Located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Hachimitsu Private Academy is a prestigious all-girls boarding school, famous for its high-quality education and disciplined students. However, this is all about to change due to the revision of the school's most iconic policy, as boys are now able to enroll as well.
At the start of the first semester under this new decree, a mere five boys have been accepted, effectively splitting the student body into a ratio of two hundred girls to one boy. Kiyoshi, Gakuto, Shingo, Andre, and Jo are quickly cast away without having a chance to make any kind of a first impression. Unable to communicate with their fellow female students, the eager boys set their sights on a far more dangerous task: peeping into the girls' bath!
It's only after their plan is thoroughly decimated by the infamous Underground Student Council that the motley crew find their freedom abruptly taken from them, as they are thrown into the school's prison with the sentence of an entire month as punishment. Thus begins the tale of the boys' harsh lives in Prison School, a righteous struggle that will ultimately test the bonds of friendship and perverted brotherhood.
The original Prison School is probably the most impressive ecchi manga I have ever read. By impressive I don't just mean that it's enjoyable, but rather that it accomplished something that I sincerely didn't believe was possible. It manages to tell a story with hilarious comedy and incredibly lewd ecchi scenes, but at the same time also have a legitimately suspenseful and interesting plotline, *without* making those aspects feel incompatible. I don't think I have ever seen such a smooth and natural way of merging serious and non-serious elements anywhere else where it actually succeeds on both fronts.
Now the anime covers the entirety of the
first arc of the manga, which tells the story of five boys who enroll in a previously all-girls boarding school which has just become co-ed. However, many of the female students are still disgusted at the notion of having men as their fellow classmates, and a certain vigilante organization within the school called the Underground Student Council decide to take the matter into their own hands. The group consists of the manipulative president Mari, the voluptuous and sadistic vice president Meiko, and the rather violent crazy person Hana who's also got a quite peculiar fetish to say the least. They set a trap for the boys where they manage to frame them for peeping, and consequently send them all off to live inside a small prison located on the school courtyard. And thus, their new life of hell begins as they are forced into manual labor under Meiko's relentless whipping, and they constantly have to be on their guard against the USC's foul play and attempts at getting the boys expelled for good. Meanwhile, the boys try to channel their inner Andy Dufresne as they start to dream about breaking out of prison...
The first thing that needs to be said about this anime is that it doesn't hold anything back. Like not in the slightest. Among other things it features hardcore masochism, a principal obsessed with asses, misunderstandings about two of the guys supposedly being gay for each other, cross dressing, golden showers, a guy shitting himself in class, a girl who sweats about 50 liters per day, a myriad of sexual innuendos, non-stop femdom, epic speeches about the stupidest things imaginable and god knows what else. There are no breaks on this pain train and you better be prepared for what you're getting yourself into when deciding to watch Prison School, because it is rather... crude, to say the least. But crude or not, the execution is stellar, and it rarely fails to make you laugh with how blunt it is.
The characters are all highly exaggerated in their behavior, but given the crazy atmosphere of the show it fits perfectly. Our main character Kiyoshi is energetic and dedicated, Gakuto is the best bro ever, Andre is a huge masochist, Joe is infatuated with ants and Shingo is an American delinquent. And of course they're all perverts, whether they admit it or not, but at least they're perverts with class... well discounting Andre that is. Speaking of which, the ecchi elements in Prison School are not to be underestimated. It has scenes you will probably never see anywhere else other than in hentai. But it doesn't come across as needless fanservice at all; rather it either makes it humorous or just plain epic, especially anything starring Kiyoshi and Hana in the same room is a sight for sore eyes. It's something you really need to see for yourself to understand. Of course the TV-airing of Prison School is censored like almost every ecchi anime is these days, but since the sexual content is mostly there for the sake of comedy rather than arousal I don't really find it all that distracting anyway.
As far as pacing goes though, there are some issues. The anime covers 81 chapters' worth of content in just 12 episodes, which is quite a lot of story in not too much time. As a result, the transitions in-between scenes are oftentimes done extremely quickly, which means that a lot of the jokes don't really have time to sink in properly before the story moves on to the next segment. There's also the fact that many of the characters actually talk *very* fast, which might just be another way of saving time. So in that sense it is a pretty rushed adaptation, but I think it gets gradually better the longer it goes on, and honestly even despite the fast pacing it still works out fairly smoothly most of the time. A few episodes more would have done wonders though.
The manga is notorious for its unusually detailed and realistic-looking art style for an ecchi series, and the anime follows the same idea. I don't think it looks quite as crisp as the original art does, but it still gets the job done and gives you a pretty fresh outlook on the genre. The voice acting is also very on-point. Kamiya Hiroshi's performance fits Kiyoshi's character like a glove, probably because he shares a lot of traits with Araragi Koyomi from the Monogatari Series whom Hiroshi has also voiced. Seeing Hanazawa Kana of all people do the role of Hana might be a bit more unexpected though given her absolutely crazy persona, but she actually does an absolutely phenomenal job at it. I also have to give Konishi Katsuyuki a shout-out for his voicing of Gakuto's character; it was truly a special experience to listen to and a very impressive performance overall.
Prison School is an anime with a very unorthodox combination of genres and styles, and an even rarer case of one which actually does it successfully. It stands out for its hilariously exaggerated scenes, its crazy characters and its ability to do literally *anything* without holding back for even a second. Is it a show for everyone? No, but I still think it's targeting a much larger audience than first impressions may lead you to believe. It's a highly entertaining series from start to finish, and while I still prefer the manga version, it's definitely an anime worth checking out, even if only to see just what the hell is actually going on in it.
First, I’m going to have to say what Prison School is about. Because I’m honestly still trying to wrap my head around the concept and the hundreds of planning paper I bought at Office Depot isn’t helping. In some weird universe where parental absence is even more out-of-place than normal by anime standards, there is a private girls’ academy called Hachimitsu (not gonna dignify that name with a response) that has recently started to admit boys for no particular reason like some gender-reversed version of Zoey 101. However, Hachimitsu is an academy that’s far from being suitable for the Nick-audience viewing.
It’s a harsh place where
the most minor of infractions will cause you to get treated like a literal prisoner complete with wearing the stereotypical white and black outfits or face expulsion, which is something the five boys who transferred to the academy learn the hard way after making the stupid mistake of trying to peek into the girls’ locker room. Although why they’d want to is beyond me, considering every single girl in this show is less sexually appealing than Bayonetta in clown make-up. In fact, come to think of it, what exactly happens to these boys after they get expelled, considering they don’t exactly seem to be learning anything as is? Well, it turns out they want to stay so they can see a girls’ wet T-shirt contest that’s supposed to occur sometime in the future. Something I find very hard to believe actually exists in this academy - which is quite a feat considering everything else that goes past the headmaster’s eyes.
Prison School is an incredibly difficult show to summarize because it seems like it was based on somebody’s Madlibs and the guy who filled it out was off his meds that day. I get that it’s supposed to be combining prison exploitation films with the standard “anime harem/school” tropes, but some things just don’t combine, like the Hercules legend and Michael Bolton. Every single element of the series is so contradictory to another element that I have a hard time trying to find out what I’m supposed to be caring about and more importantly, what I’m supposed to laugh at. So the vice-president punishing the boys for being perverted shows ample amounts of cleavage in school? These girls hate the male form and yet they’re open with showing their vaginas to them and the audience at every opportunity? There’s a guy who really loves ants to the point that he’d die for them? There is a gun in my drawer with a special mechanism that only fires the trigger if I’m pointing it up my nose?
Oh sorry. My head was getting overwhelmed and I was thinking for a fast way to clear some thoughts. This whole show plays out like a South Park episode that was stretched to twelve times the length and stripped of all the life, memorable characters, great movie parodies, and subversive topical humor that still played by the rules even when it showcased a magician entertaining kids by sawing his penis off and hiding it behind a kid’s ear, causing it to fall into the same lifeless monkey cheese the shows it tries to parody fall into. Get past the presentation and all Prison School is is another goddamn story about the opposite sex trying to fit into a same-sex school and discovering what qualifies as romance in this medium whilst being about character types rather than characters. And unless you’re one of those people who really like over-the-top art styles, you’ll get tired of the presentation real fast.
The humor relies entirely on overreacting, awkward situations that the characters narrate to the point that the joke overstays its welcome (which is any length of time above zero seconds), or just being nonsensical for the sake of being nonsensical. And unusually for a Tsutomu Mizushima anime - and especially compared to JC Staff’s other perverted comedy that aired in the same season - the comedic timing is completely awful, so forget laughing. I know Funimation has never been above being a little liberal with translations, but poking the bear aside, I find it very hard to believe that video games even exist in this universe. And once that thought entered my mind, the shock chuckle I got from seeing that became like the shock chuckle of seeing a piece of wood stuck down someone’s sphincter: incapable of provoking an emotion from me other than confusion.
As far as I’m concerned, this show isn’t the least bit as edgy or gritty as it thinks it is. It’s more like a desperate dad trying to make his baby smile by stretching his face out and go “abloogeewoogeewoo”. And when that’s not working, he tells the kid about all the fucked-up things he saw in the world like a twelve-year old who doesn’t know any better. Who’s the baby at that point, huh old man?
There’s this stupid conversation between the male students and their principal in which he’ll allow them to stay a little longer if they can tell him whether or not boobs or asses are better and why that is. The punchline is supposed to be that being perverted gets you rewarded, which I think has only been used in at least ten different gross-out comedies, as well as every Kevin Smith film ever. Most of all, I don’t even care about the semantics regarding which is better. It’s a dumb conversation to have in real life and it’s dumb in fiction.
Another memorable attempt at the show’s desperation was when the closest thing to a male lead tried to sneak out of the school in order to show up for a date. Let’s be generous for now and say we give two shits for if he actually shows up or not, but the attempts at hiding his break-out are just pathetic because it’s very obvious he won’t get caught until the episode ends at the very least, and the punchline is always that he avoids getting caught due to last-minute circumstance that’s too weird to be funny. I’ll admit to smiling a bit at the defecation radio because that actually seemed possible in reality, but that’s it.
But I think the biggest thing that got to me was the finale. First off, it was incredibly obvious who was going to win in the end and the plan to achieve said end was pretty damn simplistic in of itself with virtually no twists to the formula or any attempt to make the characters less boring resulting from it. And yet the show drags the plan out for three episodes just so it can cram in a hundred more overlong “oh shit, I saw a woman’s privates” joke whenever it spots an opportunity to do so whilst tying up loose ends that quite frankly missed the mark for payoff ages ago. Yeah, South Park itself has a tendency to overreach, but not to this extent.
Second, I won’t spoil the final result, but I felt nothing for anybody after everything was wrapped up, and not just because of the rampant yet confusing sexism. Because at the end of the day, nothing’s changed aside from certain circumstances. The characters have achieved nothing, learned nothing, will never be remembered for anything, and have certainly not learned how to be funny to anyone older than twelve. All the suffering they went through? What exactly was the point of it all? Please tell me. I’m dying to know.
I’ve heard some people who acknowledge this show’s problems by saying it gets by on the tension. As we’ve covered before regarding Detroit Metal City, I find this impossible to feel when the show has an over-the-top style that is ALWAYS on. It NEVER takes a break to have the characters actually act human or feel like they’re in real danger. Imagine if Kamina’s death in Gurren Lagann was dealt with using the same “who the hell do you think I am/raw raw fight the powah” atmosphere as mostly everything else in that show. We’d think Imaishi wasn’t taking the audience seriously, or that Baz Luhrmann somehow broke into the industry. When they say style can be substance, they don’t mean keep the style on 24/7. Because even the most powerful religious symbolism gets old if you just hammer in the same verse over and over.
No likable characters, no funny jokes, not a lick of sense regarding anything that happens, and whatever tension that’s supposed to exist throughout the series is undermined by the fact that I’m watching a bunch of Daily Lives of Highschool Boys rejects constantly trying to perform bad stand-up comedy. Final grade? Utterly forgettable.
Prison School is by far my favorite anime this season! I'm a big fan of Great Teacher Onizuka and it's the first time in years I've had the same kind of enjoyment watching a comedy. I'm usually not a big fan of over-sexualized female characters or harem animes but prison school is an exception.
5 perverted teenagers end up in a school full of girls. They peak into the girls bath and get grounded into a prison set in the middle of the campus. These 5 guys are hilarious, one is fat as fuck, one is creepy as fuck, one is geeky as fuck... The
girls in charge of them AKA the Underground School Council, bully them, torture them, insult them. This kind of treatment gives them boners lol
All the comical elements that build up in the series are pretty similar to what would happen in GTO in these kind of weird sexual moments.
The art is flawless. The action scenes are fast paced and you never get bored. Great attention to detail. Nothing bad to say about it. Character design is fine too and there's a lot of panty shots.
eeeeh, not a fan of the opening or ending. For the sake of giving Prison School a 10/10 I'll just give the sound a 10. The voice acting is awesome though.
AMAZING. The 5 guys are funny as hell, the MC kyoshi is kinda lovable and cute while his friends are just creepy sexual weirdos. Since they're always stuck together they create great bonds and funny homoerotic quiproquos. The girls in charge of the prison are as fucked up as the guys.
AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SCHOOL DESERVES AN AWARD.
Prison School is a good anime, although it sometimes fails to play to its strengths and descends into pointlessness.
I don't look to anime for sexual gratification; so when I criticize the censorship, I'm not doing it out of blue-balled resentment. (Well, not just that anyway.) It detracts from the quality of the animation, and it's often just unnaturally forced into the scene, to cover things that don't really need to be covered. They can indirectly depict urolagnian debauchery but they draw the line at panty-shots? Prison School has nice animation, but it's difficult to appreciate this when so much of it is censored.
I kind of wish there wasn't quite so much sex-appeal. I want to be able to just watch and laugh without having to make the sign of the cross every three seconds. A lot of it was just for the purpose of humor, but when we got into territory that was more clearly aimed at arousal, it got a bit more uncomfortable. The series could have been better if it stopped trying to tickle my boner and started focusing solely on tickling my funny bone. (I can tickle my own boner, thank you very much.)
Speaking of how Prison School could have been better, the characters were something of a minefield placed over a gold mine. Characters like Hana, Vice President, the Principal guy, Kiyoshi, Joe, and Gakuto were great. But then there's characters like that one guy who had no personality, but got kind of pissy sometimes and that's all we really know about him so how can I really be expected to know his name, and Mari, who I find to be rather flat compared to characters like the Vice President. (Haha. Flat.) And then there's Andre. He is filth. He is the most disgusting character, the most repulsive thing, that I have ever seen in any anime. No, in anything. Every time he was on the screen, I felt tears welling in my eyes and beginning to drip down onto my cheeks as my body shook with dry heave after dry heave after vomiting fit. The creator of this character should be shot. Or just killed. I suppose it doesn't matter how. But he must be brutally murdered (or just murdered, I'm not picky) before he releases another Andre into the world.
But it's a testament to the strength of the best characters that the presence of Andre does not result in an automatic 1. Instead, the good, borderline non-existent, and terrible characters balance each other out. I just wish we saw some characters more often. (Like Hana. I want more.)
The plot is absurd; it barely exists, and what is there is ridiculous, but it still maintains somewhat of a sense of internal consistency, and it works. The premise is bizarre, and a lot of the plot developments just make it weirder, but it has a beautiful sense of logic to it that would make Hegel turn green with envy as he realized the insignificance of his boring collections of meaningless compound words.
But whatever. You should probably forget everything I've said up until now. And I mean everything. Forget everything I've ever said in my life. The most important thing is that Prison School is very funny. It could have been better in a lot of aspects, but it succeeds in entertaining its audience. It's unique and hilarious. You won't find anything else like it, and it's not easy to find anything funnier. If you watch it, you will laugh, unless you suck. It's a comedy; it's comedic. There you go. It's a success.
That said, the gags can get very repetitive, (Despite the changing of details and introduction of some new sexual situation, it's still the same damn joke. And somebody needs to tell the mangaka that a running gag isn't just a copy-and-paste thing; you actually have to be creative to keep it funny.) but they don't quite over-stay their welcome. A lot of the time, when Prison School seemed to get stale, it changed just enough to keep you going for another episode. But, towards the end it really isn't that funny anymore. Not laugh-out-loud funny anyway. Ramping up the vulgarity does not equate to increasing the funniness, and it's sort of a cheap tactic.
Instead of watching this anime, you should probably just read the manga. Think about it. It covers a lot more of the story, it has minimal censorship, and the panel format sometimes lends itself to better comedic timing. (Mostly just the first two.) And what did it really gain in the adaptation? The boring OP and ED? I am unimpressed. But if you absolutely refuse to read manga, then that's fine too. I would still recommend the anime, provided that you know what you're getting into.
A 7 seems about right for Prison School. It is very flawed, but the entertaining parts are entertaining enough for me to call it 'good.' It's certainly better than a lot of other anime out there.
Some characters are funny because of all the crazy antics they get up to. But others just have the right kind of physiognomy, which make them prone to pulling off some funny anime faces - intentionally or unintentionally.
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