I say with no reservations that I enjoyed watching both Prison School and Ninja Slayer.
Weirdly enough, conflating the two titles as I’m doing now is something I do not understand about myself. I mean, Prison School is about a bunch of high school guys in a prison and Ninja Slayer is about a ninja that slays people. Not the best start in finding comparisons. Well, let’s take a look at themes. Despite the temptation to laugh at the possibility of Prison School having even a single worthwhile theme, I still cannot make any good argument towards the show’s favor in that department. Ninja Slayer, on the other hand, does at least try to tell a story about vengeance, inner peace, and heroism. Welp, that didn’t work out either. Prison School’s brand of humor is more about chronicling the outrageous bro logic of its prisoners, and Ninja Slayer feeds on our perception of what those old 80’s cartoons and tokusatsu shows were like, and often dips into meta humor because of it. I’m being serious here, I wish I knew why choose to put these two together for one of my 12 Days posts. Well, I did laugh when watching both of these anime. I guess that’s a start. Being the two shows with a heavy emphasis on comedy, two that aired this year, that I actually completed, I guess it would be interesting to talk about what pulls me towards shows like these.
While I did say that Ninja Slayer and Prison School had different brands of humor, I do believe that they touch upon one important quality that I’ve been thinking about ever since I read the Prison School manga: these shows are incredibly masculine. Or maybe the better term would be that I find the subject matter to be more geared towards a male audience. They’re both gratuitously violent, racy, titillating, and most of all take themselves far too seriously. There’s a lot of muscles and naked lady parts in both, as well. Neither are strangers to the concept of fanservice, and in fact commit to the idea in full force. Which is odd, personally. I don’t like fanservice in shows where I need to pay attention to the story and themes at hand, but in shows where such things are considered meaningless or at the very least superfluous, these two shows make it much easier for me to just accept the fanservice as it comes. I am able, to put it in improper words, to “turn off my brain” with this kind of stuff. I do not think, however, that I am actually turning off my brain. I like to think that I have standards.
Or maybe I’m just a crude person. I wouldn’t really deny that part. Something happens in my head when another ludicrous logic jump happens in Prison School, or when Ninja Slayer actively messes with the story beats because it knows what you’re expecting. I could really say this about anything that makes me laugh, but bear with me here. I just… these shows just get me, you know? They’re both stupid shows. Everything I’m laughing at is stupid. I’m stupid for ever laughing. By all reason and every mean imaginable, I should not be laughing.
But I still do. That has to mean something.
I don’t know how to end this properly so here’s something equally stupid.