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I can't believe I slept on Nanbaka Part 1: My first Impressions on Nanbaka!

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I'm an entrepreneur with a variety of interests that range from comics to anime.

Yeah, this image was why I slept on this. It looked uninteresting.

Yeah, this image was why I slept on this. It looked uninteresting.

Introduction, a.k.a I should not have slept on Nanbaka!

You’d think after Deadman Wonderland and Prison School that I’d think that an anime about inmates escaping a prison would have more than that simple premise. Yet I slept on Nanbaka for four years, and regretted it as of two months ago, when I saw it through a livestream. There was more to this series than I expected, from the cast, to the story and comedy. And while I’ve finished Nanbaka Sunday April 17(this past Sunday(as of me writing this), I’d like to get my first impressions out of the way first before writing my full review. And for my first impression I’ll be covering the first two episodes of Nanbaka!

Having said that, let’s get into the plot summary.

Our main gang of inmates. An amusing bunch.

Our main gang of inmates. An amusing bunch.

Plot summary...

Nanbaka deals with four inmates Jyugo, Uno, Rock, and Nico as they go about their daily lives and occasionally attempt to escape Nanba Prison. The first episode introduces our four main inmates trying to escape Nanba prison, before their attempt is thwarted by supervisor Hajime Sugoroku.

Despite their attempt escape, the group concludes that life inside Nanba Prison is pretty good. This is before Jyugo learns of a woman visiting the prison, before he and his fellow inmates break out of their cell to meet her. But it turns out said woman is Hajime cross-dressing little brother, Hitoshi, of whom Jyugo talks to later about how he got the shackles on his neck, wrists, and ankles. And all of this before Nanba Prison’s warden Momoko Hayakushiki returns to the prison.

In episode two warden Momoko warns Hajime to be vigilante of the inmates in building thirteen. After Hajime assures her that he’s got it covered and her crush on Hajime is revealed to the audience, Jyugo escapes his cell again. After Hajime finds Jyugo sleeping in the night duty room, Jyugo explains he slept there to get away from Rock’s snoring, Uno’s teeth grinding, and Nico laughing in his sleep.

Afterwards Jyugo and his fellow inmates are put to work in the wood working shop, but end up screwing up their assignment. Meanwhile Hajime’s brother Hitoshi worries that the warden Momoko might learn of Jyugo and Co.’s daily escapes, which leads him to tell her that they’re not trying to escape.

Don't let the posing fool you. They're not stretching, they're dodging lasers.

Don't let the posing fool you. They're not stretching, they're dodging lasers.

The Negatives...

I’ll start with the negatives, as I’d like to end this on a positive note. But for staters as one-dimensional introductions. Jyugo is the enigmatic bad boy, Uno is the conniving schemer, Nico is the excitable geek, and Rock is the well intentioned, but slow-witted block head. And the prison’s supervisor Hajime is the stern no-nonsense disciplinary. If these personality don’t grab you, then the humor won’t as it’s situational comedy derived from the interactions and personalities of these characters.

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Yes boys and girls, it's a trap.

Yes boys and girls, it's a trap.

The Positives...

The positives in this case are subjective, as I was surprised by the presentation of the first two episodes. I how distinct the personalities of Jyugo, Uno, Rock, and Nico were. I also enjoyed how they played off each other, and Hajime. I also enjoyed this was reflected in the comedy. I also liked how the reveal of how Jyugo got his shackles set up an element of a deeper plot in the series. This helped keep me invested to see where the story went.

Don't let the cutesy face fool you, there's a reason she's Nanba Prison's warden.

Don't let the cutesy face fool you, there's a reason she's Nanba Prison's warden.

The Conclusion...

In conclusion Nanbaka had a good start, which was more than I expected. Though given that it is a shonen comedy, I should’ve expected as much, especially given what I got from Prison School and Deadman Wonderland. After these first two episodes I regretted sleeping on this series, as I was quite entertained. And it not only got better, but took a turn I didn’t expect. But more on that eventually.

Nanbaka! blu-ray trailer

Question about first impressions of Nanbaka!

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