The God of Highschool ep. 2 – Rematch

Let’s just get this right out of the way. I am not the intended audience for The God of Highschool. And that’s all right. While I was watching this week’s episode, I thought to myself, my friend’s son would love this. And he’s a cool kid!

But obviously, I can only give you my thoughts from my point of view, so some things are just not going to appeal to me as they would to the majority of the audience. There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it can be fun to get a different point of view. Basically what I’m saying is, there were some aspects of this episode that didn’t do it for me, but that doesn’t mean they were “wrong” or a “failure” or anything.

That sounded a bit defensive. I guess I read a few tweets that have convinced me I need to preface my opinions here.

After episode 1, I was left with a few general impressions. First that the show was at its best in full action, second that the characters were archetypes and third, that it was likely to flashback in the next few episodes to give us the background exposition it skipped over in the first one.

I stand by my first two impressions but I may have overestimate the exposition we would get. The episode basically flashed a few images to give us motivations for our main cast and that’s about it. Also Dae got some exposition via nanobots which I thought was kinda cool.

On the other hand Mia and Jin got into a very spontaneous and sort of contrived scuffle which I think was to dynamically introduce us to her background and motivation but felt like both characters were overreacting and hyper for no reason. Not that it really matters as they both got over it pretty much instantly.

So we learned that Mia is a sword master and not like other girls. The funny thing to me was that the imagery they used to get this point really obviously across were her blistered palms from practising swordplay (which was why she wasn’t comfortable getting her nails painted?). This imagery is a little cheesy but that’s not the point. If anyone had old school grandparents that punished them with housework, you would know that it’s the exact same blisters you get from sweeping all @#!!?* day! Which is traditionally a super girly thing and would not stop you from getting pretty nails. This is a petty point that has no impact on my appreciation of the episode, it was just funny to me.

The dynamic between the 3 leads reminded me a bit of Demon Slayer. It’s not a one to one equivalency, but as a group they ended up acting similar to me.  Readers of the manhwa have already warned me not to expect to much in way of character development so I wonder if this is how their dynamic is going to be for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately, the episode skipped over most of the fights showing us only that all the characters we see in the OP won their first rounds. And then we got to the meat of episode 2 of God of Highschool.  Prisoner guy vs closed eye guy.

I’m not being cute, I’m afraid I didn’t have the foresight to write their names down and now I honestly don’t remember them. I didn’t like the animation as much during this fight. The camera work was much more conventional, there was little use of ragdoll physics and almost no deformation. It also became rather one sided and consequently the mouvement got much slower fairly early on. The episode insisted on the painful punishment being doled out and I figure this was meant as visceral but since I have no feelings at all towards either character it was just uncomfortable for me. I figure fans that are more familiar with prisoner guy or closed eye guy got way more out of this sequence.

For me personally though, it meant that I started enjoying the episode a bit past the 18 minute mark. Or when Jin stepped into the ring with prisoner guy. That was a slightly more fun fight and I particularly appreciated Jin tripping over one of the organizer’s heads to continue fighting. The administrator’s bad*ss entry was fun to watch as well.

This said, my actual involvement with the show is still pretty minimal I liked episode 1 better than episode 2 but that’s not unusual for me. I don’t have any intention of dropping the show or anything, but I could see diminishing returns on this one depending the direction they go into. I usually like my shonen either beautiful or kind of goofy. Or you know….Hunter x Hunterish.

Regardless of my experience, I hope you are all enjoying the God of Highschool . It’s a good time to be watching good anime!

Rini 3 (11)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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14 Responses

  1. ManInBlack says:

    I’m with you on this one. Aside from looking back at Mira’s past with the family sword, this feels like we’ve wandered into the middle of the story and are expected to know everything that came before it.

    It’s too early to write it off though – 3 episode rule and all that. (well, 4 or me… 😉 )

  2. Dawnstorm says:

    Heh, overall I had much the same impression as you describe, but sometimes it seems I come from the “opposite direction” (as in I started to lose interest a little when you got into it more), and in the end none of that is very significant, because the show was never quite bad and never quite good.

    I personally think the show’s better in its quieter moments, because the fight scenes are often too over-the-top to work as regular fight scenes, but not over-the-top enough to work as over-the-top fight scenes. I did wonder how the nanos repair the body. For example, if our bully had taken his time, could he have torn the limbs all over again, until either martial arts honourable guy would have given up, or bully would have gotten bored. From that perspective, I resented Jin’s intrusion. I wanted more data.

    I liked the way they brought up the sick-relative backstory, by relating it to the healing properties of nano tech (which must be very expensive). I could practically hear convencience store employee think they’ve got this cutting edge medical tech and they use it for a crummy fighting tournament? Of course, that might have been my own inner voice I was hearing, rather then the character’s. It wouldn’t have been the first time.

    God of Highschool is pleasant but forgettable, and as this seems to be a long runner, I’m probably not going to come back for a second season, if I even last all season long. I’m curiously indifferent, for example, to the big picture they keep bringing up, and that’s not a good sign for long term interest.

    Speaking of the big picture, I like how Crunchy pushes Korean material. It makes me curious about the actual Korean animated scene, but I suppose it’s rather hard to come by examples.

  3. I haven’t seen the second episode yet, but I dropped in just to read your opinion of it (I ain’t afraid of no spoilers). I’m surprised! I thought you’d like this one because you liked Tower of God– both came from webtoons and are very battle-oriented. But then again, the first episode of God of Highschool left me with a good first impression, whereas I felt that ToG wasn’t my cup of tea.

    I usually save all the weekly anime releases for my Friday night Pizza and Chill, but maybe I’ll look at this episode a bit early. You’ve got me intrigued now!

    • Irina says:

      I really liked Tower of God. But aside from the general genre I don’t fell like the two are comparable so far. Also a lot of what I liked about ToG has to do with the production. I’m also a bit less into conventional shonen. We’ll see where God of Highschool goes, fans are going crazy for it.

  4. There’s one problem I’ve noticed in god of highschool that the plot structure and character storylines are often very messed up and encounters are very fake-seeming. The major appeal of the series comes much later on, when supernatural stuff starts coming into play heavily, but even then, the negatives tend to remain. For people who could enjoy the manhwa, the anime is also pretty good.
    I can see that many people won’t be able to get through this season fully, just a word of caution, if you find this episode to be worse than the first, then the season might get progressively more boring for you, up until the very end.

    • Irina says:

      So far fan reaction has been very positive

      • I’ve been a fan of god of highschool for quite a bit now, and I like the anime, but I was just extrapolating going off what you wrote in your post.

        • Irina says:

          I rarely represent popular opinion. This might get a bit grating or maybe just a bit too conventional for anime fans that have a lot of experience with the medium, but I think it will do fairly well in numbers and since it doesn’t look too expensive to put together, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up as another win for Crunchyroll’s production division. They’ve been making some impressive business decisions. I should look up who’s in charge

    • If I’m understanding right and chapter 1 was any indication of the rest of the series, it’s events leading up to the tournament then the tournament itself in the webcomic, but the anime chooses to flash back to the lead-up events instead, hence the “fakeness” you’re perceiving here.

      I think, in this case, flashing back works better than chronological order, because it makes me interested in what happened to get to that point. (Then again, I’ve only read ch. 1 of the webcomic as I type this…you seem to have read further than me, so you can confirm whether I’m right or not.)

      I prefer ep. 1 over ep. 2, but that was mainly because of the torture Gamdo was being put through and, to a lesser extent, how the preliminary fights were glossed over…there’s 13 episodes to this anime, so I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to what you’re hinting in animation form though, plus there’s plenty of time for my opinion to change at this point in time. (Note I haven’t seen anything past ep. 2 as I type this.)

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