First Impression – Nanbaka


Welcome to the Disney World colourful slammer: Nanba Prison.

winter15-kyoHi! Hi! The first impression posts are rolling in and it’s just the first week so bear with us for a few more days! Nanbaka is another addition to the action/comedy genre with the usual anime twist. Let’s see how this one goes.


Meet the protagonist quartet who are world famous in breaking out of prisons. They do not have building blueprints tattooed on their backs but are naturally talented to do so:

  • Uno (no.11): brain of the group, with a talent to sniff out traps.
  • Juugo (no.15): lock expert; able to open any lock.
  • Nico (no.25): manipulation expert with a happy go lucky attitude.
  • Rock (no.69): muscle of the group and eternally hungry.


They are good at what they do but then again, they are jailed in an establishment, which prides itself on the extreme measures taken in order too keep the inmates inside. However, the various death traps and mazes are no match for these escape-artists. The only thing between freedom and the quarter is building 13’s head guard, Gilgamesh Hajime Sugoroku. The only person able to stop their rampage with his fists. The remaining cast of guards for building 13 is not that impressive with a yes-man in Seitarou and a directionally challenged guard, Yamato. The Warden is a woman, which would be interesting in the long run because the inmates in general seem to dislike the non-existence of women. Their only exposure has been the delicious trap in Hajime’s brother rather than the real thing for now.


A girl?! Nope. A Trap! ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

It’s going to be difficult keeping the building thirteen’s inmates inside their cells as they are notorious in getting out and roaming about. Nanba Prison seems more of a theme park to them rather than an actual prison. Seeing Hajime fight however, it will be hard for the quarter to actually smell freedom as their escape isn’t probable until he is around. Not to mention, there is a plot device surrounding no.15 with his mysterious shackles origin and shady past, being the son of their eternal fugitive. He has history with the prison and more will unfold with following episodes.

When the entire anime has a bunch of ever-present sparkles on-screen, the clear assumption should be, not to take it too seriously. When you don’t, the episode passes by in a breeze with some chuckles here and there. This is definitely nothing serious like Rainbow or ecchi like Prison School, rather a fluffy take on prison life in rainbow colours and sparkles. The characters’ hair colour is ridiculous but when you have disco-lights as a prison’s warning system and flashing sparkles, the effect pales in comparison. Not to mention, many recent anime have done the same in character design.


As a an introductory episode for characters, setting and plot pointers, this was decent. Not the best but an okay adaptation by Satelight. We haven’t met much of the Prison staff yet so I assume they will be next along with whatever prison activities they think up in between never-ending escapes from Cell-13.

If you are hard pressed for time and don’t want a lot on your Fall watch-list, you can leave this one behind. For those interested, this can be your mid-week lulz series for some light laughs and weird shenanigans.




The Boss lady of Metanorn, who makes it all happen. An animanga enthusiast, who watches/reads almost anything that strikes her fancy. Just beware of her Death Perception and always keep her happy. Regularly found at @KyokaiTM & #[email protected].
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7 Responses to “First Impression – Nanbaka”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Yeah, I’ll have to pass on Nanbaka after the opening gave me more than I needed to know and see. Its over-the-top ridiculousness isn’t at all funny, exceeding my level of tolerance to even give a second chance, virtually all the character’s behaviors were cringe worthy, making my eyes roll and the bright coloring with ever-present sparkles were overkill.

    Not to mention I was wary from the beginning after the PV and character designs brought back distasteful memories of a festering failure I dropped last year with extreme prejudice. Especially the character with the green hair being the focus of my irritation.

    No, this is one series that will neither be needed on my watch list this season or be missed. Like you mentioned, Kyokai, I’m hard pressed for time.

  2. zztop says:

    Nanbaka’s currently serialized as a webmanga on the Comico manga app, the same place as the ReLife manga.
    Here’s the link if anyone’s interested in reading it.

    Will anyone be covering Yuri on Ice? I’ve heard good things about it.

    • Kyokai says:

      I wouldn’t have time for Nanbaka this season but maybe later.

      Btw, Yuri on Ice will definitely be covered and should be posted by today/tomorrow. It was so good.

  3. Overcooled says:

    I feel the same. With all the sparkles and bright colours, I know I’m not supposed to take it seriously. Still, it’s a little too wacky to me and I can’t really laugh at the jokes. Definitely agree it’s one you can leave behind lol

    Ah well. At least the art was kinda cool.

  4. skylion says:

    I can hear Hanna/Barbera on the phone, “look, you need to give us the Scooby-Doo template back…”

    It’s pretty much nothing but “negotiating” traps, right? Which was actually kinda adorable watching one of them at least try to engage. But yeah, this was an explosion in the sparkly factory, and it kinda gets in places you didn’t want it to…

  5. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Nan Baka desuka? 😛

    /goes back to grinding for Tsundere Heavy Cruiser.

  6. SherrisLok says:

    That was fun. I’m definitely loving the crazy character designs.

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