(Warning, the following article contains spoilers for Prison School. If you do not want to be spoiled, then read no further)
I’ve been racking my brain for a couple of weeks now, trying to formulate how to properly describe Prison School, and ultimately I have come to the conclusion that it is an impossible task. Prison School exists on a plane outside the realm of human comprehension. It is not a form of entertainment, it is an experience.
Sure Prison School starts “innocently” enough, taking a set up I’ve seen used before, specifically in a few harem series. It takes a small group of horny teenage boys and drops them into an otherwise all girls’ school, and lets them loose. Of course they quickly decide to peep on the girls bathing, and of course they also get caught and punished. Standard stuff so far. But then the series just swan dives into a Scrooge McDuck-like vault of crude humor and excessive titillation and basks in all of its over-the-top glory.
The school they attend has an actual functioning prison in the middle of its courtyard, and currently I am in a bit of a “chicken or the egg” situation, as I don’t know if the school or prison was built first, ie did they put a prison in the middle of the school, or built the school around the prison is what I want to know. Regardless of which came first, the boys are all sentenced to a month in the prison, and things just get.....weird......from there.
All of the guys become varying levels of masochists at the hand of the extremely buxom dominatrix Meiko Shiraki who is initially tasked with keeping watch over the boys. Because they became to enjoy her style of punishment, another girl, the far, far more crueler Hana Midorikawa joins Meiko and she straight up kicks their asses.
And it is Hana that is the source of both the crudest and funniest part to Prison School so far. You see, Kiyoshi Fujino, the main character of Prison School, accidentally sees Hana taking a piss, and he was like all up in it, front row view, best seats in the house. This greatly embarrasses Hana, and she decides she wants revenge. She wants to see Kiyoshi take a piss in front of her as well. And she gets her wish, just not exactly how she wanted, I presume. After making Kiyoshi guzzle cup after cup of her homemade tea, they have, let’s just say an “accident” in a bathroom stall, with Hana ending up on the toilet just as Kiyoshi lets the waters flow, and thus Kiyoshi accidentally R. Kelly’s Hana.
So now Hana has something else related to pissing that she wants to get revenge on Kiyoshi for, so now she’s trying to R. Kelly him back. The entire time it is made all the better because Hana is voiced by, funnily enough, Kana Hanazawa. And it is easily one of KanaHana’s best performances to date, with it being my personal favorite. The way she’s able to effortlessly change expressions and tone on the dime, mid sentence, is just perfect.
But (literal) toilet humor is not the only good thing going for Prison School. Up through episode 6, the show primarily featured a shockingly well put together prison break story arc, with Kiyoshi trying to break out to go on a date with the girl he likes, and to also buy some rare Romance of the Three Kingdoms figures for Gakuto, the guy who was helping him break out. Sure their plan was guaranteed to backfire, as no way the show could sustain itself if they could successfully break out this soon after it began, but even then, it was always tense as their plan walked upon a knife’s edge the entire way through.
Also, before I forget to mention it, I just absolutely love the hell out of the various facial expressions in this series. They are some of the funniest I have ever seen in anime, with the ones where they are making ultra super serious faces being far and away the funniest.
Is this show for everyone? No. Dear god no, it is not. It has a lot of hurdles standing in its way. The excessive fanservice (though in my opinion, I think the fanservice goes so over-the-top and quite literally in-your-face that it lost its titillating aspect and sometimes borders on fandiservice). The crude toilet and sexual humor. Yet for anyone who can get past those hurdles, this is an absolutely hilarious show, one of the funniest comedies I have ever seen. And in a way, Prison School is the heir to the crude humor throne that the Golden Boy OVA series had long held in my heart. I’ve look near and far, high and low, and have finally found a worthy successor.