World Trigger: Episode 14 – “No. 1 Attacker, Kei Tachikawa”

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.

After the longer than usual recap, it looked like Episode 14 would launch into the fight that was being hinted at right at the end of Episode 13. Instead, the scene changes to the Tamakoma Branch, where Osamu and Yuma are receiving an explanation from Shiori about Border’s Trigger and the various Attack Triggers. This explanation is intercut with footage from the fight, but the action ends up being paused several times in order for Shiori to explain things. While I understand this was done in an attempt to make the explanation more interesting, it broke up the flow of the action in rather awkward ways and made it a frustrating viewing experience for me.

Then the episode starts focusing on the battle between Tachikawa and his group and Jin and Arashiyama Squad for a while. This was probably the best section of the episode, but the action kept moving and not a lot of time was spent being bogged down with exposition. But after a while, we return to Yuma, who tries to decide which Attack Trigger he should choose. We get more explanations from Shiori, this time about Jin, his Black Trigger and his rivalry with Tachikawa. This explanation is intercut with a fight between Tachikawa and Jin, but once again, the technique of pausing the action while Shiori explains something was employed. Like the previous time, this constant pausing of the fight really broke up the flow of the action, and seeing this technique used for a second time started to make me wonder if the animators were trying to use this technique as a way to cut some corners for the animation.

Sigh. Just as it seemed like World Trigger was finally starting to move, Episode 14 slows things back down again to almost a glacial crawl. In the course of 22-23 minutes, the story itself doesn’t progress very far. Yes, there are battles taking place, but the battles make little to no progress overall. The two sections where the action was paused on a regular basis really hindered the progress that these battles could have made. In the end, what could have been a good, action-packed episode ended up being bogged down by a lot of exposition. And the episode itself ended just as Jin activated his Black Trigger. Unfortunately, this ending for the episode isn’t as strong of a cliffhanger as it could have been.

But now that Jin has activated his Black Trigger, I’m hoping that Episode 15 will be a more interesting and enjoyable episode to watch than Episode 14 was.

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