Anyone who knows me personally knows my preferred start to a series is en medias res. An explosive start is always the best way to introduce a plot. The less contrived the conflict the better. All that being said God of High School delivered a pretty decent episode. There is a strong central conflict. The B story directly correlates with the theme. Let’s get into what went right this week.
Before the intro music is even played we get a very promising plot arc. Seeing a group of potential antagonists, who in God of High School fashion have absolutely splendid character designs. The motivations even seem grounded in the world building of this anime, which builds anticipation for their arrival.
Now we see the different reactions to facing overwhelming power. This will not only become the central conflict of the episode but also its theme. Note how dread man is petrified similar to the flashback in the previous episode. Mori, however is more motivated than ever, despite impending consequences and a possible wardrobe change. This leads directly into the B-plot. Immediately we get some legendary characterization in this fight. The ominous words of “A wooden sword won’t be enough,” before Liberty Belle and glasses girl are throwing blows. The pacing here is pretty amazing as both fighters look like they can be unbalanced at any moment. When we finally see a character downed it is through strategic follow-up from a leading move that looks like can only be pulled off with the other fighter’s cooperation, but it plays nicely into the introduction of this character. Simply put I love this character’s motivation, Mise- (oof you gotta work a little harder than that.) Liberty Belle’s motivation, a harem fantasy, is something we’ve seen countless times in male anime characters. It’s particularly effective with this character due to her background in wrestling. It’s far more justified than the MC who just goes to school. Those of you who never truly experienced childhood should know wrestling (especially WWE) is a very male-dominated sports. The ambition to dominate those males is more than gender bending a trope. It’s grounding a motivation. And then plot armor. Liberty Belle manages to knock the sword away from glasses girl. Unfortunately glasses girl is the sword, and only uses a weapon to make her opponents feel better. She begins slashing at Liberty Belle’s tits and Liberty Belle passes out before her nip slips. After this we briefly get back to the A-story to find out Mori’s punishment. Mori, like most of us is punished for his actions as well as the act of existing. He is ordered to fight a commissioner. He is also given drugged food to awaken his potential, after one of the bad commissioners finds out the identity of his grandpa. A man who likely beat enlightenment into the bad commissioner if we are to base this event off the episode’s theme. Mori doesn’t take well to being drugged and passes out.
Back to the B- plot, we get a glimpse into haircut employee’s life, he is a humble man, who possibly works in a pachinko parlor. This gives context to the fight where we see his fortitude. In the next fight we see Haircut employee overwhelmed by iigh Yagami and his one-off notebook. This scene does have the most characterization in their clothing. iigh Yagami wears sweats, which compliments his loose fighting style, and lax behavior. Even the glasses are for his little notebook. Haircut employee is wearing his anime casual slacks and a collared shirt. This further evinces his concise form, and precise strikes. This is a possible allusion to work ethic as well, (we’ve all had to tough out some internal bleeding for a check.) when Haircut employee is willingly bludgeoned by iigh Yagami’s slip-up, he humbly accepts the next ass whooping. An attack that impacts his muscles, bones, and organs, but doesn’t chip the plot armor. We see the fight get serious as the two let out special attacks. There is some splendid animation here. The theme is also revisited. Despite being overwhelmed iigh Yagami smiles before the finishing blows are delivered.
Now we get to my least favorite trope, combined with my absolute favorite homage so far. Gomu Gomu no only the chosen may wield. Part of Mori’s drug training included eating fruit to unlock his power. While this power may be much greater than his previous strength, it is not stronger than the Jo-jo/One Piece cross homage. I am honestly offended by the accuracy in this impromptu “Death Battle”.
Kaizoku Mori even with his awakened devil fruit is unable to match up with the commissioner and resorts to evading attacks, and essentially fleeing. Eventually the comissioner is restrained in the same way you’d imagine Mori would be after interrupting the match. Don’t worry Mori had already won the match seconds into the exhibition. Everyone reacts differently to overwhelming power. Well played The God of High School. Well played.