Seasonal Showcase — The Unstoppable Force of The God of High School [Summer 2020: Week 1]

The first week of the Summer 2020 anime season has now fully concluded, and despite the lack in number of shows that the season has to offer us, there’s still plenty of great shows to partake in for our viewing pleasure. Since the season has such a small, awesome selection of shows, I figure this was a good chance to spice up the Seasonal Showcase posts by doing something a little different than the previous seasons. 

This time, I will be trying a different approach to the posts in selecting an individual show that I find interesting and focusing on that instead of lumping them all together in one post midway through the season. Think of this more as a weekly selective focus on a particular show than a general overview, although I also recommend checking out General Tofu’s new weekly seasonal check-in posts if you want that sort of content instead! 

Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy the seasonal anime adventure we’re about to set out upon!

As the season begins the slow wind-up before all of the shows begin to hammer out the heavy plot points and heartfelt emotions, there is one premiere that really stood out to me for a number of reasons. Perhaps it’s that I never really watch a whole lot of action or shounen shows in general, mostly because something about them never really catches my interest at first. However, it seems that rather often when I do end up watching one, it turns out to be pretty good, and this season’s The God of High School exceeded my expectations when it came to having a mind-blowing premiere.

While the show is mainly action-oriented with a lot of different martial arts showcased across what appears to be a massive tournament, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing going on beyond the action. Actually, within the first episode, the tournament ring fighting remains a small part of the episode, with most of the focus being about our main protagonist Jin Mori as he tries to hunt down a thief that’s taken an older lady’s purse. At first, this sounds like a really low-stakes and somewhat lackadaisical way to start a series by generally introducing us to how the main character acts and thinks about things, as many general action shows tend to do. What makes The God of High School different though is two-fold. 

The first of these being a rather minor structural element of the premiere episode, with the first few minutes of the episode showcasing some wild antics involving what I can only guess is some “political” intrigue, along with some scenes suggesting that the tournament itself has a lot of dark secrets behind it. This doesn’t really mean much at first, but as the tournament aspects of the first episode begin to be introduced, this small scene at the beginning really escalates the intrigue level of the overall tournament and its key players behind it all, making it that much more interesting to watch unfold later as Jin Mori will inevitably get himself tied up into whatever is going on behind the hosting of this tournament. With the addition of this scene and the introduction of Jin Mori’s character by chasing the thief, it really gives this sense of “scaling up” as more elements are introduced to us.

The second is involving how Jin Mori’s interaction with the purse thief allowed the introduction of many of our main characters within the show, producing one of the most fluid and entertaining character introduction sequences that I’ve seen in a show for a while. Having a large cast of characters is always difficult for shows to pull off correctly in the first episodes, and this show managed to give us insight as to who all of our main players are going to be. It allows the centric cast of Jin Mori, Yoo Mira, and Han Daewi to be introduced without having to go through the motions of having a bunch of introductory dialogue about the characters that the viewers are already aware of. The show takes the approach of introducing the characters and their personalities individually through various scenes and having them all slowly meet together due to Jin Mori’s chase of the thief.

It might seem like a really weird detail to become really enthralled at in a show that’s all about amazing martial art styles and attacks with names as long and crazy as classical music composers’ symphony titles, but I think it’s really important to value structural building blocks of shows like this, as I think it can really shape your view of a show by having a solid understanding for what elements are to be introduced later. The God of High School manages to build this foundation without sacrificing any of its interesting parts to do so, and that’s one of the reasons why I found the premiere episode of this show phenomenal, despite the genre not being one that I typically indulge myself in.

There are some other interestingly unique aspects as well, such as the Korean setting in Seoul, the massively dubstep-like opening sequence, and that the entire show’s premise seems to basically be an entire shounen-anime tournament arc, but I think that the characters being introduced in the clever way that they were was what really sold me on this show as a whole.

Even if The God of High School is strictly not something you may be interested in as a concept, I recommend checking out the first episode for the sole reason mentioned above, as the structural introduction of the characters using seemingly disconnected scenes and tying together minor plot details by an awesome chase scene conducted by our main protagonist Jin Mori is just amazing to watch unfold.

Hopefully the show can live up to those same promises of intrigue combined with action-filled sequences as delivered by its premiere episode.

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