Comedy feels so much more satisfying when the narrative all flows into each other and the setups create a constant barrage of setups that are simultaneously used as payoffs. This post is intended for people who have already seen prison school and therefore contains major spoilers for the show. So watch that first because it’s extremely good.
The start of the anime does a great job in setting up the narrative for the rest of the story. They give the main character a reason to get out of prison, they make the characters enter prison and end with a funny comedic moment with the main character watching Hana (a person who’s in charge of the captives in prison) pee. Not very pleasant but hilarious all the same, this one moment causes the characters to survive in prison. It leads too so many funny and entertaining scenarios just because of this. And it does this whilst being funny; it’s used to a genius effect.
The signs show right from episode two where Hana tries to make Kiyoshi pee in front of her, after covering this up the prisoners is able to use this to their advantage in the future. Hana’s rage at Kiyoshi causes her to knock down the shed, hiding the hole in the wall and then making Kiyoshi pee again. This time he accidently pees on her face which is funny yet continues to set things up further.
The pee scenario causes Hana to leave for some time and then peruse her plans again, after backfiring again she realises what happens and takes over the prison for the last day which ends up being extremely important. This adds greater steaks as the prisoners wanted to escape on that day and had made a perfect plan to do so, the thing is that they didn’t account for Hana being there adding more drama. This entire thing ends with a giant scene too crude to describe which causes the prisoners to escape.
This show is weird but brilliant and these crazy set up’s and scenarios help to create this feeling. This part is just a section of the master plan to prove their innocence against the student council which takes inspiration and influence from everything that took place previously. It feels extremely well crafted into a great thrilling narrative.
The way comedy is delivered in this way is just a brilliant way to do it. I like the feeling when comedy anime’s reference previous moments that we thought we’re just one off weird things to create a more funny story. Even if you don’t like the explicit content of prison school it’s still easy to appreciate the idea of continuously using previous moments to make the current moment funnier. When you notice this way of comedy constantly feeding in to each other it makes you appreciate the humour more, it makes you feel involved and invested in the show whilst also making it more memorable in your head.
Comedy doesn’t’ always have to be like this (I feel like it rarely is) but I find that it helps greatly. If you know of any similar shows that execute comedy in this way, as a contrast to one off gags, then please let me know so that I can watch that show! Getting recommendations is cool.