The God of High School ‒ Episode 12

3 months ago 49

Normally, I try to give episodes as much time as possible to sit and linger with me before writing a review, but in the case of “FOX/GOD”, The God of High School is making it so that I pretty much have to get my thoughts down right away, because otherwise there isn't a chance in hell that I will be able to coherently recap what is going on in this mess of a story. Even then, it might be a completely useless effort on my part, because I really, truly cannot begin to communicate how frustrating it is to watch GoH enter its endgame. No amount of flashy spectacle can save this calamity of a story from itself at this point, and believe me, the show tries its best. About 90 percent of this episode is devoted to animating an apocalyptic battle between our heroes and the literal might of God, and instead of serving as a fitting climax to the show's narrative, it comes across more as an attempt on GoH's part to drown out any of its audience's questions or reservations with an unrelenting barrage of pure, meaningless noise.

We begin with Jaesan mourning the death of his grandson, Jugok, because that was a relationship the show established across maybe twenty seconds of screen time this season, but don't worry about whether or not you know or care about who either of these characters are at this point. The opening only exists to do the absolute bare minimum in reminding us that Jaesan is a person who exists, because The God of High School is going to use him as a lazy deus ex machina when the episode ends. He was one of The Six, in case you forgot, which would be understandable since barely any of those characters have done anything at all since the show introduced them in a montage weeks ago. His charyeok lets him teleport stuff.

Anyway, Jaesan isn't important. The rest of the first half of “FOX/GOD” is all about the fight for The Key, which is, as it turns out, a literal Key that will…I don't know, turn whoever wields it into God? Or something that is even stronger than God? Ippyo has it, but Jegal wants it. The show tries to convey Jegal's backstory and motivations through a needlessly abstract flashback, but it doesn't actually tell us anything other than that Jegal's grandfather wants him to get the key for power and stuff. Long story short: Jegal's a dick, so the other fighters try to stop him from stealing the Key, all while capital-G God descends from heaven to destroy all of Seoul. If that wasn't enough world-ending stakes for you, America decides to jump back into the plot to launch a whole mess of missiles at Korea too, because apparently our country is convinced that it has the capability to nuke God into submission.

This is where I have to admit that I kind of chuckled at that bit of social commentary, because, yeah, America probably would try to kill God Himself with nuclear weapons if he ever showed up and started wrecking the whole damn place. Right before the missiles hit, though, everyone is magically teleported, presumably by Jaesan, to…somewhere else. I'm not sure of the specifics, but it hardly matters, because later on, when Jaesan also just up and teleports the entire population of Seoul — which as of 2020 numbers between 9-10 million — he pops them all out beyond the blast radius of the combination nuke/asteroid that he smacks God in the face with, and when it blows up everyone else gets zapped back to Seoul, too. In any case, Jegal starts growing eyes all over himself like Nightmare's sword from Soul Caliber; he fights Mori; Mira and Daewi help, kind of. Jegal gets the key, which is Bad News Bears for everyone on Earth. Cue cliffhanger. Roll credits.

I hope that my descriptions of the sheer ludicrousness that is occurring in The God of High School haven't given the impression that any of this is interesting, or even ironically fun to watch. Some folks, be they fans of the comic or simple action junkies, might not be as irritated by GoH's ever compounding incompetence as I am, but nothing about this anime is fun anymore. It's the television equivalent of being trapped in a room with an over-caffeinated kid who is breathlessly describing to you the details of their idea for The Coolest Anime Ever, all of which are obviously being made up on the spot. It might be amusing for a few minutes, and the kid could even have a real gem of an idea buried somewhere underneath the Mountain Dew-fueled madness of it all.

To be trapped this kid, though, for weeks on end, knowing that they simply will not stop screaming internet memes and pantomiming karate chops to invisible demon dragons, no matter how much you beg and cry for mercy? That's torture, friends and neighbors. I'm pretty sure the Geneva Convention has rules against that sort of thing, and if putting The God of High School on trial for war crimes against common decency is the only way to end this nightmare for good, then so be it.

Or we could just wait for next week, when the show will end. Either way.

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The God of High School is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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