Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
Source: Web Manga
Plot: The story centers around four young men who are assigned to Nanba, the world’s most formidable prison. Jūgo, who attempted to break out of prison and ended up extending his jail time; Uno, who likes gambling and women; Rock, who likes eating and fighting; and Nico the ex-drug addict who likes anime. The action follows the daily lives of the prison’s inmates and guards.
Impression: Nanbaka is a full on comedy show about 4 prisoners and a prison like none other. If you’re looking for a laugh or a light hearted show to take away your stress, Nanbaka will do just great. The anime is being animated by Satelight. This animation studio is well known for one of the top shounen, Fairy Tail. Log Horizon, Hellsing Ultimate, Madan no Ou to Vanadis are some of the other popular titles Satelight animated. Fairy Tail maybe hated as much as loved because of the immense fan service but that has more to do with the anime in particular rather than the animation. Satelight has previously shown great animation skills and it’s normal to expect such here as well.
Remember, this first impression is only up to the third episode. Moving on, Nanbaka, as I kept watching, reminded me of Daily Life of Highschool Boys and Sakamoto Desu Ga. It’s not more of either one, rather seemed like a good blend of the two. The first episode flashily begins with our 4 lead characters escaping the prison, as we get to know them little by little. Nanba, the prison in question, is the most secure prison in the entire world. But we don’t really see much of the world either. The entire story is about what happens inside this prison. Perhaps that’s why this show is called Nanbaka, as in, idiots of Nanba (baka means idiot). Episode two goes by detailing the backgrounds and introducing a few new characters, and episode three deals with a new prisoner and preparation for a big event to happen in the newer episodes. Since the only purpose of this show is comedy, I’m trying not to give away too much information lest that should hamper your laughs. But rest assured, Nanbaka is without a doubt a refreshing anime.
Nanbaka is a comedy show set inside of a prison. It’s an exciting and fun plot and the stories are simply entertaining without the need of extreme detailing. That has got to a level where even the backgrounds are simply colored in various designs in place of walls and what not. But that seems to enhance the comedic element of the show even more. The opening song in particular was really fun to hear and its visuals were just as nice. The ending songs seemed a bit different to me, surely due to my liking a different genre of songs. It didn’t attract me as much is what I want to say.
At this point, I don’t really feel any immense urge to continue watching the show. Even though elements from both Sakamoto and Daily Lives of Highschool Boys are present in Nanbaka, it simply didn’t make me laugh out as much. I was entertained, it was fun to watch, but I didn’t laugh out. But it’s definitely fun to watch, so it could just be me. Regardless, my first impression of this anime is a 6.5 out of 10.
Here is the promotional video for Nanbaka:
Here are some screenshots from the first three episodes of Nanbaka: