First Impressions: The God of High School

Crunchyroll is at it again

Exhausting yourself by chasing a motorcycle on your bicycle right before a martial arts tournament does not seem like the best idea. What it is, though, is an excellent start to an adrenaline infused high paced action packed first episode. The God of High School, or GOHS for short, is the new and highly anticipated Crunchyroll original animation. Following last season’s Tower of God success, it should be a given that otaku and fans of The God of High School Webtoon have high hopes and expectations for this “K-anime” adaptation. I’m happy to say that the first episode was awesome, so there’s no need to worry anymore.

Characters posing in front of a white background with dark yellow paint depicting a capital G.
The God of High School promotional poster

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to read this popular Webtoon, so I’m not really familiar with its story. The only things I knew going into it were that it’s Korean, it’s about fighting and that it’s really popular. You can imagine my surprise when I actually found out what the fuss was about. It’s fast, it’s funny and it certainly does not skip out on the fight scenes. Apart from a few minutes of dialogue, it was all action, which is not bad at all. Certainly, although the animation is excellent, the art style needs some getting used to but this is understandable, considering the source material.

Speaking of source material, I’m not quite sure about this but I may have preferred this in Korean instead of Japanese. Although I’m used to listening to the characters speaking Japanese, I find it a bit odd to adapt a Korean Webtoon (that takes place in Korea) and skip the Korean. I’m sure that there were plenty of reasons for this but it kinda bothers me. Besides, it’s not like we can all speak Japanese; most of us need subtitles to understand what is going on. I know that the Tower of God was also in Japanese but to me, the setting was so outlandish that the language was not really a problem. However, this time it kinda is. Maybe it’s just me. My point is that Korean dramas, as well as K-pop are popular in the west. It’s not like Korean is more foreign than Japanese. I understand that the target audience is used to Japanese, as am I, but still, I find it odd. Nonetheless, it is an excellent production.

There are some things, however, that I would like to point out. Although there was plenty of comedy, it was fairly childish and slapstick. There’s nothing wrong with that but I felt as if I was watching Sunday morning cartoons. Still made me laugh though, so I can’t really complain. Now, let’s talk about the fighting a bit. As I said before, the fight scenes were awesome but they were not necessarily what I had initially expected. Granted I hadn’t read the manhwa, so I was clueless, but I was expecting a more detailed and authentic fighting choreography. I now realize that GOHS does not aim for realism but for something more profound, which is looking cool. Considering the fact that there is a supernatural element to the story, it makes sense.

Crunchyroll has been doing a pretty good job so far with its original animations. At the very least, what is certain is that the idea to animate all these loved web manhwa has been a very good decision. Obviously, taking something that people love and trying to animate it can be a gamble but I’m glad that it has worked out so far. It seems to me that the people at Crunchyroll are doing their best to dispel any apprehensive feelings people might have towards non-Japanese source material. The work that has gone into The God of High School definitely supports this. You should watch it.

Score

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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