At the beginning at the summer season I began my watch of Prison School. Currently there isn’t a word that can describe all of my feelings for this show, which is sad because I think there should be. When I watched Prison School I feel that everything I was feeling was all flowing in the same direction, like a river. The thing that made this river of feeling pay off was the ending waterfall that would collapse every now and then, causing me to twist and turn while staring at the screen with my cheeks beat red. So safe to say that the waterfall was intense, but so was the river. I don’t think even the best rafters could have braved this river and lived to tell about it (But I did). The analogy I’m failing to make is that Prison School felt like a struggle to keep my sanity while on this wild river of a show, and every so often it would break that threshold and turn into a waterfall I would just lose it. Now I know that might not sound like the best experience but I loved every second of it.
Prison School is Uncomfortable
While I said earlier that there really wasn’t a way to fully encompass my emotions while watching Prison School, there is a pretty good word to describe the show itself. That word is uncomfortable. Everything in Prison School is maxed out to 11 in how just “euhwh” it makes you feel. They miraculously manage to do this in a way that they can just drag all their characters through the dirt and still make you care whats happening to them. Of course you’re not suppose to be sympathetic or anything, but your sense of empathy should kick in, where you start to feel what they’re feeling.
They go to these extremes to make you feel these uncomfortable feelings, sometimes in the worst ways. It’s not just the way the characters act that helps this either. The glossy art style is a perfect example to help show what’s going on without ever having to hear anything from the characters. The glossiness makes it look greasy, almost dirty. I don’t think it’s just a style choice. I think that the characters are drawn with that sheen because they are legitimately sweaty for most of the time. What could be going on to make them so sweaty and greasy you ask? well high school of course.
Everything Is More Tense in High School
Prison School really couldn’t take place anywhere but high school for a number of reasons. Mainly because it deals with a lot of situations that are exclusive to high school boys that happen in high school. And not those high school boys from light novel adaptations. Real high school boys with uncensored high school boy thoughts. Which is something we may get in inner dialogues from other shows, but rarely do they act upon it, and with such extremity no doubt.
Now the setting gives itself to max out the hornyness of these five boys right of the bat. They’re the only five boys being integrated into an all girls school. So what is the first thing they think about? Its girls. But don’t get me wrong they’re not creeps or anything, they can’t help that every thought in their high school mind goes to wanting to see the baby making parts of, literally any girl. From the very first episode we are brought to the realization that most of the things that will get these boys in trouble will be their dicks. Do they know the things they’re doing are wrong? Sure do. Do they know they will most likely suffer for their actions? You bet’cha. Knowing this they do it anyway, because to these boys having almost any sexual interaction with girls is the most important thing in the world. And since they have that mind-set the show tends to reflect that in the situations that go down. Basically every time they will try something in this show the situation will be treated like the end of the world, because for these boys the stakes are as high as they can be.
It’s not just the boys who are experiencing tense moment either, a lot of the time the underground student council vice president is found in a constant state of sweating. These instances of sweating accompanied by the drastic faces she makes gives off a similar feeling of something is happening that you don’t want to happen. I think a lot of these instances stem from just personifying the concept of embarrassment. Which makes a lot of sense because its high school. With the student council vice resident as an example, she’s constantly looking for the approval of her senior (president), but she tends to mess up and let her emotions get the best of her causing her to sweat so much. In the same respects it’s a lot like the boys since it deals with her kinda self inflicting these instances of embarrassment on herself. Either way it’s just as much fun to watch as with they boys, and you feel everything they feel.
For me it wasn’t too hard because I seem to be eternally trapped in that high school boy state of mind (at least sexually anyway). Now once you’ve connected with that inescapable hornyness mindset of our five main characters the show opens you up to all of its emotions, both good and bad. I think that’s the true key to enjoying this show or finding it dumb. Because once you understand just how these seemingly trite situations would feel to a high schooler, you’ll begin to understand why they are reacting the way they are. Sure its a bit exaggerated for comedic effect. But I think its just giving form to what would be running through their minds in those situations. Due to them not holding any bars and just exuding the raw emotions it triggers something in you. Rarely do I get a show that will seriously have my heart racing, and Prison School managed to do that every single episode.
Prison School Brings the Pain
Now of course I can’t write an article about prison school without talking about the horrendously graphic and painful displays of violence. Now of course its nothing that actually on-screen looks too bad. To be honest most of the violence is rather tame, to the eyes that is. But Prison School is Prison School, and it has its way to bring all those kicks and punches seem so real, to the point where your clutching your balls overtime a main character gets kicked in his. So why does the physical pain hit home so well in Prison School? well there’s a couple of reasons that all work in tandem.
For one Prison School is very aware of the parts they want to stand out and know the comedic timing well enough to make sure they don’t hit it with these painful scenes. They hold back things either just early or late enough to catch you off guard to keep things from being funny and instead just downright painful or gross. Now with that timing is also accompanied by some visuals to keep you on your feet. The show will pull out some weirdly deformed art style for still shots all the time. But somehow I never was prepared for it. This art style is ugly, but its made to look that way. It’s not bad technically but it takes you out of your comfort zone just enough to make yo venerable to whats happening on-screen.
This is why the “torture” scenes in Prison School feel so engaging. Theres a sense that you can feel it and its so real because you are so invested in whats going on that instance. It doesn’t really have anything to do with the characters or the situation (but if you are invested in those it can help immensely). It all has to do with Prisons School’s ability to capture a moment and make it seem like it’s the only thing that matters and it forces you to care about it.
One of the reasons I latched onto Prison School Like I did with Monster Girls is that its uncompromising in what it sets out to do. It’s completely unapologetic and genuine in its feelings. So often do we get shows that like to tread the line into perversion or intensity, but play it safe and secure. Prison School doesn’t play it safe or secure. It goes nuts and is what made me go nuts over this show. I was on board the moment I finished the first episode, and if I had any reservations, Prison School didn’t care and just dragged me through regardless. I’m not gonna lie that there were sometimes I was scared to watch the next episode, but Prison School is like a drug in that way. Once it grabs hold its almost impossible to resist.