World Trigger – Season 1

World Trigger – Season 1

IMG_1596.PNGOsamu Mikumo is a member of Border, a government organisation designed to protect Mikado City from a species of alien invaders from another worlds called Neighbours. Members of Border are able to wield a power called Triggers which they use to re-restablish order within the city. One day, a mysterious young man by the name of Yuma Kuga appears before Osamu, introducing himself as a humanoid Neighbour with similar powers to Border members. Though they are meant to be natural enemies, working with Yuma makes Osamu think that there may be more to Neighbours than initially thought.

I immediately liked Osamu and Yuma and how their characters worked so well with one another. Osamu is mild-mannered, obeys the rules and has a strong sense of duty. Yuma is an eccentric, yet intelligent, humanoid Neighbour that doesn’t quite grasp the customs and culture of this new world. When they fight Neighbours together, Osamu wonders why Yuma fights others of his kind – and with a Border Trigger power, no less – and Yuma can’t understand why Osamu would risk his life for people he doesn’t know, rushing into fights that he knows he has little chance of winning.

IMG_1601.PNGAlongside all the battle scenes, there are some nice touches of comedy and wit that keep things entertaining. The initial episodes, whilst a little lacking in the action department, it uses this time wisely to ensure that the main characters are sufficiently developed so, when the action finally does step up its game a little later on, they are made all the better because you are more engaged with the characters involved. We are also introduced to the range of powers available in this anime, such as Triggers and Trion, as well as the organisational structure of Border. These elements are addressed in more depth in little skits at the end of every episode, which I very much prefer instead of the usual ‘information dump’ in the middle of an episode whenever anything new is introduced. The way World Trigger executes this means that the action and pace of the episode isn’t disrupted by long, unnecessary explanation before resuming its plot.

IMG_1598.PNGThe music, at times, can be a bit hit-and-miss. I was impressed by the opening theme and its catchy, digitised edge as well as the music that usually accompanies a Neighbour battle. In other instances, it really is quite noticeable – in a bad way. It sometimes uses rather classical music which I feel is at odds with the general futuristic feel of the anime. I find it such a strange selection that it is actually distracting in certain instances. In a similar vein, I’ve noticed the animation to be noticeably lacking in places. Perhaps it’s because the production company is Toei Animation (and I begrudge them refusing legal streaming of Sailormoon Crystal – but that’s a different story), but I can’t help but feel extra critical of their anime. I’m hoping that budgets will be better balanced and that static, awkward edge will be sanded away later in this series.

IMG_1599.PNGThough I haven’t actually read the manga that this anime is based on, I have it on good authority that things get even better as the pace begins to pick up. The reviews relay that this is a pretty solid adaptation, establishing strong and dynamic relationships with some interesting plot directions and character development. A good team of main characters is being put together and they are, for the most part, believable and not portrayed as invincible all-powerful constructs that will just be bulldozing their way through every opposition that is thrown their way.

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World Trigger is a shounen series with something new to offer a viewer, with a well-balanced power and ability system and well-structured, intelligent fight scenes that combine wits and teamwork without relying on super-strong characters or deus ex machina.