Did you guys know that I’m a sucker for friendship pr0n? ‘Cause I am! a huge one! I’m a bros before… that word that rhymes with bros… and sisters before misters sorta girl! That makes me a prime candidate for shonen trash…
For these not too familiar with the term, trash refers to me in that expression, not the shonen. Internet lingo can be a minefield. In fact, Grammarly just called me angry again. I haven’t even started the review yet. This is weird.
The episode started out with the loser from last week’s match apparently dying on the operating table. I didn’t know they could die!!! I thought the magic nanobots made that impossible! This sort of changes everything in a deep fridge horror sort of way. At the very least, if we are still going with the conceit that this is a tournament for high school students, all these parents should e losing custody, shouldn’t they? Like right now. I’m gonna be really impressed if the remainder of the season turns into a courtroom drama with the family of the victim suing the organizers of the event. That would be both unexpected and perfectly logical!
I doubt it though, cause they glossed over that moment very quickly. I’m pretty sure the point was just t remind us how evil and dangerous shark boy is. I’m not the biggest Free! fan but somehow shark boy still has a lot of meaning attached to it.
The actual point of the episode, think, was to introduce us to the Park family. Or more specifically to IIpyo.
Now IIpyo is not only an exceptional fighter but also has a connection to Jin’s grandfather who seems t be a pivotal character in the story. We actually got an entire backstory on this guy so you know he’s going to be important. One of the things I have noticed (and of course this is a gross overgeneralization) is that webtoons don’t waste time on mob characters’ backstories. They will drop some development in the moment to create attachment but otherwise, it’s not a priority. A character that has an actual deep connection to our protagonist is bound to have an important role to play in the story.
This said, I still don’t care all that much about the tournament itself. I know that last week I mentioned that in theory the Nox storyline is the one that interests me but in practice, I just don’t care that much. And I don’t. Personally, I actually am most interested in the judges and organizers. I would have fun watching a Slice of Life about Q screwing himself out of a salary every week while Park slowly turns into Michael from the Office. Maybe that’s just me.
Speaking of just me. Unpopular opinion here, but I’m actually digging Jin’s cross pupils. I was rather indifferent to them in the early episodes but they grew on me and I’m really starting to appreciate them as a design element.
Oh yeah, I’m supposed to tell you my thoughts on the episode. I liked it. Quite a bit actually. I have (and so have some of my fellow reviewers) been pretty open about my dislike for the pacing in this show so far. It’s not great, let’s face it. However, when I really think about it. First seasons, i.e. episodes 1 to 8 of a lot of great shonen anime did not have the best pacing. Dragon ball was jagged, Naruto was very uneven and One Piece had a few restarts … Actually, aside from Hunter x Hunter which remains one of the best-paced anime I have watched, a would say most shonen aren’t great at pacing early establishing shows. They get better once the universe and characters are properly established as a rule. It’s just that a lot of people were kids when they first aired so they didn’t necessarily notice.
I’m not saying the GOH is better or even the same. I couldn’t tell you without rewatching them. But I can say this for sure. all those classic shonen have two big things going for them as far as I’m concerned. One is nostalgia because I was a kid too when they aired so I didn’t notice and thought they were great (sadly this applies to Sailor Moon as well). The second is that I binge-watched most of those shows. I didn’t wait a week between each episode and that tends to smooth out pacing issues a lot. I bet God of Highschool would be a lot better appreciated in that form.
Like I said though, I didn’t dislike this episode. We got some nice scenes between Dae, Mira and Jin. It was cute. Park IIpyo is a decent character and I do want to get to know him better. And that little stinger at the end with Jin’s grandpa got me all curious about next week. If episodes stay on par with this one, it will be a pleasant distraction on a Monday evening.