World Trigger (149-152) – Review

World Trigger:

Chapters 149-152

Reviewed by: Tom

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In this chapter a man is forced to make an incredibly idiotic decision because plot.

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?


Chapter 149:

The room is silent as everyone waits for Kido to make his call. Unsurprisingly Kido gives permission for Hyuse to join Osamu’s squad (Even though it’s a massively under developed, unconsidered, and poorly thought out idea.) However, Kido does have a condition for Hyuse joining. He wants Chika to come along, which stuns Osamu. Apparently it has to do with powering the Away Ship, as it runs off trion and with someone like Chika, and her near endless supply, they don’t need to make as many stops along the way.

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She will become our– mascot character!

However, this also means if Osamu’s team isn’t chosen for the away mission they’ll still bring Chika anyway. Chika is okay with this set up. She asserts that there’s nothing to worry about, they’ll definitely make A Rank before then. As if we didn’t already have enough pages of talking heads, Kido has another topic to bring up. Kido drops the bomb that Osamu and the others have zero chance of making A rank before the next Away Mission. Osamu is freaking out, fearing he’s been duped by Kido, but Kido explains that due to increasing the size of the mission they’ll be accepting B rank squad members too. This feels a bit too convenient, as if we’re handing our heroes their victory without really having achieved their goals. Sure, there’s the condition that they need to reach the B-rank top 2, but this is by far easier to achieve than before, effectively damaging the tension. Sometimes it feels like World Trigger just doesn’t know how to build itself up. At times it makes wonderful decisions that add to the world, characters, and story, and at others it undermines what tension it has in favor of ‘twists.’ that don’t amount to much.

Anyway, Hyuse has to start at C-rank, and work his way up, once he hits B-rank he can join Osamu’s squad. So it’s sounding like Hyuse might not even be a player in the Rank wars, meaning Osamu and Co. have to make it there on their own ability? Despite this, the team still talks as if Hyuse will be an asset in winning the Rank wars, so I guess the deadline isn’t all that tight anyway.

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I feel like you’re jumping the gun considering you gotta go get into C-rank first.

Snapping back to the Border heads, they discuss how Rindo’s little turn on Osamu was actually part of his plan to shift the conversation around and win the debate. It’s– clever? I guess? It doesn’t at all take away from how ill-thought and naive Osamu’s argument was, or how ridiculous it is that anyone was willing to agree to it. Hyuse’s got some convincing plot armor on that made that entire sequence work and it still doesn’t sit at all well with me.

Chapter 150:

Konami is shocked that Osamu agreed to lend Chika to the away mission. We then spend the next several pages informing Konami of what lead to this development. It’s wasted space and does very little to actually further the story. I’m honestly getting impatient for us to start moving things along again and bogging us down in repeated details is really unnecessary.

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We covered this in the last chapter! Why are we still talking about it!?

Moving past the needless recap, Osamu and Co. sit down for a strategy meeting. The trouble with reaching 2nd rank is that they need to gain more points than the other team, but they don’t know how well those teams will do during their matches. All they can do is pray and, like I suspected, they have to do at least part of the remaining Rank Wars without Hyuse will he finishes his induction.

They start going over the two teams they’ll be fighting today: Ikoma Squad (Which has four members, so I guess you can have four people on the field, huh.) and Oji Squad. Each squad gets talked up, detailing how dangerous and hard to beat they’ll be. Finally, it seems these teams will be the true test as to exactly how much Osamu, Chika, and Kuga all actually improved.

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We actually get a glimpse into Ikoma Squad, who all seem to chat like dude bros (crazy cool, bad news, wild!) Which is weird, but we’ll work with it. Their discussion of Osamu’s team quickly turns into reminding their operator, Mario (which might be a mistranslation? I think her name is supposed to be Maori?) that they think she’s damn cute too. What an odd group of people.

Ikoma Squad gets back to the main topic, and apparently they already have a surefire way to handle Chika and her lead bullet sniping. Back with Osamu they start going over Oji squad, which is strong at CQC. Getting a look into Oji Squad, we learn their captain, Oji, is picking Cityscape A for the battle map. It turns out Oji has analyzed how Osamu’s strategy is to either get you out in the open and hammer you with lead bullets, or trip you up with wires in tight spaces. Cityscape A provides a balanced map that should mitigate some of those extremes.

Chapter 151:

Back right where we left off, Oji starts going over their plan for the match. Apparently their primary target is Osamu. It’s to stop him from putting down his wires and tripping them up. However, back with Tamakoma-2, Osamu knows he’s going to be their primary target.

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But he knows, that I know, that he knows, that we know, that she knows, that I may know, that he definitely doesn’t know, that I know, but he knows, and she’ll know, that we knew, that he knows, that we know, that we don’t know, but he does know, and she will know, that I knew, that we knew, that he knows, that I know, that she knows, that we know, that– I’m sorry what was I saying?

We then jump between each of the teams, Ikoma squad is talking about food now (I guess these guys maintain top position through innate skill alone) and Oji is still going over their own counter strategy to Osamu. It can feel tedious sometimes, but the strategy planning sessions here are fun if you’re in the right mindset. Listening in to each team as they set up their plan for the upcoming battle and how their opponents plan to counter it. It can get a little silly how often they predict each other’s movements but I find the strategy talk far stronger than the last few chapters.

Meanwhile, away from all the strategy discussion, Hyuse goes to the new recruits induction ceremony. He’s getting a lot of looks and chatter, but no one seems to know he’s a Neighbor. Eizo and Kinuta watch through monitors and go back to discussing Kido’s decision to allow Hyuse to join up. I really wish we’d move on. Sometimes World Trigger just sits on plot points forever, constantly hammering things home. As if it wasn’t already painfully obvious, Eizo and Kinuta remind us that what Kido really wanted out of the negotiations was Chika’s cooperation. (You’d think with a militaryesque command structure you wouldn’t need permission to change up deployment, but okay.)

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Can’t– Can’t we please just focus on Hyuse instead of the old dudes talking? Please?

Getting back to Hyuse, Eizo kind of addresses my concerns, but instead focuses purely on what to do with Hyuse after they arrive back at his home planet. Karasawa doesn’t see a problem, they’ll just eliminate Hyuse if he attempts to betray them after they arrive. This discussion goes on for numerous pages and again, World Trigger gets bogged down in needless detail that could easily be answered at a later date. It really is the Achilles’ heel of this manga.

Moving away from the Border Chiefs, we finally get back into the Rank Wars! We get a very brief run down of who are commentators are, the map, some speculation and then the battle is declared a go!

Chapter 152:

Oji, Ikoma, and Tamakoma-2 all port in and the battle is a go. Osamu immediately recognizes the map and calls for Usami to give him the locations he can put wires down. Oji squad realizes that one person is already hidden on the map and it’s assuredly Osamu. They get ready to hunt him down. the commentators discuss possible strategy for a bit and we return to the battlefield as Koji, Ikoma’s sniper, gets into position. He’s spotted by a member of Oji squad, Kashio, who doesn’t give chase.

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Sometimes I wish the art wasn’t so stilted like this.

Oji squad starts to converge on Osamu’s probable location and Kuga charges in to defend him. But Captain Oji stops, starting to realize this might be a trap. Switching up tactics, Ikoma and Oji both have teammates use bagworms to hide on the map, and quickly stumble upon Osamu’s nest of wires, pinpointing his location.

Kuga warns Osamu, and rather than run he reveals his position by firing a blast of Asteroid off. Kashio of Oji, and Kai of Ikoma both rush for Osamu, but find each other, and prepare to square off. Osamu hides nearby and swears to himself he won’t get taken out ever again without first somehow aiding his teammates.

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I feel like the ultimate goal should be, oh I dunno, not get taken out ever– but baby steps I guess.

Outside of chapter 152, the rest of this batch was a real struggle. Too much time is spent harping over and over again on minor details, or scheming that really isn’t all that complex to understand. It’s a lot of useless information and only keeps the story from progressing faster. I’m hoping as World Trigger ages Daisuke Ashihara, our author, gets better at streamlining things and spends less time harping over and over again on details we don’t need answered right there and then. Thankfully we’re past that black mark and full into this new Rank Wars battle between Osamu, Oji, and Ikoma squad. It’s really helping to wash the taste of the last few chapters away and I’m definitely excited again to see how Osamu gets himself out of this mess.

That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are for World Trigger 149-152 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, 149-152, will be collected in Volume 17, releasing mid 2017.

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  • How is Osamu’s argument poorly thought out? He clearly explains Hyuse’s usefulness in order to become part of Tamakoma-2. He set up Rindo in order for the conversation to smoothly transition into focusing on the strongest aspect for Hyuse’s recruitment. And even for the risk of allowing Hyuse on the expedition, Hyuse has no reason to betray them until they get to Aftokrator.

    Kido also had an objective in the meeting. To get Tamakoma to hand over Chika for the expedition, so he used Hyuse’s enlistment as a bargaining chip he’s willing to hand over for the use of Chika.

    Tamakoma-2’s goal is now much more feasible and much more reasonable to believe that they can achieve such a goal in a pretty short amount of time. I’m glad for the goal change.

    • My issue has more to do with logistics and trust issues surrounding Hyuse. Sure, he says he has no need to betray them until they get back to Aftokrator, but how do we know he doesn’t have a way of getting back to Afto once off Earth? My issue isn’t so much that I suspect Hyuse will betray them but rather that from Border’s P.O.V. it feels very short sighted to assume he’s telling the complete truth here and doesn’t have other options. While he can act as a guide, it feels very foolish to allow him to wield any kind of weapon, seeing as he still has enough allegiance to the enemy that his primary goal is to return home. It doesn’t make sense from the Chief’s position to allow for that kind of liability. I guess the core of my issue is that it feels as if our characters are very well aware their in a shonen manga, which, for such a methodical manga, bothers me that proceedings so easily cave to the tropes of the genre.

      Heck, the manga even returns to the issue of trusting Hyuse, so it feels convenient they’re even willing to cave to the idea of including him as a member in the first place. I just don’t feel Osamu’s argument had that much swaying power, or should have had as written here. I want to make it clear that I don’t have a problem with the idea of this development, but more the execution.

      While I understand Kido has an objective, to get Chika on the Away Ship, it feels very forced. If Border is a militaryesque organization it shouldn’t have any need to seek “permission” from its soldiers if they feel like mixing things up for deployment purposes. It feels very “convenient,” as a way to make the whole bargaining conversation work and act as leverage to introduce Hyuse to the team, Again, it feels like events caving to trappings of the genre. I don’t fault it as much for this point, however, as we already do the whole “everyone forms their own teams” mechanic, which would never actually happen, but makes sense from the genre perspective and is already such an ingrained part of the story’s narrative.

      But thanks for commenting! Always great to hear another’s view =)

      • From their point of view, I would find it very unlikely that Hyuse has any other options. He was abandoned by his allies, and his contact with an Aftokrator subordinate ended in failure as they had no intention whatsoever of bringing him back. If Hyuse’s only goal is to go back home, then it would be in his best interest to cooperate with Border until they get there. Even if Hyuse has some sort of plan, it’s going to be tough to execute while being surrounded by the strongest of Border, having his position constantly monitored, and has limited freedom while on the mission.

        I don’t really think Osamu’s argument reall had THAT much of a sway on the deal. Kido only really saw Hyuse’s enlistment as a way to get Chika without adding more tension between the factions. It’s a pretty fair deal. Kido gets what he wants, Osamu gets what he wants, everyone’s happy. Bringing up Hyuse’s trust issues after arriving to Aftokrator would most likely hurt both of their arguments, since Osamu has no answers, and Kido has some pretty brutal answers.

        I think everything is proceeding nicely and logically, that I don’t really see the series falling for any trappings in this instance.

        • I don’t know about that. Hyuse could always have some kind of trap planned, or lead them into one while posing as their guide. Just because he’s under guard doesn’t mean he can’t screw things up in other ways. I feel there’s too many assumptions here about how effective Border can be at mitigating and controlling Hyuse, or ensuring his cooperation.

          If we’re not talking about the issue of Kido even needing to ask about Chika’s placement in the first place, I’ll concede it makes some sense as a fair exchange. But either way, for me personally, I find these moments to be far less compelling and well-written than say, the Rank Wars, or other major moments in the series. It’s fine if you don’t find fault however.

          As Shonen Manga are often ongoing for many years at a time, it makes it difficult to pass any kind of ‘final judgement’ (which is, of course, subjective anyway) so my thoughts here are more for discussions purposes and I’ve enjoyed going back and forth on this particular aspect of the series with you. =)

          • I think Hyuse’s purpose would be to give the general lay of the land, not necessarily lead them anywhere. Hyuse would just let Border know the culture of the land, their military strength, how hostile they are, etc. Where Border goes is determined by prior expeditions, Replica’s information, and Enedorad providing a route to Aftokrator.

            If Hyuse leads them anywhere, he would have to be pretty convincing and get past the lie detector that is Yuma. Even if they are on the same team, I would think that Yuma would call Hyuse on his crap for the sake of Border’s safety. The benefit of Hyuse’s information definitely comes with the risk of his betrayal, but I do believe that Border is capable of putting forth safety measures and contingency plans in case the worst does happen.

            Discussing World Trigger is always a fun time.

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