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‘The God of High School’ shapes up to be more than initially seemed

‘The God of High School’ shapes up to be more than initially seemed

‘The God of High School’ shapes up to be more than initially seemed
July 23
17:30 2020

An adaptation of a South Korean web manhwa called “The God of High School” recently aired its first two episodes and began streaming on the anime site Crunchyroll. Leading up to the premiere, Crunchyroll put a lot of effort into marketing the show on their website and airing ads across YouTube, which made me a bit wary considering that shows they’ve heavily advertised in the past ended up being generic and unsubstantial. But, after watching the first two episodes, I’m pleasantly surprised to find myself looking forward to what the show has to offer.

“The God of High School” appears to take place in a near-future setting in Seoul, South Korea, where main protagonist Jin Mo-Ri (Tatsumaru Tachibana) joins a plethora of other participants in a martial arts tournament, where the winner will have one wish granted by the tournament administrators. The tournament is more than what it seems, however, with it ran by a mysterious individual with godlike powers who can probably grant the wish the tournament promises.

A lot of the show’s advertisements highlighted fluid and bombastic animation, but it became a bit worrying when I realized all the promotional footage I had seen up to that point was showcased in the first episode. However, I was relieved to find that the amazing animation in the first episode continued into the second. It now makes sense why the marketing for this show was so focused on animation because the show is shaping up to impress audiences with that, at the very least.

Unfortunately, “The God of High School” couldn’t help straying into the realm of the generic with the establishment of the three main characters’ motivations for participating in the tournament. Mo-Ri wants to fight stronger opponents, hard-working Han Dae-Wi (Kentaro Kumagai) wants money to pay for a special someone’s hospital bills, and sword-wielding Yu Mi-Ra (Ayaka Ōhashi) wants to carry on her families dojo. These motivations are shown through quick flashback segments and while it did feel a bit forced, there’s tons of room to do more with these characters, and for what it’s worth, they’re fun to watch.

A good example of what the show is like takes place near the beginning of the first episode, where there’s a chase scene involving a purse snatcher on a motorcycle and Mo-Ri attempts to catch up with him on his bike. Throughout the scene, all three of the main characters are introduced as they all assist in catching the thief, which showcases their fighting styles and personalities. Well-used gags where the characters continuously failed to catch the thief — face-planting into traffic signs and nearly ramming into people — helps to establish the brand of humor that can be expected going forward, while the animation continues to hold up.

If the animation quality continues and the plot and characters becomes more complex, we can expect to be in for a good ride. While there is room for “The God of High School” to fizzle out into a run-of-the-mill anime, at present it remains an entertaining casual watch that I plan to stick with until the end.

Final rating: 3.75/5

Featured image: Courtesy MAPPA

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Connor Elliott

Connor Elliott

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