World Trigger: Episode 18 – “Osamu Mikumo vs. Soya Kazama”

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.

The majority of Episode 18 focuses on the mock fight between Kazama and Osamu. With the massive difference in their skill level, it’s not surprising that we see Kazama defeating Osamu again and again and again. I lost track of how many times I heard “Mikumo down” over the course of this episode. During the mock battle, Karasuma also provides some information to Yuma and the audience about the Chameleon Trigger that Kazama is using. Fortunately, this explanation was done in a way that it didn’t bog down the episode.

After Kazama declares the mock fight over after defeating Osamu more than 20 times, he mentions that he didn’t think it was worth it for Jin to give up his Black Trigger. Osamu is taken aback when he hears this, but then it gives him the courage to ask for one more fight. Osamu doesn’t want things to end this way after Jin made such a sacrifice.

Osamu comes up with a strategy that he thinks will allow him to actually get a hit on Kazama. As he does, he has a flashback of things he learned while training with Karasuma. Unfortunately, the way this flashback was handled ended up hurting the flow of the episode. I understand that the information that was included in the flashback was important for the viewer to understand what Osamu is trying to do, but the action comes to a dead stop and it seems that at least two minutes, if not more, were devoted to this explanation. And it didn’t help that some of this exact same information was imparted again in the omake that appears at the end of the episode.

But Osamu manages to do something that surprises everyone. While it doesn’t get him the win for the final mock fight, it does allow him to tie with Kazama, who is an A-Rank member of Border.

Near the end of the episode, we also get to see a little of what happened to Chika after she accidentally shot a hole through the building in the previous episode. At first, it looks like Chika is going to be in big trouble, especially with R&D Director Kinuta. But in the end, Osamu, Yuma, and the audience are surprised by how this situation is resolved. The resolution ends up being on the amusing side.

In the end, Episode 18 wasn’t quite as strong as Episode 17 had been. I have to admit that at this point, I’m rather lukewarm when it comes to World Trigger. It has an interesting premise, but the pacing of the episodes, along with the fact that Osamu still isn’t that impressive of a main character, hurts this series for me. While Osamu is a decent strategist, we know basically little to nothing about his backstory. At this point, most series seem to try to have accomplished some kind of backstory development for their main character. I’ll probably try to stick it out for its entire 50 episode run, but I expect that I’ll never truly become a fan of this series.

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