World Trigger: Episode 10 – “Tamakoma Branch”

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 10 sees Jin taking Yuma, Osamu, and Chika to the Tamakoma Branch’s base. When Osamu gets there, he can’t believe how laid-back it is there and keeps wondering if this could truly be a Border base. The first time or two Osamu made this comment, it was somewhat amusing. But over the course of the episode, he says this at least five or six times, which caused the joke to wear out its welcome and become annoying.

This episode also introduces three new characters: Shiori Usami (the branch operator), Yotaro (a five-year-old who lives at the base), and a capybara named Raijin-maru. I think that Yotaro and Raijin-maru were supposed to be there for comic relief, but I thought they were annoying and didn’t truly add anything to the story.

Honestly, I felt as if most of this episode was simply killing time and didn’t really do much to advance the story. Yes, Yuma needed to be around the Tamakoma Branch, but I think this could have been accomplished in a shorter time without the extra stuff that’s thrown in (such as Yuma and Yotaro’s fishing competition where they catch the remains of a Rad from the recent annihilation plan and a pizza delivery man who arrives after Jin places an order and doesn’t tell anyone else). Also, I think this section would have been stronger if the other Tamakoma Branch’s agents were also there. Without them at the base, it seems to defeat the purpose of Yuma going there in the first place.

The only important things that take place in this episode happen during the last 5-8 minutes, once Jin’s commander appears at the base. The identity of Yuma’s father’s friend at Border is revealed as well as that friend’s connection with Jin and his Black Trigger, and Yuma is extended an offer to join Border as part of the Tamakoma Branch. But Yuma ends up declining the offer. The episode ends with Yuma starting to tell Jin and Replica starting to tell Osamu about why Yuma came to this world. A flashback is just starting when the episode ends.

Overall, I thought that this episode was a waste of time. I think it would have been stronger if Yuma’s time at the base before the commander’s arrival had been tightened up a bit so the flashback could start earlier. Honestly, I wouldn’t have had an issue if the flashback had to cut off in the middle and continue in the next episode. However, just starting the flashback and ending the episode as it starts was frustrating to me as a viewer. If the pacing of the previous nine episodes hadn’t felt so glacial, then this episode wouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did.

But knowing that a flashback episode is coming up next, I’m hoping that perhaps it can start making up for how slow the pacing has been up to this point. It would be nice to finally get more background information on Yuma in order to better understand him and his motivations.

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