World Trigger: Episode 5: “Power Elite, Yuichi Jin”

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 Five starts off with Kitora appearing to take down the Neighbor, but it has a mechanism of crashing where it can cause the most damage if it’s injured. Yuma finds a way to secretly help Kitora.

During this episode, Kitora continues with her arrogant attitude at the beginning, which includes claiming that Osamu is trying to score points with the citizens. But when Osamu points her out as the one who killed the Neighbor, Yuma tells Kitora that she just can’t compete with Osamu. Yuma tells her she’s pretty good, though. This scene appears to be the start of a turning point for Kitora. While she obviously hasn’t changed her attitude immediately, we do start seeing a slight difference to her as a character. While Kitora hasn’t redeemed herself yet, I hope that will eventually happen.

This episode also officially introduces Yuichi Jin, a Power Elite at Border who was the one who had rescued Osamu from a Neighbor at one point in this life. Yuichi is a nice guy, but he’s also a smooth operator, especially when it comes to the ladies. He plays an important role during the rest of the episode, which takes place in a meeting to discuss both what to do about Osamu and countermeasures for the abnormal gates appearing in the city.

The section of the episode at the meeting is important, but it was done in such a way that it felt boring, especially at one point when the animators were relying too heavily on reaction shots. There was also a dramatic pause during a piece of Osamu’s dialogue that felt as if it ran a little too long. While a dramatic pause was appropriate, I thought it needed to be a little shorter.

I was also distracted in this scene by the designs of a couple of characters, because I thought they looked a little too similar to characters from Fullmetal Alchemist. I thought one of the guys at the meeting looked very similar to Maes Hughes, while Shuji Miwa looked a lot like a young Roy Mustang.

But as expected, there’s a debate to decide what to do about Osamu. It gets a surprising resolution, thanks in large part to Yuichi. But we also learn that Shuji has a suspicion that Osamu knows a Neighbor and asks permission for his squad to keep an eye on him. He’s given permission and is told that if they find a Neighbor, he must be exterminated.

Pacing is definitely still a problem for the episodes of World Trigger. In this case, all of the action happened very early on in the episode, and then the remainder of it focused on character development and exposition. Unfortunately, the writers haven’t seemed to figure out how to adapt the manga in a way where the episodes would have a better mix of action and exposition over the course of these first five episodes. I can only hope that they can start figuring this out sooner rather than later. At least the overarching story is slowly starting to become a little more interesting, especially with the risk of Yuma being killed by Border if he’s discovered.

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