Prison Schools is very trashy. Unlike Shimoneta where I can pretend it’s totally about censorship and freedom of speech even when its argument is very straw-man, Prison School doesn’t have any real deeper themes. Yet for trash packed to the brim full of tits and ass, I really bloody loved this anime and I’ve been trying to work out why. I think the answer I’ve come down on is that it isn’t a pandering type of anime. In many other boobs-heavy anime, at their core there’s a very strong level of wish-fulfillment being met, which Prison School doesn’t have at all. It’s full of boobs, but they’re just sort of there, more a reflection of the character’s adolescent fascination with the objects rather than knowing glances at the audience. At times with the vice-president it started to feel like they were openly mocking your desire to see ass.
Ultimately Prison School is a bromance prison escape story with hearty tales of male camaraderie, trust and betrayal. It’s closer to a war story involving a platoon trapped behind enemy lines. They go to extraordinary lengths for each each other, sacrificing everything for their friendship as they attempt to escape. The setting is absolute nonsense and the events are incredibly stupid, but it takes all of it so deadly seriously with dramatic pauses and facial expressions. That’s what’s makes this series works for me. I can laugh at its dumbness while also being fully engaged in the camaraderie. Gakuto and Kiyoshi’s bromance is the most beautiful relationship in anime this year. I hope the two of them find happiness.