World Trigger: Episode 15 – “Black Trigger, Fujin”

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.

Just like with Episode 14, Episode 15 had a longer than usual recap; the one for Episode 15 ran for almost two-and-a-half minutes. Last week, I had suspicions that the longer recap was included to help stretch out the story. After watching this episode, I’m convinced that this is what’s going on. Even with the weird pacing we’ve seen World Trigger use, it appears the production may still be moving faster than they had anticipated. Considering they need to try to make the story last for 50 episodes and the series is already adapting chapters from the fourth tankobon release in Episode 15, perhaps there’s a fear that they’ll catch up with the already published chapters too quickly.

The majority of Episode 15 focuses on the two battlefronts: Jin against Tachikawa, and Arashiyama Squad against Miwa Squad. Jin unleashes his Black Trigger, Fujin, and we get to see it in action. Fujin can transmit slashes through objects to attack anywhere Jin can see, and ribbons of light that emit from it are its remaining slashes. At first, it looks like Jin will have an easy victory, but then he finds himself surrounded. But, as should be expected, Jin’s Side Effect of being able to see what can happen in the future works to his advantage and allows him to read the enemy and set up a surprise for them. And of course, no one he was fighting with thought of this possibility in the heat of the moment.

We also see the fighting taking place between Arashiyama Squad and Miwa Squad. During this section, there is intercutting at one point with the Tamakoma Branch, where Shiori is explaining the Gunner Trigger to Yuma and Osamu. On the one hand, this didn’t happen nearly as much as it did in Episode 14; however, this just felt like it was randomly thrown in and broke up the flow of the battle for no real reason. I especially felt this way after seeing that this exact same information was explained again in the ending omake. Again, this random explanation being thrown in feels like another attempt to stretch the story out a little longer in order to slow the pacing down.

Sigh. Just as the pacing issues appeared to be getting better a few episodes back, World Trigger has returned to utilizing awkward pacing for the episodes. Not only that, the series is now relying on longer recaps at the beginning and intercutting explanations into major battle scenes in order to make the battles last longer. Episode 15, which should have been an exciting episode to watch with all the fighting and action, was rather boring for me to watch due to these issues. I was getting bored enough that I was having a harder and harder time focusing on what was going on.

At this point, I feel it’s safe to say that the awkward pacing issues are going to plague the series for the rest of its run. Whether it will be enough to keep me away from this series come Spring 2015 is still up in the air at the moment.

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