Tournament Arcs… everybody loves them as it showcases a character’s powers against others. I know that I look forward to a tournament arc in almost any anime I watch. Some shows and series, such as Mirai Nikki and Platinum End, are exactly that: just one big tournament arc spread out over the course of the main story. With that being said, Crunchyroll’s original series, The God of High School, looks to throw its name into this very limited genre. Can it measure up to other series who had already tasted some success?
First Episode Synopsis
Jin Mori is late for school so he grabs his bike and heads off at warp speed. On the way there, he runs into a little old lady who has had her purse stolen. He noticed the thief getting away on a motorcycle and decides to abandon making it to school on time and chases down the thief. Right away we open up with a high-speed chase that you kind of need to suspend your disbelief on for a bit. You have to pretend that pedaling on a standard bike is equivalent to the speed of a high-powered motorcycle. While it doesn’t’ seem feasible in the real world, this is anime and right away, it makes you question just how strong Jin is if he can keep up with just an ordinary bike.
During the chase, he runs into (quite literally) a girl by the name of Yoo Mira (or Yu Mi-Ra in the original Korean Manhwa). After a quick explanation, she joins in on the pursuit of the thief, feeling sympathy for the old lady. Just when Yoo is about to execute a sword strike to take him down, she hilariously faceplants into a highway sign. The thief, thinking he got away, runs into the fist of our third main characters Han.
After the thief is caught, they all congregate at “school.” I use that term loosely because this is actually a fighting tournament with the strongest person standing being declared The God of High School. Apparently, the prize for becoming God is having your wish granted no matter what it is. The rest of the episode is comprised of a large-scale battle royal. Things are going well until an overpowered late entrant shows up named Kang. Yoo takes him on first but then Jin intervenes. They are about to clash when suddenly… episode over!!
YES – This show has me hooked. Due to the high-octane action of the first episode, I could hardly believe it when the 23-ish minutes passed. I was really getting into that battle royal and when it ended, I was actually in a state of shock that it was over already. You know a show has your attention when you forget about the passage of time and you’re just hooked on everything happening on the screen. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve come across a series that has made me lose track of time that much on its very first episode.
Typically, that will happen with me when a series heats up and gets really intriguing as was the case with Steins;Gate or Shiki. It has that build up to make you think that the series is worth sticking with and then it hits you with the good stuff and makes you beg for the next episode to come. The God of High School opened up with an episode that you would typically find in the middle of a series. Usually, you would get character and world introductions. You would establish a main story, explore the lives of the characters, hear about the tournament, and then witness it all unfold after the show did its job of getting you hyped.
They just throw you straight into the fire from the first episode and while it is a bit of a tricky tactic to pull off, I feel that it worked and worked well! Cut out all of the B.S. and just get to business straight out of the gate. Because as such, it draws you into the action and makes you want more! The well-choreographed fights coupled with a banger of a soundtrack just fills you with energy each and every step of the way.
With 13 episodes, I’m sure there will be downtime to allow viewers to breathe but if it can keep up this kind of pacing and action throughout the season, this could be an Anime of the Year contender! We still have a long way to go before we can say that for sure but it’s off to a great start!