World Trigger: Episode 4 – “Ai Kitora, A-Rank No. 5 Agent”

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 Four has a strong focus on Ai Kitora, an A-Rank member of Border. She’s all for punishing Osamu for using his Trigger outside of training, even though he did it to protect citizens. She also comes across as being rather smug and conceited when it comes to her abilities as a Border agent. Ai’s attitude really bugged me, so I was glad when Yuma used his ability and called her out for being jealous of the fact that Osamu got attention and praise over her.

Jun Arashiyma, the leader of Ai’s squad, says he’ll report the incident to headquarters and that he’ll try to find a way to lighten his punishment. He also tells Osamu to go to headquarters after school. As Osamu leaves school, he finds Ai waiting outside to “escort” him to headquarters. It turns out she’s only there to make sure he doesn’t run away, and she continues to be condescending toward Osamu. The more Ai talked down to Osamu and showed her arrogance, the more I came to dislike her.

Just then, a Neighbor suddenly appears. Osamu wants to take it on, but he discovers he doesn’t have enough Trion to activate his weapon. Ai goes off by herself to take on this new, previously unknown Neighbor, and is extremely confident that she can take it down easily. However, she finds that taking down the Neighbor is easier said than done.

I really hope that this series finds a way to make Ai a redeemable character. Right now, I find her to be annoying and I wish she’d just go away.

Osamu, meanwhile, runs off to help citizens who are trapped in rubble. Before he goes, Yuma gives him a clone of Replica so they can communicate. Between Osamu’s own strength and some support his Trion body is able to receive from Yuma’s Trigger, Osamu is able to help people in the city.

Unfortunately, Episode Four seems to have the same issue that Episode Two had. Most of the episode was focused on establishing characters and includes a lot of talking, and the action doesn’t really kick in until right near the end of the episode. Episode Four ends with Ai just about to launch her next attack on the Neighbor. So it looks like Episode Five will open with the rest of the action, and then who know how it will progress from there. With this kind of storytelling, it’s hard to be interested in the portions that focus heavily on characters talking if you’re at a point where you’re still not that invested in the characters yet. I was hoping that I’d be more interested in them by the end of the fourth episodes of the series than I currently am.

Now that I’m four episodes in, I can say that the pacing of the episodes isn’t as strong as it could be, and the animation quality has only improved slightly, if at all, since Episode One. And to be honest, World Trigger hasn’t been as strong as I was hoping it would be at this point. The only reason I’m continuing on with it is because I’m trying to fill in what gaps I have from jumping so far ahead in the manga when I began reading Weekly Shonen Jump earlier this year. If not for that, I’d be seriously considering dropping World Trigger from my viewing schedule.

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