Crunchyroll is introducing its new original anime series with a bang – and among them is an adaptation of the highly popular, action-packed manhwa The God of High School. Published by WEBTOON and spanning over 450 chapters, The God of High School follows Mori Jin, an undefeated martial artist who enters one of the most intense combat tournaments in the world. There he befriends Daewi Han, a Karate master competing to pay off his best friend’s hospital bills, and Mira Yoo, a swordmaster who fights to revive her family’s legacy.
Anything goes in the competition, and in this world, people can contract mythological creatures, historical legends or even gods to help them in combat. Even the slightest advantage will make every difference in this tournament, and some “Borrowed Powers” are far more powerful than others. However, Mori is a rare Genuine Fighter – meaning he will take on anyone with nothing but his natural abilities and his use of the legendary fighting style, Renewal Taekwondo.
Unlike its manhwa companion Tower of God, The God of High School places a strong focus on non-stop action and skillful martial arts. It’s no secret that anime fans love tournament arcs, but The God of High School’s anime adaptation already shows more than enough potential to reach the levels of excitement found in Dragon Ball Z, My Hero Academia and Hunter x Hunter.
The God of High School Tournament is an international competition taking place in South Korea. Each of its competitors are invited by the tournament’s judges for their natural talents and hard-earned skills in combat. Competitors represent nearly every martial arts style in the world, and their Borrowed Powers take the form of iconic figures from across history, religion and myth.
The tournament is split into several rounds: preliminaries, regionals, nationals and the world tournament. Each round is more serious than the last, introducing new characters from across South Korea and, eventually, from across the world. Preliminaries take the form of a free-for-all, with the survivors making their way into regionals. Regionals use one-on-one matches, and the top three are put on a team for the nationals. Finally, the winning team from each nation enters the world tournament, where they will face off against the most skilled, practiced and dangerous fighters in the world.
The winner of the God of High School Tournament is granted a single wish by the strange organization that runs it. This wish can be anything, so every single competitor will fight their hardest in hopes of making their greatest desires come true.
One of the competitors in the GOH Tournament is Mori Jin, our protagonist. Though he may seem simple on the outside, Mori’s strengths lie in his martial arts. He uses a special fighting style called Renewal Taekwondo, which was taught to him by his grandfather. In a fight, he can quickly analyze his opponent’s moves and counter them with immense force. His status as a Genuine Fighter makes him stand out from the competition.
Mori’s wish is for nothing more but a good fight. Boasting an undefeated record with 277 fights and two draws, he’s desperate for the chance to face someone who could really put him to the test. He gets that chance when a GOH judge hands him his first defeat and invites him to the GOH Preliminaries, where he will finally be surrounded by capable fighters. If he’s lucky, they may even make him use his full strength – but they may also be far more than he can handle.
Another star competitor is Daewi Han, who already has a reputation to his name. Daewi is an expert in Kyokushin Karate, which he learned directly from the style’s creator. Daewi sports a far humbler personality than Mori, but was once a famous gang leader. As one of the two Mad Cows, he and his partner violently took over one of South Korea’s most influential districts. After his partner fell ill, Daewi took responsibility for his medical bills. While his partner struggles to hang on, Daewi enters GOH to win a potential cure and save his friend’s life.
Mira Yoo is the most serious of the three main characters, for good reason. She comes from a traditional family, whose clan held the secrets to the Moonlight Sword Arts style. Before her father went insane and passed away, he handed her his sword and tasked her with reviving her clan’s sword style. In the years since, her clan has fallen into poverty and collapsed. Now, Mira is left to search for a worthy successor to her father’s legacy. The weight of her clan’s pride and future rests on her shoulders, and she will do anything to prove her worth. She enters GOH in search for a husband strong enough to revive her clan’s Moonlight Sword Arts style.
Yongje Park wrote the original manhwa. The anime is being co-produced by MAPPA and includes a talented staff lineup. Tatsumaru Tachibana will take on the voice of Mori Jin; after working in theatre, this will be his first role in the anime industry. Sunghoo Park will direct the series. His previous credits include work on GARO – VANISHING LINE-, Yuri!!! On ICE and Terror in Resonance. The show's character designs are by Akita Manabu, who previously contributed to Kakegurui, Terror in Resonance, Kids on the Slope and Rage of Bahamut.
The God of High School will air sometime starting in July, after Tower of God wraps up. While there’s still a lot of unknowns about the upcoming anime, it shows a lot of promise. Crunchyroll has released an official teaser, which gathered half a million views. If MAPPA can do the source material justice, The God of High School may have a chance to be the next big thing.