The anime series Prison School is many things—funny, raunchy, metafictional, absurd. The list could go on, but if what you really want is to see more anime series just like this little gem, we have a list of 10, below, that you’re bound to enjoy. No matter which aspect of Prison School most appeals to you, we think that you’re going to get a kick out of these other series that approach similar themes with a similar degree of obnoxious humor.
Of course, there’s plenty of criticism that you could level at Prison School, too. But because the reasons to criticize it are practically the same reasons that you’ll laugh at it, we’ll withhold anything scathing for another article. For now, we’re going to kick back, laugh, and examine all of the excellent qualities that make this particular series work.
What is Prison School?
Prison School is quite a few different things, but above all of the different genres it inhabits, the series is constantly hilarious. It pokes fun at itself just as readily as it employs ridiculous anime tropes to raunchy effect.
The premise of the series is this—a small group of boys attend an exclusive women’s school and discover just how strict the rules of the school are. When they’re caught spying on some of the school;s other students, they’re sentenced to serve a term within that prison, wherein they begin to discover things about themselves.
Honestly, the premise of the series could be pitched as a horror movie, just as easily as it’s a comedy. Because it’s the latter, however, Prison School is a show that never takes itself particularly seriously.
- All of the usual anime fanservice:
- skimpy clothing,
- absurdly heaving bosoms,
- and exaggerated sexuality— are present in abundance, but where other anime series might treat them as titillating, those tropes are usually the butt-end of jokes in Prison School.
10 Anime Series Like Prison School
Because it’s such a unique series, it’s somewhat hard to find similar anime series to recommend. But if we focus on those things that Prison School does well—humor, fan service, pop culture, commentary—we can pinpoint several series that all succeed at the same things.
We’re listing 10 of them below, but there are definitely more of them out there. If we’ve missed one of your favorites, let us know about it in the comments below!
Fair warning—there’s plenty of mature content in this particular anime, but it’s also present in the manga that the series is based on. It’s about Tatsuya Egawa, and his journey across the Japan as he lives freely, without restrictions. This comedy mostly focuses on his interactions with women and the various ways that their romantic (and nonromantic) entanglements change all of their lives, for better and worse.
It’s great comedic material, and even though Golden Boy might seem stereotypical on the surface, the humor is on-point. Just like Prison School, this series has plenty to say about modern cultural sexuality.
High School of the Dead
Much like Prison School, High School of the Dead is outright absurd when it’s at its best. The series is obviously grounded in zombie horror (hence the name) but it also pokes fun at the tropes of “harem” anime series in the same way that Prison School does. It also ratchets up the ridicule when it comes to the fan-service inspired action.
It’s a bloody good time and was well-received enough to become its own series, after a rather successful debut back in 2006.
At first glance, it might be a mystery, why I’m recommending this show in the same breath as Prison School. And I do promise you, the reason isn’t, “because One-Punch Man is the best anime of our generation.” Even though it is.
The actual reason behind this suggestions is due to the fact that Prison School and One-Punch Man are both varying degrees of metafiction. Though they’re perfectly enjoyable in their own right, both series have plenty to say about the genres they inhabit. They follow some of the most ridiculous tropes out there, while also turning those same tropes into satire. It’s a self-inflicted sort of humor that’s hard to pull off, and both of these series manage it fantastically.
In addition to that, the fight scenes and action in One-Punch man are pretty damn fun!
The premise of Shimoneta is absurd. In near-future Japan, the government has cracked down on anything it deems to be immoral. Language, sex, behavior—all of it. You can imagine that, as a result, the series focuses primarily on how these things are managing to thrive when placed under scrutiny.
Which results in an overall incredibly lewd series. But that’s okay because it’s sort of what we’re looking for, right?
Shimoneta follows Tanukichi Okuma and his encounters with perverse terrorist efforts to overthrow the moral regime that oversees this fictional future’s operation. It’s ridiculous in concept, but a lot of fun to watch.
Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt
Panty and Stocking with Garter Belt takes place in a surreal place, between heaven and hell. It’s about fallen angels battling evil, ghosts, and other malicious entities.
Going off the name alone, you wouldn’t have guess that, right? Me either.
However, the series’ protagonists—two fallen angels named Panty and Stocking—ground this anime series in humorous absurdity, and the rather dire trapping of the overall narrative and story only help to make it all more funny. Almost every character in the show is named after a different type of undergarment, and while that might almost seem too silly, the show’s writers do everything necessary to make it work.
Yamada’s First Time
Yamada’s First Time is another anime that uses humor to explore modern sexuality, to varying degrees of success. Don’t get me wrong—it’s always funny, but the intended social commentary sometimes misses its mark.
It follows the story of Yamada, a teenage high school student who makes it her personal goal to have a lot of sex. However, her own insecurities about herself and her virginity cause her to reject almost every prospect that appears before her.
While this could have been a rather tasteless approach, Yamada actually manages to be fairly empowering. She’s an intensely sexual character, but her pursuit and control of her own desires give her a level of agency that many women characters in this genre of anime don’t often get.
Think of Prison School, but absent the “women’s school” part of the entire story. Nanbaka is just as much of a comedy as the other entries on this list, but it’s primarily focused on the personalities of four protagonists as they’re stuck inside of a prison, serving out their terms.
The interplay between prisoners and guards is what fuels the drama, which might remind you of other popular series currently airing.
Many of the perverse humor that dictates Prison School is present here, but it’s wrapped up in a different sort of story. Rather than being entirely absurd, this series is a coming-of-age tale that takes a close look at how young people interact.
Kazuki Arisaka is the young protagonist, a woman who is excited that a childhood crush is finally returning home. However, upon meeting him again, she realizes that he isn’t anything like what she remembered, and might never have been in the first place.
Similarly to Prison School, the “elevator pitch” for Shomin Sample is kind of horrifying. A young man is hand-selected to be the only male at a private girls’ school. However, he was chosen because of mistaken identity, and now has to either disguise his infatuation of women, or face a rather severe punishment for “ruining” his classmates’ innocence—castration and exile.
It’s alarming stuff, but don’t worry—this anime is played out just as humorously as everything else on this list, and while I never found it to be quite as funny as Prison School, it obviously exists in the same vein.
Love Lab is another anime series that gets its humor from poking at many of the tropes that other series have exploited. Here, a group of young women are trying to learn about what it’s like to date a guy, through ridiculous forms of “scientific” experimentation. None of it takes place in a lab, nor does it involve actual science. Instead, the characters explore the boundaries of affection by pushing their curiosities to the limit.
It could easily come off as exploitative, but instead, it’s capable of being quite genuine (while still being hilarious, of course.)
And there you have it! Prison School fans will find their particular brand of funny in the 10 anime series that we’ve recommended above. And once you’ve given a few of them a trial viewing, why not drop us a line in the comments below, and let us know what you think? All of these series are well-regarded for their unique approaches to anime humor, but they all stand apart from each other, too!