The God of High School Episode 5 – Showdown and Friendship (Review)

The highly anticipated showdown between Mori and Daewi is here! Crunchyroll describes this episode as:

Daewi shows no mercy in his fight against Mira with the goal of getting the money to help his friend, Woo Seungtae, who suffers from an incurable disease. Mori handily defeats his own semi final opponent, Brazilian jiu-jitsu user Byeon Jaehee, but is angered by Daewi’s method of defeating Mira by targeting her injuries. Daewi, meanwhile, learns that Seungtae has taken a turn for the worse and strengthens his resolution even further. Then, amidst all this, Mori and Daewi face each other in the final round.

Huh. I guess the incredible sakuga animation and epic punches are enough to make up for the previous episode. 

We were expecting a big fight between Mori and Daewi, but man. Those beautiful fighting sequences.

Holy smokes, I sure did like that calligraphy-styled sequence. I would like more of that. Every episode perhaps, please?

The calligraphy captures motion in its brushstrokes. Even though the figures are static during some of the still frames, that style conveys the dynamics of the fight without animating between the key frames. 

I’m curious if it takes more effort to animate the style in this sequence, instead of the continuous fight sequences that we’ve seen throughout this show. If this is used to save time, then this is the best animation decision because it enhances the fight to another level. It’s my favorite sequence in the show so far.

I don’t know how they do it, but I’m just gonna go out on a limb and guess that the calligraphy takes way more effort.  

But bringing the colors to just black and white and getting rid of the background really forces you to focus on the two fighters. At the same time,  inserting the colored designs grounds the sequence and reminds you that the characters are still fighting in front of an audience. It prevents the fight from becoming too abstract.

I wish I could read. I want to know what the characters representing Mori and Daewi mean and get a glimpse at their individual ideals.

Despite the incredible animation, I can’t help but realize the story was still lacking. It felt weak, but wasn’t as rushed as last week’s episode.

I can’t help, but agree. The entire drama revolving around Daewi still felt a little contrived by the end, and it resolved as suddenly as it began. While I’m glad Mira got to play an active role by intervening in the two boys’ fight, her “don’t sweat it” attitude really drove home how much the story is asking us to just move on.

At this point, we kind of know where the story is going for the rest of the season. This is a show that’ll be sold on its fights over anything else.  

Also, if nanotech can cure basically everything, why isn’t it the official healthcare of Korea?

I think I just hand-waved the whole concept of the nanomachines just as a reason why the contestants can almost kill each other every week. I’m trying not to think too hard about it — the nanomachines could be magic for all we know.

But as this episode teaches Daewi, the real magic is in the friends we make along the way.

Laughs, yeah. Our main trio are friends again, thus undoing nearly all the conflict of the previous episode.

Yeah, this episode was fine on its own, but I’m still glad to walk away from this weird chapter that episode 4 so awkwardly started.

Now that the Seoul regionals are over, I can’t wait to see who this character is…

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