God Of High School : Episodes 1 – 4

God Of High School (or GOH) is a new anime that’s taking the internet by storm. It’s one of the few Korean manwha to be animated, and based on what I’ve read,  it can only get better. The story involves an absurdly strong high schooler joining a fight tournament with the reward of being granted one wish. The anime specifically uses this simple premise to bypass all the world-building in order to get straight to the main selling-point of this series, the fighting!

Loving the Sounds

Dawei

If I were to name GOH’s strongest asset, it would be the music (Nani!?). Yes, nearly every track that I’ve heard is memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed the intro, the outro, the trailer theme, and even the music during battles. Someone from the studio wanted to ensure the audio stood out, and I would say they achieved their goal. After re-watching the episodes, I think it’s safe to say the sound is also contributing a fair amount to the fights’ presentation. I have no complaints about the sound production what-so-ever at this point in the anime.

Questionable Fights

kick

Now GOH’s second strongest asset would have to be the action, which admittedly is also a slight demerit considering it being an action anime. The fights look smooth and slick, and the hits feel impactful as well. The only issue with that is that fights don’t last long. Not only are they quick, the animators swing the POV all over the place, making it hard to keep a clear view of the fight. It’s clear that they want the emphasis to be on hard-hitting attacks rather than actual choreography, which is a shame since GOH has the potential to master both. I’ve watched countless martial arts/action anime and I think we’re already saturated with pretty fights with little substance.

Who Are These People?

fight1

Now everything else just goes to the abyss at this point. The two main factors of this are the characters and pacing- oh by the gods, (of high school) the pacing. The anime doesn’t want use to lose interest so in episode one, it starts us right off the bat with action. It sprinkles a little on who our characters are, and what their motivations are. However, because it sweeps past those motivations so fast, I still don’t feel quite attached to him. However, perhaps the anime could make me like them as a person, well that’s a bit troublesome. Jin Mori is a carefree hero, similar to Goku (Dragonball Z), but Jin is so self-indulgent, he pushes himself into lives of people he just met. He comes off as someone who is trying too hard to be your friend on an uncomfortable level. The anime points this out in episode 4 but it negates the criticism because in the end, Jin Mori was right all along. Dawei is the most likable simply for being the most sensible character. Mira gets the shortest end of the stick in the anime. She is constantly being assisted by the other two and despite her accepting their help, she still treats them harshly. Her reluctant relationship with Mori and Daewi was more gradual, with her eventually putting down her walls and letting them in. Sadly the marriage arc was terrible in the webtoon so there was no way of saving episode 4.

So Far, So-So

judges

All in all, so far I don’t buy that these guys are true friends, which makes the ending of episode 4 less of a shocker, and more of a, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” Daewi was made to look like a villain in the fight instead of a man reluctant to hurt his wounded friend. The pacing has mowed over the foundation of their friendship so perhaps it will be ironed out later. I hope GOH picks up in the fighting and character development as the series continues. I’ll be following the anime regularly from now on. Stay tuned!

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