Despite being one of the most anticipated shows of the season, The God of High School has had a rough couple of first episodes. Episode 1 felt like it was on fast forward the entire way through, while episode 2 took some bizarre narrative decisions that didn’t seem to match the focus of the series at all. With this in mind, it gives me great pleasure to say that The God of High School episode 3 is the first episode of the series that I genuinely enjoyed thus far – although this does come with caveats.
Unlike episode 2, The God of High School episode 3 actually focuses on our three main characters and gives them some proper screen time for once. In fact, the entire episode revolves around three major fights featuring them: Mira vs. Miseon, Daewi vs. Seungtae, and Mori vs. his disqualification by taking on one of the tournament’s commissioners. This is much better than the disjointed focus of episode 2, which focused on a seemingly insignificant set of side characters.
The first plot thread, Mira vs. Miseon, opens episode 3 and ended up being the first portion of The God of High School that I genuinely enjoyed. This is mainly because of Miseon’s larger-than-life personality, being a pro wrestler who has come to participate in the Seoul tournament to build a harem of hot guys. Her clash with Mira also ties in well to some of the expository work done in the last episode: when Mira is forced to reevaluate the use of her sword, my mind immediately made the link between the last episode’s river scene and this one.
If Mira vs. Miseon relies on exposition delivered in the past, then Daewi vs. Seungtae had its work cut out for it in both explaining Daewi’s back story and delivering an exciting fight with Seungtae. At first, it’s not super clear what purpose delving into Daewi’s back story serves – is it just to fill in the blanks? – but then the idea of dealing with the pain and going beyond your limits turns out to be the way that our main character beats his foe. The animation and camerawork is also stellar, lending real force and impact to his elaborate karate moves.
Finally, The God of High School episode 3 gets to wrapping up the conflict with Mori. Parts of this plot thread are, in fact, scattered throughout The God of High School episode 3, but it is only at the very end that we get any resolution. Vying to stay in the tournament after his illegal interruption last week, Mori takes on one of the tournament’s commissioners, Q, in a fight that will no doubt prove divisive among viewers.
It’s not as if the series has been particularly realistic up until this point, but it is a bit of a tonal shift when Q summons a reaper-like phantom that looks like a giant version of something you’d find in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. That being said, I wasn’t really put off by this development in The God of High School episode 3 – perhaps it was because this cut was in one of the trailers, but I’m also just curious enough to see what happens next.
While I don’t think that the ‘three episode rule’ is actually particularly helpful – you can tell within the first episode if an anime is for you or not – it is worth bearing in mind when examining The God of High School episode 3. It may be enjoyable, but the two episodes that have preceded it were not – meaning that if you’ve already dropped the show at this point, I wouldn’t blame you. At least the animation is good.
You can watch The God of High School episode 3 via Crunchyroll.