What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut of The God of High School! Next to maybe Tower of God, I don’t think I have run into a more anticipated anime series debuting this year. Normally I don’t get hit with hype like that, but this one so far has been the exception. It helped that most of the teasers and trailers give you a lot to look forward to from it too. On one hand you have the animation handled by MAPPA, and on the other hand this is another one of those series out there that really tries to indulge you in some good old fashion hand-to-hand combat.
Now as someone who has never read the manga, this first episode was one of intrigue. What I was looking for was a story that was aiming to put everyone on the same level as one another. In other words, create an introducing that didn’t leave you asking too many questions about the way this world works, or who our main character is.At best if you are someone who is strictly an anime watcher, then you know this action anime follows a high school student Jin Mori and his friends as they compete in an epic tournament in which they borrow the power directly from the gods. While you walk away from this first episode knowing what ‘The God of High School’ is, and the endgame that is the winner is granted any wish they desire, that is pretty much it. Everything else is something that will have to be worked towards over time. Not that I have a problem with that either. Instead they took the route where they grab your attention and investment through spectacle.
As the main character, Jin Mori we got to know mainly through his personality and quirks. I was already impressed with this character for the fighting technique he uses in action, but I wanted to get to know him personally. It matters to know if the main character is someone you want to invest in, without the cliche of being overbearing. What I mean by that is being loud and needing to be the center of attention. So far? I wouldn’t say that is Jin. A good thing for now, and I hope it stays that way when a lot of other characters like him that I have seen in such series tend to lack in charm. Fortunately, I wouldn’t say that concern is either of the other two main characters we have been introduced to too. Each of them ” unique in their own way between personality and style of combat. Yu in particular caught my eye because they quickly stomped that cliche where the female character is the constant underdog. She is a bit goofy, but formidable in a fight. The same could be said for Han being formidable in his own way.
Other characters of interest were seeing as well. Even if for a moment, you could tell who was going to be a challenge for Jin, Han, and Yu. You certainly could tell who was going to be a problem for everyone as a whole.
Going back to what I said before, they chose to go with the spectacle as their main attraction for the premiere. It was bold, but it also paid off. For a story that revolves around a tournament, they wasted no time at all jumping right into it. Well the preliminaries for it. Either way, it was a treat because we got a taste of what action looks like in this series, and it leaves you wanting more! This series right here is perfect for anyone who loves some straightforward action. Sometimes writers will try to hard for the sake of being creative and different from everything else. Sometimes they forget that all viewers want to see is something genuine. Real fighting styles clashing, not to mention real weapons used and used properly. For just what unfolded in this part of the preliminaries, they made a statement that above all else, technique matters. What makes a series like Dragon Ball so ageless? It is the respect and effort that is put towards capturing martial arts in its purest form.
That said, there was a lead up to the preliminaries. That was a bit silly for how much time was spent chasing after someone who stole a purse, but I wasn’t against them establishing what kind of character we were dealing with. Credit where it is due as well that they used that time to create a picture of what kind of world this is. Even if the main focus is the tournament, you would still want viewers to know that there is a world existing outside of it.
As I mentioned above, MAPPA is the studio handling the animation for The God of High School. This was a big draw-in for me. Of the numerous anime series I have seen since the start of the pandemic break, a fair number of series which stuck out to me were done by MAPPA. Their characters look more of their own. They are neither outrageous, or lacking in proper proportions. The actions in general are smooth and fluid. I mean even the hits from two people clashing comes with actual impact.
So taking all of that into account, did The God of High School meet the hype? It did! I wasn’t expecting them to sell me on one episode, but they pulled it off perfectly. When I got to the end of the episode, I was shattered because I was that into it. If an series has the potential to do that for me in the premiere? It is a automatic winner in my book.