The God of High School – Episode 13 [Final Impressions]
You know? I’m kind of impressed that someone managed to take down God in the previous episode and I was too dense to realize that was what happened. But in my defense Mori and that gang was also pretty unaware of what was going on with the giant thing coming down from the sky, the teleporting, and the massive crater that used to be Seoul, so I at least feel a little better about that.
At the end of last week’s episode, it became pretty clear that Jegal Taek was the ultimate big bad of this season, which honestly caught me off guard considering Nox’s religious goals. I definitely thought that Jegal was just one of those nasty characters who would prove to be a pain in the neck, but I really never expected him to be the final boss of the season. Especially considering the motivations that were all at play with Nox, or even Mujin being the ultimate villain. Jegal can honestly be boiled down to, “If you have power you are a winner. I’m not a loser, so I seek power. I have the power; therefore, I am a winner.” And if that had been built up for more than one episode, I could definitely see that final battle having much more of an impact. I… just could never see him as more than a minor threat with the way they set him up, and it makes me disappoint to think like that.
As far as the big reveal of the episode, I’ll admit that I was definitely spoiled by it before watching the episode, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise to me when it actually came true. But at the same time, finding out that Mori is a God or something of that nature was a little bit expected. I mean, he’s the protagonist who is able to come up with his own moves that others have to rely on Charyeok for, so it wasn’t completely out of left field about his abilities. But! I really did like the line talking about how he wasn’t using borrowed power like the rest of them, that was certainly neat and gave me more of an appreciation for the overall reveal.
Regarding the big battle, despite not really seeing Jegal as an intense threat and knowing that Mori was going to be incredibly OP, I thought it was a perfectly fine final battle! If anything, I just really think that it was too short, but that’s a common theme with the entire series. But there really wasn’t significant struggle by our heroic team during that final battle, except for Daewi getting impaled prior to Mori’s awakening (and on that note…. You’d think that would be a super impactful moment! But they barely acknowledged it and Daewi was “fine” moments later! … I think I’m really bummed because there was so much potential for a lot of intensity and emotion, and they brushed right passed it.), and maybe a few scrapes and bruises along the way. Even when Jegal came back in his final form, and Ilpyo and the rest of the “idiots” all came together to take him down, it was hard to accept it as the final battle, because it really didn’t feel that way all around. Just… we had someone take down God, and the final battle was against some guy who really wanted to be a winner… I feel like there could have just been a little bit more. Don’t get me wrong though, it was a pretty cool fight to watch.
After the fight… I don’t really have too much to say about it, because it was a pretty predictable post battle situation. You know, main character puts aside their wants and desires for the benefit of others. But what I don’t understand is… on their team of three, could they only have one wish? Because it would have been an easy fix if Daewi or Mira asked for Mori’s wish, and then Mori was able to wish for his Grandpa back. I mean, it became pretty clear that there was only enough magic for one wish, but did they actually say only one wish would be granted at any point in the series? Fast forward to the end of the episode…. I’m not going to lie, I really, really didn’t like how they decided the end the episode so open. It’s pretty common to do a “where are they now” type open ending, but I really don’t understand how things can get even bigger than where they are now, and on top of that, there’s a bunch of new story threads they created with it that I’m worried won’t be adequately covered if they do give us a season two! I mean, we have the Grandpa retrieval mission, Find the Monkey King’s place of origin, Mujin and gang enter the presidential race, and Ilpyo is on a quest to find all the missing pieces of the key. It honestly, makes me hesitate to consider watching another season.
With all that said, I’d say for a finale…. this was pretty meh, but on the bright side they are definitely hinting towards a second season! So that’s good! Would I watch a second season? It definitely wouldn’t be a priority, but I’d probably check it out because I’m interested to see where it will go. Plus, this season gave us some great fights and emotional moments, so I think a second season would deliver on that as well!
The God of High School is an absolutely WILD ride. I knew next to nothing coming into this series and was honestly just expecting it to be a battle tournament through and through. And in some ways, that’s what it was, but rather than a complete series it felt much more like an arc part of a larger story. This anime had a lot of things that it wanted to do, and as a result, I really don’t think it was able to do a majority of those things well. That isn’t to say it was a flop, but I think…. they bit off a lot more than they could chew. Either cutting back the amount of content or allowing it to be a full 24 episodes probably would have resolved most of the issues that I, and many others, had with the series.
I’ll get the negatives out of the way first because they really aren’t all that surprising. This series is incredibly fast paced, so it’s hard to pick up on things as they are happening. It’s hard to catch all the exposition bits because it feels like you blink, and you’ve missed it. In the same way… I don’t really think they were able to explain a lot of the concepts and the relevance they had the story well at all. I think the Key and the concept of “Tiger Cub” (which by the way, technically still hasn’t been thoroughly explained because Ilpyo was a fox and Mori a monkey) were consistent points throughout the series where I felt we never got a solid explanation of them. Were they talked about? Yeah, they were, but they weren’t made as obvious as I would have liked. Quite frankly a lot of my frustration came from having more questions at the end of each episode than when I started which continued all the way through this final episode.
It was also super disappointing that we just sped through a lot of moments, especially fights that I was genuinely looking forward to. It became pretty obvious within the first or second episode that it was going to speed on by, but there were a couple moments where I would think to myself “why even show it at all?” because of how quickly the fights ended. And it’s frustrating because there are some genuinely good fights and moments in the show! But by the end of it all, I keep coming back to this idea of “what was the point in showing that?” Was it just for shock value? Because in the long run, these moments would do very little in the long run.
As for the positives of the series – if you’re looking for some really nicely done and exciting fight scenes to watch? This anime definitely delivers. And while the story surrounding everything may be a bit iffy, I find that there’s always a little bit of joy when you can turn off your mind and just watch characters go at it. Like the Commissioner Q battle? That was incredibly well done. I loved watching Ilpyo and Mori go up against each other (in my personal opinion I think Ilpyo should have one, but I digress) and even Mira awakening her Charyeok was fun to watch. Outside of fighting, I think the earlier episodes did a really good job of getting us invested in both Mira and Daewi. We get to find out what motivates them to be in the tournament and see what their stakes are and heck! I sobbed during Daewi’s episode! I mean, it wasn’t the most emotional thing out there, but it definitely tugged on those heart strings.
So, would I recommend this anime? That’s a tough call. Because it really depends on what you’re looking for from the series. If you’re looking for something that has some cool animation and where you don’t need to apply much brain power to? Then yeah! I’d say go ahead and give this anime a shot. But if you’re looking for something with a deep, complex, well-written story? Well, I’d recommend that you pass on this one. The ideas are all there, and it had the potential to be a phenomenal piece of storytelling, but it really fell flat in the end. And it’s for that reason that I don’t really know how to give it a number rating so if I had to give one it would maybe… be a 5.9/10. I don’t really regret the time that I spent watching this series, but I don’t feel inclined to re-watch it anytime soon and if a second season were announced… I would probably watch it, but I don’t know if I would be excited for it.
All in all, this series had a lot of potential and delivered on somethings but fell flat on others. If you’re at all interested, I would definitely recommend that you give a few episodes a try to see if the pace is for you. Some people really enjoy a fast-paced series, whereas others really need time for things to settle in. But I may recommend checking out the original webtoon as well to help fill in a lot of gaps along the way.