This anime is cute. It reminds me of Blood Lad a bit in the tone and art style.


Nanbaka is about a prison, Nanbaka Prison, which is more secure than any prison on earth. The story follows four inmates, 15, 69, 11 and 25, who are expert escapists, and their comical attempts at escaping.

The prison itself is host to a myriad of escape countermeasures, including an electrified garbage chute, and a tomb raider-esque boulder hallway.

Each of the four inmates have a distinctive look and personality, and they work together to escape. They mention a few other prisons they’ve escaped, comparing security measures they have in common. Im curious as to if the characters all met up at this prison for the first time, or if they have been in other prisons a the same time.

The anime is cute, and light hearted, or it gives off that impression to begin with. In one scene they make a bet, with the reward being the next days meal. So clearly they don’t intend to fully escape and run away. They succeed in making it outside, but are dragged back in by Hajime, the gaurd.


Towards the end you get a glimpse of 15s background, when he gives off a sinister aura. Between his father and the mysterious man who put shackles on his neck and wrists, 15 currently is the character in focus. So while the show appears to be happy and with colorful backgrounds, happy characters and literal sparkles in the air, there is an evil underbelly in the characters.


I enjoyed the show, it felt longer than it was, and at least the first episode is sectioned off into 2 separate mini stories. The show feels like its on the brink of being a gag anime, and I hope it doesn’t devolve into fat jokes and knee slappers. The prison setting allows darker themes, and darker pasts. I mean, these guys must have done something in the beginning to be put in jail.

Rating: A-

I like it so far, what’s your take on it? Do you like the prison settings, or are they too constrictive?

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