World Trigger: Episode 13 – “Border’s Top Teams”

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.

Right at the beginning of Episode 13, we see that Border is watching Yuma in order to get an idea of his daily routine. There’s some comedy inserted here when the person who’s watching Yuma is focusing more on details that have no real relevance on their mission than on what he’s supposed to be keeping track of. While I understand that this was here to establish the surveillance being done on Yuma, the way it was done felt more like “time kill” than truly adding anything of substance to the story.

The audience is then introduced to Kei Tachikawa, one of the top members in Border’s teams. Kido gives him and his team a mission to secure Yuma’s Black Trigger. As we see Tachikawa interacting with others during the meeting, it becomes clear that he thinks rather highly of himself, so I found myself not liking him right off the bat.

Even though the title of the episode focuses on Border’s top teams, the main focus of the episode ends up being on the training that Yuma, Chika, and Osamu are receiving at the Tamakoma Branch. Yuma and Chika are showing a lot of promise, but Osamu is still struggling. His mentor decides to try a trick he saw in an old movie where the character learned some of the moves he needed by doing cleaning chores. When I saw that, I had to nearly laugh since it was an obvious reference to the Karate Kid. Unfortunately, it’s discovered rather quickly that this didn’t help Osamu at all. They also try playing a game of karuta to help Osamu improve his reflexes, but this fails miserably as well. This section provides some much needed light-hearted moments before the important scene that takes place at the end of the episode.

Since we know Jin has an ability to see the future, it’s not surprising that he appears in front of Tachikawa and the group he’s leading to secure Yuma. Jin tries combining his persuasive power with logic, but the audience sees that Tachikawa has a similar ability so Jin’s attempts don’t work at all on Tachikawa. Everyone is surprised when Arashiyama Squad arrives on orders from Director Shinoda to assist Tamakoma Branch.

Once again, the episode ends just as the important fight is about to start. This tactic has become a little too consistent with World Trigger, so I’ve almost come to expect it. It’s actually more surprising for an episode not to end in this manner at this point.

I have to admit that the story of World Trigger has become more interesting than it had been for most of the early episodes, but it still does have some of the pacing issues that I’ve complained about in the past. But now that the story is more interesting, it does help to diminish some of the effects of the series’ pacing.

While World Trigger still doesn’t rank among my favorite anime series that I’ve been watching as simulcasts, it has started to become more tolerable. If my interest in the series can remain at least where it is now, if not improve somewhat, then I might end up sticking it out for its entire scheduled 50-episode run.

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