World Trigger is set in Mikado City, where a “gate” to a different world opens one day and monsters known as Neighbors start appearing from it. Earth’s weapons don’t work against these monsters, but a mysterious group appears and starts fighting against the Neighbors. The group, known as the Border defense agency, creates a defense system against the Neighbors that emerge from the gates. Four-and-a-half years later, a 15-year-old boy named Osamu meets a strange boy named Yuma; Osamu is secretly a member of Border while Yuma turns out to be a Neighbor.
Episode Three continues the attack of the Neighbors at Osamu’s school that began at the end of Episode Two. Osamu wants to rush in and help, but Yuma tells him he’s not strong enough and that he’ll easily be killed; in fact, Yuma suggests waiting for Border agents to arrive. When Osamu realizes it’ll take them too long to get there, he jumps into action and ends up revealing the fact that he’s a Border agent to his classmates.
A battle takes place here, but Osamu is ultimately unable to take down the Neighbors’ Marmods due to not having enough strength or Trion. While Osamu’s battle was ultimately short due to his lack of any real ability, this at least helped to provide some action in the episode. Yuma goes in to help, but has to find a way to do it without revealing that it’s him or the fact that he’s a Neighbor. I thought Yuma found an interesting way of trying to accomplish this; unfortunately, as we find out later, this gets Osamu into some trouble.
Once the fighting is over a little over halfway into the episode, Osamu is introduced to Replica. As part of this introduction, Osamu is given an explanation about Trion that expands on what he’s already learned from being a trainee with Border. While imparting this information was important, I thought it bogged down the episode at that point; and after feeling bogged down by the explanation, the pacing of the episode never really improved by the end of it.
I remember reading somewhere that when the World Trigger manga first started running in Weekly Shonen Jump, it wasn’t terribly popular and that it was only after a change in direction was made to it that it started being successful. If the anime adaptation is close to those early manga chapters, I think I can kind of see why the World Trigger manga was having a hard time at first. While these early episodes are establishing the characters and the world that they inhabit, the pacing of it feels a little on the slow side at times. While the more recent chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump are more exciting, I’ve felt as if the storyline that just wrapped up in the manga was stretched out for too long.
One thing that’s really come to bug me with this anime adaptation is how at times, Yuma’s eyes will suddenly become three lines and he has puckered lips. I’m sure this is being done for some kind of effect, but if that’s the case, then it’s being overused to the point that it draws too much attention to itself. I don’t know if this comes from the early chapters of the manga or not, or if this is something being done by the animators for the anime adaptation. But this quirk does annoy me, and I hope to see it being used less and less as the series progresses.
At this point, the main reasons I’m continuing to watch World Trigger is the fact that I’ve committed to writing about this show for the Fall 2014 season and the fact that I’m trying to fill in some of the gaps I have from jumping into the middle of the World Trigger manga when I began reading Weekly Shonen Jump earlier this year.
It should be noted that I won’t have a writeup for World Trigger next week, because the anime didn’t air in Japan on October 25, 2014. Because of this, my writeup for Episode Four will not appear on the blog until November 11, 2014.
Additional posts about World Trigger: