Sunday, December 10, 2017

AniManga: Kangoku Gakuen (Prison School)

Kangoku Gakuen (Prison School in English) is my manga guilty pleasure. It has a comedic storyline, interesting character development, borderline hentai imagery, and insane plots. The manga is written by Akira Hiramoto. Its been serialized since 2011. The series was made into a twelve episode anime in 2015.

This AniManga centers around a group of five teenage guys who attend Hachimitsu Academy. The school was formally an all-girl academy and one of the strictest schools in Tokyo. To make things worse the school is under the control of a group called the Underground Student Council. Most of its members hate men. The rest of the student body is apprehensive about talking to men because they have no experience with them. If that sounds only gets worse from there. On the high school premises is a small prison, hence the name Prison School.  The five guys named Kiyoshi, Takehito, Shingo, Joji, Reiji get locked in prison. 

Kiyoshi is the main character of the series. He's in love with the president of the USC (Underground Student Council) little sister Chiyo. Kiyoshi is also the love interest of Hana another member of the USC. Hana is a martial arts expert, sadistic and is jealous of Kiyoshi's affection towards Chiyo. Out of the four guys Kiyoshi is the most normal and runs into the most problems. Kiyoshi and Shingo were friends from middle school. Shingo, is your average high school delinquent. He has a pessimistic personality and almost zero loyalty towards the other four guys. 

Takehito (also known as) "Gakuto" is a glasses wearing otaku with a fascination for the Three Kingdoms. Throughout the series, Gakuto proves to be a smart strategist and opportunist. During their stay in prison, Gakuto and Kiyoshi come up with several ingenious plans to escape their forced captivity. Out of all the guys, Gakuto takes the most physical abuse during the series. He also has the worse reputation. 

Joji (also known as Joe) is the weakest member of the group. He has a persistent cough that never goes away. He can only take light physical exertion and is no help in their attempt to escape prison. Joe does have an affinity towards animals. At one point during the series, he is portrayed as a Doctor Dolittle by talking to a colony of ants. Joe is loyal to his friends. On numerous occasions, he tries to be the voice of reason for the group.  

Reiji (also known as Andre) is the largest member of the group. He is overweight and taller than the other guys. Andre stands out from the group because he is a masochist with extra long earlobes. He enjoys pain and being degraded. During his stay in prison, he becomes obsessed with their prison guard Meiko. Like Joe, Andre is fiercely loyal to his friends. Throughout the series, he starts out as a gentle giant. As it progresses, he becomes more outgoing. Due to his strange proclivities, he becomes the object of fascination for several girls at the academy

I'll leave the circumstances of how the guys get locked in the school prison up to you the reader to discover. What I will say is once the guys are in prison they get treated worse that POW's (Prisons or War). Their prison guard and enforcer for the USC is a woman named Meiko. She is in charge of keeping the guys in line by using fear, intimidation, and extreme violence. For some reason, she has a particular dislike for Gakuto. 

Meiko is a tall curvaceous woman who is fiercely loyal to Mari the USC president. Meiko also has enormous breasts which she flaunts proudly. As a youth, she was bullied for her breast size until Mari befriended her and helped her develop the self-confidence to be proud of her figure. Due to her constant strength training, Meiko is often drawn sweating. She is an extreme sadist with inhuman strength. Meiko is stronger than Andre the biggest member of the guys' group. She can be seen as the main protagonist during the first half of the series. 

Mari is the USC president. She is also the daughter of the Chairman of the academy. Mari hates boys and believes all men are perverts because her father has a fascination with the female form (especially butts). Mari plots and conspires with the rest of the USC to get the guys expelled from the academy. In the first half of the series, she is pure evil. During the second half, she becomes calmer because she experiences some of the torment she put the boys went through. Her relationship with the chairman is tumultuous. She is overprotective of her friends and little sister Chiyo.  

The character development during the series is phenomenal. The whole first half is about the USC while the second half of the series is about the above ground student council. The USC and the student council go to war for control of the academy and the five guys get trapped in the crossfire. My one criticism is that during the second half of the series some of the story arcs get dragged out. The writers break-up the action between too many chapters instead of keeping it fast-paced and condensed. 

Overall Kangoku Gakuen is an awesome series. If you're looking for action, ecchi, romance, comedy, interesting characters, with insane plots...I highly recommend it. 

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