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 22 sees the Neighbors and Trion soldiers swarming into Mikado City through the numerous gates that have opened up. Osamu has been summoned to help, and he has Yuma come with him. He tells Chika to evacuate with everyone else and to not go anywhere near the Forbidden Zone. My first thought here was, “Isn’t Chika a Neighbor magnet? Wouldn’t it be better to keep her away from the civilians in order to keep them safe?” I know that Osamu wants to protect Chika, but I don’t think he really thought this through.
A lot of this episode focuses on various squads as they take on the Trion soldiers. At first, it appears that Azuma Squad was able to take down the Trion soldiers rather easily, but they’re surprised when smaller Trion soldiers emerge from the ones they defeated. These smaller soldiers are previously unknown to Border, so squads are trying to fight them as best they can. Unfortunately, one squad loses a member who has to bail out, while a squad leader is swallowed by the soldier. The leader’s Trion body signal hasn’t disappeared, but he can’t bail out for some reason. As expected, Replica has data on these new Trion soldiers that he can share with Border. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see anyone utilize this information before Episode 22 ends.
Overall, this was a rather action-oriented episode showing Border beginning to fight back against the large-scale Neighbor invasion. But I thought the episode flowed well, and it definitely ranks among the stronger episodes of World Trigger that have aired at this point.
However, it appears the anime is getting closer to catching up with the manga, and there’s supposed to be 50 episodes for this series. My fear is that the anime will find a way to try to slow things down or rely on extended recaps in order to make the manga material last longer. World Trigger has finally started becoming enjoyable to watch, so I’d hate to see it slow back down to the near molasses pacing the series had very early on.
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