For the amount of insane, amazing, and surprising events that happened this week, its genuinely surprising that oath/meaning is only the tenth episode of The God of High School’s premier season.
In the culmination of their season-long machinations, the disciples of Nox gather outside of the tournament arena while one of their highest-ranking members, Sang Mandeok, summons a giant, sword-wielding entity from the heavens above. The entity, which some in the area believe to a true manifestation of a God, is then directed to attack the tournament arena in order the proper amount of chaos and conflict needed to awaken the mysterious Key. However, Nox and the entity are soon met on the battlefield by Park Mujin, the Judges, and one of The Six, who fight back against the entity with their respective abilities.
Below, the God Of High School tournament rages on, as the Seoul team begins their match against the representatives from Jeonranamdo, whose membership includes the mysterious Ilpyo Park. After Yoo easily wins her match-up in the first round, Jin enters the ring for what turns out to be one of the greatest matches in the series thus far. As Ilpyo and Jin exchange blow after furious blow, it is soon revealed that Ilpyo’s goal is not to defeat Jin, but to actively coach him and push him to greater heights. In doing so, the intensity of the match eventually reaches a point that forces Ilpyo’s Charyeok to awaken in order to combat the new levels of power achieved in the match by Jin.
Spurred on by a request made by Jin Tae-Jin to Ilpyo to “teach [Jin] something” if they ever met, this fight is stands out as exceptionally well-animated and beautiful even amongst the high levels of quality seen during previous fights in the series. The animation is smooth and fully-realized, with each move thrown out by either Jin or Ilpyo given ta proper amount of follow-through and physicality, to the point where it almost feels as if the entire scene was rotoscoped.
Another highlight of this fight is the ever-evolving nature of Jin’s fighting techniques as he actively attempts to overcome the weaknesses in his fighting style pointed out by Ilpyo’s taunting. To this end, Jin is seen adopting techniques from both Yoo and Han into his own arsenal of moves. The moment Jin was able to tag the quick-dodging Ilpyo with the techniques of the Moon Light Sword Style is easily one of the most jaw-dropping moments of hype across every series currently airing this season.
Aside from the match between Ilpyo and Jin, the battle between Nox and the God of High School representatives is the other visual highlight of the episode. This is embodied most in the otherworldly appearance and descent of ‘God’ from the sky, whose rippling, cloudy black appearance emphasizes the esoteric nature of its existence. The appearance of The Six member Seo Hallyang, along with a fully animated Taiko drum corp, is a particularly fun element due to the visual distinctions made between Hallyang’s various weapons and the grounded appearance of the drummers amidst a chaotic, otherworldly battle.
Though there are still three episodes left in the season, it’s safe to say that oath/meaning is one of, if not the best, episode in the season. The series’ usual action-vs-exposition pacing melts away to give viewers an episode filled with compelling moments of both dynamic action and plot progression. Visually, the episode presents what may be the best fight thus far, as well as an over-the-top, shonen-style group attack.
It’s genuinely surprising that this episode was not the season’s climax episode, but that should only make viewers more excited for what’s to come.
- The animation in the fight between Jin and Ilpyo
- The insane visuals seen in Nox's assault
- The surprise of Jin using Yoo and Han's techniques
- The quality of this episode sets a high bar for the season's actual climax