World Trigger (146-148) – Review
Reviewed by: Tom
Synopsis: A gate to another dimension opened and seemingly invincible monsters called Neighbors came forth, invading our world. The organization known as Border rose up and fought them back. Now years later, Osamu Mikumo has applied to border as an agent, but he’s easily one of the weakest applicants. However, his life changes when he meets Yuma, a boy who comes from the same place the monsters did: through the portal. He himself is a neighbor and together they’ll do whatever they can to defend the Earth.
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Osamu and Yuma both survived and held back the invading Neighbors in a major assault to try and steal people who have high levels of Trion, the energy used to control triggers weapons. After a failed attack by Galapoula, Neighbors who sought to destroy the Away Ship and prevent Border from striking back against their enemies, the Rank Wars Tournament continues. Osamu’s team was lacking in power, carried by Yuma for most of their matches. Now, after some training, have Osamu’s own skills increased enough to prevent his team from losing the Rank Wars?
Captain Katori is forced to bail out leaving Tamakoma-2 the winner at an overwhelming victory score of seven to one and one. It’s a solid win for the team, but I personally don’t buy it as a showcase of how much they’ve improved. They went up against two highly flawed teams and that doesn’t sell this victory to me as particularly impressive.
The rank battle commentators discuss how great Tamakoma’s strategy was, although I think two deaths and a squeaker of a victory takes away from that ‘great strategy,’ but okay. There’s especially a lot of praise for Osamu and his use of the wires, which I do think was one of the more impressive tactics used here.
The commentators switch over to discussing Kuniharu’s team and their over reliance on the three man strategy. Kuniharu apologizes to his teammates, but they forgive him, still believe in him and set about creating new types of strategies that’ll better suit their team work and abilities. Whether this battle sold you on Osamu’s prowess or not, the one solid thing World Trigger did was build up these extra side characters, providing them with decent personalities and some brief character development. It helps to sell the world of, well, World Trigger, even if these characters never feature very prominently again.
Going back to the mechanics, Hyuse reveals that there’s far more to Osamu’s wires than originally let on. Instead of two types of wires, ones you can see and ones you can’t, there’s something like five different wire types and the trap is to make you either rush through them and get caught up, or slow down enough that you’re a sitting target.
Thanks to all the points from their victory Osamu’s team jumps all the way up to position four. I feel like their next opponents will be a better test as to whether they’ve actually improved enough or not. I’m hoping the next teams aren’t suffering from internal problems, as I’d like an actual test of Osamu’s abilities.
Finally, returning to Yoko’s team, she declares she’s done with Border and the whole Trigger thing. But her teammates work together through her tantrum and convince her that if she can still feel the sting of defeat then that means she can grow stronger. I’ve come around on these characters. Initially I felt Yoko and her story was, well, unnecessary. And while it still is, I actually enjoyed learning about this talented under achiever and her struggle with effort vs. talent. It’s formed a nice back bone to the rank battle and while I don’t necessarily want focus on these characters going forward, I’m now happy we had them in the fight.
Ending the chapter Jin asks Hyuse his opinion, and he believes that Osamu and his team only got slightly better (What I’ve been saying the whole time, jeez.) And Jin drops a pretty big bomb about Hyuse joining Osamu’s squad. How exactly that’s going to work I don’t know, but it definitely has my interest peeked.
Jin prepares a huge meal for the team as a celebration for their hard earned victory. As they’re all discussing the match, what lies in the future, and praising Osamu’s hard work, Yotaro drops the bomb about Hyuse wanting to join the team. Quite a few people are surprised, and question why Hyuse suddenly wants to work with them when he was originally so against them (clearly some characters haven’t been reading the manga) but Hyuse just says it’s about wanting to get back home, and he’ll help them if it means he can return to his people.
Konami is super against this though, believing Hyuse is still out to kidnap Chika, and should be considered a dangerous enemy. Hyuse says he doesn’t care about Chika, the Golden Goose, anymore, and doesn’t care whether people believe him or not. Chika says she’s with it as long as Osamu is too. I found these pages necessary, yet also boring. We know Hyuse is going to be joining Osamu’s team and while there’s push back, after all the teasing Hyuse’s had as becoming a larger character it wouldn’t make sense to cock block this development.
Konami tries to argue that they don’t even need him on their team, but Hyuse makes a case for himself when he points out that there’s still a major flaw, if Kuga goes down it’s all over for them. So Hyuse offers to become their second ace. While I’m excited, I am a little confused as I thought teams were formed of three people and an operator?
Osamu is impressed with how easily Hyuse read his team just by watching the matches. There’s some logistical issues discussed here, about whether anyone would recognize Hyuse, his horns, etc. All great questions, but I feel this is where World Trigger often struggles, becoming overly bogged down in details. We don’t need all these questions answered this minute, and we could pepper them out over several chapters as we incorporate Hyuse into the team, but by answering them all here it really kills the pace.
There’s a mini revelation here, as they decide to tie Hyuse as a relative to an engineer who works for Tamakoma, one Mikael Khronin who’s posing as a Canadian but is actually a neighbor. There’s a bit of shock placed on this reveal, but we quickly skirt it in favor of a bigger issue- how to get approval for Hyuse to join their team.
Hyuse makes things more difficult by refusing to cooperate and sell his country out to Border. Kuga tries to get him to see reason, but Hyuse refuses to betray his lord. Despite his prickly nature, Osamu accepts Hyuse’s conditions. The chapter concludes with Osamu, Kuga, Chika and Hyuse approaching Border’s higher ups to try and convince them that Hyuse joining is an asset rather than a liability.
Flashing back to before the meeting, Director Rindo warns Osamu that he might not be of much help. Osamu understands, but also has something he needs to ask the Director before they head in. Hyuse asks Jin to come up with a back up plan to get him home, but Jin basically says that won’t be necessarry, not with Osamu at bat.
Osamu gets right to the issue at hand, and there’s already significant push back as the higher ups aren’t so quick to forget the role Hyuse played in the invasion. The higher ups ask if him joining means he’ll give them the information they seek, but Hyuse still refuses. Osamu brings up how Hyuse helped to defeat one of the Galopoula invaders, but it’s still not enough. Even Director Rindo doesn’t seem to see Hyuse as a bonus. The odds are really stacked against the team here, but I feel the outcome is inevitable and we’re only drawing out events that have a conclusion we all know is coming.
Osamu argues that actually having Hyuse along is beneficial as he can act as a guide. Amazingly enough this is the argument that sells the higher ups. I, personally, find it a weak one. We don’t know what information Hyuse is keeping secret. For all we know he has a way to return, without Borders help, on another planet they’ll journey through. It’s a big assumption, and for a manga so methodical, I think it’s playing really fast and lose with this idea. For any of the higher ups to agree over this line of thought makes them look like real fools. That said, I’m pretty sure Hyuse won’t end up betraying them. I get the sense he’s a Vegeta type character.
Despite many of the higher ups changing to Osamu’s line of thinking, it all comes down to what Director Kinuta thinks and before he reveals where he sits, the chapter ends. I’m actually pretty disappointed at how weak Osamu’s argument is and that it manages to convince anyone at all. It’s extremely naive from where I’m sitting and I think this has to be one of the weaker turn arounds within World Trigger.
That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are for World Trigger 146-148 in the comments below.
World Trigger is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 107-115 are collected in Volume 13 releasing Nov 1st, 2016. Chapters discussed today, 146-148, will be collected in Volume 17, releasing mid 2017.