The God of High School episode 11 opens by telling the story of the Nine-Tails. The fox spirit lived in heaven during ancient times, attaining power after a thousand years of training. The Nine-Tails became the guarding of God, however, his power eventually caused God to fear him. So God orders the fox’s execution. Outraged, the Nine-Tails used its power to destroy half of heaven, then retreated to Earth, vowing to seek vengeance. Ilpyo and Jin continue their fight. With his new powers, Ilpyo has become swift and powerful. He beings to overwhelm Jin but seem to be in pain from the transformation.
During the bout, Jin realizes that Charyeok isn’t about “borrowing someone else’s power,” as you’re still fighting with your “mind and body.” Ilpyo conjurers multiple fire foxes and attacks. Jin appears to summon his Charyeok, a thunder wielding God of some sort. It’s not clear who it is or whether it’s a Charyeok. Regardless, Jin defeats Ilpyo with a whirlwind. The God of High School continues to surprise or does it? I didn’t expect Park Ilpyo to become the “Key” (although this episode suggests that he may not be), but once his Nine-Tail Charyeok was revealed, I thought he would win the fight.
Elsewhere, Park Mujin assumes that Mandeok is still planning something. This “something” is Jeon Jugok. He becomes a demonic like being that consumes others increasing his powers. Ilpyo attacks Jeon, hoping to save, Seungah and Ryu Hyeonbok. Jegal interferes, claiming that he will not allow Jeon to take his “prey (Ilpyo).” In the process of defeating Jeon, Jegal costs Seungah her leg and Ryu his arm. Ilpyo is horrified and becomes enraged. He releases his Charyeok and knocks Jegal out of the window. Meanwhile, Park Mujin declares “The God of High School is over.”
The God of High School episode 10 reveals who the “key” is. If you’re like me then you assumed who that person was likely to be and would have been wrong. Park Mujin and the Nox organization have been seeking this key for most of the series. The key is supposed to have the “power to challenge God,” so Park wants to use it and Nox wants to destroy it. Most of us assumed that Jin Mori, the main protagonist, was the key because of his power and our general assumptions about the main characters. For the key to be someone else was a surprise but a pleasant one. Park Ilpyo is the “key,” a noble fighter that was inspired by Mori’s grandfather. We discover that Ilpyo wants to use his wish to heal his cousin that was left paralyzed by Jegal.
In flashbacks, we see that Jin’s grandfather, Jin Taejin, told Ilpyo to teach Mori a couple of things. He does just that when he and Jin fight in the semifinals. He starts off taunting Jin, critiquing his fighting style, and besting him in close combat. Mori overcomes each of these limits by using the techniques of Mira and Daewi. Just when you think that Jin is going to get the comeback victory (in most series he would), it’s his apparent defeat that triggers his ascension to the Key. The God of High School is turning out to be more than I expected. The animation in the episode, specifically during the fight between Jin and Ilpyo was well done. You could see all the movements and they didn’t feel rushed.
How will Ilpyo handle being hunted
While all this was happening when saw battles between Nox’s Sang Mandoek and Park Mujin, saw the skills of The Six member Seo Hallyang (accompanied by music), and witness “God” fall through a gate in the sky. All this was visually stunning while being action-packed. The drumming from Hallyang’s Taiko drum corp added to the atmosphere. A thorough explanation of the powers in this series is still desired but The God of High School certainly features creative abilities. I often criticize this series for being too fast-paced but The God of High School episode 10, proved that they could balance many things at once. Making Ilpyo the Key was an unexpected outcome, I wonder how he will fare now that he’s become everyone’s target.
Mori rushes to find his grandfather. The tournament has reached the quarterfinal stage. However, with Daewi suspended and Mori missing, they’re in trouble. Judge P tells Mira and Daewi that the match will begin in five minutes and if Mori doesn’t show, they forfeit. Mira opens against Lee Marin, a dark-skinned bald guy that fights in a thong. Elsewhere, Mori reaches the abandoned warehouse, where he locates his grandfather. Meanwhile, Mira struggles to land direct hits on Marin, due to the later being covered in tanning oil. Marin attempts to suplex Mira, but she stops him by striking him in the stomach. Suddenly, Marin’s teammate tosses him Mira’s sword. He and Mira clash, with Marin breaking her sword.
He reveals the sword’s “true power.” It’s a metal sword, that resembles a yin and yang symbol where the sword and hilt meet. Marin calls it the “National Treasure, Fengxian,” and its a “weapon of the gods.” Mira manages to get the sword from Marin, but it teleports back to him as he is the “owner.” Mori tries to wake his grandfather, however, it turns out that his “grandpa” was a fake, and it blows up. A mysterious man apologizes for “killing” Mori. He merely wanted to stop the “key from awakening.” Unfortunately, for him, Mori gets up. Marin stabs Mira through the stomach. Meanwhile, Daewi battles against one of the South Gyeongsang team members. She’s a weird fighter that wears an outfit similar to the one Bruce Lee wore in Game of Death.
Mira gets her Charyeok
Their fight is cut short when Jegal Taek interferes. While fighting, Mori learns that the real Jeju team was killed by the Nox. Mori stands up and applies several pressure points that stop him from feeling pain. Meanwhile, Mira is up against it but she refuses to lose. Before Marin hits her with a finishing blow, she hears the voice of the great hero, Lu Bu Fengxian. Determined to get stronger he lends her his power, becoming a Charyeok. Marin responds with his own Charyeok, Kraken. Mira evades the attacks from Kraken, countering with Fang Tian Hua Ji. She wins, then collapses as Mori catches her. With Mori in attendance, he and Nah begins their battle. Mori quickly dominates, then he attacks with his move Blue Dragon Kick. However, it’s not enough, so he uses another original move Twin Blue Dragon Kick.
In my last review, I was concern that Mira was being left behind. I glad that I was wrong and she was the first to get her Charyeok. Lu Bu Fengxian is not only well matched to her abilities, it’s cool as well. With Mori using his techniques, now Daewi is the one that’s left behind. Seeing as he’s was the one the most wanted a Charyeok I fully expect him to receive one. The one issue I’m having with this series is I don’t know what’s going on or at least I don’t feel like I do. The tournament itself doesn’t feel like it matters much. The God of High School fails to center it and I’m losing interests (not in the show) but in won wins this tournament.
The National High School Tournament begins with Group A. Our trio, team Seoul, faces off against the team from North Chungcheong. The team format is simple, each team will fight one on one, with the first team to reach two wins moving on. Jin fights first against Nah. However, when he tries his new pressure points to strengthing his attacks he paralyzes himself. He’s defeated by Nah. It’s an unexpected and funny moment. The God of High Schoolis making it clear that we can’t assume Jin will win every match. Elsewhere, the assassin from Nox, Drake McDonald is gloating about killing the Judge Q. However, his arm is severed by Q’s charyeok Joker.
Meanwhile, Daewi fights the 38-year-old high schooler, Jin Pumgwang. He dominates Daewi with powerful attacks he mastered doing psychical labor. We get the backstory of the Chungcheong team. If there is a weakness in this series, it’s the pace and the flat characters. I’m not moved by any of these backstories. Anyway, Pumgwang possesses a charyeok named Thor’s hammer. However, Daewi destroys it with his Blue Azure Dragon. The hammer vanishes and Pumgwang faints, handing Daewi the win. Meanwhile, Judge Q and Drake fight with the former using a scythe. Q cuts off the other arm, however, Drake’s charyeok a caterpillar regenerates him. Judge Q isn’t concerned and attacks. However, he’s interrupted before he can make the death blow.
Judge Q faces Priest Exly and Priest Saturn
The two intruders are called Priest Exly and Priest Saturn. Impatient, Q attacks with a deck of cards. Priest Exly develops wings and carries Priest Saturn to the air. Saturn then calls several hands from a shadow in the ground. Manifesting his scythe, Q begins cutting them, however, he eventually gets bound. Exly releases a sword and comes in for the final attack. However, he’s rescued by Judge O, though he doesn’t seem to need it. Elsewhere, the battle between Mira and Jang Jangmi. Both are armed with wooden swords. Jangmi releases that Mira is a superior sword user, she releases her charyeok. We switch back to the fight between Judge O and Saturn. Armed with a gun-shaped like a cross, that shoots pink lasers from pink teddy bears.
Judge O reveals his charyeok is a dragon. The episode jumps between fights too quickly. After Q gains an advantage over Exly, we are swiftly returned to the fight between Mira and Jang. Using her light sword charyeok Jang prepares to win, but Mira uses Moon Light Sword Style No. 23: Wind Willow and shatters Jang’s sword, knocking her out. Team Seoul wins. We shift back to the battle between the Judges and Priest. The Judges seem to get the upper hand forcing Priest Exly and Saturn to flee. Still present Drake’s head explodes. Park believes there’s a mole in their organization since the Administrator’s addresses are secret. He’s informed that Jin Taejin has gone missing.
The brutal Jegal Taek
Meanwhile, the second match begins. Jegal Taek and Jeon Jugok face off. Jegal Taek brutalizes Jeon with his Megalodon charyeok that crushes the later leaving a pool of blood. Both Jeon teammate and Daewi interfere in the beatdown. There’s so much going on in this episode, maybe too much. The shorter season may have put pressure on the series to cram a lot into each episode. There were at least 5 separate fights in this episode. This leads to an episode that’s paced too quickly. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the action but it would have been better in two separate episodes. I hope we get some kind of explanation on charyeok because I would like to learn about them. Another small criticism, there are too many characters name Jin. I don’t know if it’s intentional or a problem with translation but I found it confusing.
The first few episodes of God of High School focused on action-packed fights between combatants at prelims in Korea. With each regional tournament over, a few weeks remaining before the main event, Park decided to alter the rules to allow more “tiger cubs.” This works at two levels within the story, Park gets to see more of the fighters to find the “key” and our trio gets to fight together. Park decided to allow the top three finishers to represent their respective regions in the new team competition. Jin, Han, and Mira represent the Seoul team.
Episode 6, fear/SIX, explains the God of High School universe, introducing new characters and upping the stakes. The Nox organization enter the picture, assassinating two members of the God of High School org. Meanwhile, Park Mu-Jin’s calls for the elite group of fighters The Six. We also get a glimpse of the power that Jin’s grandfather possesses, as he defeats several men from Nox. The most interesting aspect of this episode was the reveal that Shim Bong-Sa (the ref) was blinded by the Moon Light Sword. It felt like he would become Mira’s master, but he is quickly killed off-camera by a Nox assassin.
If God of High School wanted to make us feel sorry for Shim they needed to give us more time with him. Introducing him, showing us glimpses of his family (child and wife) felt shallow. Regardless, the episode was meant to set up the rest of the season. In this regard, it was mostly successful. I’m interested in the powers of The Six, the two new fighters, and what the trio will learn. However, I fear that the remainder of this season might feel rushed, potentially shortchanging the series. Hopefully, I’m wrong.
In my last post, I incorrectly assumed that Daewi’s friend died in the last episode. He’s alive, just barely. Daewi goal has always been to earn enough money to help his best friend. Woo Seungtae has an incurable disease. Woo and Daewi became friends after constantly fighting, Daewi doesn’t remember why they began fighting. Episode 5 of The God of High School, “ronde/hound” the clash between Mori and Daewi take center stage. First, Mori faces Byeon Jaehee the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu user. Unsurprisingly, Mori defeats him easily. If I have an issue with The God of High School it’s the fact that too many of the fights aren’t interesting.
Despite Daewi’s brutal beating of Mira, she doesn’t seem to hold any grudges. It doesn’t hurt that all her injuries are will be healed, but she acknowledges that they simply don’t know much about Daewi.
Daewi verses Mori
The fight between Mori and Daewi starts as an all-out brawl. The battle is more evenly matched than I expected. Mori flashbacks to the aftermath of Daewi’s battle with Mira, and vows to make him pay. Mori attacks Daewi with his Triple Kick. After knocking him down, Mori reaches his hand out to Daewi. However, Daewi contends that he never considered Mira or Mori to be friends. Elsewhere, Woo dies. Daewi unleashes a barrage of attacks on Mori while remembering the deal he struck with the administrator. First, he must overwhelmingly win the semifinals, then the finals.
Park Mu-Bong wants to see what Mori has to offer and is manipulating Daewi to this end. However, when Park tells him that Woo died he appears to lose his desire to fight. Park hopes to find out “who he truly is” by telling him. Suddenly, Mira interrupts the fight to give Daewi a letter from Woo. The contents of the letter renew Daewi’s spirit. After a spirited and visually stunning battle, Mori wins with his Blue Dragon Kick. A shadowy figure calls the tournament “boring.” Considering that Seoul was one of many tournaments I wonder if we’ll get to see the others.
The fight between Daewi and Mori was as expected. However, the art style shifts dramatically towards the end. The thin ink outline was specifically confusing. It was difficult to distinguish from Daewi and Mori. This was the only problem in an otherwise entertaining episode.
Well, this episode of the God of High School turned dark. The fourth episode titled “marriage/bonds” decentralizes the tournament. Instead, it focuses primarily on Mira and later Daewi. While walking home Mira is approached by Oh Seong-jin. A successful businessman and martial artist as her to marry him out of nowhere. Even more shocking is that Mira agrees. Seong-jin instantly comes across as suspect. This episode does very little to convince us that he’s sincere. Mira revealed early that her goal is to bring Moon Light Sword to prominence. Feeling responsible for ensuring that Moon Light Sword has a future she sees marriage as being the only way to accomplish that.
Daewi feels too outside to intervene. However, Mori doesn’t care. He believes that she’s making a mistake and aims to stop her. Furthermore, he thinks correctly that Seong-jin is tricking Mira. At the alter, we get a flashback of Seong-jin with the mysterious cult. It’s revealed that they want the “holy sword that can rule God himself,” and the “hand that can draw out that power.” This is the reason he wants to marry Mira. Elsewhere, Mori and Daewi encounter Seong-jin’s bodyguards. Daewi mostly does the work and intercepts Seong-jin’s attack. Mira remembers how she’s struggled with the burden her father left her.
Seong-jin escapes and Daewi crushes Mira
She remembers that he told her that “your technique will make your life play out as you wish.” Finally coming to her senses she tells Seong-jin that she can’t go through with it. He instantly flips out revealing his samurai Charyeok. He attacks Mira with it, cutting her across the abdomen. She seems unharmed and defeats Seong-jin with her Moonlight Style No.6. Despite this defeat, he escapes with the moonlight sword. However, Mira believes she no longer needs it. The last 5 minutes pivot dramatically to Daewi. He watches as his friend dies. This dramatically changes his stoic personality to a more brutal one.
First, he beats up the bullies from the store after they mock his friendship. Then he continues his brutality against Mira shocking everyone including Mori. The fight is quick, with Daewi hitting Mira in the wound she sustained earlier. As she bleeds, Daewi continues to pummel her. The ref finally intervenes as Mira lies in a pool of blood. He walks past Mori and says “see you in the finals.” Mira is likely to be fine considering the healing of nanomachines, at least physically. However, I don’t know how she going to take Daewi’s violent assault. Mori seems to have taken it personally. Daewi’s mental state is understandable his behavior regarding Mira is not. Despite this, I don’t think Mori will be willing to hurt him.
Episode 2 of God of High School introduces the motivation of the three main characters, the mysterious head of the tournament administration Park Mujin, and the villain Kang Manseok. Jin wants to fight and get stronger, Han wants money but doesn’t specify why, however, we see someone he loves is in the hospital. Mira’s dream is to revive her “family sword dojo.” Jin accidentally drops the sword into the river. This creates an opportunity for the three characters to bond as they work together to find it. The rest of the episode takes place at the tournament.
The Seoul Preliminaries Tournament is just one location in many. The winner will be granted a chance to participate in the National God of High School Tournament. Most of the matches are quickly over, as the cannon fodder is easily dispatched. The main match is between Go Gamdo and Kang Manseok. Once the fight starts Go takes the lead. Dominating with his Tai Chi techniques, he manages to knock Kang into the audience. Flustered, Kang is forced to use one of his arms. With his speed and fists, Kang switches the dynamic with Go.
Seemingly unsatisfied with a victory, Kang attempts to force Go to say “Please forgive me.” In flashbacks, we witness Kang at a moment of desperation, tearfully begging for his life. Regardless, Go refuses to beg and Kang becomes more sadistic. He breaks both of Go’s arms. Fed up, Jin interferes and strikes Kang with a devastating kick. In doing so he violates the rules of the tournament. Despite this, they continue to clash with Jin finally knocking Kang out. He’s then knocked down by the power of Park Mujin. Jin will be punished but the tournament will continue.
We don’t get much on Park Mujin, but for some reason, he was at the Pentagon in America. He seems to have harmed the President, but that wasn’t confirmed. At least we know what he looks like now. The God of High School made an explicit point of showing us that the nanomachines can heal a broken neck, so Go and Kang will be fine. With all the cannon fodder gone the next matches will feature all the important fighters. I expect that they will focus on one or two of the matches for now on. As for Jin punishment disqualification seems appropriate but the wouldn’t make sense for this series to continue right?
It is possible that since he only wants to fight strong fighters being kicked out wouldn’t be that bad. Han and Mira need to win the tournament more. That said if Jin wins the tournament he could give Han the money and help promote Mira’s dojo.
I have been excited about the anime The God of High School since it was announced. I’m happy to say that the first episode, set up/stand up wasn’t a disappointment. The God of High School is based on the manhwa of the same name, created by Yongje Park, the series follows Jin Mori, a martial artist practicing Taekwondo. The first thing that you notice is the animation and style. The God of High School is beautiful. The animation is fluid, but the series is also stylish. As Jin speeds through the city he encounters two old ladies. During each of these moments the animation shifts to a more childish animation style. The angles as he’s rides are dynamic and impactful.
This all adds to the manic energy the series presents. The God of High School is also funny. Jin and Yoo are both goofy. They meet after Jin runs Yoo over with his bike. He quickly convinces her to join him in stopping a thief. The third main character, Han, seems to be more laid back. Jin is typical of an anime main character. He’s a male with high energy and apparent love of food. The God of High School tournament features participants that are directly recruited by administrators. They’re permitted to use any style of martial arts and any kind of weapon. Given bracelets that monitor their vitals, the fighters are injected with nanomachines that monitor their physical status. These bracelets will heal “any injury immediately.” The winner of the preliminary and the tournament will be granted any wish.
The Battle Royale
After the announcer explains the rules he begins the battle royale. The battle royale is a convenient way to introduce us to our main characters and show us their skills. We got get official introductions but based on design and skills there are approximately eight main fighters. The main villain so far is Kang Manseok, a prisoner that has his arms tied together. As a result, he can only use his legs and speed to fight. He quickly defeats several fighters before encountering Yoo. The conflict is brief but shows several things. First, Yoo isn’t useless without her sword, Kang has mastered the use of his feet to the point that he can use his toes. It’s refreshing that Yoo is capable because female characters can often be useless in a series like this one. It remains to be seen if she will have a further impact during the tournament.
It rare for an anime to meet the expectations set by anticipation. However, The God of High School does just that. The larger setting and lore that exists hasn’t been revealed yet but I’m excited about the possibilities. The trio of main characters and the other fighters are thinly drawn right now, but I’m interested in learning more about them. The God of High School makes a massive impact right out the gate, with flawless visuals, good humor, and great action it has the potential to be a hit.
I have recently finished Megalo Box and gotten into martial arts anime, Baki, and Kengan Ashura on Netflix. I’ve always enjoyed anime with fighting like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Naruto. However, these series featured martial arts as part of a larger story they didn’t center around a tournament. Anime like Baki is considered to be sports anime. For the sake of this post, I will refer to them as martial arts anime. What separates the typical shonen series from martial arts anime is the level of analysis of fighting. You can find this during any shonen tournament arc, however, the martial arts anime take it to a whole new level.
Another difference is how powerful an average fighter is. Most martial arts anime keep things inside the ring. Later in the series, many shonen characters become so powerful that they couldn’t reasonably fight within a tournament psychical limits anymore, Dragon Ball Super tournament being an exception. Baki, Megalo Box, and Kengan Ashura are more than hyper-violent men brutalizing each other. All fighters have a backstory that tells the audience why they fight. Kengan Ashura, in particular, goes into where the style of each fighter comes from, and how that style functions. Each character has an arc to various levels of interest.
Regardless, my new found love of martial arts anime has set the table for the upcoming, The God of High School. Based on the manhwa of the same name, The God of High School is a series that follows Jin Mori and his friends as they compete in a tournament. The fighters borrow powers from the Gods and use a variety of fighting styles and weapons. It’s unclear whether the series will share the same type of detail as the other series, but I hope it will. I expect the series to focus on the fighters as people and warriors. Produced by MAPPA, the animation is stellar, and I can’t wait until July 6th.