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Don't be fooled - Breaking out of prison isn't all fun and games.note 
There's a group of guys that are trying to escape from prison......wait a second, are we talking about Prison School here?
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We're not? Okay then... Nanbaka, alternatively known as The Numbers, is a manga note  which began as a Comico web manga by Sho Futamata. The manga got licensed under Crunchyroll until the license expired in 2017, and then so did the anime(which is available worldwide bar Asia, picked up for a simuldub by Funimation and produced by Satelight), which aired in the Fall 2016 Anime season and Winter 2017 Anime seasons for two cours.

So...where were we? Oh yes, the guys escaping from prison.

We have Jyugo (inmate no. 15) who's good at nothing but escaping prison, Rock (inmate no. 69) who enjoys eating, Nico (inmate no. 25) who loves anime and games, and Uno (inmate no. 11) who's a gambler and a womanizer (or so he'd like to think). Along for the ride are Hajime Sugoroku, the no-nonsense supervisor of Building 13, and his subordinates, Seitarou Tanabata and Yamato Godai, plus all the other wacky prisoners and supervisors of the elusive Nanba Prison.

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Then again, is it really all just escaping in Nanbaka? Don't bet on it...

The manga itself is split into "parts"; Futabasha compiled all of Part 1 into eight volumes, while the original Comico version is currently on Part 4.


Rin! Rin! Hi! Trope!...Wait, what?

  • Adaptation Distillation: A lot of shorts with character interactions and insight into some of the other characters are taken out of the anime.
  • Adorkable: Thanks to the above, it didn't carry over to the anime, but Mushashi is definitely this. Before his life went to hell, he was an extremely intelligent star student with the desire to become a doctor, and that intelligence hasn't gone away. Even though he's blind, he still can read brail in over a dozen languages, and is a major book nerd who's almost always reading in his free time. Thanks to his past, he also has no social skills or experience making friends, and often ends up sulking in a corner over his confusion about other humans.
    • Nico also counts; a cute and happy-go-lucky Otaku who loves playing games and often speaks in anime quotes.
  • Affectionate Nickname
    • Nico has the habit of calling Hajime "Hajime-chan", and this later extends to calling Kenshirou "Kenshirou-chan". Hajime doesn't really care, as he's used to the wacky antics of Cell 13, but Kenshirou is creeped out by it, although he hides that fact from Nico.
    • Mushashi always calls Kenshirou "inu-chan" (little dog) instead of his name. Initially, this was meant to mock him, but it takes on a friendlier tone after Mushashi reveals his past, and Kenshirou promises to investigate the experiments on the inmates.
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    • During season two, Nico takes to calling Qi 'old man' and 'Old Man Qi'. Qi is embarrassed by it and initially asks him to stop, but drops it because he knows Nico doesn't mean any harm. Liang and Upa quickly take up Nico's nickname for Qi as well, but they clearly do it just to get on his nerves.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Seen in episode one as part of the escape ploy.
  • The Alcatraz: Nanba Prison. The narration of the anime even mentions Alcatraz as an inferior holding facility.
  • All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: Samon, Upa, and Liang are exceptionally skilled martial artists, and show off their skills during the New Year's Tournament.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • Kiji (pheasant), Samon (monkey), and Kenshirou (dog) are based on the trio of animals from Literature/Momotaro.
    • Hajime is constantly referred to as a gorilla, much to his irritation.
    • Later on, a few background-character guards are also revealed to have animal motifs going on, including a cat and a rabbit.
    • In Building 5, Samon Gokuu, Hakkai Inori, and Ruka Gojou, a former correctional officer who was imprisoned in the underground cell, form the three animals in Journey to the West; Son Goku, Cho Hakkai, and Sa Gojou, respectively.
    • As of episode 16, Houzaki Sanzou joins as a new guard of Building 5 and gets his name from Genjo Sanzo, the priest from Journey to the West.
  • Anime Hair: A lot of examples. A notable one is Chief Warden Hyakushiki Momoko, with hair so spiky that people could injure their hands on it. The only aversion is Hajime, who's bald.
  • Anti-Hero: This is a colorful and comedic prison story, but still a prison story. Many of the prisoners and prison guards don’t or can’t shy away from the darker aspects of their position.
  • Axe-Crazy: When Nico's evil side emerges, he will attack everyone around him with no remorse.
  • Badass Adorable: Nico is extremely childish. In addition to being severely ill, and the reverse effects of his many strange illnesses, he can pick up complex martial arts skills and battle moves out of nowhere without even knowing what they are. Although, if he pushes himself too much, he could severely injure or even kill himself, hence the need for the large amount of drugs that keep his abilities under control and his body stable. He's also been escaping prisons since he was a child; the first time he broke out, he SMASHED THROUGH THE WALLS of a reform school to escape his medical check-up.
    • And as of season two, his repressed powers and past trauma were revealed to have created a terrifying split personality.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Episode 14 spent its entirety setting up situations where it looked like the series was going to take a turn for the serious, but kept averting them.
  • Bald of Awesome: Hajime. He's the only guard who's able to keep the inmates of Cell 13 from escaping the prison.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • This is pretty much the sole reason the Cell 13 inmates are all so loyal to Jyugo. Nico was sent to a reform clinic where he was cruelly experimented on by the medical staff, to the point where he wanted to die. Jyugo broke his restraints and, after they became cellmates later on, introduced him to manga and anime in an attempt to get him interested in life again. Rock was abused and starved by the prison guards, and Jyugo broke out of his own cell just to bring him some bread. When Rock refused to eat the crappy prison food, Jyugo freed him and took him to a diner. Rock was actually on the verge of STARVING TO DEATH, and Jyugo not only saved him, but also helped him develop his big eater tendencies as a result. Uno's past and how he met Jyugo have yet to be elaborated on, but he has repeatedly stated that Jyugo saved him and gave him his freedom back. The few flashbacks seen show Uno emaciated, crying, and in a state of distress, before another flashback shows Jyugo smashing his chains and Uno nearly bursting into tears as he realizes that he's free. While Jyugo doesn't seem to think he really did anything, the other three clearly believe otherwise. Following Jyugo getting beaten half-to-death by Hajime, Uno told Hajime that Jyugo may be stupid and unable to do anything other than bust out of jail, but he is definitely not worthless or a monster because he cares about people, and is able to understand them in a way that no one else can.
    • This is also more or less the reason Jyugo feels so close to his cellmates. Despite the fact that he is near incapable of caring for himself and constantly needs their help, they don't ditch him, and are more than willing to help him, even if they whine about it. Jyugo outright states that his world was miserable and gloomy before they came into his life and brightened it up. Even if he can't understand them, it makes him happy to just be near them. This comes through strongly after he's released from solitary confinement following the New Year's incident; he's terrified that they will hate him for lying to them and being a monster, but his friends couldn't care less, and are just happy that's he's okay. They accept him for who he is, even if he is unaware of who exactly that is.
    • In season two, it's revealed that Liang, Upa, and Qi all admire Samon Gokuu a great deal, and that they are unusually loyal to him. This is because of how they were helped by him after they were arrested. When Upa was arrested back in China, his family, who had believed that he died as a child, suddenly got back in contact with him and began sending him letters and gifts. Turns out, Samon found out about his past after reading his file and decided to inform his family that he was alive without him knowing about it. Liang was severely messed up in the head after his stint in the mob, and he was no longer able to believe that people could be good, especially himself. After he was transferred to Nanba, Samon took him in and began training him, and Liang was eventually able to get over his depression and start trusting people again. He outright considers the man to be his mentor, and wants to get stronger so that he can be useful to Samon and repay him for helping him. Qi had decided to never make drugs again after discovering that the mob boss he worked for had used them to kill people, and was very suspicious of the intentions of everyone who took interest in his skills. Shortly after he was arrested and sent to Nanba, Samon secretly took him to visit a garden that was off-limits to the prisoners because he wanted to thank him after he was able to use information Qi supplied upon his arrest to help solve a cold case. He had no ulterior motives, and told Qi that he thought his pharmaceutical skills were cool because they could be used to help others. This allowed Qi to regain enough trust in himself to keep manufacturing drugs because of what Samon had said. He was surprised that someone actually admired his abilities, and by the fact that Samon was so nice and honest, after he had heard rumors from the other guards that the supervisor was a traitor. Upa outright tells Nico that it was just a bunch of little things, and that Samon was unaware of how much they had appreciated his actions after the absolute hell they had been through, having made a difference for them, and helped them all recover to find a new purpose in their life.
  • Berserk Button
    • Don't insult Elf's boss, The Man with the Scar.
    • Never harm Jyugo in front of Uno, something Hajime learned the hard way.
    • Do not call Kiji a cross-dresser or drag queen unless you want your face bashed in. Also, you really don't want to insult or belittle any of the other guards while in his presence if you value your continued existence.
    • Samon really doesn't appreciate being reminded of or compared to his evil older brother, Enki, and he especially doesn't like it when people accuse him of being destined to become a monster like his brother. He also doesn't like being called stupid or being seen as below Hajime.
    • If you are a handsome looking guy, Trois, Honey, Kiji, and (arguably) Uno will most likely be less than fond of you.
    • As made terrifyingly clear during the New Year's Tournament, bringing up The Man with the Scar to either Jyugo or Mushashi is a very good way to send them on a rampage. Although this becomes less of an issue after the New Year's Tournament. Thanks to getting thrown into solitary confinement for their rampage, they don't really have much choice to reveal how they were used in illegal experiments. After Hajime forces Jyugo to evaluate himself and what he wants, and Kenshirou listens to Mushashi and believes his story, the two inmates, while they do still want revenge on TMWTS, mellow out considerably, to the point that they are able to make peace with each other.
    • Don't call Hajime a bald gorilla.
    • Do not acknowledge The Warden's crush on Hajime or tease her about it unless you have a desire to be bludgeoned, as Mitsuru repeatedly experiences.
    • Don't brawl or otherwise attempt to cause trouble in the dining hall unless you want to incur the wrath of Chef Shiro.
  • The Big Guy: Rock is the strongest of the inmates.
    • On the prison guard's side is Yamato, who's almost always seen working out, even on "Please wait a minute." transitions.
  • Bishie Sparkle: The manga was simply bright and colorful, with some sparkles here and there. In the anime, it's present in literally every scene. Turned Up to Eleven when they actively want to add shoujo sparkles to a scene. Though it starts to diminish once Enki Gokuu appears, to the point that only one or two scenes in the following episodes have sparkles.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Jyugo's shackles turn his hands into long, sharp blades when he's enraged.
  • Bland-Name Product: Nanba Revolution and Nanba Fighter. There's also a robot vacuum called the "Namba".
  • Booby Trap: The door leading outside the prison is rigged to explode if given the wrong pass code.
  • Book-Ends: At least in the anime. The first episode begins with an escape sequence showing the Cell 13 inmates going through dozens of traps until they reach the last prison doors and get stopped by Hajime. The last episode of the first season had them all attempt it again, but this time Jyugo planned on escaping alone so his friends won't get caught up in the mess he's in with Elf and The Man with the Scar. They all get beaten up by Hajime again by the end of it, though.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Enki and his group do this to some of the guards of Building 5 via talismans, so that they can use them to attack the prisoners and other guards. Rock and Yamato are the first to fall victim to this, and end up spending the majority of season two in the infirmary.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mitsuru does this as he narrates the majority of the episodes.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center:
    • Rock is very fond of cats. Apparently, the last time he was caught after an escape was due to getting hit by a car while trying to save one. Additionally, Hajime and Chef Shiro are both very intimidating and own cats that look identical to them.
    • Despite frequently acting like a hot-blooded idiot, punching Hajime in the face, yelling at the Cell 13 inmates, threatening them to get them to obey him, and frequently arguing with the other guards, Samon is actually a good person who cares deeply for the inmates in his building, to the point that Liang, Upa, and Qi credit him with helping them regain a purpose in life after being sent to prison, and are secretly very loyal to him.
  • But Not Too White: Musashi was shown to have pale skin as a kid, but as a result of his body being burnt by spontaneous combustion, he became more tanned as he grew up. Being experimented on only sped up the process.
  • Cain and Abel: Enki is Cain and Samon is Abel.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: A large portion of the cast is made up of them, to the point where Warden Momoko was the only lady in the show prior to and during the New Year's Tournament arc. Apparently, Seitarou was voted the most handsome, much to the envy of Trois, Honey, Kiji, and Uno.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: While the series still focuses on comedy, it becomes more like a standard action series with the ever-growing presence of the Man with the Scar and those associated with him. The mood in general takes a drop during season two, and whenever Jyugo reflects on himself. Lampshaded with the title of the fourteenth episode, "Nanbaka is a Comedy Anime"note .
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Yamato is a beast in the strength department, capable of easily holding things that no man alone could carry, and having energy to spare. He says that the secret to his success is long, vigorous training, which we see him do constantly in his off-time.
  • Chinese Vampire: Upa looks like one.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb:
    • Combined with Censored for Comedy in episode one. It's done again in the New Year's Tournament when Nico starts speaking in Shout Outs, but by his own cellmatesnote  because they don't want to get sued.
    • Honey is pretty much the living embodiment of this trope; he has a habit of constantly flashing his middle finger while swearing. It's usually censored out, but you can tell what he's doing and saying, typically due to the reactions of Uno and Trois.
  • Contralto of Danger: Momoko speaks with a deep tone to keep a professional, intimidating image, but slips into a higher pitched one when she's distracted.
  • Costume Porn: While everyone at Nanba wears a standard prison or guard uniform, they are allowed to add some personal touches.
  • Cultured Warrior: Hajime, Yamato, and Kenshirou are all skilled in Japanese calligraphy.
  • Cutting the Knot: When confronted with a laser hallway, Uno guides the rest of his inmates with a few elaborate movements (and his braid moves with it). Jyugo simply disables the lasers and doesn't tell them,as he wanted to see what they would do.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Nanbaka is categorized as a comedy anime, it's actually darker than it was initially billed as. Most of the inmates are screwed up on some level because of their pasts, and the show eventually introduces topics such as human experimentation, what it means to be human, abuse of power, the dark side of the criminal justice system, the criminal underworld, revenge, and child abuse. A prime example of this is how the mood takes a dive for several episodes after Mushashi's introduction.
    • Season Two quickly becomes this. While the humor may still be there, it's far more focused on the action aspect, revolves around the inmates trying to foil the plots of Enki and his allies after the group breaks out of their secret underground prison, and involves people actually trying to kill the main characters. It delves into the pasts of the Building 5 inmates and Samon Gokuu, as well as elaborating on the pasts of the Cell 13 inmates and their bond with each other. It also brings up more serious, philosophical topics, such as: the power of kindness, regaining the will to live, the limits of the human mind and body, the power of trust, loyalty, the dark aspect of humanity, and morality.
  • Dark and Troubled Past, mixed in with a few cases of Adult Fear for good measure:
    • As we learn early on, Jyugo. He was born and grew up within the prison walls, and his father was considered Nanba Prison's biggest embarrassment for unrevealed reasons. His inescapable manacles were placed on him by The Man with the Scar. His backstory and those connected to it are part of the backbone for the greater plot of the series. It's later revealed that his past could possibly be even darker than initially shown because he eventually realizes that large parts of his memories are missing, and that they were likely wiped out by The Man with the Scar experimenting on him more intensely than he initially recalled.
    • Rock was something of a juvenile delinquent and had trouble controlling his temper. From his flashbacks, it appears that he was from a rich family, and that he ran away after his father disowned him due to his behavior. He was arrested for brawling on the streets, and was sent to a run-down prison that neglected and abused its inmates. When he ran his mouth off to a guard, he was brutally beaten and thrown into solitary confinement, where the guards starved him. He eventually became so malnourished that he grew weak and fell ill. The only reason he didn't die was because Jyugo found him. After Rock refused to eat the disgusting prison food that Jyugo offered him, Jyugo freed him from his cell and took him to a diner outside of the prison. The reason he's such a food enthusiast is because of the starvation he was put through; he credits Jyugo with being the person who gave him his appreciation of good food.
    • Uno is also hinted at having one, although it has yet to be elaborated on. He's very loyal to Jyugo, and states that it's because Jyugo saved him and gave him his freedom back. So far, the few flashbacks shown of his past present him as emaciated, beaten up, and in tears, and he has also had a flashback of Jyugo breaking his chains and setting him free.
    • Nico was a homeless street kid who was experimented on, abused, and used by a gang of drug dealers. After he was sent to jail for being tricked into helping transport drugs without knowing about it, some sadistic prison doctors used his sickly condition as an excuse to perform painful and invasive medical experiments on him. He spent most of his childhood and early teen years naked and strapped to a medical table in an empty white room, and eventually gave up all hope. Jyugo stumbled upon him after breaking out of his cell and, disgusted by how the doctors treated Nico like he wasn't human, snapped his restraints and freed him. Later on, the two become cellmates and Jyugo introduces a severely depressed Nico to manga and anime. Nico credits him with giving him the will to live again.
    • Musashi seems to have it the worst. When he was little, he was diagnosed with spontaneous combustion. As he grew older, it got him labeled as a monster after he lost control over his powers and was shunned by everyone except his parents. He was eventually able to return to college, but was cast out by the teachers and students, who speculated that he was the person responsible for the mysterious arson attacks that had been happening in the area. One night, he came home from school to find his house set on fire by Elf, with his parents inside. When the police tried to arrest him on suspicion for murdering his family, he lost it and unintentionally killed them, and had to run away after a mob of bystanders started screaming that he was a murderous monster. After being caught, he was bounced around to multiple prisons and, due to his uncontrollable fire powers, was horribly abused by the guards. After losing his parents, The Man with the Scar and Elf were the only people who believed he was a good person, and promised him that they would be able to rid him of his powers if he let them perform medical experiments on him. After the experiments, Musashi learned that while he can control his flames, the The Man with the Scar increased the frequency and power of them instead. It's revealed that they had been spying on him since he got his powers, and killed his parents to send him to prison so they could experiment on him. When Musashi attempts to attack The Man with the Scar, he slashes Musashi's eye. Later, after finding out that Jyugo was also experimented on, and asking him about The Man with the Scar, Jyugo slashes his other eye, totally blinding him. By the start of the anime, Musashi has lost all hope, and has resigned to the belief that he really is a monster and, since he's already damned, decides to hunt down The Man with the Scar and kill him. After the New Year's Tournament, he begins to mellow out once Kenshirou promises to look further into the experiments being performed on inmates by The Man with the Scar.
    • As revealed in season two, Liang, Upa, and Qi also have one. They were all blackmailed into working under Hachiman, a crooked mob boss who brutally tortured Liang for being unwilling to kill his assigned targets, kidnapped Upa when he was a child and sold some of his vital organs on the black market due to being talented in chi manipuation, and attempted to trick Qi into creating a drug that would poison his clients. They're all later arrested and sent to Nanba prison, but in the middle of the second season, Hachiman, an ally of Enki, comes back to challenge them. It turns out that Liang and Upa also had a run-in with Enki in the past. He was unfortunately assigned to them as a supervisor when they were in prison back in China, where he brutally abused them and the other prisoners in their cell block. It was so horrible that Upa thought he was going to die, even hoping that he would, as he wanted the abuse to end. They were relieved when Enki was transferred to Nanba, only to find out that they were going to be transferred to Nanba as well, and be assigned to his building. Fortunately for them, Enki had been exposed as a monster and locked away underground by the time they got there.
    • In season two, Samon is revealed to have one. His older brother, Enki, was a prison guard who was respected by guards and prisoners alike, due to his strength and talent. On the other hand, many people, including Enki himself, thought that Samon was weak and cowardly, insisting that the only reason he was able to become a guard in the first place was because of his brother's reputation. Unfortunately, what they didn't know was that Enki was more than just a jerk; in reality, the man was a sadist, and tortured the prisoners under his care for his own amusement. Unfortunately, once he was transferred to Nanba, Enki didn't stop his cruelty, and was eventually exposed when he murdered an inmate for fun and killed/injured multiple guards when they tried to arrest him. When the other supervisors finally cornered Enki, Samon was able to close in, and was told by the other guards to finish him off, but hesitated because he was unable to bring himself to kill someone, much less his own brother. Hajime stepped in and quickly defeated Enki without killing him, resulting in Hajime getting praised by their colleagues, as well as promoted. This entire incident lead to Samon's hatred of Hajime. Samon is eventually promoted as well, and takes over his brother's job as the supervisor of Building 5. In the present, years after the incident, he's still taunted by some of the other guards, who think that he was only promoted out of need instead of earning his position on his own merits, and many of them also fear that he'll end up being as evil as his brother. The main plot of season two revolves around Enki's escape and takeover of Building 5, along with two other prisoners and Inori, causing Samon's past to come back to haunt him. When confronted again by his brother, Samon is quickly defeated because of his continued reluctance to kill anyone. Not only that, but the sole reason Inori betrayed Nanba is because he utterly despises Samon for being promoted instead of him, and wants to see him dead for no other reason than the fact that he thinks Samon is weak and a waste of space. Despite acting like a total ass, Samon is a good person at heart, and doesn't want to hurt anyone; he isn't anything like his brother at all, and doesn't deserve all the hate and suspicion he has received over the years.
    • Tsukumo was the first inmate revealed to have one. He was born into a shinobi clan, but due to how poor his skills were, he was abandoned in the woods as a child and forbidden to come home until he became a proper ninja. One day, a woman claiming to be his mother showed up and took him in. Poor Tsukumo was so lonely and desperate for a family that he didn't realize the woman wasn't his mother at all; she was a movie producer with a failing career, who stumbled upon him while trying to find a real shinobi to act in the film that could save her career. She took him in and groomed him to be a famous shinobi actor, but he was unaware of the fact that he was just being coached to play a role, as he thought that his acting lessons were training, and that being an actor was a normal thing for a ninja to use his skills for. Eventually, he found out the truth after his manager (who also happened to be his adoptive brother) and his mother's assistant accidentally let the truth slip, as they thought he already knew. He took off back to the woods to try and find his village and reunite with his birth family, but he got lost and ended up being arrested for trespassing. The reason he continues to act like a ninja, despite not being a good one, is because he honestly has no other clue how to act; he spent so long changing his personality and character to please others that he now has no real personality of his own. When Jyugo tells him he should just be himself and act natural, Tsukumo actually tells him that he has no clue who he even is. If that wasn't sad enough, his brother/manager visits him after he's transferred to Nanba and tries to convince him to continue acting, totally disregarding their mother's lies and the misery that they put Tsukumo through. Currently, all the guy wants is to finish paying his debt to society and find somewhere quiet to live out the rest of his days in peace, away from the film industry and his adoptive family.
    • Despite being a comedy show, pretty much every inmate introduced so far, barring Trois and Honey, has some sort of messed up back story, ranging from sad, all the way to downright horrific.
  • Death Glare: Poor Hajime thinks that The Warden wants to kill him instead of wanting to kiss him every time she looks at him.
    • Hajime is no slouch either; he's capable of making some horrifying faces to scare the Cell 13 inmates into obeying him.
    • Hell, most of the guards and inmates are great at making terrifying faces at each other when they're pissed.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In Tsukumo's flashback, his adopted mother and her assistant were the only characters that were in greyscale, even when they moved out of her office.
    • After Jyugo activates his swords and gets sent to solitary confinement, he's colored in greyscale until he finds purpose in himself.
    • In season two, after yelling at someone for yanking on his braid, only to discover that it's one of the scythe-wielding security dolls, all the color slowly drains out of a terrified Uno and his surroundings.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Season 2, Rock, Yamato, and Seitarou are all confined to the infirmary for the second season while the rest of Cell 13 play an active role in the plot.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: The Warden and Samon Gokuu are appalled when they learn about Cell 13's reasons for escaping the previous prisons they had been incarcerated in.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The dynamics in Cell 13 are more than a bit similar to a family. Rock as the father, Uno as the mother, Jyugo as the older brother and Nico as the youngest child.
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • Jyugo is perpetually barefoot. It's never been brought up in the series proper, but even as a child in flashbacks, he never wore shoes. The only time he has actually been seen wearing some is in a multi-chapter, manga-only side story set in the past. When he and Uno busted out of prison in Nevada, he wore straw sandals as part of his street clothes. They inexplicably disappear in the next special chapter.
    • Mushashi as well. He at least wears what looks like straps wrapped around his feet, but they aren't technically shoes. In flashbacks, he stopped wearing shoes some point after he was arrested.
  • Establishing Character Moment: What sets apart the manga and the anime is how they introduce the Cell 13 inmates. In the manga, Hajime reads off Building 13's backstories and reasons for being in Nanba. In the anime, they're shown escaping with almost expert precision, show off their unique escaping talents, and after getting soundly halted by Hajime, treat the whole ordeal as nothing too serious since it's just one of many attempts.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The Cell 13 boys sing the ending theme of the anime. Hajime is present for it, but he just yells at them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Despite being criminals, the inmates of Cell 13 panic at the idea of a murderer sharing their room.
    • While Liang may have been employed as an assassin by the mob, he firmly believes that killing is a sin.
    • While Qi does manufacture drugs and poisons, he draws the line at creating substances that could be used to kill or maim others. He also has an intense disgust for people who abuse children due to witnessing Hachiman torturing a young Liang and finding Upa on the verge of death after his organs were removed to be sold on the black market.
    • For someone who's in jail, Tsukumo sure talks about honor and respect a lot. Justified, in that he was arrested for the most minor offense of all the prisoners; he was trespassing on private property and was unaware of it at the time of his arrest.
  • Eye Scream: Musashi. The poor guy can't seem to catch a break. The first time, The Man with the Scar slashed his eye after Musashi tried to kill him. The second time, Musashi made the mistake of asking Jyugo about TMWTS; cue Jyugo going berserk and completely blinding Musashi.
  • Fat Bastard: Hachiman.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Nico has the uncanny ability to befriend guard dogs.
  • From a Certain Point of View: The boys' reasons for escaping prison. Rock was horribly treated in his old prisons, either being starved or being served tastless/disgusting food. Jyugo busted him out of prison and took him to a diner, which awakened his Big Eater tendencies. Nico's dislike of needles stems from all the experiments done on him in various prison hospitals. Jyugo's constant need to escape prison may as well be a hobby, since he doesn't know what to do with himself otherwise, and has no game plan for any of his long-term goals after he completes them. He's been doing it his whole life.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Kazari Otogi, who despite threatening her husband Okina with a divorce, still manages to whip up a room full of modern games (and it's implied from her skillset that she's the creator of their "daughter", Kagu-8).
    • Trois isn't a slacker in the creation department himself.
  • The Gambler: Uno. Underground gambling was what got him arrested in the first place.
  • Gilded Cage: Nanba is a high-security, nigh-inescapable prison located somewhere off the shores of Japan...but it has great food, the medicine isn't terrible, the inmates aren't treated terribly as long as they stay in line, and the inmates can have technology or better things if they participate in the New Year's Tournament. With all of that, why would anyone want to leave?
  • Good Parents:
    • Mushashi's parents were the rare lot who were unperturbed by their son's unnatural powers, and continued to love him unconditionally. Mushashi admits that the fact that they loved him and constantly told him that he had a good heart and was not a monster was the only thing that gave him hope and enabled him to keep living. Unfortunately, they were killed in a fire started by Elf, and Mushashi was blamed for their murders. This broke him BADLY, as well as discovering that they were murdered by The Man with the Scar and Elf right after he realized his powers were made stronger, no less. This drove him off the deep end, and set him on his quest for revenge.
    • Upa's family could very well be this. As of season two, he is revealed to be the only inmate who's still in contact with his family. It's eventually revealed that he had been kidnapped by the mob as a child so that they could sell his organs, and his parents had been lead to believe he had been killed. But, as soon as they found out from Samon that he was alive and under arrest, they began sending him letters and gifts.
  • Goroawase Number: For a majority of the prisoners, their names correlate to their prison numbers (e.g. Jyugo is fifteen in Japanese, Trois is three in French, Qi is 7 in Mandarin, and so on).
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Presumably the reason Uno does not like handsome men. Apparently, though he is good looking, he's massively overshadowed by the men of Nanba.
    • Jyugo admits to being envious of how his friends have hobbies and dreams of what they'll do when they're released from prison, due to how he has next to no interests or goals for himself.
    • Kiji has an obsession with beauty, and subsequently does not like anyone else, especially other men, being considered more attractive than him. The reason he dislikes Seitarou and constantly yells at him is because he's jealous that the young man was voted the most handsome guard in Nanba over him. He also has zero tolerance for the inmates in his care not maintaining their appearance.
    • Trois and Honey, following the rumored stereotypes of the inmates of Kiji's building, are rather vain and spend a lot of time arguing with each other about who's more attractive.
    • Kenshirou is jealous of Hajime being the object of The Warden's affections, whom he has an unrequited crush on.
    • This is more or less the reason Inori ends up betraying the guards by plotting with Enki Gokuu and helping set the events of season two in motion. He strongly detested Samon Gokuu, who he viewed as weak and cowardly, and only thought that he was able to become a correctional officer because of his brother Enki's good reputation. The tipping point came when Samon was appointed as Enki's replacement after his older brother was imprisoned for murder; Inori already hated him for no good reason, and the last straw was the younger, less experienced Samon not only getting promoted instead of him, but becoming his supervisor.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Due to being physically tougher than his brother, Hajime is able to use Hitoshi as a bludgeon without worry of hurting him.
  • Hate Sink: Elf is easily the most hated character by fans, and it's not hard to see why. Not only did he help experiment on Musashi and Jyugo, but it's later revealed that he was the one who framed Musashi for murdering his parents in a house fire. And in episode 13, he makes himself even more unlikable by torturing Jyugo and threatening to experiment on his friends as well.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Seitarou is an inexperienced prettyboy who can be pushed around easily by the inmates, but as we see in the New Year's Tournament, he also has a frighteningly good memory.
    • Hajime may be tough and compared to a bald gorilla, but he has a knack for Japanese calligraphy.
    • In season one, Samon Gokuu is portrayed as a talkative idiot with a grudge against Hajime. In season two, it's revealed that he's actually rather kind, and cares a lot about the well-being of his inmates. He's also distrusted and feared by the other guards and supervisors due to being the younger brother of Nanba's infamous traitorous guard, Enki.
    • While Qi may compulsively manufacture weird drugs and poisons, he's strongly against making drugs that will kill or cause permanent damage. Also, as shown in flashbacks when he was forced to work for the mob, and witnessed a young Liang and Upa being forced into doing things that horrified them, only to be tortured by their boss when they refused to follow his orders, he does not like people who think it's okay to hurt children. He also has a bit of a soft spot for people who are sick or injured, as he secretly saved a young Upa's life by giving him his own internal organs after their boss had Upa's removed to sell on the black market. He also helps take care of Nico when they're trapped in the underground cells in season two. Upa acts cold and claims to hate most people, but is actually fond of his cellmates and their supervisor, Samon Gokuu. While he's initially annoyed by Nico and constantly yells at him, he secretly considers him to be one of his first friends, and is concerned about his well-being due to his medical condition.
    • In the first season, Trois and Honey are little more than a pair of egotistical pretty boys. In season two, they get their moment to shine when they go up against Ruka Gojou. Trois is a mechanical genius who can whip together flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and bombs from random objects in mere minutes, and Honey is an expert at laying traps using homemade bullets rigged with monofilament wire. While the two may constantly argue with each other, they're actually a formidable team. They escaped previous prisons this way before being sent to Nanba, with an escape record that rivals Cell 13's.
    • In the manga, Mushashi tells Kenshirou that he can read and speak forty different languages, despite being blind. He was going to college to become a translator before his arrest, and since he also learned braille, he's still able to read even though he can't see. He's also very intelligent, as it's mentioned that when his condition didn't prevent him from going to school, he always got straight A's. The only exception is that he appears to not be able to write in other languages; in a manga-exclusive strip showing him and Kenshirou at the New Year's Tournament, Kenshirou did most of the work until the final match, as Mushashi didn't know how to write in Japanese, and couldn't play cards because of his blindness.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: The New Year's Tournament reveals that Nico has a whole list of heroic quotes he's got stashed away for when he gets into certain situations. Unfortunately, they're mostly the type that require censoring. He at least gets to say his #2 and #1 quotes.
  • Indy Escape: One of the traps in the prison.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Samon Gokuu is the most hot-headed, argumentative of the guards, as he constantly bickers with Hajime and Kiji, and has a tendency to run his mouth when he's annoyed, but as revealed in the second season, he actually has a kind heart, and might be the nicest of all the building supervisors in terms of having a positive influence on their inmates. All the known inmates of building 5 highly admire him, and wish to repay him for everything he did for them; He informed Upa's parents that he was still alive and got them back in contact with him, took Liang under his wing and became his mentor after the depressed inmate was transferred to Nanba, and helped Qi regain his trust in humanity after he enlisted him to help him solve a cold case, having been the first person to listen to and believe what the chemist had to say. Qi states he can't understand why someone as honest and trusting as Samon is considered a potential traitor by the rest of the guards. The guy is often still an ass, though.
    • Uno may be a jerk at times, but he does care deeply for his cellmates, particularly Jyugo. Thanks to Jyugo's lack of skills at...well...pretty much everything, Uno spends a lot of time taking care of him and helping him during their escapes. He cares about his friend so much that, when he was about to be stabbed to death by Ruka Gojou, his main concern was that Jyugo would be killed for sure if he wasn't there to protect him.
    • Upa may have zero tolerance for the foolish behavior of the other inmates, but he does care about Nico and considers him his friend. Despite how he yells at him and lectures him about his childish behavior, he's concerned about Nico's medical condition; when they're confronted by Hachiman in Season 2, he actually buries Nico in rubble in an attempt to stop him from getting involved and overexerting himself. He's also close to Liang and Qi, despite how annoyed he can get with his cellmates, and admires Samon Goku more than he lets on.
    • Qi may be lazy and focused on self-preservation, but he does care about people, especially ones who are young or sick, more than he lets on. In the past, he had his own internal organs removed and transplanted to a dying Upa, something which Upa has been unaware of until Qi tells him about it in season 2. He also has a bit of a soft spot for Nico, and goes through hell to get him his medication after they're stranded in the underground without it.
    • The Otogi's may be a pair of elderly jerks who'll attempt to blow each other up with military grade weapons and/or demand a divorce for extremely petty reasons, such as the eggs being cooked wrong, but not remembering who actually made breakfast that morning, but they genuinely love their "daughter" Kaguya and always end their fights for her sake, albeit reluctantly, and try not to start them in her presence. They both also have a bit of a soft spot for Nico. Okina may be rude to him, but it's more of concern due to how risky Nico's careless behavior can be to his health. In addition to making the arcade room for his tournament prize, Kazari also created an advanced hand-held game system just for him, despite not needing to, and had to hide a smile after seeing how enthused he was by her work.
    • Kenshirou hates Hajime and is usually very cold, but he's also the calmest of all the guards and the least likely to lose his temper, as well as the one most likely to resolve problems in a nonviolent manner. He also cares deeply for Mushashi and believes that he is a good person. When he confronted Enki Goku because he believed that the former wasn't evil and wanted to hear his side of the story, it takes the former guard coldly stating his intent to murder Mushashi for possesing his unnatural powers to piss Kenshirou off enough to fight him.
  • The Juggernaut: You certainly get the vibe of this from Hajime.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While signs of a darker plot were shown in Episode 1 through Jyugo's unbreakable shackles, the mood of the series takes a bit of a nosedive (and prison escapes do too) after Musashi enters the picture.
    • In Season 2, all the humor in a scene instantly dies down whenever Enki Gokuu and Ruka Gojou are involved in any way. By the fifth episode, they had managed to capture/incapacitate almost the entirety of the main and supporting cast.
  • Knockout Gas: In the air vents.
  • Laser Hallway: Of the physically harmful variety. Jyugo disables it easily.
  • Lazy Bum:
    • A characteristic of Cell 13's prisoners. In episode 1, they ponder as to what they'll do when they finally get out. They conclude that staying in prison is better.
    • Qi is typically seen reclining or sleeping in the background. In fact, Liang and Upa call him 'lazy trash' more than his actual name. He also isn't very motivated, as is made evident during the New Year's tournament;
      Samon Gokuu: Hey! What the hell are ya doing, No.71?!
      Qi: But it's dangerous. I don't want to get involved with all that. Besides, I'm a pharmaceutical chemist. I don't like exercising. I just attacked that guy earlier to go with the flow. But I will give you advice and medical treatment later, so good luck!
      Samon: Gah! You're totally useless!
  • Longing Look:
    • Momoko often looks at Hajime this way. Unfortunately, most people, including Hajime, mistake it for a Death Glare, usually because it looks like one.
    • Kenshiro has been known to give Momoko herself these. However, she doesn't seem to notice his affections for her, and is annoyed by the attention.
  • Love Bubbles:
    • Used in regards to Momoko, who drenches Hajime in these...and then it's revealed Hajime thinks this love vision is a Death Glare. Made even funnier by how Hajime looks like he's a certain "hero for fun" while Momoko is an intimidating woman.
    • Also used by Kenshiro, who views Momoko like this. Unfortunately for him, however, the warden only has eyes for Hajime, and views Kenshiro as an annoying, yappy dog.
  • Made of Iron: Rock jumped in front of a car to save a cat without serious injury.
    • Hajime is no slouch either, considering he survived nitro glycerin.
    • Hitoshi is so tough, Hajime can actually pick him up by his legs and use him as a club, to the point where he can smash him through WALLS and throw him like a weight, and all it will do is make him dizzy from being swung around.
  • Magnetic Hero: All of the Cell 13 inmates are connected to Jyugo in some way, as he was the one who helped them break out of prisons, as well as form their personalities at present.
  • Master of Unlocking: Jyugo. It doesn't matter whether it's a physical lock or an electronic keypad, he'll disable it in seconds.
  • Narcissist: Trois and Honey, the two handsome prisoners from Building 3. They waste no time in talking about how pretty they are, even in comparison to the other.
  • Meaningful Name: All of them. No, really. Combined with some wordplay, you get:
    • Jyugo means 'fifteen'.
    • Uno is a western name meaning 'one'.
    • Niko is strictly spelled in the series in katakana and means 'twenty-five' but you can also render his name with the kanji for 'second child', which means something else.
    • Rock's name is western like Uno's, but you can render it a certain way (as ro-ku) where it means 69.
    • Samon's last name is Goku, as in Son Goku aka the monkey king.
    • Hajime's name contains the kanji for 'double' and 'six' and 26 is double 13. You can also explain it with 2 times 6 plus 1 (the other kanji in his name) equalling 13.
    • Kiji means 'pheasant' as in his Animal Motif and his family name has 'three' in it.
    • The first kanji in Kenshirou's name means 'dog' and the first kanji of his family name is 'four'.
    • Unusually, Momoko has two kanji in her name that are the exact same but have a different pronunciation, the one that means 'hundred' (百)
    • Musashi is a combination of mu-sa-shi, aka 634.
    • If you pronounce 'Seitarou' real quick, it sounds like 'star' and the actual kanji for 'star' (星) is in his name. Tanabata, otherwise known as the Qingming festival, is a festival in which stars are also a prominent theme.
  • Multinational Team: You have two Americans, one Englishman, and one Japanese, all trying to bust out of the most secure prison in the world.
    • Also could apply to the cast as a whole, as it's unusually diverse for an anime. You have Jyugo, Hajime, Yamato, Tsukumo, and Seitarou, who are all Japanese; Rock and Nico, who are American; Samon, Liang, Upa, and Qi, who come from China; Mushashi, who is German; Uno, who is British; And Inori, who claims to be Korean.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Jyugo is horrified when he realizes that he'd nearly gotten his friends killed during his rampage at the New Years' Tournament.
    • Jyugo later has this reaction upon realizing that he blinded Mushashi for no reason other than being annoyed when the former brings up the most traumatic part of his past. Between that and nearly slicing Uno in half at the New Years' tournament, Jyugo falls into a deep depression while in the isolation cell, and begins worrying that he's a monster that will eventually hurt or kill his friends.
  • The Needless: A deconstructed example in the form of Jyugo when Hajime points out that he appears to lack greed. More specifically, he has a lack of desire for anything, leading him to do things like escaping or gaining information without any reason.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Cell 13, which is composed of two Americans, one Englishman, and Jyugo, after being told that they had to do Japanese calligraphy to win the New Years' competition.
    • This was Samon Gokuu's reaction to Rock using Nico as a human shield while he was chasing the Cell 13 inmates down to make them go workout with Yamato. Samon was scared of Nico after witnessing him wipe the floor with Upa at the New Year's tournament, but he quickly gets over his hesitance to touch Nico after Uno tells him that Nico is too sickly to be able to constantly exert himself the way he did at the tournament. (His thinking was that if he had to suffer, he was making Uno and Nico suffer with him)
    • The above is reversed in the manga, however; Rock was clinging to the door frame so that Yamato couldn't make him leave, Uno was mouthing off to the guard, and Nico had decided to amuse himself by yanking on Samon's tail. Samon exploded on them all, and the three inmates promptly panicked, wasting no time in booking it to the exercise yard.
    • The warden was so excited about getting to see Hajime when she summoned him to give a report on the Cell 13 inmates. Shortly after, her look of pure joy quickly turns to one of horror when Samon Gokuu greets Hajime by drop-kicking him in the face the second he walks through the door.
    • This is Liang's reaction in the final episode of Season 2 when, despite Qi, Upa, and Nico telling him not to, he decides to attack what he assumes to be a security doll; it was actually Kiji, and the handcuffed inmates and Liang end up kicking Honey upside the head.
    • When Hajime is able to effortlessly catch building 5's top with his bare hands during the top-spinning event at the tournament, Samon and Qi both have an epic one, with their eyes jumping out a good foot in front of their face.
  • One Last Job: In Episode 13, Jyugo intends to make one last breakout attempt with the Cell 13 boys, and then afterwards escape by himself and leave the other 3 behind so they're all safe from whatever Elf and the Man with the Scar are planning for him. It doesn't work.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Both Uno and Rock are shocked that not only can Hajime talk after being hit with nitro-glycerin, he also broke out without any harm whatsoever.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Each prisoner is given a nickname based on their identification number. A lot of them are based on Goroawase Number puns, but there are some that don't have to do with that.
    • The majority of the supervisors also have a nickname that matches their animal motif, and most of the other guards have some sort of name that everyone else calls them more often than their given name.
  • Palette Swap: Happens to almost everyone's hair color due to one of Nico's medicinal side effects (minus Hajime for obvious reasons).
  • Pun-Based Title: Multiple. "Nanba's Fools" (Nanba + Baka), "Stupid Numbers" (Number + Baka), and "This is Nanba" (Nanba Ka).
  • Prison Escape Artist: The inmates of Cell 13 are infamous for having broken out of many different prisons around the world, hence their transfer to Nanba, which is supposedly the most secure prison. Their Establishing Character Moment shows them attempting another prison escape, which would have been successful if not for Hajime's intervention. It's later revealed that they tend to do this multiple times a day just for fun, and that they're not interested in actually escaping the prison. Jyugo in particular is an example of Crippling Overspecialization, in the fact that it's the only thing that interests him.
  • The Quiet One: Chef Shiro.
  • Rapid Hair Growth:
    • Nico causes the guard dogs to spontaneously turn into barking balls of fluff when he comes into contact with them, a side-effect of the tranquilizer darts he was shot with.
    • In a manga-only side-story, Nico caches actual 'rapid hair growth disease'. While it only makes his hair a little longer and messier, he turns Jyugo, Uno, and Rock into giant, big-foot-like, balls of fluff after they get too close. You can only see their eyes poking out of their 'fur', and Hajime actually calls in an animal control unit after seeing them because he mistakes them for wild animals that got into the prison.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Uno has an ankle-length braid. In the Beach Episode, it still reaches his thighs...when tied up in a ponytail.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • It turns out that beating a prisoner up until he falls unconscious will tend to bring consequences, even if he's going on a rampage. Enjoy your 3 days of suspension, Hajimenote .
    • This hits Uno, Jyugo, Trois, and Honey HARD in the last few episodes of season two. They manage to defeat the building 5 guards, Kokoriki and Youriki, and un-brainwash them, but the two have no memory of what happened, and they not only don't believe the inmates' story, they think that they were attempting to break out of prison and try to restrain them. Honey, Trois, and Uno end up having to fight them off again as they search for Kiji, and state that if Kiji doesn't believe them, then they're all screwed, because using Trois and Honey's traps on the guards counts as assaulting an officer, and could get them all hard punishment.
    • After the inmates manage to free Kiji, they get lectured INTENSELY, to the point that Uno and Honey are in tears; they may have saved Kiji and he may be pissed at Kokoriki and Youriki for not believing them or trying to free him, but they're still wandering around unauthorized in a cell block that isn't theirs, in a forbidden part of the prison, so rescuing him is worth jack as far as he's concerned. Even though Enki is still loose and some of the guards and inmates are missing, his priority is to handcuff the inmates and take them back to their own cells. In the inmates' defense, Trois and Honey broke out to look for Kiji after he didn't come back from building 5, and the Cell 13 boys came to the building WITH Hajime; it's not actually their fault, as it's not like they were looking to get captured and nearly killed. This goes doubly for Liang and Upa, who actually ARE in their building; they didn't do a single thing wrong. One of their guards, Inori, turned out to be a mole working for Enki, and he brutalized and restrained them before showing their unconscious bodies to Samon Gokuu, taunting the supervisor about it before locking them all up. Of everyone involved, the only one who did anything that could be considered wrong was Qi, who temporarily joined up with Hachiman, but he actually had a good reason for that; everyone else was just trying to defend themselves. Even still, you can see Kiji's point; not just one high-security inmate escaped, but THREE, including the biggest threat, Enki Gokuu; three supervisors were captured, multiple people were brainwashed to attack everyone else, it turns out that some of Enki's old handcuffs and other inventions weren't destroyed after his arrest like they were supposed to be, the security system is all screwed up, and Inori is the traitor who screwed up the security system, not to mention that all this happened mere hours after the warden left to attend a meeting. All that's bad enough, so they don't need it getting out that eight inmates, five of whom shouldn't even be in the building in the first place, were also wandering free in a restricted area at the same time. And it was mentioned at the beginning of the season that Nanba has already been toeing the line under intense scrutiny ever since Enki's betrayal
    • Although Jyugo wants to release Samon from his cell because he believes it's the right thing to do, Hajime has a moral crisis over what to do, because the situation is practically a Catch 22. If he lets Jyugo free Samon, then he'll know Jyugo can escape imprisonment at will, and the other supervisor will probably report them because he's been digging for dirt on Hajime to file a report on. If they leave him, however, Hajime will get in trouble for leaving a fellow correctional officer behind, and it'll also raise the question of how only Hajime managed to get out. He also hates Samon, and wants to see him continue to suffer the indignity of being in a cage. He eventually decided to let Jyugo set Samon free, as he concludes that all outcomes look bad, but freeing the other guard will raise the least amount of questions, and will probably work in his favor if he gets reported.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In Cell 13, Nico and Rock tend to be more fun-loving and impulsive (red), while Uno and Jyugo are smarter and more observant (blue). On the guards' side, there's Yamato (red) and Seitarou (blue), with Hajime falling in the middle.
    • Building 3's two known inmates also count, with loud, obnoxious Honey as the red to Trois's calm, more thoughtful blue.
  • Red Right Hand: The man with the mark on his neck.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Gokuu actually had the right idea when he thought that the Cell 13 boys had tragic backstories that got them into Nanba Prison:
    • Sure, Rock didn't escape prisons to see his friend, but he was mistreated during his initial prison days, and not only hated the food in his old prisons, but starved before he met Jyugo and broke out to go to a diner to eat, triggering his Big Eater tendencies.
    • Nico's medicine troubles weren't over drug transportation like he was originally sent to prison for, but over being used like a lab rat in every facility he's been in.
    • Breaking out of prisons is indeed a hobby for Jyugo, but only because it's the one thing that gives him a purpose; namely, it's all he can do with himself and all that he has done for as long as he's been alive. He also wants to look for the man who put his shackles on him, but until he got to Nanba, he had no such luck.
  • Robot Girl: Nurse Android Kagu-8 (read as "kaguya"). She's hit on by the inmates due to technically being the only woman besides the warden and head scientist.
  • Scary Teeth: Elf.
    • Nico when his split personality takes over.
  • Shipper on Deck: Hitokoe is this, as he's one of the few people who knows about the warden's crush on Hajime.
    • In season 2, despite being blind, Mushashi picks up on Kenshiro's crush on the warden and begins teasing him about it.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spear Counterpart: The Warden of Nanba Women's Prison is the exact opposite of the Nanba prison we know - a male warden in a prison full of women.
  • Split Personality: It's revealed that Nico suffers from this, and his other half is scary as hell.
  • Team Dad: Hajime all the way. The way he deals with the Cell 13 boys and the other guards resembles a father handling his idiot children.
  • Team Mom: Uno, for the rest of Cell 13. Nico even says that he's "starting to sound like a mom" in Episode 11.
    • For the guards, Kiji easily fills this role, scolding the rest of them when they misbehave, and standing up for Samon when another guard gives him a Breaking Speech about being as evil as his brother was.
  • Tournament Arc: The annual New Year's tournament was this, along with seriously shaking up the status quo for the main characters.
  • Truth in Television: Female and male criminals are separated to ensure no misconduct in real life. The only reason why the chief warden is female is probably because she's super intimidating.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Hajime's cat looks quite a bit like him. They both have a scar across their left eye, fangs, and the same hat to boot.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Supervising officer Kenshiro Yozakura to Momoko. Made even more prominent by his dog motif.
    • Due to how he saved them and helped them become the people they are today, the Cell 13 inmates are all extremely loyal to Jyugo, despite him being a bit of an idiot. Despite having assumed the worst, Jyugo nearly killing them during the New Years' tournament doesn't matter one bit to them.
    • Uno is arguably the most loyal to Jyugo, as he's constantly seen taking care of him (such as when they're being chased by Ruka Gojou, and he actually has to take Jyugo's hand and lead him around so that he isn't caught) and encouraging him. This trope could also apply towards Uno's cellmates as a whole, as he's more or less the group's mother figure who keeps Rock in line, and makes sure that Nico is taking his medication and going to his check-ups.
    • Over the course of season 2, Liang, Upa, and Qi are each revealed to be very loyal to Samon Gokuu, due to the fact that he was the first person to show them kindness after they were sent to prison. After Enki is set free and takes Samon captive, the three vow to defend building #5 because it was the building that Samon took care of, and they want to be able to help the man who helped them regain their will to live.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: In episode 1, Cell 13 hears about a pretty woman visiting the jail, so they break out of their cell to see her. Unfortunately, the woman is actually Hajime's crossdressing brother, Hitoshi.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: So far, Uno has no backed-up claims regarding all his griping for girls. Apparently, every time he's tried to break out of jail was on date nights, but that's only because he DIDN'T have any dates due to being in jail.
    • Though he was quickly creeped out over the fact that Hajime's 'sister' is actually a crossdressing brother, and tells Jyugo he can have him.
    • Out of the four, he's the one who reacts the most when he realizes that the warden is a woman (though Rock mentions that she's lovely, too).
  • Wham Episode: Episode 6.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Hajime calls Kiji this on occasion, and Hitoshi actually is this.
  • You Are Number 6: The inmates are commonly referred to by number, so it can be hard to track without knowledge of Goroawase Numbers and various languages' words for numbers.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It'd be easier to name the characters who don't have weird hair colours in this series. Momoko and Seitarou have blue hair, Jyugo's is black and red, Nico's is lime green, Rock's is purple and red, and Uno's is pink and yellow. And the list goes on and on...
    • One episode has a gag where people start switching hair color, to everyone's dismay.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: The Kame(bleep)meha, among other references.
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