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 26 starts off on the wrong foot with the first four minutes being devoted to various recaps. While I know that there are shows, such as Bleach, that were even worse about how much time they devoted to recap at the beginning of an episode, the four-minute recap for this episode was just the tip of the iceberg.
So after the recap finishes, the audience is basically launched right into a flashback sequence for Shiro Kikuchihara, which explains his Side Effect of enhanced hearing and how he ultimately became a member of Kazama Squad. While getting this information was helpful and provided some background for Shiro, it just helped to bog down the episode early on after it was already starting to feel bogged down by so much recap.
This episode may have been titled, “Fierce fight! Enedora vs. Kazama Squad,” but it’s not as action oriented as the title made it appear to be. While Kazama Squad does have some clashes with Enedora, these fight sequences ended up having exposition thrown in. The exposition was accomplished either by showing flashbacks or by having a voice over explaining concepts. While intercutting the exposition works great in a manga format, it doesn’t work so well with animation, which is geared more toward action. A couple of important things happen during these clashes, but it was hard to care after feeling so bogged down and frustrated with all of the exposition.
There’s a scene later on where Tachikawa comes to rescue Ko Murakami, which ultimately leads to seeing Commander Shinoda explaining what his next plans are and why he’s taking this course of action. Again, while there was some action with Tachikawa taking down three Rabits with his Black Trigger, the scene was bogged down with Shinoda’s explanation. And right at the end of the episode, Jin comes over to Yuma and Arashiyama Squad and gives a rather grim outlook for what the future can hold. Jin’s proclamation serves as the cliffhanger for the end of the episode, and this is probably one of the few things that Episode 26 ultimately got right for its writing and storytelling.
It just felt like that after the progress World Trigger had made with its storytelling and writing recently, Episode 26 took at least two steps backward to return to the writing style that was bogging down the series early on. I understand that they’re trying to stretch this out to 50 episodes, but having to resort to these old tricks makes me think that 50 episodes is just going to be too much if they’re not willing to include filler. Not that I want filler, mind you, but perhaps there should have been a smaller order of episodes for the series. By not trying to fill as large of an order, some of those earlier episodes could have been condensed down in order to help move the story along at more of a natural pace. Hopefully Episode 27 will be more action oriented.
Additional posts about World Trigger: