The God of Highschool Season 2 anime will have Jin Mori, Han Daewi, and Yu Mira uncovering the mysteries of Mori’s past memories as revealed by the tournament. But when will The God of High School 2 come out?
After all, The God of Highschool Episode 13 leaves audiences with only a taste of what’s to come from the GOHS Webtoon by creator YongJe Park. It’d be a shame for the second season to leave audiences hanging for too long.
The new 2020 Crunchyroll Original is essentially a test case for the first wave of exclusives. It’s also the second Naver Webtoon/South Korean manhwa series to be adapted by Crunchyroll into anime.
The first was the Tower of God (Kami no Tou) anime, which made it to the top of Crunchyroll’s popular anime list. The Tower of God Season 2 anime is reportedly in production.
While the GOHS anime has made it to the Top 5 it’s still not as popular as seasonal competitors like the Re:Zero Season 2 anime series, which already has its producer discussing Re:Zero Season 3.
Now, to be fair, Tower of God stood out largely due to the lack of competition. Big-name competitors like One Piece, Boruto, Re:ZERO, Black Clover, and the final season of the Sword Art Online: Alicization anime were delayed by months due to the effects of COVID-19 on the anime industry.
With fewer options available, it’s not surprising more eyes were on ToG.
Still, Crunchyroll has shown no sign of immediately renewing any of its Crunchyroll Originals for a second season, although representatives certainly teased the Tower of God Season 2 anime.
Unfortunately, The God of Highschool Season 2 anime is being treated the same way. Episode 13’s ending may have teased what comes next in the story, but it didn’t announce a production decision. Similarly, the official Twitter accounts, both English and Japanese, and the official site’s news section were silent on the matter of a second season.
Arguably, The God of Highschool anime has one major factor working in its favor: it’s being produced by animation studio MAPPA, the studio that has given us anime such as Garo, Punch Line, Yuri On Ice, Kakegurui, Inuyashiki, Banana Fish, Zombie Land Saga, Dororo, and Dorohedoro.
Since releasing GoHS, MAPPA has also worked on Jujutsu Kaisen, The Idaten Deities Know Only Peace anime, and Attack On Titan Season 4. In the future, they’re releasing notables such as the Chainsaw Man anime, the Jigokaraku: Hell’s Paradise anime, the Yuri!!! on Ice movie: Ice Adolescence, and the Zombieland Saga movie.
The God of High School Season 2 staff and studio haven’t been confirmed yet. The biggest question is whether or not South Korean director Sunghoo Park (Seong Ho Park) will return to helm the second season.
In mid-March 2022, it was claimed by a Weibo source that director Park and several talented individuals had left Studio MAPPA to start his own new studio, E&H Production. According to this new studio’s background director Yann Le Gall, they’ve begun work on a new anime project. The official website lists 8 employees in total and they’ve been advertising for positions for a year.
Keep in mind that Studio E&H Production was formed in March 2021. That means director Park was still freelancing with Studio MAPPA during the Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie production.
Anime production staff are typically freelancing contractors who jump between studios so it’s still possible for director Park to return for directing other MAPPA projects. Director Park had worked in various roles at MAPPA since 2014, but in the past he’s also worked for Studio BONES (Space Dandy), Studio Sunrise (Tiger & Bunny), Production I.G. (Guilty Crown), and others. Chainsaw Man anime director Ryu Nakayama is also a freelancer, not a permanent employee.
Sunghoo Park’s retirement from Mappa was known in the corners months ago, now it is confirmed, I hope that now he will have more freedom for his projects.
— Chifuyu (@ChifuyuMatsun0) March 18, 2022
Although Studio MAPPA is Japanese, director Park and series composition scriptwriter Kiyoko Yoshimura are both South Korean.
Director Park told Crunchyroll that as a child, he was hooked on Macross but was also interested in going to America due to Pixar Animation Studio.
Director Park chose Japan for his animation studies. The GOHS anime is Park’s second time directing a major anime after Garo: Vanishing Line. For his third time as director, he directed Jujutsu Kaisen Season 1 and then the movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
“[Manabu] Otsuka-san, the president of MAPPA, gave me a proposal. I was familiar with the name The God of High School, but I hadn’t read the series, so I read the entire thing right after that,” director Park said. “The action was incredible, and I knew right away that I wanted to animate that with my own hands. Also, as a Korean myself, I was deeply intrigued by the concept of animating a Korean WEBTOON series, so I considered it a great opportunity.”
Writer Kiyoko told Crunchyroll that she started her career when she “happened to meet a certain famous scriptwriter on a certain anime fan site.” Since then, she’s worked on popular anime such as Sonix X and the 2011 Lost Exile.
More recently, she’s worked with Director Park on Garo: Vanishing Line and she’s also doing Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice with MAPPA. (Unfortunately, Mr. Love: Queen’s Choice Season 2 seems unlikely based on the way the video game’s story was adapted in the final episodes.)
Artist Manabu Akita (Fullmetal Alchemist, Kakegurui) was the character designer. Kuniko Iwatani and Sachiko Nishiguchi (The Rising of the Shield Hero) were the art directors.
The first season’s opening (OP) theme song music was “Contradiction” by KSUKE, while the ending (ED) was “WIN” by CIX. The God of High School Season 2 OP and ED have not yet been announced.
The God of Highschool anime is streaming exclusively on Crunchyroll. The first season premiered on July 6, 2020. The finale, The God of Highschool Episode 13, will be streaming online on September 28, 2020.
Crunchyroll’s The God of High School English dub premiered on August 24, 2020. New English dubbed episodes were released weekly.
Updated March 22, 2022: Added discussion regarding director Sunghoo Park.
Updated August 16, 2021: Comic/manhwa confirmed to be in final story arc.
Updated March 24, 2021: Added Jujutsu Kaisen movie rumors and how that may affect GoHS Season 2.
This article provides everything that is known about The God of Highschool Season 2 (The God of High School Season 2) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.
The God of High School Season 2 release date predictions
The God of High School Webtoon/manhwa took years to develop
Unlike many anime on Crunchyroll, the anime is not based on The God of Highschool manga or a Japanese light novel series. Instead, it’s based on The God of High School manhwa by creator YongJe Park.
What’s a manhwa, you might ask? Similar to how manga is the name for Japanese comics, manhwa is the South Korean word for comic books. Keep in mind that manhwa, unlike manga, is read in the same direction as English books, from left to right.
In an interview with Naver Webtoon, creator Park said he wanted to express the dynamic action of Dragon Ball, his favorite manga series while growing up.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that Jin Mori’s mannerisms and attitude toward fighting bear more than a passing resemblance to Son Goku, never mind the insane power scaling that happens over the course of the story.
(While some GOHS readers may criticize the Dragon Ball-like power scaling, to be fair, the crazy power levels were plainly foreshadowed from the beginning when Mujin Park’s giant hand squashed an island.
Daewi also summed up the situation during the Nationals arc by stating, “If it’s all about the levels, then what’s… this competition for?”
Besides, in the immortal words of Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z Abridged, “Power levels are bullsh*t!”)
It took time for him to make his debut. The competition was fierce and Park wanted to make his debut at Naver Webtoon stand out.
Meanwhile, he practiced painting and studied how to show the proportions of the human body from various angles for 7 or 8 years.
While realizing the artistic fundamentals were important, as a student, he also realized that rigidly sticking to “right” human proportions could take away from how “attractive and cool” their drawings could be.
As an example, he cites the One Piece manga, which is “far from the human body proportions and muscle expression we learned” during formal art education. And during this time, he apparently developed his signature look with the pink-tinged noses.
Park’s initial debut was a manhwa called Tough Guy that Naver Webtoon published from 2008 to 2009. It was based on high-school fighters in Park’s hometown, and this initial success inspired him to create a similar work that was 100% unrealistic.
Park came up with the scenario for the GOHS story in a period of a few days of thinking. As for characterization, Jin Mori was designed to be the typical boy cartoon character at the recommendation of the head of the publishing company.
But the idea had the creator worried since it was close “to the Japanese Shonen Jump formula, in which characters are appropriately beaten and fight in tournaments.”
“Still, the idea was strangely attractive. I wanted to show a catharsis that goes beyond that as the protagonist continues to face a crisis rather than a solid scenario,” Park said.
The God of Highschool Webtoon compared to to the anime
At 28 years old, creator Park debuted the GOHS Webtoon in Naver Webtoon in April 2011. New chapters (which are called “episodes”) are released online weekly on the Naver Webtoon platform.
The official English translation is released Thursdays on Line Webtoons. The English The God of High School Webtoon is essentially free since no subscription service is required to read it.
Similar to Tower of God Webtoon, The God of Highschool manhwa’s story arcs are divided into six major “seasons” or chapter volumes, with The God of High School Season 2 comprising 76 chapters while the first season was almost half the length.
To put the length of the series into perspective, by 2021, the GOHS Webtoon was past Chapter 500. Here’s a guide on how we predict the anime might adapt the series based on the pacing of the first season.
Some anime seasons may need multiple cours to avoid overly condensing the story.
Arc 1: The Match With Gods
- Chapters 1 – 41
- Anime: The God of High School Episode 1 – 6
Arc 2: The National Competition
- Chapters 42 – 112
- Anime: The God of High School Episode 6 – 13
- Chapters 112 – 118
- Anime: The God of High School Season 2
Arc 3: Adventure
- Chapters 119 – 175
- Anime: The God of High School Season 2
Arc 4: World Competition
- Chapters 176 – 216
- Anime: The God of High School Season 3
Arc 5: Ragnarok
- Chapters 217 – 268
- Anime: The God of High School Season 4
- Chapters 269 – 307
- Anime: The God of High School Season 5
Final Arc 6: Re: A Battle With The Gods
- Chapters 308 – 526+
- Anime: The God of High School Season 5, 6, etc.
The story is in the final arc now, but as of August 2021 the ending was in sight. At the ending of The God of Highschool Chapter 526, Park announced that he was going on hiatus to prepare himself physically and mentally for creating the final battle.
“I’m sorry to my readers for the uneven episode [chapter] lengths and delayed uploads. I’ve been physically and mentally exhausted lately,” Park explained. “I didn’t think it would be right for Mori Jin, Mubong Park, and all you readers to draw the final fight of The God of High School in this state. I’m afraid that forcing myself to continue the series right now might ruin the ending. I need to take some time to prepare myself physically and mentally to complete The God of High School. I ask for your patience and understanding until then.”
Park has not yet announced the final chapter number and Season 6 is past 200 chapters already. Even fans have started to question when the series will end, and creator Park openly chastised himself about how Season 5 turned out.
“Season 5 felt like a season where I ‘pushed’ too hard on my own,” Park admitted. “I put too much in it, some things were too rushed, and some things were too unpolished.”
Some fans of the Webtoon have expressed similar opinions about the opening episodes of the GOHS anime series.
While MAPPA’s fluid animation in the bike chase scene and the action-scene martial arts cinematography in the battle royale was amazing, the first episode seemed rushed since it merely introduced the rapport of the three main characters Mori, Daewi, and Mira while seemingly ignoring their motivations for competing in the tournament.
The anime team has already talked about how they’re adapting between 2 to 6+ chapters per episode. Although writer Yoshimura and director Park probably would have liked to have included everything, the team was forced to make more concessions and skip certain details that will outrage certain fans who hate it when adaptations stray from the source material.
In the case of Episode 1, it skimmed several introductory chapters to reach the opening battle of Chapters 5 and 6.
Ironically, the anime’s opening focused on the motorcycle robber chase from Chapter 4 even though the Webtoon literally stated, “The robber is a bad cliche but necessary for the story.”
Fortunately, Episodes 2 and 3 did explain via flashbacks the main characters’ varying reasons for fighting in the GOHS tournament, but it did so in a manner that skipped many details crucial to worldbuilding and the overall plot.
The biggest disservice was to Mori and his relevance to key players in the story.
Chapter 1 opened with the island-slapping scene but then cut to 17-year-old Mori fighting in high school. Out of hundreds of bouts, Mori’s fight record was perfect until he ran into GOHS Commissioner R and promptly lost.
Considering this scene was the entire first chapter (and the beginning of Chapter 4) it’s notable that the anime reduced it to mere split-second references. The most important detail skipped was that Mori managed to break an executive’s arm with a kick, but later anime episodes filled in that gap.
It should also be pointed out that Mori used kicks on weak opponents in the battle royale despite his belief that kicks should be reserved for only the strong.
In fact, in the comic, Mori went out of his way to use only his fist despite South Korean WTF Taekwondo being focused on the feet, whereas North Korean ITF Taekwondo developed killing techniques using both kicks and fists.
Chapters 10 and 13 gave an overview of the development of these martial art differences. These chapters also revealed that Mori’s grandfather, Taejin Jin, was the founder of the so-called Renewal Taekwondo and the only survivor out of a South Korean military unit sent into the north.
What’s odd is that despite the anime’s emphasis on action, Chapter 14’s fight between Commissioners R and Q was skipped. While their fight was not overly important to the overall plot, the chapter also revealed that Mujin Park’s real name is Mubong Park and that he’s the youngest member of The Six, South Korea’s designated human National Treasure assets.
Discovering the squabbling R and Q, Mubong/Mujin showcased the overwhelming power gap between The Six and the Commissioners by squashing them both instantly.
To further contrast the power gap, Mori’s grandpa Taejin is so powerful that he not only evaded capture by the South Korean government, the older man gave Mubong/Mujin his facial scar and was able to beat The Six by himself!
Chapter 20 provided more details about the confrontation, showing how Taejin ripped off the arm of one member of The Six. The resulting battle was so overpowered that 10 percent of South Korea was reduced to craters.
When Mujin was trying to decide whether to disqualify Mori, Episode 3 did have Mujin realize that Mori was Jin Taejin’s grandson but completely skipped the events of Chapter 19.
In the Webtoon, the straight-forward idiot Mori was quick to give up his grandpa’s location, and Mujin sent in a military team. When the military horribly failed, Mujin tried verbally threatening Mori’s life.
In response, Taejin just laughed, warned Mujin that he’d get beat up if Mori was pushed too hard, and said, “Feel free to do what you wish with my grandson!” Taejin then asked Mori about the family motto of “Do whatever the hell I want”, and then hung up the phone.
The major plot changes made by the anime continued to mount after Chapter 20. In the Webtoon, Mori was kept inside the stadium overnight.
Rather than being given the strange fruit by Mujin, Mori gets hungry and sneaks into a dungeon where a hidden door ominously checks his “GP level”.
Totally ignoring a trapped old man that’s hanging suspended from the ceiling with needles rammed through his body, Mori proceeds to rummage through shelves and eats the strange fruit despite the old man’s warning.
His hunger sated, Mori turns to leave, but the old man convinces him to free him by entering a password into a computer. The password was “Taejin Jin” and the old man is shocked Mori could guess that.
When the old man realizes Mori is Taejin Jin’s grandson, his demeanor changes, and he attacks Mori, almost piercing his heart with a needle. The old man reveals his identity as BongChim Nah, Divine Doctor of The Six, and the man whose arm was ripped off by Taejin 17 years ago.
Rather than kill his nemesis’s grandson, the old man recognizes that Mori’s skills blocked his death blow and that Mori’s “power level is really something else” since the young man passed through the forbidden door.
Thinking that Mori will die shortly anyways from eating the “divine pellets”, the old man leaves Mori’s fate to the will of heaven.
Just like in the anime, Mori was late for his exhibition match against Commissioner Q. But he was late due to waking up in a random bathroom, not from eating the strange fruit at home, so he thought the old man was just a strange dream… at first.
While Mori was busy pushing down Commissioner Q, Mujin was battling the old man BongChim down in the basement. This development in Chapter 22 was very important to Mori’s story since it was revealed that BongChim had eaten one of the divine pellets and then told Mujin to lock him up until he was strong enough to control the divine pellet with his own strength.
“If someone who isn’t ready takes it, they’ll be consumed by their subconsciousness, resulting in the loss of all rationality in some cases, death,” BongChim explained to Mujin 17 years ago. “So, I’ll be training myself until I have control of my subconsciousness.”
And yet Mori ate these divine pellets without any explanation at all in the anime. Instead of adapting Chapters 23 and 24, which analyzed the ramifications of Mori eating the divine pellets and the entire purpose of the GOHS tournament being related to The Six, the anime provided an extended fight scene against Q’s Joker Charyeok (borrowed power).
The anime also skipped a scene where the robed NOX members attempted to invite Taejin using a hologram-like “alter ego” ability. It should be noted that the Webtoon didn’t identify this mysterious cult by name until much later in the story.
These skipped story events from the first 24 chapters provided most of the foreshadowing regarding Mori and his true identity.
Needless to say, it’s truly puzzling that The God of High School Episode 4 then jumped into Mira’s story arc in Chapter 25 without explaining the divine pellets’ significance at all.
Presumably, some details from these skipped chapters regarding the mystery of Taejin Jin will be adapted in later episodes. The God of Highschool Episode 6 introduced BongChim and The Six in an original way that also summarized the concept of Charyeok for the first time in the anime, but other than those brief cameos BongChim has largely been sidelined in the anime version.
But Episode 6 also skimmed over most of grandpa’s fight against the NOX in Chapters 39 through 41. Audiences got to see how a giant sword descended from the sky, but the aftermath and how grandpa’s arm was found lying on the ground near huge ground craters was held back until later episodes. (Episode 6 also skipped over Chapter 42-45 completely, which spent time introducing in odd ways team battle characters and various members of The Six.)
All in all, it’s odd that the sub-plots involving Mori’s grandfather and The Six was dropped completely by the anime scriptwriter since it changes how audiences would view multiple characters, not just Mori. At the same time, if something had to be cut in order to maintain this rapid pacing at least the main characters got to keep most of their major scenes.
In regards to “Mad Cow” Daewi Han, the anime has so far done a good job of keeping the pertinent details to his story mostly intact.
Chapter 2 initially introduced Daewi by showing his desire to help his sick friend, but the anime skipped (until Episode 4) how Daewi endured school jeering and the resulting fights. The anime didn’t show how his GOHS invitation was delivered by a hovering fight jet!
What’s surprising is that Episode 4 reordered the portrayal of events leading up to Daewi’s brutal attack on Mira during their match in Chapter 29.
Considering how friendly they seemed just a day ago, it was shocking when Daewi acted so cold and targeted her unhealed side wound from the sword slice.
Then a flashback in the Webtoon revealed how Daewi’s friend is close to death. With time quickly running out, Daewi asked Mujin Park about his wish, but the devilish man would only grant it if Daewi won the world championships.
Desperate, Daewi even tries offering up his youth, but Mujin is only willing to consider the deal if Daewi shows an “overwhelming victory” at the capital. This revelation was shifted to Episode 5 in order to show the progression of Daewi’s emotional journey during his fight against Jin Mori.
The way the anime portrayed events linearly it seemed as if Daewi was taking out his rage on Mira rather than emotionally distancing himself for the sake of winning the tournament. Thus the Webtoon better explained why Daewi’s motivations shifted so quickly.
Still, The God of Highschool Episode 5 was probably the most straightforward adaptation of all the chapters in the first arc. It kept Daewi’s major plot points intact while giving audiences a good show.
For Mira’s introduction, the anime arguably did a better job overall of showcasing her emotional journey in comparison to the webtoon. However, while the initial episodes did make it clear that she was seeking a “successor” for her beloved Yoo Family Moon Light Sword Style, the episodes did not explain exactly what that desire entailed.
At her father’s behest, Mira is literally seeking “good seed” in a suitable mate so she can bear a strong child to inherit the almost-extinct martial art!
In Chapter 3, it was shown that Mira dated guys merely based on their strength as a fighter even if that meant they were meatheads.
Despite acting meek and subservient toward her boyfriend at first, she immediately rejected her current boyfriend when he couldn’t beat “wimps” in a 20-on-1 brawl only to transform into a “monster” and defeat them herself in a savage manner.
The anime changed how Mira’s sword was lost in the river for the better. Originally, Webtoon Chapter 8 had the sword being lost in the aftermath of a bridge brawl with a biker gang, but having Mori lose the sword and then help find it made for a more touching scene.
The God of High School Episode 4 improved on the Webtoon by showing Mira’s obsession over the Moon Light Sword Style and the lengths she was willing to sacrifice herself by accepting a marriage proposal not based on love.
While the unexpected wedding story arc also did happen in Chapters 25 through 28, the Webtoon version emphasized how Mira’s family was facing money problems.
Rather than getting married to create a successor for the Moon Light Sword style, the focus was on marrying a top-tier company’s CEO to solve their financial woes.
Mira was secretly suffering from the pressure that comes from the obligation of protecting her family’s swordsmanship, but Mira’s true motive for accepting the marriage didn’t come spilling out until she was already at the altar.
Arguably, by focusing on only this issue with original scenes the anime’s portrayal of Mira’s family relationships was far more poignant and emotional.
The good news is that the anime is making certain to develop the three main characters adequately based on the source material. For better or worse, they are designed to be “idiot” characters based on the Shonen formula although some of their traits are compelling.
What’s unfortunate is that the anime’s limited time meant that the side characters’ backstories were cut almost completely. For example, early villain ManSeok Gang came off as far more relateable in the Webtoon when it was revealed that he grew up in a dysfunctional family
Gang’s unhealthy attitude stemmed from not wanting to be like his abusive father who beat his wife yet also groveled in front of those stronger than him.
At the same time, when confronted with an opponent truly strong he found himself weeping and begging. This scene was shown in the anime, but not how he almost committed suicide afterward.
Similarly, the anime showed that Tai Chi user Gamdo Go briefly hinted that his motivation for fighting was his master, but not the reason why. Go’s master ran an orphanage that was destroyed in a fire caused by a gang and the elderly man worked himself sick paying for the damages.
For his wish, Go wanted the gang to face the wrath of law, so that’s why he was so upset at the prospect of losing to a criminal like Gang.
As a child, the track-suit wearing, bat-wielding Baek SeungChul idolized his crime detective father who arrested bad guys using a baseball bat.
The father died and the super-intelligent boy realized at a young age that knowledge is power, but years later he also acknowledged that physical power can be more effective in reality.
So the young man’s motivation was to test his predictive martial powers and theory of enlightenment in the ring.
When Daewi declined to take advantage of SeungChul’s slip, he realized Daewi was just like his father which only annoyed him since he believed that “acting like some hero will only lead you to misery.”
So, without knowing SeungChul’s backstory, the emotional impact of that moment was greatly lessened.
On the other hand, female pro wrestler Miseon Mah’s motivation really was superficial in the Webtoon.
She really did want to make a harem out of executive committee members and when she realized fighting Mira could result in her dream ending she immediately quit rather than being beaten soundly.
Episode 5 skimmed over the Jin Mori vs Byeon Jaehe without showing off any of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques. Chapter 30 analyzed Jin’s three-stage round kick and how Byeon attempted to overcome it. Similarly, Byeon was simply a speed bump to Mira in Episode 6, but that’s how the webtoon handled the match, as well.
Read: How Barack Obama’s The God of High School cameo was replaced by Robert Downey Jr. as president
Considering how much the Webtoon’s first season was condensed to fit 42 chapters into six episodes it’s not surprising that the Webtoon The God of High School Season 2 was condensed even more to wedge 70 chapters into 7 episodes. The anime’s Nationals arc kept the major plot beats for the main characters but often times the side stories for minor characters became a muddled mess.
Even humorous scenes were skipped. For example, the Webtoon had funny Hunter x Hunter and Naruto references. Even a Dragon Ball Kakarot cameo was used to illustrate an air attack move in Chapter 72. And Mori’s birthday party scene in Chapter 60 had more comedy… never mind the hilarious ending to Chapter 73 when Commissioner Q chose to train Daewi based on “luck”.
Daewi was asked to pull a card and if it was an Ace Q would train him, but then Q dropped the card deck and it was all Aces. Chapter 74 took the goofiness up a notch by having the “training” consist of Daewi learning to communicate by getting 100 girls’ phone numbers…. and Daewi could only get older ladies numbers.
One major change was in how the Nationals tournament was conducted. In the Webtoon, the team member who won would still fight the next match against the other team’s next opponent unless the team decided to switch out fighters, which meant some characters fought multiple times before being eliminated.
Instead, the anime had a series of individual 1 on 1 matches, so there were fewer matches overall. None of the teams used team battle strategies to their advantage.
And some fights were outright skipped, including Mori’s match against an ax-wielding fighter and Taek Jegal’s fight against Nawa Dah in Chapter 70. The fights between side characters in Chapters 71 and 73 were also skipped.
Although the fight scenes were well-animated, the Webtoon spent more time explaining the intricacies of the borrowed powers. For example, when Mira’s power was introduced the story of China’s greatest warrior Lu Bu Fengxian was summarized in relation to her current fight. Marin Lee’s Kraken turned out to have regenerative powers and he’d been faking having low HP.
It should be noted that in the Webtoon Mira was about to lose to Marin Lee but then Mori tagged in at the last minute and saved her. Furious at the deception, Mori savagely beat down all three opponents despite being injured from the earlier Doppelganger blast attack. So, the anime added a girl power moment by letting Mira have a win with the added flair of her borrowed power being revealed.
The anime improved on the Webtoon in other ways. For example, Jin Mori’s misuse of BongChim’s pressure points technique in Episode 7 was an improvement over the Webtoon. Having Mori completely freeze himself and then get beat up in the Nationals’ first match was hilarious, whereas in the Webtoon Mori simply started fumbling during the fight.
Still, the anime wasn’t so hot when it came to characterization. Episode 6 skipped the character introductions for the Nox Priests, The Six members, and Nationals teams in Chapters 43 through 46 before the three-person team battles began. Instead, the anime’s Episode 7 jumped straight into the Chapter 48 fight with Commissioner Q without any explanation.
The backstories for most of the side characters were skimmed over in subsequent episodes with the exception of highlights for the 38-year-old high schooler Pumgwang Jin and the red-haired Jangmi Jang (who used two swords to fight in the Webtoon, not just one). Even their flashback (Chapter 52) was greatly modified, but arguably the anime’s changes made the scene more touching.
When Mori tried to rescue his grandpa in Episode 9 by sneaking into a facility the anime completely removed a purple-haired side character that was killed trying to help Mori. The mind games and the trap involving Paylong’s Doppelganger power was more complicated since the entire facility was run by fake Doppelganger guards.
Another problem with cutting backstories is that the anime used Jugok Jeon for a major fight scene in Episode 11 without really explaining who he was and why he suddenly turned into a devil-like creature. He was a grandson of “The Great Magician” Jaesan Jeon (the giant-sized member The Six) so his borrowed power was similarly the Mage. Jugok’s maid Hyangdan Lee grew up like a sibling to him, which explained her behavior.
Jugok was also a friend of Ilpyo Park despite being beat by him in martial arts at an early age. Although Jugok inherited GP, his grandpa considered his gifts a “waste” so Jugok trained desperately to meet his grandpa’s expectations.
When Jugok was hospitalized he could no longer summon his borrowed power and BongChim took over the medical care. Later on, the Nox leader Bishop Mandeok Sang infiltrated the hospital and Jugok was desperate enough to accept the Nox Bishop’s offer of power.
Jugok’s transformation completed when he saw Ilpyo and couldn’t stand to be looked down upon. Jugok was ashamed after seeing a mirror and realizing he’d become a monster. Both versions maintained the tonal shift where Jugok began to be calmed down by his maid only to be savagely cut down by Jegal Taek.
Jugok’s grandfather was saddened by his grandson’s death, but he was enraged in Chapter 92 when he discovered that his company had been swooped out from underneath him by Jegal’s company in a hostile takeover.
Unfortunately, scrapping the side characters’ backstories was a necessary evil in order to make certain Jegal Taek and Ilpyo Park were given ample screen time in Episodes 10 and 11. The anime skipped telling the full story (Chapter 58) of Mori’s grandpa Taejin and Ilpyo’s grandpa back during their military days, but the episode did a much better job of showcasing the emotions of Ilpyo’s earliest memories as a child (and anime baby Mori was just so cute!).
One glaring issue is how Episode 11 cut out Mira’s victorious moment from Chapter 88. Changing such a major scene is an upset for Webtoon fans although it explains the earlier change where Mira was allowed to win. But even the leadup to this moment was changed dramatically.
Episode 10 had Daewi fighting Ilpyo’s cousin Seungah rather than Mori like in the Webtoon. While the changeup seems random at first glance, the anime made Ilpyo vs Mori more reasonable since Mori was fighting in peak condition rather than beating all three Jeonnam team fighters.
In the webtoon, Ilpyo came off as a jerk by manipulating events to give himself a handicap. Before the match began, his strategy was for Hyeonbok to break Mori’s finger to prevent pressure point attacks and Seungah went after Mori’s right leg to block off his blue dragon’s kick. In both the anime and Webtoon, Ilpyo honored his childhood promise to Taejin to “train” Mori, but Ilpyo’s coaching of Re-Takewondo came off as more condescending rather than constructive criticism and even Ilpyo’s teammates had to admit that “Ilpyo sure is the villain here…” So, it’s understandable that the anime dropped that aspect of the fights.
Getting back to Mira’s moment, anime fans will be shocked to learn that in the Webtoon Mori actually quickly lost to Ilpyo once he began using the borrowed power of Hojosa, the legendary nine-tailed fox. In the next round, Mira tried to whittle away Ilpyo’s remaining HP using her own borrowed power but even she was overwhelmed… at first.
Mira was known as the “weakest member” of the Capital Team and even though she had a major HP advantage nobody in the audience was expecting her to win against foxy Ilpyo. But then the guys made sure to cheer here on just when she needed encouragement. Mentally fortified, she proved in epic fashion that her sword belonged to her when it teleported to her hand just in time to defeat Ilpyo!
The anime thus stole Mira’s big moment in which she earned back her ownership of her sword then faces off against a fighter that is an order of magnitude stronger than her and yet still wins. Episode 11 ended by fast-forwarding to the supernatural events by having God and angel-like creatures pouring out of a gate while Mujin Park declared that The God of High School tournament was over!
While very dramatic in comparison to the Webtoon, the drawback to condensing Chapters 92 through 112 into two episodes was that all of the regular fights in the tournament’s ending were skipped. The God of High School Episode 12 quickly summarized Jagel Taek’s backstory while not really explaining the functionality of his power Greed.
(Episode 12 also didn’t make it 100 percent clear that Commissioner Q was excited about wiping out his overwhelming debt by defeating the incoming flood of supernatural creatures. Q’s debt has been a running joke in the Webtoon, but at least the anime mentioned it.)
Episode 12 upped the pacing to hyperspeed and is almost anime original except for adapting specific plot beats. The Key was physically revealed in eight minutes within Episode 12, which took place in Chapter 98 in the Webtoon. Both of the major concluding fights, Ilpyo vs Jagel Taek (Ch. 94 – 97) and Mori vs Jagel Taek (Ch. 98, 103 – ), jumped straight into using full powers without the build-up of regular tournament fighting. Jagel Taek also played mind games using the doppelganger powers he’d stolen with Greed and fought against Daewi in Chapter 101 and 102 until Mori came to the rescue.
At the same time, the fights that were depicted were amazingly animated. The anime may not be following the Webtoon loosely, but the original never had airborne dragon battles, the threat of an incoming Buddha God (originally, it was just a giant-sized angel creature), and many other elements that heightened the dramatic tension.
The God of High School Episode 13 picked up the story again with Chapter 108 and then finished the Webtoon’s The God of High School Season 2 story arc.
At this point, some may be tempted to criticize the anime as a bad adaptation. Webtoon/manga purists will bemoan the many changes, but to be fair to the anime, newcomers to the series who haven’t read the Webtoon probably won’t realize anything is missing.
Plus, anime is its own art form so the adaptation could be viewed as a retelling.
There are two schools of thought regarding how to best adapt a comic book series into an anime. Fans generally prefer that chapters are adapted panel-by-panel although it’s recognized that dialogue will often need to be condensed in order to fit the time constraints of the episodic format.
Then there’s the path where the anime director and writers are given the freedom to express new ideas. In Crunchyroll’s Behind The Scenes interview, it was emphasized how they chose the latter path and creator Park even said he encouraged them to push the boundaries.
“In general, all the scripts, storyboards, and designs were sent to the author so he could check them over. I explained to him in detail how we were using the original work as a base while changing the designs and scripts in ways unique to the anime format, and he was very happy with it,” director Park explained. “He had a deep respect for the way anime is produced, which made the project much easier to work on.”
The decision to focus on the action in Episode 1 at the expense of the initial characterization was purposeful since director Park felt “that the most important point of this title’s design was that sense of speed” and “the action is the main appeal of the series”.
Director Park admits that, at first, he considered reducing the number of action scenes since “GOHS has far more action cuts than the average TV series” which makes it quite the challenge to animate, but he apparently changed his mind.
The focus on action went beyond the animation department. Even the voice dubbing actors took the extra effort to understand the martial arts.
The Japanese voice actor for Mori, Tatsumaru Tachibana, studied Taekwondo techniques on YouTube so he could reproduce their motions in hand-drawn keyframes.
But focusing on an action-packed first episode doesn’t mean they plan on going full-on Tokyo Ghoul with the project by rewriting major elements of the story. Scriptwriter Kiyoko Yoshimura says the “anime staff devoted everything [they] had to faithfully recreating the intense developments of the original work in animated format” and they’re making certain the character development won’t suffer by overly focusing on action.
“If we focused only on the visual depiction, the characters’ emotional expressions would have been left out, and they’ll all just be slamming into each other with flashy imagery,” she said.
“Portraying the emotions of a scene through monologues, flashbacks, other characters’ facial expressions, the announcer’s voice, etc., is the mort important part of scriptwriting.”
This approach was exemplified through GOHS Episode 5, which adapted chapters 30 through 38. Not only was the fight choreography simply stunning, but it also managed to deftly weave in the flashbacks in a manner that heightened the fight’s emotional impact without seeming like they were interrupting.
Note: This story was initially published before The God of High School Episode 13 release date and was updated over time with additional analysis.
Based on the pacing of the Webtoon in the first six episodes, it’s inevitable that the anime will feel rushed to manhwa fans since the first decent stopping point is the ending of the second story arc and the battle between Jin Mori and Jegal Taek.
By Episode 11, the anime had already adapted up through Chapter 91 and many parts of the following chapters were skipped. As predicted, the finale, The God of High School Episode 13, found a stopping point around Chapter 112.
To put this ending into perspective, the Tower of God anime “only” adapted 78 chapters. Really, the animation production committee should have greenlit two cours for GoHS’ first season, but MAPPA did a good job with the hand they were dealt so the climax could feature an epic battle.
MAPPA could have planned a more faithful adaptation with only a single cour, but such pacing would have likely ended with only the first story arc. Unfortunately, ending with Chapter 41 would have offered limited plot resolution with the exception of concluding the story arc about Daewi’s sick friend. And once the anime jumps into the Nationals Arc the only choice is to push forward to the end.
The good news is that studio MAPPA has plenty of source material to work with for The God of High School Season 2. Even assuming the anime production committee were to greenlight the series for an annual release schedule, there’s zero chance they would catch up with the Webtoon before it ends.
The best part is that English-only readers who wish to read ahead of the anime for free can jump straight to Chapter 113 on the Webtoon site (although it’s recommended to read Chapter 112 since it includes crucial details missing from Episode 13’s ending).