This recap contains spoilers for the The God of High School episode “FOX/GOD.”
Let no one ever accuse The God of High School of not trying its hardest. The series is arguably middling as an overarching narrative. It only sometimes follows plot threads through, and character arcs are generally brief and vestigial– if they happen at all. However, for a shonen series in its 11th hour, there’s another path to memorability. Toss all logic but its own out the window, throw everything it possibly can at the wall and see what sticks. Thus it is with “FOX/GOD,” the penultimate episode of this season of The God of High School.
“FOX/GOD” opens on some obligatory sad exposition about the life of villain / monster-summoner Jegal. This would undercut his characterization last week as a pitiless monster if it felt like it mattered, but the sequence takes up little of the episode and boils down to “he’s a bad guy because he was adopted by a rich dude when he was younger.” Despite showing us Jegal and Ilpyo’s previous encounter again, it doesn’t really contextualize it any further. Offering us only that Jegal has a bizarre fixation on not being “a loser.” His new, powered-up form is at least cool in a kind of 2000s-era edgy way, complete with red eyes sprouting all over his body.
As for everything else, the gist of things is that the Key is active, the “God” of the Nox cult has made itself known in Seoul and in general everything is going up in flames. Making everything worse, the American president (who looks suspiciously like Robert Downey Jr.) has taken matters into his own hands. He orders a massive nuclear strike on Seoul to destroy the Nox cult deity. However, before our heroes have a chance to intervene in any of this, Tournament President Park uses his (apparently quite immense!) powers to send them away to some sort of sanctuary, where the second part of the episode takes place.
Frankly, little of consequence happens in said sanctuary, beyond Jegal getting his hands on the Key. (Uh oh!) It mainly exists to get the main cast out of the way for what comes next. And what comes next is a doozy.
“FOX/GOD’s” finale is the kind of gleeful craziness usually associated with, say, Symphogear than more traditional action anime. (Although it’s not as polished as that series’ takes on this kind of thing.) The God of High School has gotten bombastic before. But it’s never gotten this out-there.
One of the magicians from The Six (Remember them? This is the first time they’ve been brought up in several weeks…) teleports everyone out of Seoul, rearranges the incoming American nukes into a giant magic battering ram and kills The Nox Cult’s God with it. This also returns Jin and friends from the sanctuary. It is, from any serious perspective, utterly ridiculous. A near-literal deus ex machina in the second-to-last episode. Lest you think “FOX/GOD” is out of tricks, Jegal absorbs the Key in the episode’s closing minutes. He is, promptly, transformed into an infant, and then rapidly re-ages to his current form, before turning into an angel. It’s wild, out-of-nowhere and frankly inexplicable. It is this “what just happened?”-inducing moment that “FOX/GOD” chooses to end on.
So as it ends its run the question will inevitably be asked: is The God of High School a good show? I’m not in a position to answer that (and frankly I’m not sure it’s an interesting question), but if “FOX/GOD” is any indication of what the finale will be like, it’ll certainly, if nothing else, be a memorable one.