The God of High School Episode 3

The God of High School Episode 3

Wisdom/Kingdom

The God of High School episode 3 lost me. The series has officially moved beyond the point at which I can accept what’s happening. It’s not that the series is too strange — One Piece is far stranger, yet still works. The problem is that there’s a disconnect between how the series is presenting itself and its reality.

It has an issue I see with a lot of shounen battle series where they try to have a semi-serious plot, but include a bunch of wacky things for no reason. For example, at the start of this episode, we’re shown what I’m going to assume is the main villain group of the series. And within this group is a girl who’s literally wearing a ball gag as part of her outfit.

She’s straight-up wearing a BDSM ball gag and a choker with a bell on it while attending her secret, evil organization meeting.

Some villains (probably) from the anime series The God of High School
Some villains (probably)

In the previous episode, I was willing to overlook the fact that Kang is clearly not a high school student despite partaking in this fighting tournament for high schoolers. But I don’t think I can overlook things like that anymore now that Mah Miseon’s background has also been revealed.

Miseon is the WWD Women’s Pro Wrestling Champion. That’s to say, she’s obviously not in high school.

The reason I could overlook Kang is that there are other battle series, particularly Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, in which high school students are depicted as being 6’5″ and 280 pounds of pure muscle. But with Miseon, it’s not just her appearance — even her background clearly indicates she’s not in high school.

And with all of this, I haven’t even touched on all the random abilities that were just introduced as well.

Abilities Awakened

The best battle series have a power system that’s explained early on and remains relatively consistent throughout. Alchemy in Fullmetal Alchemist, esper abilities in A Certain Scientific Railgun, and even devil fruit and stands from the aforementioned One Piece and Jojo’s respectively.

Bad power systems are those which are purely arbitrary. A great example of this is whatever magic system is used in The Seven Deadly Sins. In that series, there’s no real consistency and the characters just make up new attacks every time they go up against an opponent. There’s not even an underlying system that connects these random attacks.

But why is that important? Simply because without a set power system, anything can happen. If there’s no consistent framework, then characters can just pull a way to win a fight out of thin air, which is just bad writing.

Daewi creating a tornado by stepping forward from the anime series The God of High School
Daewi creating a tornado by stepping forward

The God of High School has previously hinted that it has a power system known as charyeok. However, with the exception of one ability I’ll discuss in the next section, the abilities we see in this episode don’t appear to be connected to charyeok; they’re arbitrary.

In her fight against Miseon, Mira loses her wooden sword and is forced to fight with her bare hands. But it’s revealed that while her sword couldn’t damage Miseon, she can create wind blades using her hands that can.

Because anime, I guess.

The same thing goes for Daewi, who revealed that he can create a tornado just by stepping towards his opponent. Oh, and he can also disintegrate a metal baseball bat with a single punch. And even his opponent had some random ability.

Now, I understand that some of these “abilities” could simply be visual depictions of their attacks, but the fact is that their attacks still have those effects.

The Work of an Enemy Stand

One ability we see in this episode that I do believe is connected to charyeok is the stand-like ability we see come from the green-haired commissioner Mori fights. It’s some sort of giant grim reaper/jester that’s not simply a visual representation of a fighting technique.

We know this because people, including Mori, react to the sight of this being; and Mori even physically interacts with it. Additionally, when this enemy stand appears, it’s accompanied by the dark purple miasma that has previously been associated with charyeok in the second episode.

An enemy stand (probably) from the anime series The God of High School
An enemy stand (probably)

At first, I was thinking that if the series goes down this path of stand-like abilities, it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, the grim reaper/jester we saw in this episode was pretty cool. But as I thought about it more, I decided that I’d actually prefer that there was just no power system in this series.

I know a lot of viewers of this anime enjoy the high-quality animation of the fights. And I enjoy the mix of good animation and actual fight choreography that comes from hand-to-hand combat. But once you add abilities like the one we see here, we lose out on both of those aspects.

The fight choreography is the obvious loser here, as the characters are no longer moving around and fighting with their fists or weapons. And from what I saw, even the animation during the fight against the enemy stand wasn’t at the level of the previous fights — probably because there was less choreography.

Including these abilities might be cool, but I think it’s going to take away from the main draw of this anime for most people. Just like how in Naruto, flashy jutsu are cool, but the best fights include complex, hand-to-hand fight choreography.

Conclusion

How did you feel about The God of High School episode 3? Does it suffer from the same issues many shounen battle series do regarding their “wacky” nature? Or do you not view that as a problem? And do you think the inclusion of a power system is good or bad for the series? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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