Prison School (Anime) Review
There was a time when the Hachimitsu Private Academy was a revered and elite all-girls’ boarding school on the outskirts of Tokyo but a recent policy revision is allowing boys into the student body. On his first day, Kiyoshi Fujino discovers that he’s one of only five boys enrolled at the school. Completely overwhelmed by the thousands of girls on campus, the few boys find that their situation is less than ideal. That is the basic summary for Prison School, credit to AnimeNewsNetwork for that one. From that base description, there are a number of directions that the series could have taken. Let’s dive into things and see just what they did with it.
As would you would expect given the setting of the anime, the show revolves around the exploits of the group of boys that find themselves suddenly enrolled at Hachimitsu and the few girls that they actually happen to interact with. It is unfortunate, but not totally unexpected, that not a single one of the characters has an actual developmental arc over the course of the 12 episode season. Each of them starts off as a charicature, and despite the events that take place and the things that each of the characters experience, each of them ends the season in the same basic state as the beginning. An attempt is made with the “main” character, Kiyoshi, but despite the fact that he does make some personal discoveries as events transpire, he ends up the same guy, happy to be one of the “lucky” few boys surrounded by so many girls and desperate to find one for himself.
There isn’t really any story to speak of so far as this one goes. You take a group of teenage boys, dump them in what was previously a girls only school, create one primary conflict in the form of a Disciplinary Committee that forbids interaction with members of the opposite sex, then proceed to contrive one ridiculous circumstance after another to throw the boys into. There is in-school imprisonment, escape attempts, peeping attempts, attempts to curry favor with jailers, and no small amount of in-fighting before things are done for the season. None of the conflict really draws you in and none of the “threats” to any of the characters really has you worried for what will become of them.
Prison School falls squarely into the category of pointless anime. It is chock full of toilet humor, tasteless physical comedy, and an abundance of fan service. If you don’t have anything at all to do and want a couple of cheap laughs, then you might find a bit of entertainment in Prison School. If you watched High School of the Dead and had a good time with it, you also might find some enjoyment in Prison School, unless, of course, your enjoyment from HotD was based on the zombies roaming all over the town. So, in short, I don’t feel like I totally wasted 6 hours of my life by watching this anime, but at the same time, it isn’t something I am going to add to my collection or go back and watch over and over due to the sheer greatness of the product.
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