God of High School, the Crunchyroll Original anime adaptation of the comic series from Yongie Park published on WEBTOON of the same name, has been one of the most exciting new animations. Produced by animation studio MAPPA, this fighting anime series follows high schooler, Jin Mori and his friends as they compete in an epic tournament: “God of High School.” Set in Seoul, South Korea the tournament brings together the best high schoolers from across the country to compete to have their heart’s deepest desires met. In God of High School episode 2, we get a taste of the fighters’ prowess and even get to see some of their brutal techniques.
Last episode closed with Jin facing off against the mysterious restrained fight Gang Manseok. Now, in God of High School episode 2 we see how it ended but more importantly we get more time with out main trio, Jin, Daewi, and Mira and learn about their different motives for entering the tournament. Having advance past the preliminary stage and with the next round coming up, the three of them talk about their reasons for entering the tournament. Mira says she’s hoping to find a strong man who can become the successor to her late father’s Moon Light Sword Style and rebuild her family’s dojo. Daewi says he just wants money. And Jin, pulls a Son Goku and with child-like excitement explains that he just wants to get stronger.
While it may seem shallow at first, God of High School episode 2 begins to deepen the bond between Jin, Daewi, and Mira and establish them as a team. But, like any good fighting anime, this is just the opening until the episode switches to the tournament, just like the debut episode. It’s here that we get a chance to see a litttle bit more of the skills and more specifically fighting styles of the different participants. While the episode doesn’t explain every martial arts style in the montage of fights, the climax, Gang Manseok’s fight against tai chi user Go Gamdo, does give viewer vital information on the very different fighting styles being used by each competitor.
The only complaint in my last review was the odd stylistic choice to make the nose and ears of each character look flushed. While this is still awkward to say the least, it is growing on me and the beautiful fight animation more than makes up for it. Fast movement in anime is often done in away that you lose visual of the actual character fighting, but in God of High School episode 2, regardless of speed, making sure viewers can see the martial arts being performed is kept at the forefront.
But with a new episode comes a new nit-pick that I didn’t notice in episode 1: the ring. The choice to use Crunchyroll and WEBTOON logos to line the ring feels awkward. With no other meta elements to the anime, it’s an odd choice to insert the logos into a series that can only be watched via Crunchyroll. While slightly jarring, it’s only slightly worse than WacDonald’s and ultimately stands as one off moment in a great episode.
While I mentioned the opening song, “Contradiction” last time, I would be remiss to not point out that I rewatched my screener’s opening multiple times before moving onto the proper episode because of how exciting the song is. Additionally, the opening sequence features a neon version of the introductions we got in episode one which shows quick bits of different fighting styles synced perfectly with the music.
Overall, God of High School episode 2 continues to bring surprises while also laying the groundwork to better understand each of our main characters. While Jin is a Goku-type character that usually offers up some annoying comedy, he’s executed well and his transition from happy go-lucky fighter to serious is something that I’m excited to see more of.
New episodes of God of High School air exclusively on Crunchyroll every Monday.
God of High School, Episode 2 - "Renewal/Soul"
- Rating - 9/109/10
God of High School episode 2 continues to bring surprises while also laying the groundwork to better understand each of our main characters. While Jin is a Goku-type character that usually offers up some annoying comedy, he’s executed well and his transition from happy go-lucky fighter to serious is something I’m excited to see more of.
Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.