What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about The God of High School “ronde/hound”! I am still floored by what happened last week. The further depth given to Mori was great. We got to see her desperation to restore value to the Moonlight Sword style, and how far her support system would go to help her to do it the right way. Though more than that we were hit with a shocker when seeing just how low Han Daewi would sink in order to win for his friend. If you were looking for a way that the final match would be heated? They surely found the right way to light a fire in both Han and Jin to make that happen.
This episode was all about the fighting, which more than makes up for the time spent outside of the ring last week. With the main attraction being Jin vs Han, I wasn’t too shocked that they were going to sweep over the match Jin had beforehand. When you already know Jin is going to win, and probably win flawlessly, there isn’t much point in giving attention to something which isn’t going to be very memorable.
So I for one appreciated the quickness they took towards jumping right into the last match of the preliminaries. Credit where it is due that they made this match-up worth waiting for. If there was any concern to have about this match, it was that they were going to give Jin too much of an edge over Han. It seems like the one thing you hear most about the series is how OP Jin is, or maybe how OP he will become. This was never going to be that time to indulge in that kind of cliche for a main character. This made the choreography for the match much more entertaining since we were seeing what looks like when two powerful fighters are just going blow for blow. Personally, I was thrilled that they gave Han so many opportunities to really dig into his arsenal of moves. I was still reeling from the last match he had where he stopped short of using his fourth stance. As for Jin, the same could be said for the satisfaction I felt from him unleashing his own variety of moves, and one devastating technique at the end.
What also puts you in the moment is the visual styling of this match. MAPPA switched up quite a bit throughout the match, and not a problem could I find with it. The way they toyed with the effects and visualizations was the same way you felt about the match yourself. It was like watching art in motion. They really stepped up to the plate to make a statement that not everything has to have the same consistency all the way through, and it can still look appealing.
I’m not going to lie, Han’s story left me a bit of a mess. I was already loving the way they created created this motivation for him to fight and win, for better or for worse. Though it was another thing for them to find the time between the fighting to expand upon how these two friends formed the friendship they have now. It wasn’t a complex story, and it was straight to the point. People like them love fighting. When you find someone who understands that? Happiness can be the result. When you get to know Han, it is heartbreaking to think of what can happen to someone who feels that slipping because said friend is suffering and succumbing to something which can’t be easily treated.
What also got to me was how the match ended, because there was someone who had something to say about the direction the match was taking, and the words struck true. When you think about a series like this, the last thing you want to invest in is cliche drama. This thing which came between Jin, Mira, and Han could have gone a lot of ways, but they decided to take the approach which honors the kind of series this is. One which places a stronger importance on the bonds you create as fighters. That’s something which can’t be simply erased by a cheap shot.
Now I know that there are some viewers out there who have complaints about the pacing, but at the end of the day they do need to realize what kind of anime series this is. There will always be those out there which you would call tournament anime series, and not all of them will be the type to drag you along. When you ask for the kind of series which will hit you going from that one big thing to the next? That is The God of High School. You come for the action, you stay for the action, you get treated with stunning visuals, and there is still a story to follow. If you want the story, then you follow the action. That might sound weird, but there is nothing wrong with it either. Especially when they have not failed once to explore the reasons why our main characters have entered the tournament. I mean, for Jin there is still a mystery to unravel, though that is something I believe we can be patient for because it is going to take some explanation to match the guy we are seeing who is a beast in action.
All in all, The God of High School “ronde/hound” was the full package between action and storytelling. Both were pretty much one in the same, and that is really what helps this series to break from the mold.