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Prison School got a good deal of fanfare a few years back due to its over-the-top perverted antics and comedy focused on a group of teenage boys placed in a private school prison for peeping on girls bathing. Seeing it now, I have a couple major qualms with the series. One, the ecchi that the series pushes out is of the gross-out variety that isn't my cup of tea with a fair number of scatological gags, up-close shots of Meiko's lady parts that aren't too appealing on the eyes due to how ridiculous they are drawn, and the usual tiresome gags played out with ecchi comedy titles. Second, the majority of characters in this show are so completely unlikeable or shallow that I could care less for them as events played out with the boys and the student council members trying to outsmart one another. The only areas of praise I could give for this series is the effort it at least makes to be as over-the-top as possible in depicting its main conflict between the boys and student council members, as well as the highly detailed character designs and scenic shots created. Still, this isn't enough for me to care much for Prison School as despite its efforts, I'm just not a fan of its style of humor nor the characters that make it up. Stay far away from this if you don't have a tolerance for ecchi titles.
Last updated Tuesday, March 13 2018. Created Tuesday, March 13 2018.
(All episodes watched):|
"Hey, I'm laughing'! That thought occurred to me as I watched episode one of Prison School. Whereas most anime that rely on fanservice would include only a lame plot with virtually worthless jokes to string the viewer along between scenes of boobs and crotches, here the plot seemed to be going somewhere (why else would the bit about the one girl who still trusts Kiyoshi be included?) and the jokes were genuinely funny. The story was so laughably absurd that I found myself doing just that. Yet it paradoxically had just enough plausibility that we can imagine such things really happening and therefore can suspend disbelief and enjoy it. The visual jokes are good, too. I was LOLing repeatedly; this show knows how to be funny and would clearly to be the best comedy of the season, if it could keep some sort of longterm plot going. No doubt many people would find this offensive, but I don't mind fanservice and ecchi if there's a little talent to a show as well, and that seemed to be the case here.
A friend of mine, who usually has little interest in anime, was coming over to my place one day, and the thought occurred to me to show him episode one of Prison School. I wasn't sure how much he was liking the show until later he asked if he could watch episode two as well--that's a pretty solid recommendation. We both got a mutual laugh-out-loud moment near the end of the second episode, when a skillful cut-between-two-scenes trick is employed. Episode three was kind of gross, with fart jokes and hemmorhoids and such (but I couldn't help doing some laughing nevertheless). Episode four was more of the same, but again I got at least one good laugh even though I felt I shouldn't be doing so. The show sort of walks a tightrope between vulgar and funny. You might say that the fanservice is far more explicit in Prison School than in most fanservice-driven shows, what with novel camera angles, high quality artwork and realistic touches like profuse sweating going on. At times it verges on crossing the line into tasteless, crass stuff, but for the most part it stays on the right side of that line and I don't feel dirty when an episode ends. Fanservice is sometimes injected into the show in humorous ways, like the time where one of the guard women gets sprayed with shaken-up soda and wipes herself off all over her body. That was LOL. Maybe one reason it doesn't bother me is because the three girls of the Underground Student Council aren't being portrayed as brainless twits. No, they could kick any of the guy's asses, and often do. We may disagree with them, but they are doing what they think is right, and you have to give them some credit for that.
The show having a decent longterm plot wasn't a problem. While it is loaded with fairly explicit fanservice, one thing I can say for this show is that it is definitely telling a story. Most series would have a cheap, uninteresting plot as nothing more than an excuse to string different scenes of fanservice together. But Prison School has a genuine story underway--how the boys got into trouble in the first place, the complicated attempt to escape, the consequences, and so on. And it's not all about T&A; Kyoshi being ostracized by his former friends, for example. You get to know the characters well enough (which is another thing most fanservice-driven shows wouldn't have bothered with) to care how things work out for them. They aren't just perverted assholes, no, they are fairly normal guys at heart. They shouldn't have gone peeping, but that was a small offense in comparison to the abuse they undergo in the school jailhouse. Another example of character development would be how Kyoshi's girlfriend stands up for him, which was surprising. The story continues to branch out into new plotlines, like where Shingo meets a girl while being rewarded for his snitching with some time to do as he wishes outside the school. You sense that this will have to lead to something, which will in turn lead to something else, and onwards. I would say that the story is the primary source of entertainment here (at least for me), and the jokes and fanservice play supporting roles.
The final episode of Prison School was one of those where I was excited and confident that this was definitely going to be fun—a lot of anime don't elicit that response nowadays. Indeed, it was one of those shows which I was tempted not to watch, because I didn't want it to be over. I wasn't disappointed: the conclusion was highly satisfying, and while also highly unlikely, it could have happened. For a show that included so much fanservice, I was surprised how professional the conclusion was. In spite of all the T&A I had gotten to like the guys (Gakuto is my favorite) and care about what would become of them. Prison School turned out to be a surprisingly clever and fun show. The story seems to be complete at the end, but I would gladly watch a second season.
Now, what we are still waiting for is a show which makes fun of people who watch anime just for the fanservice.
Last updated Friday, October 02 2015. Created Friday, July 24 2015.