World Trigger: Episode 9 – “The Organization Known as Border”

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 Nine is a major exposition episode. Through a conversation that Chika has with Yuma, both she and the audience learns how the Neighbors use the people that they capture. Chika also reveals that both one of her friends and her older brother were captured by the Neighbors. Yuma also talks a little bit about what his father was like. To me, the strongest part of this section was seeing Chika’s reaction after learning that her friend and her brother are most likely still alive in the other world. As a viewer, I could sense the decrease in her tenseness and the potential sense of relief that she seemed to be feel afterwards.

And through the interactions at the meeting at Border headquarters between Osamu, Jin, and the various bigwigs, there’s more exposition that’s revealed. After a mention is made about what proper chain of command is needed to give an order, the audience is given an explanation of how Border’s chain of command works. To me, that felt rather dry and it broke the flow of the scene. The information was needed to understand why characters were reacting the way they did, but the way it was handled wasn’t the necessarily the best way to convey that information.

But the most important piece of exposition to come out of this meeting is the potential identity of Yuma’s father. A Yugo Kuga was one of the founders of Border, and was a colleague of Kido’s and a senpai for two of the other higher ups. If this is indeed Yuma’s father, the repercussions this could have could potentially be enormous.

What ultimately results is that Osamu and Jin are ordered to serve as go-betweens for Border and Yuma. While it looked like Yuma might have been safe, we see after Osamu and Jin leave that the higher ups are making plans that still put Yuma into potential danger. I had a feeling that after Osamu and Jin were given their assignment that the bigwigs would be planning something behind their back.

It’s also revealed that there are three factions within Border that have very different ideals in regards to the Neighbors; these factions were first hinted at with the interactions at the meeting. But the factions are explained more in detail when Jin has a talk with Osamu. While I didn’t mind getting it there, it was annoying when the little bit at the end where information for the series is revealed ended up reiterating the information on the three factions in Border. There had only been a short amount of time since Jin’s explanation so having it show up again in the ending bit before the preview of the next episode made it feel redundant.

It was recently announced that World Trigger is scheduled to run for 50 episodes, and this probably explains some of the pacing issues going on. But these pacing issues could potentially affect viewers’ enjoyment of the series, especially for viewers who may not already be familiar with the manga source material. At this point, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be sticking with World Trigger after the Fall 2014 season ends. There should be another 2-3 episodes to air before the end of this season, so I’ll see if maybe the pacing can start getting a little better between now and then. After thinking that Episode Eight had been an improvement over the previous episodes and was starting to get me interested in the series, I felt that Episode Nine took a couple of steps back in that regard. Hopefully Episode 10 will be better.

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