Prison School (
In August 2014, on the wrap-around cover of Volume 14, an anime adaptation was announced for July 2015, with the first season airing for 12 episodes until September 2015. In July 2015, a television live-action drama adaptation by director Noboru Iguchi & production studio ROBOT was announced, which will air on TBS and MBS on late-night drama timeslots airing for 9 episodes from October to December 2015. The series received a spinoff manga Fukukaichou Gambaru, serialised in Young Magazine the 3rd.
The manga series is licensed to Yen Press in the North American market, with four published English volumes in an omnibus format. The series is licensed by Soleil Manga in French and Egmont Manga in German, with five and six published volumes respectively. † The Prison School manga series has over eight million copies published in Japan and has spawned the fifteenth-top grossing animanga franchise in Japan.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The private educational establishment Hachimitsu Academy stands in the suburbs of Tokyo's metropolitan area, a boarding school for sporting elite young women that upholds traditional rules on its campus. However, the onset of the new academic year on April 2011 hails the reform of one tradition - the admittance of male students into the school system. The few accepted boys, including Kiyoshi Fujino, are thrilled by this discovery - however, only five boys enter the cohort with a 1 in 200 boy-to-girl ratio on the first day of school. The student Kiyoshi shares the adolescent dream of a harem with his four new friends— Takehito Morokuzu (codenamed "Gakuto"), Shingo Wakamoto, Jouji Nezu (codenamed "Jo"), and Reiji Andou (codenamed" Andre")— as the only male students among a thousand girls.
To their dismay however, none of the thousand girls will interact with them due to the USC's written notices. The boys are ignorant of draconian laws that form the School Code hailing from its traditional history, which punishes even the most minor of larcenies with a sentence of imprisonment in the school's Prison Block. The desolated compound is manned by senior members of the school's secretive Underground Student Council and managed by the USC President Mari Kurihara, who maintain the school as a "women's paradise". The infiltration of the girls' bathing area by the five boys results in their internal imprisonment in the school's Prison Block, where they receive an ultimatum from the USC to either stay a month in the prison or be expelled. The transformation of their lives in the series into prison life culminates in an intense drama of jailbreak, romance and violent beauty.
The plot of the manga focuses on the comical attempts of the five boys to find a love interest and integrate within the school. The series has a hyperrealistic and 'dark' approach to the artwork within, to complement the penal theme. The monotony of school life is likened to a prison in itself, with the school hierarchy as warden. The combination of comedic with dramatic elements in Prison School have served to heighten the tension of the plot. The series also features fluid antagonism in the form of the Underground & Aboveground Student Councils. The depiction of women with visual erotica and physical strength in Meiko Shiraki is unique to the manga. The hyperrealism of the series extends to the scenery and body proportions such as facial expressions. However, characters sometimes appear to have simplified facial features for comedic effect.
List of characters[edit | edit source]
The individual character articles for the series can be found here.
The five first year boys are at the centre of the academic reform of Hachimitsu Academy and the main protagonists of the series. Though their act of voyeurism costs them their freedom and respect in the school, the five remain steadfast in their resolve to remain enrolled at the school and integrate by being accepted in the female student body.
- Kiyoshi Fujino known as "Kiyoshi" - the central protagonist of the series, 'hero' of the five and love interest of Chiyo Kurihara. The possessor of an indomitable fighting spirit bordering on stubbornness, Kiyoshi is the instigator of a breakout for a romantic sumo contest date with Chiyo. The middle-school friend of Shingo.
- Takehito Morokuzu known as "Gakuto" - the 'intellectual' of the five boys. The chief strategist of the five, his obsessive behaviour over the "Three Kingdoms" and otaku culture is tempered by his tactical excellence which often prevents their expulsions. The middle-school friend of Jo, he befriends love interest Mitsuko Yokoyama.
- Reiji Andou known as "Andre" - the 'masochist' of the five. Though he has a calm and gentle mannerism despite his gigantic size, Andre idolises Meiko Shiraki until being subdued by love interest Risa Bettou - who he develops a powerful loyalty to. However, his subservience to Risa results in him opposing the other boys later on.
- Jouji Nezu known as "Jo" - the 'outsider' of the five. The strange and sullen behaviour Jo exhibits, from his hooded gaunt frame to his hobby of ant-watching, is contrasted by his emotive character and social struggles to fit in. The middle-school friend of Gakuto, Jo finds unlikely love in his love interest Satou.
- Shingo Wakamoto known as "Shingo" - the 'foreigner' of the five. Though pessimistic and narcissistic in his behaviour, Shingo is a paradigm of loyalty until the breakout - when he betrays them for the USC before apologizing. Though he is prone to prolonged negative moods, his love interest Anzu Yokoyama changes him.
The Underground Student Council is the secretive and popular student organisation that polices the traditions of Hachimitsu Academy. Their primary objective is to police intergender relations and they thus oppose the reform of the academy. However, they are imprisoned by the official Student Council.
- Mari Kurihara - the USC president, a third-year student in charge of the mysterious organisation. As a once-mysandric person, she strongly opposed the admission of male students and referred to them as "scum" - until co-operation with Kiyoshi improves her outlook on them. The sister of Chiyo Kurihara and the daughter of the Chairman.
- Meiko Shiraki - the USC vice-president and third-year student. The supervisor of the Prison Block during the boys' detention, Meiko punishes them with violence and fear while serving Mari as a faithful aide. The imprisonment of the USC results in her losing her sadist "Vice-President" persona to become mentally and physically weakened.
- Hana Midorikawa - the USC secretary and third-year student. Though she seems innocent when enjoying clover-collecting and her homemade dandelion tea, she is proficient in close-combat - with an overpoweringly violent treatment of the boys. Through a series of awkward events, she develops a complex relationship with Kiyoshi.
The hitherto-unknown Aboveground Student Council are introduced as the official but less popular counterpart of the USC - until they imprison them for their oppression of the boys. They aim to usurp the USC's organisational importance and popularity in the student body.
- Kate Takenomiya - the SC's president and third-year archrival of Mari. The middle-school classmate of Meiko and Mari, she used to bully the former until she developed the hardened Vice-President persona. The determination and effort Kate shows in destroying the USC contrasts to her loyalty to her friend Risa Bettou.
- Risa Bettou - the SC's vice-president and third-year love interest of Andre. Though she successfully tames the masochist Andre into being her "submissive", she has an inferiority complex towards Meiko. The loyal aide of Kate, she serves her while always armed with a wooden shinai - which she uses in her guard patrols.
- Mitsuko Yokoyama - the SC's secretary and the love interest of Gakuto. Though extremely clumsy at times, the two bond over their collective interest in the Three Kingdoms until a series of romantic misunderstandings involving Jo drive the two apart.
The academy serves as the main setting of the series and the location where all the main interaction between the characters occur.
- Chairman - the school chairman of the academy and father to both Mari and Chiyo Kurihara. The progenitor of the school's many academic reforms, the Chairman is a wealthy man with a secret - his pygophiliac tendencies. This indiscretion and the amendments are a cause of tension between him and his estranged daughter Mari.
- Chiyo Kurihara - the first-year classmate and love interest of Kiyoshi Fujino. The friend of fellow Go Club member and classmate Mayumi, she is a fan of sumo wrestling. Though she can show naivety at times and has yet to harbour any romantic feelings for Kiyoshi, she has a strong sense of justice and is supportive of the schoolboys.
- Anzu Yokoyama - the second-year love interest of Shingo Wakamoto and ex-USC captain. Though she betrays Shingo in the Underground Student Council's service for a promotion, she defects and aids the boys' efforts to escape expulsion. Though she has an otaku interest in the USC, she proves to be a competitive athlete & skilled gamer with an advocacy of the boys.
- Honey - the love interest of the Chairman and fiancée of Mr. Important. Their first encounter happens when she is hitchhiking in the mountainous outskirts of Tokyo. It is revealed she is in hiding from her fiance's armed servants and that her relationship with the Chairman is a lie. They have the first truly physical relationship in the series.
List of volumes[edit | edit source]
The individual chapter list for the manga series can be found here.
|Volume No.||Kodansha date||Kodansha ISBN||Yen Press date||Yen Press ISBN|
|Volume 1||June 6th, 2011||978-4063820430||July 21st, 2015||978-0316343657|
|Volume 2||October 6th, 2011||978-4063820911|
|Volume 3||January 6th, 2012||978-4063821253||November 17th, 2015||978-0316346122|
|Volume 4||April 6th, 2012||978-4063821598|
|Volume 5||July 6th, 2012||978-4063821956||March 22nd, 2016||978-0316346139|
|Volume 6||November 6th, 2012||978-4063822243|
|Volume 7||February 6th, 2013||978-4063822618||July 26th, 2016||978-0316346153|
|Volume 8||May 2nd, 2013||978-4063823028|
|Volume 9||July 5th, 2013||978-4063823202||November 29th, 2016||978-0316346160|
|Volume 10||October 4th, 2013||978-4063823592|
|Volume 11||December 6th, 2013||978-4063823875||March 28th, 2017||978-0316346177|
|Volume 12||March 6th, 2014||978-4063824322|
|Volume 13||May 2nd, 2014||978-4063824612||June 20th, 2017||978-0316346184|
|Volume 14||August 6th, 2014||978-4063824995|
|Volume 15||November 6th, 2014||978-4063825251||November 7th, 2017||978-0316502641|
|Volume 16||March 6th, 2015||978-4063825701|
|Volume 17||June 5th, 2015||978-4063826432||March 13th, 2018||978-0316558617|
|Volume 18||August 6th, 2015||978-4063826470|
|Volume 19||December 4th, 2015||978-4063827149||June 26nd, 2018||978-0316442879|
|Volume 20||March 4th, 2016||978-4063588033|
|Volume 21||June 6th, 2016||978-4063828047||October 30th, 2018||978-0316558631|
|Volume 22||August 5, 2016||978-4063828368|
|Volume 23||November 4, 2016||978-4063828726||-||-|
Reception[edit | edit source]
The manga won an a publisher award in Kodansha's Best General Manga category at the 37th Kodansha Manga Awards ceremony. The publisher Kodansha announced that the manga has above eight million volumes in print in Weekly Young Magazine Issue No.18 on April 3rd, 2016. In 2015, the Prison School franchise grossed ¥2.7 billion ($22 million), ranking as the fifteenth bestselling animanga franchise in Japan. In August 2015, the seventeenth volume of Prison School peaked at ninth on the Weekly Oricon Manga list charting for two weeks with 154,415 copies sold in total. In June 2015, the eighteenth volume of Prison School peaked at tenth charting for two weeks with 230,042 copies sold in total. In December 2015, the manga series charted as the ninth-top bestselling manga by volume count in Japan and the 2nd-top Kodansha bestseller. The nineteenth volume of Prison School peaked at fifth in the Weekly Oricon Manga list charting for three weeks with 322,981 copies sold in total. The twentieth volume of Prison School peaked at eight in the Weekly Oricon Manga list charting for four weeks with 290,308 copies sold in total (including the special edition). The twenty first volume of Prison School peaked at fifth charting for four weeks in the Weekly Oricon Manga list with 284,389 copies sold in total. The fourth omnibus volume of Prison School has charted in the New York Times Manga Bestseller list having peaked at fifth. The twenty second volume volume of Prison School has charted in the Weekly Oricon Manga list for one week having peaked at sixth with 90,811 copies sold in total.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
監獄学園" is often erroneously transliterated as "Kangoku Gakuen" rather than "Purizun Sukūru".
- The Prison School manga is published in print format and in digital format on the Kindle platform.
- The manga series has visual references to real-life locations surrounding the school within the Sumida and Chiyoda wards of Tokyo.
- The chapter titles of the manga contain cultural references to Japanese and American filmography.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
† The following values are correct as of March 5th, 2015.
[edit | edit source]
- Manga official website (Japanese)
- Manga publisher website (Japanese)
- Manga publisher website (English)
- Manga publisher website (German)
- Manga publisher website (French)
[edit | edit source]
|Prison School by Akira Hiramoto|