whenever Ume is involved.  Ben-To always sort of walks a fine line with it’s very edgy and dark humor, but usually manages to stay on the right side of it.  Ume fouls the bath water with every appearance, and when she’s all over an episode like this one – ouch.  It’s not a good thing, and hopefully now that it’s done we’ve seen the last of her as a feature character.  Hopefully we’ve seen the last of her, period (though I know we haven’t).  The next and only time I want to see her again is on the wrong side of Yarizui’s fists (or feet).

Sadly, Ume vomited all over what could have been a pretty good episode, because it also featured the largest role for the utterly delightful Asebi.  Even if she did cause Satou misery, it was done with the best of intentions – and seriously, how the hell did she manage to make everything in her multi-story bento taste completely alien to its nature?  I also enjoyed the portions of the episode where Oshiroi was strongly featured, as long as Ume wasn’t.  She’s broken in a good way, and truly a case where a seiyuu performance goes a long way towards making a character memorable.  Sure, she crossed a line by pasting Satou’s face in the muscle cop doiujin, but to thine own self be true seems to work for her.  We’re certainly seen Oshiroi’s trope plenty in anime recently, but rarely have we seen one that was so fully committed.  If you filtered Oshiroi’s twisted perversity, she wouldn’t be Oshiroi.

So next week, here’s hoping we get the focus back on Yarizui and back on the bento hunt, too, which seems to have been largely ignored for the last few episodes.  And please hold the plum in mine – it’s definitely rotten.

[EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_07.41_[2011.12.04_00.04.43] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_08.12_[2011.12.04_00.05.15] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_09.29_[2011.12.04_00.06.32]
[EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_09.31_[2011.12.04_00.06.34] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_11.21_[2011.12.04_00.08.24] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_11.47_[2011.12.04_00.08.50]
[EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_13.26_[2011.12.04_00.10.29] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_14.02_[2011.12.04_00.11.05] [EveTaku] Ben-To - 09 (1280x720 x264 AAC)[A63129F3].mkv_snapshot_14.13_[2011.12.04_00.11.16]
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15 comments

  1. A

    I cannoy agree with you more, Enzo. If there was any hope of Ume redeeming herself in front of her haters, this episode failed BIG. TIME.

  2. I hate writing posts like this – I seriously considered just skipping Ben-To this week. But I figure everybody knows by now how I feel about Ume, and it seems wrong to blog a show for two months and then just skip an episode.

  3. A

    I think Ume is the character type that was meant to appeal to otaku like You's self proclaimed "comrade-in-arms". She still is my least favourite character in this series and will probably remain so, but she wasn't that bad this episode though. Oshiroi is still the best character no doubt about that.

  4. S

    Well, it had to be said. Every pixel of Ume is terrible. I think a scene with Satou taking a dump is more appealing then her bath scenes.
    And I'd laugh my ass of if you would have reviewed this episode with only the first two sentences.

  5. A

    While I have favorite characters, I don't really have least favorite characters. And if I did, Ume wouldn't be part of that. She manages to get comedic timing down perfectly in this episode, and be pretty badass at times. Maybe it's just not me being in Satou's shoes, but when he finally gets a word in against her, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for her to hit him anyway.

    …or maybe it's just that it's 3 am now.

  6. U

    Watched episodes 7, 8 and 9 today.

    After the excellent episode 7, i was relieved that Ben-To was as good as ever, even after what it looked like the final battle in episode 6.

    Sadly, i didn't enjoy episodes 8 and 9 much at all. The characters crossed the line of acceptability several times in these episodes, and suddenly the show became too violent to be funny.

    I thought the twins were mostly boring and uninteresting so far, but even they had their good moments. Ume, on the other hand, was always a waste of screentime.

    Ume is supposed to have some kind of sadistic appeal, since the viewer would put himself in the main character's place and somehow envy the abuse, but i think the author got it all wrong. As far as i know, the pleasure taken from such abuse does not come from the pain or from the injustice itself. It comes from the sense of inferiority and submission, to the point that the person receiving it has to feel so small and insignificant and that anything that comes from the sadistic one is acceptable, because, after all, the sadistic one just knows how to give you pleasure and cautiously releases it in small doses, so that you never lose hope and at the same tame never become fully satisfied.

    With that said, these are the flaws in Ume's appeal: a) Ume is not better than Satou. Satou is a much more interesting, likeable character, is sometimes useful to the other and never acts to hurt anyone; b) Ume doesn't know how to please anyone. It actually happens the other way around, as every scene with her in it is awful and totally breaks the mood; c) There is no context. The abuse is so pointless that it wouldn't take even one bit away from the show if it was removed.

    Ironically, Ume has my favorite character design for this anime.

  7. I'm surprised to see so little mention of the Oshiroi scene, which was the one that really stood out for me. She's been abusing Satou all season, so that's old news by now.

  8. A

    Censorship? Someone's being a hypocrite and don't want to have Ume praised? I'm sad and seriously disappointed.

  9. Who am I stopping from praising Ume? I'm not deleting any comments – if someone wants to refute me, I welcome the chance to debate it. But you're going to have to do better than empty charges of censorship.

  10. S

    About the Oshiroi Scene, Oshiroi was kind of unrecognizable there. Not only because the glasses were off, but she was just a scared little girl . The amazing enjoyment per second of Oshiroi screen time was totally off as well. To me that speaks volumes, Ume is even making Oshiroi to appear bland and uninteresting.

    Anonymous, your comment is still there, right after mine.

  11. BTW, nice guts for posting that preposterous censorship charge anonymously.

  12. A

    Still don't know what is Uchimoto doing in this anime … is he going to be important in the future? lol

  13. F

    PRAISE UME! FOR SHE IS YOUR GODDESS AND ALL SHALL BOW BEFORE HER!

    Even the mighty Kyou-tachi could not stand before Ume.

  14. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn

  15. F

    Well, I'm not going to even try to defend her (though she's not that much worse in the sexual harassment department than a certain meat who shall remain nameless…), but I thought I'd help disprove the Censorship troll's allegation.

    Ume is undeniably the top of the Ben-To food chain though.

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