Prison School is, without any doubt, my favorite manga. Purchased on a whim years ago, I fell in love immediately because it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. The plot– the real plot–involves a group of boys admitted to a formerly all-girls school as part of a new campus pilot program. It doesn’t take long for the hormonal urges to make the boys run afoul of the campus’ Shadow Student Council. After a disastrous attempt to peep in the girls locker room room, they are forced to carry out the rest of the school year confined to a small, makeshift prison on school grounds, where they endure various tortures by their Shadow Council wardens as they attempt to expel the boys and return the school to “normal.”. Prison School is a manga series best defined by its wild and sometimes violent artistic shifts, wacky situational comedy, and an abundance of fanservice.
Fanservice is one of the major pillars that Prison School rests upon. The bulk of it comes from the Shadow Council’s Vice President, Meiko Shiraki, who happens to be one of the manga’s most memorable characters. Cursed (or blessed depending on how you look at it) with an incredibly large chest, ill fitting clothes, and a propensity for masochism, Meiko is a hardass who frequently punishes the boys for even the slightest of infractions. At the same time, she is often the butt of the joke because of the odd, awkward circumstances she rolls into, like getting her panties caught on a door knob while trying to do physical exercises for the Shadow Council President, with whom she holds some degree of affection. Meiko also sweats profusely whenever she is stressed or engaged in schoolyard justice, the result leaving her completely soaked from head to toe. Easily painted as a villain in the Prison School series, Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All takes a different approach to the character, one that has never been seen in the comics. When removed from her role as a hardcore disciplinarian, Meiko is just another high schooler with high school problems. The book is a dramatic departure from the Prison School formula that doesn’t do anything to advance the main series in any one direction. Rather, these are more warm spirited interludes that present a woman who is determined to succeed at whatever task lies before her.
As a result, Meiko becomes a more well-rounded individual. Taken out of the Prison School world where she once interrogated a female student by shoving her crotch in their face and, at one point, regressed to her childhood self, Meiko is just another student but with her own unique bodily quirks. Of the book’s fourteen chapters, each showcases Meiko working hard to solve problems independently and, in most cases, find creative solutions. When she has trouble solving a math problem, Meiko is willing to tie herself up with a whip in order to solve for x. A night spent cooking a special lunch for the Shadow Council President goes slightly awry after literally falling over the school’s butt-obsessed principal. A school mandated check-up means having to come face to face with her fear of needles. An innocent trip to the beach turns deadly. The most charming story of the collection comes at the end, where Meiko is dressed in a mascot costume and comes to the rescue of two children and a small cat. When pulled out from the beautiful insanity that is Prison School, Meiko is like any other student trying to live their best life and tackle the obstacles that fall in her lap. And it’s really quite nice!
However, just because student life at Hachimitsu Academy is far more sunshine and roses doesn’t mean that Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All shows restraint, especially in the artistic depiction of Meiko during the challenges she encounters. True to the source material, everything Meiko does leaves her drenched in sweat while her body is contorted into awkward positions as her clothes hang together by a thread. Instead of Prison School creator Akira Hiramoto at the helm, the book has been illustrated by ReDrop, who has a background in provocative art through numerous hentai doujinshi, and they have perfectly captured the essence of Meiko’s physique. The art goes as far as it possibly can’t without full frontal nudity but what is there leaves so little to the imagination. ReDrop also excels at conveying story through action, movement, and posing, letting her body do all the work and leaving the book nearly without text.
I won’t stop saying it: I love everything and anything about Prison School. It is a quirky comic about a quirky school filled with quirky people. And when I saw Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All appear on ComiXology, I wasted no time buying it. ReDrop has done a fantastic job at bringing the same sex comedy attitude of the series into this moderately more wholesome pocket universe. Everything that made Meiko Shiraki such a breakout star is here, from her outlandish physical appearance and frequent wardrobe malfunctions to her constant need to assert dominance against anything that stands in her way, be it lecherous boys are taking dogs out for a walk. Interactions with the male cast are at a minimum, so too are those with the Shadow Council staff who are used as secondary characters and their interactions with Meiko kept at a minimum. Shadow Student Council Vice President Gives Her All is a must read for fans of Prison School because of its surprisingly charming and lighthearted (but still ecchi as fuck) take on this larger than life student.