Anime at a Glance: Nanbaka – The Numbers

The Nanba Prison, filled with the best security officers and technology from around the world, has never had anyone successfully escape from it. Secluded on its own island in the middle of the ocean, similar to Alcatraz, it has earned the highest reputation among prisons for its exceptional level of security.

It’s impossible to escape.

Except, apparently, for right now, as four inmates are making their way to escaping. Bypassing locks, escaping through vents above walls that close in, running from boulder traps into trash chutes with electrified floor grates, they seem to be unstoppable as they briefly pose for cameras during their escape. They’re notorious for their ability to escape from prisons around the world. Each with their own strengths of escape, they are managing to get out of Nanba Prison. Juugo, Inmate 15, is a master at getting through anything that is locked. Uno, Inmate 11, can immediately devise any strategy for escape in any situation through his high intelligence and luck. Nico, Inmate 25, an effeminate, happy-go-lucky younger man who is affected adversely with any sort of drug he takes that cause an array of bizarre effects to himself and others around him. Finally, Inmate 69, Rock is only exceptional amongst the group as being the strongest and toughest, with a passion for exceptional food.

As the group breaches the final door of the prison they encounter their prison supervisor, Hajime Sugoroku. The one person able to keep them in the prison, he single-handedly defeats all of them. After dragging them all back to their cells Hajime scolds the four prison 13 inmates,

“You already tried once this afternoon to escape! How many times do you have to escape?! It’s a pain having to catch you every time!

Nanbaka is a pretty energetic show that throws you into the action from the very beginning of the first episode with the prison escape. Its visual style is filled with color and the entire show is filled with humor, while not afraid to take itself seriously in the few moments it needs to. The characters all have their own quirks that add to the show’s character, including the guards of the prison. Though Juugo remains partially unknown, he is incredibly confident with his skills to solve any puzzle or lock thrown his way with ease. Uno is a highly intellectual but is the big skirt chaser of the group and escaped all his prior prisons just to go on dates, he loves making bets as he has a compulsive gambling problem. Rock basically just stays in Nanba because the food in the highly advanced prison is better than most resorts around the world. Nico escaped his previous prisons before simply because he didn’t like needles or taking gross medicines that he required from several chemically induced problems or allergies, but above all else, loves anime and manga.

Though they’re prisoners they act more carefree than someone taking a vacation at a fancy resort, acting like best friends with Hajime, which causes nothing but trouble for Hajime, who constantly has to watch them so they don’t get away. Juugo is particularly problematic as he’s often popping up around Hajime in break rooms, visitor rooms, and otherwise.

I’m mostly just looking forward to this show’s comedic value in future episodes as it’s mostly just entertaining to watch for me. Not that the story they’re presenting is bad or done poorly in my opinion. They just try to throw wrenches into random events like having a beautiful girl appear with long hair and a nice dress, only to have it turn out to be Hajime’s younger brother.

Licensed and made by Funimation, it will be airing on Funimation’s site to stream with an English dub soon, though you can check out the subbed version on Tuesdays at Crunchyroll right now!