set up/stand up
The God Of High School gets off to a fantastic start. Episode 1 drops us right in the heart of the story and delivers 22 minutes of pulsating action. It’s a heady, dizzying array of scenes all meticulously stitched together with really impressive animation. If this is a sign of things to come, we could be in for a really special season of anime here.
After a brief prologue involving a storm engulfing an island, we cut forward in time to see our protagonist Mori, reminiscing over words his grandfather told him before awakening from this bad dream in his room. Realizing what the time is, Mori races through the streets to get to his preliminary match but finds himself side-tracked while chasing a purse snatcher on a motorbike.
While in hot pursuit, he accidentally crashes into student Mi-Ra who happens to be admiring the muscles on a group of rejected candidates for the God of High School competition. As Mi-Ra joins the hunt and rides on Mori’s back, it happens to be passer-by Dae-Wi who saves the day, punching the motorcyclist and stopping him in his tracks.
With the trio meeting in the most unlikely way, all three attend the God of High School preliminaries, where they exchange pleasantries and prepare for the fighting ahead. It’s a breathless opener, one that works really well to establish the tone, mood and art style all in the space of the opening 10 minutes.
After a brief deep breath, the candidates make it to the arena and with bracelets depicting their fighting power, start to show off their stuff.
However, the fighters hit a snag when Kang Manseok enters the arena. Despite a handicap in place, he finds himself going toe to toe with both Mira and Mori. Just as the fight reaches its crescendo, we come to the end of the episode.
Wow, what an explosive bit of anime! Those 22 minutes absolutely flew by and the show has really come out the Summer Anime gates swinging. With non-stop action and some clever plotting, this anime has managed to tie everything together with a combination of humour and strong characterisation.
There’s some lovely visual effects too, including a good combination of traditional anime character designs, accentuated facial expressions and slick visuals, boasting black and white backdrops and artistic cut-away screens for different characters and certain fight animations.
This first episode really feels like everything, including the kitchen sink, has been thrown at us and to be honest it just seems to work! The episode completely catches you off-guard from start to finish and may well be one of the best anime episodes of TV this year.
We’ll have to wait and see if the rest of the show can follow suit but right now, this could just prove to be the bigger surprises of the year.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!