This is clearly one of those shows where less is not more – and unfortunately, The God of High School just doesn’t commit enough to its ridiculousness to carry it off.
I wouldn’t say I’m a martial arts aficionado, but every now and then, I’m definitely in the mood for something dumb and action-packed, and that’s certainly what The God of High School promises on the tin. And to be fair, right from the very first episode, a bunch of (very willing) high schoolers are tossed into one big ring in an auditorium and told to fight in a battle royal-style tournament, using whatever style of martial arts they like and any weapon they like, until their opponents either surrender or are knocked out, so I guess I can’t really claim false advertising.
My main problem with the series so far is that everything feels like it’s playing it too safe. If you’re going to present me with a bunch of testosterone junkies (and a couple of big-bosomed side-characters to balance things out, of course) whose main mission in life is apparently to win the high school version of Dragon Ball Z’s World Tournament, you better not pull any punches. However, while The God of High School has many of the hallmarks of a show that obviously knows it’s ridiculous and is leaning into these comedy aspects, it falls short of the high-energy insanity that makes other stupid action and/or crazy high school shows like Kakegurui so entertaining. In this context, anything less than MAX 110%!!! Just feels flat to me, no matter how outlandish the premise.
Production-wise, The God of High School is fine, but nothing particularly special. There are a couple of curious art decisions in terms of the character designs that I assume are taken directly from the source material – for example, the way the noses are shaded – but honestly, once again, I expected something more… well, more. Sadly, the most notable thing here is that the main character seems to be walking around with what looks like either a poorly-designed sleeping mask or an even more poorly-designed bra on his head, which, as far as making characters visually interesting goes, feels like a fairly lazy attempt to me.
I might give this series one or two more episodes to see where it goes, because frankly, there are only one or two other titles scheduled for this season that look even tolerable. My first impressions were mixed at best though, so I’m not holding my breath on this one.