Summer 2015 First Impressions: Prison School

Prison School pic 01

I can’t stop laughing at this.

Like with Shokugeki no Souma last season, it’s hard for me to write about the Prison School anime, for the reason that I’ve read the manga. What I mean is that it’s difficult to say what I think of the first episode without subconsciously incorporating my opinions on everything that happens later on. Unlike Souma, though, Prison School doesn’t even grant me the possibility of commenting on its technical aspects in the usual way, because the visuals and dialogue can only be described as “odd”. Well, I guess that’s not strictly true, but for the purpose of comparing it to other anime, that’s the first descriptor that comes to mind. Both are very faithful to the manga, but the execution is unique to say the least. The speed at which the characters talk varies between painfully and dramatically slow, and breakneck. The visuals are a mixture of weird angles, choppy animation, fluid animation, extremely detailed art and insane faces. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen before(which is an experience I had with the manga as well).

And it’s good that the insane faces made it into the anime, because the initial reason I was drawn to the manga was the detailed art and the exaggerated dramatic moments. The first episode of the anime abandons the less insane moments in favour of very fast pacing, so I was glad that the execution managed to retain the style of the manga. Going forward from here, however, I am worried about a few things. The visuals may drop in quality, because sometimes that’s a thing that happens after the first episode. I’m not sure if it will be as noticeable as usual due to the unique style, but I’m still worried. I’m also worried about the story and the pacing. I’m afraid that if the constant bombardment of jokes, gags and violence continues, I’ll quickly get tired of it(that’s why the less insane moments are in the manga). And, last but not least, I’m worried about some of the voices. Hiroshi Kamiya and Kana Hanazawa have already proven that they can probably handle their roles(Kiyoshi and Hana, respectively) fantastically, and the other boys are at least good enough so far. I’m also confident that Sayaka Ohara can pull off a convincing Mari in the future as well, but I wasn’t really feeling Shizuka Itou’s performance as Meiko. And considering Meiko is one of the most important characters in the early chapters, I hope my worries end up being unfounded or that I just get used to it.

Verdict: ??? (Seriously, though, I’m not really interested in comparing this to other shows this season, I just want to see how the adaptation ends up being.)

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