Harenchi Gakuen is THE manga series that cemented Go Nagai’s infamy in Japanese society. Originally a mildly-perverse comedy manga, its release sparked outrage among parents and teachers who loathed the juvenile comedy and depictions of teachers as amoral lechers. Shocked by this societal resistance to his writing, Nagai proceeded to do the only logical thing: write several more manga about teachers being rapists, murderers, and complete idiots.
Nagai making a menace of himself aside, Harenchi Gakuen was actually very influential for anime & manga. It popularized erotic comedy, it broadened what you could get away with in fanservice, and it was just pretty dang good in general. However, no anime adaptation would ever follow in the manga’s wake. It spawned a TV drama and live-action movies, but anime fans wouldn’t get to see anything of Harenchi Gakuen until 24 years after its conclusion.
Heisei Harenchi Gakuen, animated by Pink Pineapple, is a sequel to the original manga which retcons the joke ending by moving the story forward 10 years. Protagonists Yamigishi and Fukurokoji have since become teachers themselves, though they never did stop being incorrigible perverts. They have now returned to Harenchi Academy as employees, only to find that it has fallen under new management.
The academy is now an all-girls school with female teachers only, making the duo the first men to set foot on the school grounds in quite some time. Things quickly spiral out of control as everybody begins competing for the boys’ attention, destroying any hopes that Yamigishi and Fukurokoji may have had for actually getting any teaching done.
Unlike other ecchi comedies, Heisei Harenchi Gakuen makes 0 attempt to obscure the point of its nudity & fanservice. It’s an absurd, “every boy’s dream” style story; the tale of a bunch of average joes being handed a harem of beautiful girls desperate for sexual attention. It’s no coincidence that hentai powerhouse Pink Pineapple was put on this project, because some “jokes” are literally just sex.
Something resembling an actual story does eventually penetrate through all the fanservice, but even that is little more than porn with extra steps. It also brings to light the OVA’s greatest failing, which is its over-reliance on knowledge and appreciation of the original Harenchi Gakuen. Returning characters and plot elements are not at all introduced or explained, and many of the jokes that harken back to old gags feel severely dated for 1996. I wish the OVA made more of an effort to be its own thing rather than pandering to an audience that probably moved on 2 decades ago.
As a borderline hentai with some comedy, I gotta give Heisei Harenchi Gakuen credit for its visual quality and cute character designs. The comedy is stupid, but entertaining in a silly, juvenile way. I recommend it if you’re looking for some cheap, high-quality ecchi, though I do recommend skipping past the story and more outdated comedy routines.