This has no doubt been the longest post hiatus yet – for that I apologize. Preparing for marriage does that to you.
On the flipside however, I’m proud to introduce a new section I’ll be talking about – manga. While this is a ‘general impressions’ post, expect to see me post reviews of entire chapters as well. Now, enough pleasantries – onto the review.
Let me start with a little history to frame your expectations of my impressions: I’ve actually been reading Prison school since February of this year and didn’t get into it until several threads describing it’s exploits in detail became popular on /a/ around the beginning of the year. With so much discussion (and unquestionably exceptional art), I had no choice but to investigate for myself. There will be light spoilers in this review (This is but a brief taste).
So what is there to expect from this manga? Well, to put it bluntly, it’s pretty vulgar. Please do not let children read this holy shit. But with amazing, sharp character designs, interesting progressions, and totally absurd situations, you will be consistently entertained from start to finish. It’s worth noting that Prison school is a weekly publication that, unlike most weekly publications, doesn’t lose steam or become plodding. It has been consistently interesting from the day I began reading it to current day.
But what can you expect from a series that follows the exploits of 5 boys in a previously all-girls school? Well, the situations write themselves, you’d think. But to be honest, their initial vulgarity is only a premise for the first act of the manga, where the boys are put into a prison inside the school where they must serve a mandatory amount of time, enforced by the underground student council. If they have three strikes, they are expelled from the school, which is Mari, the head of the USC’s ultimate goal. Things do eventually go their way and the second act of the manga has the story take quite a turn and, somehow, even manages to make me feel sorry for their former captors as old enemies become friends.
While this may send your cliche sensors ringing, the truth of the matter is that these twists and turns are handled with figurative grace – foreshadowing provides the needed groundwork for revelations and “keikkaku doori” situations unfold in a satisfying manner. Well, I suppose your mileage may vary.
The art is sharp, striking, and easy on the eyes. Characters like Kiyoshi, Hana, or Gakuto are striking and unique in both looks and personality. Backgrounds are detailed and very little is left to the imagination. Yes, I mean that the way you think I do.
How about the characters? Lets take our main character Kiyoshi, who at first glance may seem like our typical beta protagonist, but developments show that while he is superficially that beta protag, underneath he’s just as much of a guy as any of his friends -admittedly, a normally guy with some unshakeable resolve in times of crisis. Gakuto, who is easily the most developed of Kiyoshi’s friends, also plays a pivotal role in the first act of the manga and will likely have you rooting for him at every turn. Without any spoilers, he has “been a bro” on several occasions. I’m quite fond of him myself.
The characters grow together – gone are the stagnant shonen relationships of the yesteryear. Without going into too much detail, I doubt you will be failed to be captivated by every seemingly insurmountable obstacle presented before our heroes.
Of course, this is just a brief “general impressions” post. Expect to see my thoughts on chapters in the future!