Until My Bentos Are Made is a story about Keiichi, a first-year student at Yoshiroi high school who is forced to bond with Rena, his love-starved boyfriend. When she starts begging to be let inside, he decides to trust her and let her into his home. This is the start of an adventure that will see Keiichi and Rena come together and find themselves in a dangerous relationship.
While ramen bowls and instant rice make for quick, cheap meals, the pre-packaged bento boxes sold in grocery stores are an art form to be treasured. A lunch box packed with delicious and nutritious foods that can satiate even the most demanding eater, these lunchboxes are an obsession for many.
Yo Satou, a high school pervert who enjoys playing retro SEGA games, innocently visits a local grocery store and decides to pick up one of these half-priced bento boxes. Unfortunately, he ends up unconscious on the floor a short time later.
He soon discovers that these bento are not merely snacks; they are battles between customers, where the winner is decided by who claims the bento first. These battles are called “Bento Brawls” and are governed by a set of unspoken rules to keep the fights fair.
As a result, he joins the Half-Pricer Club and trains to become a good fighter in these battles. After several embarrassing and humiliating incidents, Yo is finally recognized by Yu ‘Wizard’ Kaneshiro, who helps him win a one-on-one fight against Ayame Sawagi.
Despite this, she continues to assault Satou in an attempt to get him to shame the mob into fighting instead of leaving them alone. Shaga does a great job of this, and it becomes an entertaining background event in Episode 7, as she attempts to sway Satou with Defeat by Modesty.
The Japanese equivalent of packed-lunch, bento is a delicacy that school girls prepare with all their hearts to impress the boy of their dreams. It isn’t just a snack for hungry teenagers though, the creation of bento is an art to be celebrated and the supermarkets that sell them have embraced this subculture by allowing people to fight for half-priced bento boxes known as ‘wolves’ (ookami).
When high schooler Sato Yo accidentally falls down while reaching for a half-priced bento box at a local supermarket he suddenly loses consciousness and wakes up in the supermarket’s storage room with no memory of what happened. He discovers that a Senpai at his school, Yarizui, is the leader of a group of students who battle for these half-priced bento boxes.
As well as being a member of the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club, Hana Oshiroi is a Boys Love (BL) novel writer and an avid gamer. She is also easily excited and joins the club on a whim.
She is also obsessed with writing yaoi erotic stories which she bases on real life events. It’s her desire to write such yaoi stories that causes Ume Shiraume, student council president and one of the main villains in Bento, to lust after her.
While this is a pretty standard anime series from Manga Entertainment, it does pack a punch when it comes to action and comedy, although I can’t say the animation has the quality of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Nevertheless, it is an entertaining and quirky show, albeit with a dated and unimaginative premise.
Sen Yarizui is the President of the Half-Priced Food Lovers Club, and the strongest bento brawler in her area. She is a sweet, soft-spoken girl who can kick arse harder than any wolf she comes across. She’s a great mentor to Yo and Hana when they get involved with bento-battling, teaching them the rules of the game, as well as how to deal with the inevitable compromises that come with it.
Her wolf pride and respect for bento battling is obvious, as evidenced by her scrap book of laurel leaf stickers that are only earned by the most successful fighters. She also has a wall full of half-priced stickers and has a fondness for them.
In her own right she is a great character, as she is kind to all who are involved in bento-battling, not just those who have the upper hand. She’s very careful with her actions, making sure she doesn’t hurt anyone.
She is also a very good friend to Satou, even helping him with his Sega Saturn in Episode 8. She is always there for her club members when they are sick or need a place to stay, and she never lets them down. Her love for them shines through even when she is a bit clumsy or over confident. She’s also very patient, as demonstrated when she lets Satou sleep with her after he gets knocked out.
Ayame Sawagi (Ze Jie Jing, Kyo Sawagi) is one of the school vice presidents and a strong bento brawler. She is very calm, but also has a stubborn streak. She has a rivalry with Sen Yarizui, and gets very excited when she thinks about fighting her.
Ayame is also a very good Sega video game player. She is skilled at many different types of games, and is almost impossible to beat, even to Satou. She can be very affectionate and flirty, often pressing her chest against Satou’s back or arm.
She is also very protective of Satou, and will always try to protect him from being hurt. She is also very fond of video games, and enjoys playing them with Satou.
While she has a mixed personality, she is very protective of her friends and family, and is not afraid to take action to protect her loved ones. She is also very friendly and easy-going, and usually does not get upset easily, even when she is being treated rudely.
When she was younger, she was a part of the school’s kendo club. She later joined a group called Orthrus, which uses shopping baskets to overwhelm their opponents and beat them so badly that they don’t remember who attacked them. They have been known to severely attack other wolves, though this is not a common practice and they are not a well-known group.
The Sawagi Sisters
A pair of Japanese bento artists who make it a point to put together two bentos in about 20 minutes each morning, using leftovers or freezer-stashed items. They also do a good job of making each bento look as impressive as possible, with little or no grain of rice out of place.
They are also responsible for the most important thing in a bento – the bento itself, which they display proudly at their school’s Bento Museum, along with other artifacts related to the history of bentos. They are known for their creativity and ability to turn any food item into a bento-like creation.
Their bento-making skills are not limited to just food, however; they also do a great job of decorating their creations and using creative techniques to add extra flair to each one. They also have a very loyal following; they regularly receive gifts from their fans for their efforts.
The Sawagi sisters are also known for being the founders of Orthrus, a fearsome bento brawling team that uses shopping baskets to overwhelm their opponents with darkness and beat them so badly they can’t remember who attacked them. The other members of Orthrus include Hana Oshiroi, Sen Yarizui, and Ayame Sawagi.
They are also the most popular girls at their school, so it is not surprising that they have the best bentos. The most interesting ones, however, come from their little sister Mihari. Hers is the bento aptly named “Mihari’s Special Bento,” featuring a cute cartoon portrait of herself, and one of Mahiro, in the middle of a heart shaped rice bowl.
In Greek mythology, Orthrus (or Orthus) was a two-headed dog that guarded the fabulous red cattle of the winged Titan Geryon on Erytheia. He was one of twelve monsters Heracles slew as part of his labours on the island.
The ancient scribe Pindar says that the hounds of Geryon trembled before Heracles as he took the herd. But they were not just a few ordinary dogs: Orthrus was a member of the giant’s pack, and was also a brother to Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the Underworld.
Despite being a dog, Orthrus was also a ferocious fighter. Like his brothers, he was a descendant of the she-dragon Ekhidna and the lion Khimaira.
He was a member of a large brood of monsters that produced the lions Chimera and Sphinx, the dragons Echidna and Typhoeus, and the she-dragon Erytheia. He was a good guard and a dependable family member.
However, Orthrus’s ferocity earned him a bad reputation among the people of Erytheia. He was slain in one of Heracles’s twelve labours, and was portrayed in art as either dead or dying, sometimes pierced by an arrow.
So, when the twins met at Tokiwa and Older Kyou offered to take them on as her ‘trial’ brawlers, they thought it was too late. After all, she was cocky and called them ‘lowly mongrels’.
But despite her snobbishness, she eventually agreed to fight for half price bentos. But she wasn’t sure if she would be able to resist the temptation of this easy way to get bentos!