With teams set, preparations complete, and unique abilities at the ready, the next round of the God of High School tournament is officially underway and growing evermore deadly by the minute.
Representing Seoul on the national stage, Jin, Han, and Yoo’s first-round bout pits the trio against the team from the North Chungcheong Province. Made up of a former troublemaker who turned straight, a struggling teenage swordswoman, and an overly optimistic leader, the opposing team exists as almost a perfect mirror of the series’ protagonists.
Yet, before a true comparison of skill between the two teams can be seen, Jin disables himself by activating the wrong set of pressure points in a failed attempt to power himself up for his match and is quickly knocked out of the ring by his opponent.
As the match proceeds, Han secures a narrow victory over the North Chungcheong’s leader after his Charyeok-summoned hammer is overpowered by Han’s Full Contact Karate, while Yoo secures her team’s entrance in the next round with a swift victory over her Charyeok wielding counterpart which sees Yoo shatter her opponent’s weapons with nothing more than her bare hands.
However, the team’s advancement to the next round is put into jeopardy at the end of the episode, as a particularly violent match leads Jin to risk disqualification by rushing to the stage in an attempt to stop the brutality, only for him to be beaten to the literal punch by Han.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Judge Q has not actually died, as the green-haired commissioner proceeds to launch a surprise attack against his captor. Judge O soon appears to rescue Judge Q and the two fight back against the madman and his allies, who are soon identified as members of the mysterious Nox organization.
The episode-long fight is a beautiful display of Charyeok-skills that ultimately results in a retreat by most of the attacking Nox members and the survival of the two judges.
What would any good shonen series be without a signature power source, such as Devil Fruits, Stands, or Ki? In this episode, audiences are introduced to the concept of Charyeok, or the borrowing of power from the Gods.
This is done spectacularly, as each Charyeok is seen to be unique in both ability and visual appearance, with some existing as giant beam swords and others as flame-covered dragons. Given the range of Charyeok seen in this episode alone, it should be exciting to see what further unique abilities appear throughout the rest of the season.
Surprisingly, despite the lack of focus on the main trio, one highlight of this episode is the writing. Most of the episode’s intrapersonal attention is given to the North Chungcheong’s team, particularly to the backstory of the team’s 40-year old leader.
The story of a middle-aged man who continues to attempt to graduate from high school in the face of his many failures, while also serving as a beacon of hope to those around him, was genuinely heartwarming and makes the fact that this is the character’s only appearance in the series a disappointment.
This episode’s visual highlight is easily the fight between Judge Q, Judge O, and the Nox attackers. Between the distinguishing animation of each unique fighting style and the otherworldly designs of the Charyeok’s, each scene stands out as visually distinct despite taking place in the same location.
The fight is also an especially bloody one, with arms being severed and blades being stabbed through torsos, which serves as a strong visual reinforcement of the overwhelming power provided by the Charyeoks.
The God of High School continues to up the ante week-by-week, and with the introduction of Charyeoks, things are only set to get more dangerous and exciting from here on out. It’s sad to know that the middle-aged leader of North Chungcheong won’t be making another appearance, but the episode balances his temporary character with the introduction of a more bloody and violent tone to the tournament’s national round. As the trio of protagonists is no doubt on the cusp of discovering their own powers, audiences are left to wait until next week to see if it can be done before one of them becomes a casualty.
- Charyeok designs
- Fight scene between the Judges and the Nox henchmen
- North Chungcheong team’s backstory
- Heavy focus on temporary characters
- Jin's removal in order to make the match "fair"