This recap contains spoilers for the The God of High School episode “curse/cornered.”
“curse/cornered” begins with our heroes on a ticking clock. Jin has run off to rescue his grandfather. Han is still suspended from the tournament. Mira is the only one still valid as a tournament participant. Thus, “curse/cornered” presents, from its opening minutes, a problem. Jin has to rescue his grandfather, but Han has to find Jin before Mira defeats her opponent. It seems all but impossible.
On Mira’s end, she squares off against Lee Marin of the Jeju team. Marin is a… curious character. His design borders on offensive and he’s briefly played as a gag character. But almost immediately, he’s tossed Mira’s old sword from the sidelines and becomes a serious threat. He reveals that her sword is the magic “national treasure” the Fengxian, and suddenly Mira is knee-deep in her most intense fight of the show so far. (She briefly recaptures the sword, but it teleports back into the hand of its “rightful owner.” Frankly, given Marin’s everything, the sword has bad taste.)
It takes some serious knocking around, and for Marin to make the mistake of telling Mira that she has no right to try to do anything, but she does win. In one of the episode’s highlights, Mira, reached out to by the mysterious forces that grant them, becomes the first member of the Seoul Team to gain a charyeok. Her “sponsor,” so to speak, is Lü Bu, an East Asian cultural hero, and one of the many figures present in Chinese classic The Romance of The Three Kingdoms. (Notably, the man is also known as Fengxian.) Newly strengthened, it doesn’t take Mira very long to lay Marin out. The sword also returns to its rightful rightful owner, bringing that little mini-arc to a close as well.
It’s cathartic to see Mira get to cleanly beat an opponent on her own merits. The God of High School is somewhat guilty of underwriting her character. So even if said opponent is objectionable on other grounds, it’s satisfying to see her beat him and get a victory under her belt all on her own terms.
Jin returns in the nick of time as Mira defeats her opponent, and defeats his own in “curse/cornered’s” final few minutes. But where he’s been is an entire other story in of itself. Jin left at the tail end of last week’s episode to rescue his grandfather. He instead finds a human bomb who looks like him, the work of a character who can use a charyeok called “the Doppelgänger” that lets him make clones of himself and other people. In very short order we learn that he’s been sent to exterminate the Seoul Team along with the other “small fry” teams and that he killed and replaced the Jeju Team with copies of them he made. Jin, of course, kicks the tar out of him.
In his own bout at the end of “curse/cornered”… well it’s actually not entirely clear what’s going on. It appears that we’re being shown two fights simultaneously, Jin’s present fight with his Jeju opponent and his just-concluded fight with the Doppelgänger. But it’s also possible, given his previous penchant for quickly learning and replicating techniques, that he’s somehow picked up the Dopplegänger’s cloning trick and the two fights are actually happening simultaneously. In either case, we get a supercut of Jin whaling on his two opponents at the same time. Surely that alone is worth any minor confusion. “curse/cornered” ends with Park Mujin and his Commissioners watching Jin’s fight. They comment that “the tiger has raised another tiger.” (And just in case you miss their meaning, pictures of Taejin and Jin are promptly flashed on screen.)
On & Out
Lastly there’s Han’s brief turn in “curse/cornered.” Han doesn’t get to do much, since he’s still disqualified from the tournament. However, he does rescue Jin Pum Kwang from the clutches of a… gyaru assassin in a yellow jumpsuit. This is an episode with a couple things in it that don’t entirely make sense, but this particular aside, and its lack of evident bearing on anything else, is probably the most confusing. Said assassin is part of the same team as the blue-haired shark-summoner we met two episodes ago. Beyond that, it’s a bit of a mystery. Hopefully we’ll get an explanation next week?
Until then, The God of High School fans.