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Prison School: Complete Series – Review

screen-shot-2017-01-29-at-11-37-49-amWhile things like ghouls, goblins, creatures, and critters tormented me and my heightened imagination as a child, it is the thought of being locked in a high security penitentiary that does a wonderful job scaring me into submission as an adult. While I’ve done no such punishable crimes up until this point in my life, and I have no plans to commit any going forward, I’ve seen too many television series about being locked behind bars…and it scares the living daylights out of me. I suppose, when looked at in this particular light, it’s clear to see why a system like the penal works so well, arguably, because it keeps frightened citizens like myself from doing anything less than legal.

Now, if you were to tell me that the institution that would host my incarceration was one akin to that featured in the recent hit Anime series Prison School, well…the rate of crime in my area would multiply tenfold. You see, although I don’t consider myself a felon of any kind, I do understand that I am one of many that embrace the carnal nature of myself and human beings as a whole, which is a fancy way of saying that I’m a bit of a “perv“, and the idea of being “tortured” by beautiful women in ways that flare up the area in our brain driven by fetish-based desire is undeniable.

Prison School is more than that, though! It’s more than just a gateway Anime to Hentai! It has style, substance, crass humour, constant nudity, sexual torture…oh boy, I’m getting the sweats agains. Thanks to Madman Entertainment I have been given the opportunity to review the Blu-Ray release of Prison School in all it’s uncensored glory, and it is b-e-a-utiful.

When the prestigious all-girls Hachimitsu Private Academy becomes co-ed, five young men are the first males to attend. But the girls aren’t so accepting of their new classmates. Despite their best attempts, Kiyoshi and his friends are met with cold shoulders from the girls. So what better way to deal with rejection than a little bit of peeping? When they chance a peak at the girls during bath time, their plan falls apart and they are caught by the Underground Student Council. Unwilling to hear any excuses, the USC enforces an absurd punishment imprisonment! For a month, the boys must live within the school’s very own penal system while enduring long, hard, and grueling tasks.

But the work is the least of their worries.

With the sharp crack of a riding crop and the harsh discipline from a stiletto heel, it’s going to take more than sheer will power to survive the next month especially when the ladies of the USC have their own secret agenda. – Madman Entertainment

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Prison School is this strange underground hit; underground only because nobody wants to be caught dead talking about it, but underneath it’s highly sexual surface is an animated series that, against what many people assume, is simply fantastic. The key to Prison School’s brilliance is that it is quite unassuming: Many, being put off by the gratuitous “fanservice“, if it can even still be considered that, close themselves off to subtle but hard-hitting comedy, and a storyline that is not only genuinely enjoyable but masterfully well-written, and character development that rivals that of, arguably, any other series worth it’s salt.

Helped by it’s English dub, which I will get to soon, Prison School is quite a funny series. At equal parts humorous, dramatic, and sexual, Prison School is a deadly cocktail that will take you by surprise and leave you wanting way more than you think you can handle. As the series goes on you begin to notice that the characters within it are not only becoming more and more defined but are growing as a cause of the events, and while that does indeed sound like fundamental storytelling it isn’t expected throughout this series therefor making it all the more impactful when the time comes for it to be thrust into the limelight.

As mentioned, a great deal of the series rests on it’s writing, which is aided heavily by it’s English dub. Not only was the series translated well into English, but the voice cast performed in as realistic a fashion as they could muster with most conversations between your more down-to-earth characters resembling real life. Prison School featured a great deal of swearing which, funnily enough, came at opportune times that only aided in it’s realistic portrayal of human interaction. I am, once again, referring to the characters that aren’t so much “larger than life“.

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Like most modern Anime, Prison School looked fantastic but took certain shortcuts whenever it was necessary. The series featured an interesting style that matched it’s source material almost perfectly. Now, as you can imagine, the series had more than a fair share of confronting visuals which, depending on who you ask, either disgusted or aroused. This is obviously not for everyone and although it is only one of few aspects of Prison School that would turn people away…it’s quite the big one.

Prison School had a surprisingly urban soundtrack that stuck to hip hop and electronic beats to portray both dread and success, which I feel were always at the throats of one another throughout the series. It, once again, goes unexpected but the music throughout the series perfectly matched what it was laying down, and never once felt out of place. A low hum interlaced with a slow beat, and an electronic melody make for one hell of an intimidating track, and most of what Prison School had to offer was…intimidating, to say the very least.

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Prison School is simply fantastic! While I’ve decided to put aside my personal experience with it, up until this point, for the sake of an unbiased review, it’s pretty hard to deny the real-world effects of this series. It was one of the first Anime that my partner and I experienced together, and from what originally begin as interest for the sake of alternative viewing eventually became something much more, and to watch it all again truly brought out even more of the goodness that I had missed the first time.

Prison School succeeds because it is a subtle combination of elements that are inherently brash, working together in unison to create something that has second and third guessing yourself every single episode but leaving you with little less than absolute joy. Personally, I think Prison School can be enjoyed by many audiences, but on that same note I can also understand why many would be put off by it. It’s this strange duality that makes Prison School so great and, if you willing to open yourself up to it, will give you so much more than you expected.

Grade: A+

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