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 16 opens with Shiori explaining Optional Triggers to Yuma and Osamu. I recently read the fourth volume of the World Trigger manga, and everything in this episode appears in it… except for this scene and one other. This scene makes a mention of how great glasses are, and in a later scene, Konami is tricked into believing that they are starting a glasses squad. Honestly, the scene where Konami is tricked didn’t truly add anything, and it felt like “time kill.” At least the scene explaining the Optional Triggers provided useful information.
This is the first instance that I’m personally aware of the anime adding content that wasn’t previously in the manga. I guess it was decided they needed another way to stretch out the story, even if just slightly, since they really couldn’t extend out any battle sequences in this episode. It seems to be becoming more apparent that the 50 episode order that was made for the series was too much for how much material currently exists in the manga. Unless they can come up with any real filler material to extend out the story, the anime is going to be catching up with the manga too quickly before reaching the episode count.
Outside of those two scenes, the rest of the episode follows the manga. The battle between the team of Jin and Arashiyama Squad against Tachikawa and Miwa Squad is resolved, with Jin beating the A-Ranked Squads. But then Jin does something surprising… he goes to Border Headquarters and offers his Black Trigger in exchange for headquarters’ permission to allow Yuma to enlist in Border. At first, it’s surprising that Jin would make such an offer, since the Black Trigger is a memento from his mentor. However, when you realize that Jin doesn’t have major ambitions of advancing in Border, as well as the fact that his Side Effect is probably telling him that it’s okay for him to do this, then it isn’t as surprising. While Kido fights this deal at first, Jin finds a way to convince him otherwise.
So now the path has been cleared for Yuma to join Border, and it’s established at the end of Episode 16 that the official Border enlistment day has finally arrived. The preview for Episode 17 shows that the enlistment day will be the focus of the next episode.
Episode 16 did a decent job of finishing off the story arc of Border’s attempt to capture Yuma and his Black Trigger. And this particular story arc did a great job of establishing Jin’s character more, and giving up his Black Trigger was a major change for him. By the end of this arc, Jin had become one of my favorite characters in World Trigger. I’m not so sure I’d go so far as to call him my favorite character yet, but he’s among my favorites.
I’m looking forward to watching Episode 17 in order to see how a Border enlistment works, since this will be the first time the audience has seen this process.
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