Another week, another episode of The God of High School. This week’s, in particular, introduces one of the more peculiar subplots we’ve covered here in our GGA anime recaps.
True to its name, “marriage/bonds” revolves around a marriage. One of pragmatism between Mira and swordsman/business magnate Oh Seongjin, a man who’s her senior by a good amount. Mira’s backstory is explored here through flashbacks (a tool the series is coming to rely on increasingly heavily). The Moonlight Sword Style, of which she is the sole living practitioner, was taught to her by her late father. We already knew some of this– including that Mira has never really had time for friendly socialization. But seeing it reinforced makes the plot feel a bit more weighty than it otherwise might. Since the fact that the GOH tournament is already at the semifinals risks leaving the show to either detour endlessly or run out of plot before it can get to 12 episodes.
There’s something to be said here for the way “marriage/bonds” explores the conflicting interests inherent in marriage. Both in general as an institution and in Mira’s very specific case. On the one hand, Mira does not actually love Seongjin, and the age difference is troubling even in-universe. On the other, she genuinely believes it’s her best chance to save The Moonlight Sword Style. She doesn’t really feel like she has a choice, which is a pretty sharp depiction of the lack of agency women tend to have in these situations.
Worse, Seongjin is clearly not on the up-and-up. Even if that weren’t obvious from his English-inflected slick talk, there are flashed asides of his involvement with the mysterious church that’s run throughout The God of High School‘s backdrop. All of this has something to do with claiming the Moonlight Sword itself as a “sword that can rule God.” Whatever that might mean is a bit irrelevant in the moment; the guy’s bad news.
It’s a bit annoying that it takes Jin and Han to get Mira back to her senses. It perhaps would’ve been a bit more gratifying to see her come to the realization that she doesn’t need Seongjin on her own, but it’s nice to see The God of High School‘s knuckle-cracking fights actually be in service of something. As much as this plotline can feel a little rushed, it largely wraps up nicely.
Rough & Tumble
This puts “marriage/bonds” final twist in a truly odd light. In the span of about three minutes of footage we see: Han’s sickly friend who was introduced last week fall into another coma; Han himself finally snap at his job and pummel his harassers half to death. Lastly, Han delivers a similar treatment to Mira in the ring (a fight we don’t actually get to see any of beyond this), and… that’s the end of the episode. This is probably intended to set up a coming arc about Han either falling or having to be rescued from “the dark side” (so to speak). In context, however, it mostly just scans strangely. A dour and sour note in which to end the otherwise quite solid “marriage/bonds.”
If The God of High School has a major problem right now, it’s that none of this really feels like it will move the needle for those still undecided on the series. “marriage/bonds” is, then, a decent episode in a decent series. Those who’ve been following it so far will be unlikely to complain.
Until next time, The God of High School fans.