Full Series Review: Prison School
The incredibly detailed and relatively realistic art style is completely contrasted by the all-out ridiculousness of the story.— TV Tropes
Prison School is about five boys who are the first boys permitted to attend a school that used to be all-girl and is now co-ed. At first, they think their new lady-land will be a paradise, but it turns into more of a hell. Four of the boys try to peep at the girls while they're showering, but they're caught, and since the main character, Kiyoshi, was with them, even though he wasn't willingly participating, he gets in trouble too. All of them are sentenced to in-school suspension in a prison-like structure on the school grounds. However, the "underground student council", consisting of the girls guarding them, has an agenda that goes beyond merely punishing the boys for peeping; they want to trick them all into doing something that will get them expelled.
Kiyoshi - The protagonist, a boy who doesn't want to go along with the bad things the other boys do initially, making him more honorable.
Gakuto - Kiyoshi's closest friend, a nerdy guy who speaks archaically (referring to himself in the dub as "yours truly" at all times, for example, and calling Kiyoshi "sir") and has a penchant for Three Kingdoms stuff.
Shingo - Another male student, noteworthy for becoming a snitch due to Meiko tempting him with delicious foods.
Joe - The weird one who hides his face, doesn't talk much, and is obsessed with ants.
Andre - A big fat guy with a childish voice (in the dub at least), he enjoys being punished by the girls so much that NOT being punished is what drives him insane.
Mari - The president of the Underground Student Council. Hates the boys and wants them expelled so her school will remain girls-only, like it was traditionally.
Meiko - The huge-breasted badass girl who oversees and punishes the boys, often verbally abusing and beating them. Often able to plot to undo the boys psychologically by figuring out what makes them tick. You watch this show for the plot, right? ;)
Hana - The ass-kicking karate girl also involved in disciplining the boys, and not at all gently. Develops a special grudge against Kiyoshi in particular.
Chiyo - Initially Kiyoshi's Meet Cute style love interest, his budding relationship with her is, obviously, disrupted by his being sentenced to the school prison. She believes that Kiyoshi must be a good guy because she mistakenly thinks he shares her passion for sumo wrestling.
Chairman Kurihara - The leader of the school and a Reasonable Authority Figure, but he loves big (preferably Latina) butts and he cannot lie. Obviously, this fact pisses off the misandrist ladies of the Underground Student Council.
Review and Conclusion
It is what it is, a raunchy, funny, sexy ecchi (softcore adult) series. What I like about it is that it has exceptionally tough girl characters, in contrast to the innocent maidens of other, more sentimental shows. I thought the humorous exaggerations of characters' expressions and reactions was funny, and that the more crude aspects of the show were still enjoyable and well-done. It's hard to critique shows like this because critics always sort of snub comedy and fanservice-heavy works, seeing them as less important and less worthy of discussion than more serious, heavy shows.
But Prison School is very entertaining, the suspense between episodes was usually pretty high, and it does have a deeper message about how boys are being treated like defective girls in schools these days, and how men are treated like they're disgusting animals for having sexual desire. It's also about how true freedom has to be won through a struggle that might cause you to have to give up things that were once very important to you. It's no Ghost in the Shell, but it is fun to watch.
One beef I have with the whole thing is that the anime puts in a lot of unnecessary censorship of the good bits with things like steam and light flares, and this is stupid because the fanservice is the obvious draw of the show and this ends up making the whole thing look ridiculous, as if it were edited by a fundamentalist Muslim or something. So yeah, you're losing points for that, Prison School. The good stuff is in the manga, so I'd recommend that more. But, the show is still enjoyable for some interesting character-based, and very rude and irreverent, humor.
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