‘Prison School‘ is one anime that has a lot of hype around it. That’s probably the reason why I decided to give it a second chance after I failed to get past the second episode in my first attempt at watching it. But again, I was drowned in the same feeling of regret, initially. This time around though I wanted to be more patient and in the end, I did not regret the outcome. The first season of prison school has 12 episodes and more than anything else, this anime is known for its portrayal of sex and ecchi throughout. It’s such a major part of the show that it almost gave me the wrong impression about it. After watching the first few episodes itself, I presumed that the hype is all about the fanservice and the anime may have nothing more to it. But I’ve been completely wrong about this overly sexualized comedy-drama series.
There’s no doubt that this anime is not for the faint-hearted. It thrives on absurd imagery of the most extreme sexual fetishes one can imagine. But all this itself forms the base of its comedy that gives you more of a nervous laugh. The cringe in these intelligently framed comedy scenes is real and that’s clearly the purpose here. In fact, there are no actual jokes in the entire series; it’s just these gruesome, disgusting things that are thrown at you all the time, which make you wonder “why?” and, strangely, make you laugh as well. I wouldn’t call it a fan service because all the sexual weirdness is actually a crucial part of the storyline. Most of the sexual portrayals are not even sexy and at times are even painful to watch. So claiming that ‘Prison School’ sells sex would be very unfair because it instead uses it for amplifying the artistic side of the show. The obscenity does not turn you on in any way and is merely just an object used for spreading the roots of the anime.
The plot revolves around a school named Hachimitsu Private Academy, which is located in the outskirts of Tokyo. Presently, the school is an all-girls academy but a new policy allows five boys to enroll themselves in this highly acclaimed facility. Kiyoshi, Gakuto, Andre, Shingo, and Jo are the only boys amongst hundreds of other girls and seem to be living the dream of every high school boy. But their dreams are shattered when they suddenly feel as outcasts in this environment as almost no girl gives them any attention. Soon, two of them get caught for being “peeping toms” of the girl’s bath. And even though they don’t do this out of perversion, all five of them have their freedom taken away from what is known as the Underground Student Council.
The school has an actual prison where these boys are thrown and are exposed to torturous punishments for their acts of perversion. This is where we also get to see the anime’s inclination towards dominatrix where the governing student bodies of the student council punish these guys by using whips and several other ways to caue extreme physical pain. The core members of this council are President Mari and the Vice-president Meiko and the prime focus goes on the latter. V.P Meiko Shikari is an exaggeration of voluptuousness and noticeably, her curves just get more profound as the show proceeds. She is one of the most sadistic characters of the show and she treats these male students like complete garbage.
As the show further proceeds, the loyalty of each of these boys is tested to its limit as they serve their sentence in prison school. Some of them fall for the traps set up by the Students Council to get them expelled, some take the path of betrayal and only a few are true to their morals. But eventually, they all realize the value of their brotherhood. The only thing that inspires them to not give up all the way till the end is their desire to be able to attend the upcoming wet t-shirt contest in the school, which is nothing but a sexual metaphor for their freedom.