World Trigger: Episode 21 – “The Neighbors’ World”

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 first seven minutes or so of Episode 21 is spent on Replica explaining about the Neighbors and their Neighborhoods. I’m glad that the exposition didn’t last as long as I had feared when I saw the preview for this episode, and the information provided was very helpful. As a viewer, I’m now starting to have a better understanding of the Neighbors and their world. This information also comes in handy for Border as the organization begins trying to formulate counterplans for the forthcoming invasion.

We also see Border HQ Director Shinoda approaching Yuma, who knew Yuma’s father and feels indebted to him. Shinoda offers to help promote Yuma to an official Border agent, but Yuma turns him down. I could tell that Yuma had really thought that out, because he had some very good reasons to decline the offer. The main reason is that there are people in Border who would be upset with Yuma if he doesn’t properly move up from C-Rank since he’s a Neighbor. But as we see in a later scene with Replica, Yuma admits that he’d be willing to break Border’s rules at such a time that he has to fight other Neighbors seriously. So it appears that Yuma wants to toe the line for now, but if he has to at a later time, he would be willing to break the rules when going up against the Neighbors.

A scene with Jin and Shuji seems to drop a hint for something that could happen later in the series. Jin sees something happen to Osamu in the future with his Side Effect, and asks Shuji to help out when this event happens. Shuji doesn’t accept the request, but Jin mutters under his breath that he knows Shuji will do it because he saw it with his Side Effect. Now if that isn’t dropping a major hint to the audience, then I don’t know what is.

Episode 21 also officially introduces the audience to Natsume Izuho, a girl who’s training to be a sniper alongside Chika. The two girls seem as if they’re starting to become friends, and I think this will be a good thing for Chika. She’s been hesitant to have friends since her large Trion power attracts Neighbors, and her previous best friend was kidnapped by a Neighbor. But now that she can meet other people in Border who are training to fight the Neighbors, this should hopefully start to make it easier for Chika to make friends.

Natsume’s official introduction took place in a rather amusing scene, especially since the audience was given another hint that perhaps Osamu likes Chika and just can’t admit it. The way he looks away and blushes comes across as a dead giveaway to the audience for how Osamu feels about Chika.

Unfortunately, this fun scene comes to an abrupt end at the conclusion of the episode, when a bunch of gates begin opening all over Mikado City, marking the arrival of the Neighbors sooner than anyone had anticipated. I thought this made for a great ending point, and it was probably one of the stronger scenes to end an episode of World Trigger.

I was a little frustrated with the omake at the end, though. It spent time re-explaining information that Replica discussed in great detail at the beginning of the episode. I felt the omake was redundant.

But when it comes to the story of World Trigger, it looks like the big-scale invasion of the Neighbors is about to get underway. The anime has just about reached the point where I jumped into the story a year ago when I first started reading VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump digital manga anthology, so it’s going to be interesting for me to watch the episodes going forward until I reach the point where the anime starts telling the story that I’m already familiar with.

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