Don’t fall for the hype unless you’re a fanboy
Let’s get this out of the way immediately. I do not think The God of High School deserves all the hype that it has gotten. I struggle to understand why this has been popular but I think I have some ideas. I’ll say this right away: I’m not going against the trend just for the sake of being different, I have done my best these last three episodes to enjoy this anime but I have found it very difficult to do so.
Just before writing this review, I watched the latest episode. I am honestly very disappointed with how the story has unfolded so far. To begin with, there wasn’t much of a story to speak of. However, I was hoping for some supernatural developments that might spice things up a bit, evidence of which we saw on episode 3. What we got, though, was a fourth episode that seemed more like a cartoon crossed with a soap opera, perhaps with a little drama thrown in as well. To me, it has shown that the creators of this series (or the original source material) don’t have a really good idea on what makes a good story. Forcing us, the viewers, to accept friendly relationships, to swallow heartfelt emotions, to be thrilled by anticlimactic developments, is not really something a good story-teller would aspire to do. These things should come naturally. To put it simply, I honestly do not care at all about Mira and her past. At least, not yet. Perhaps, if I had a little bit more time, then I would have. We can all understand tragic events but that doesn’t mean we necessarily sympathize. Also, episode 4 showed me that The God of High School is facing a serious problem with its villains. You introduce a new character, you make him out to be a bad-ass and he turns out weak. His actions were so inconsequential and so disappointing that made me yearn for Scooby-Doo villains that had more character development and back-story in a single episode. Wasn’t the purple-haired dude a master of whatever? Didn’t he boast that he knew the special sword technique? Wasn’t he cool af? And what? He got slapped away? And then escaped in his car like a cartoon character? Wow… Also, the whole touching moment between Mira and her uncle and cousin was way too sappy and cringey. Especially combined with all the sentimental music. For me, it was a badly directed and badly written scene. Imagine going to the club, you start dancing, you have your expectations in order, aka. drinks, jumping up and down, sweaty people and then suddenly the DJ slaps you with some Mozart. What a let down.
If there is one good thing about The God of High School is that the animation is very good. There are absolutely no complains there. Before you start saying something along the lines of “But this anime is about the fighting, not the story!”, I’m sorry but the fighting isn’t really that good. Are you sure you remember what good fight scenes are like? If this anime is about fighting, then how much fighting have we actually seen? Was it really that good? Also, if any of you have ever done any martial arts, you may have realized that when they say “Tae-Kwon-Do”, “Karate” or whatever, it means absolutely nothing. Especially, the Karate guy, Daewi, has only thrown one type of punch. The world-famous back-alley drunk scuffle between two idiots type of punch. Not very impressive.
Obviously, this is how I see GOH but I bet that I’m not alone and I also bet that the hype will soon run out and Crunchyroll’s efforts to promote this ‘amazing’ anime, will eventually burst like a bubble. If you are a fan of the source material, then that’s your own thing. I understand that having the opportunity to watch the anime adaptation of -perhaps- your favorite Webtoon is amazing. Under no circumstances would I discourage or complain about more manhwa adaptations. (I personally would lose my mind if a Solo Leveling adaptation would be announced. Lose it!) However, if we’re talking about anime, then we need to be objective. Objectively, there are far better anime out there. If GOH continues down this path, then I will probably not be the only one disappointed by it. I had high hopes before it aired, less after the premiere episode but now, I have even less to spare.