World Trigger 156-158 – 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?
These chapters are solid. While I think Osamu’s team ultimately winning perhaps somewhat undermines the message that Osamu himself has a long way to go, that message is still delivered quite well here and hammered home. It’s actually kind of impressive how long World Trigger has managed to carry Osamu as a physically weak main character without powering him up outside of his abilities as a tactician.
Jumping right in from last time Osamu tries to defend Chika from Oji. He’s no match though, and while he does buy time for Chika to ultimately escape, Osamu himself is quite easily defeated. In fact, it’s really Chika herself who has to finish Osamu’s job, hammering home how Osamu may have overall strategy down, but his ability to execute is still laughably behind everyone else’s.
With Chika away it doesn’t take long for her to get set back up and start firing her hugely explosive shots over the city. Ikoma squads sniper, Oki, manages to pin Chika down though and it looks like the battle is entering its final phase. Outside of the combat there’s quite a bit of commentary chatter, and while it can be interesting, I feel like the chapter is bloated down with it. Heck, it’s kinda telling that normally it takes me four to five paragraphs to summarize a chapter and here, avoiding even really talking about the commentary, It only took two.
Kuga charges in against Ikoma and surprisingly has him at a disadvantage as Kuga can move a hell of a lot faster than he expected. It doesn’t take long however for Ikoma and his pal to start attacking long range, something Kuga can’t really cope against. And in that effort they begin taking out all the traps Osamu had set before he’d been disposed of. What I love about these chapters is how rapid fire the combat is. Baring the commentary, things are constantly happening, with who’s winning shifting back and forth at an alarming rate. World Trigger definitely deserves some praise for all this as it’s the most action packed shonen battle I’ve read in a while that kept me guessing as to who’d take the lead next.
It briefly turns into a bit of a waiting game as both sides seem evenly matched. In fact Ikoma’s team starts to wonder if Kuga is basically holding out until the timer hits zero. But Kuga catches them off guard with a counter attack, hurling a brick into Mizukami’s chin, buying time for Chika to sink a lead bullet into him and for Oji to come in for a surprise kill. Again, it’s incredible how fast and crazy this battle is.
But Ikoma isn’t to be forgotten about. He does his whirlwind attack and manages to catch Oji’s foot, cutting it right off. Chika goes in for another barrage of fire, blowing away even more houses. She sinks a lead bullet into Ikoma’s sword, seemingly rendering it useless.
But Oki gets on top of Chika, firing on her and preventing her from continuing her sniping. With Chika down Ikoma isn’t quite as useless as one might think with a lead bullet in his sword. He slashes away the houses and turns the street into a chaos of flying debris. But thanks to Osamu’s lingering wires it creates an opening for Kuga as Oji gets stuck on one. Kuga strikes and takes Oji out with a piercing stab to his chest. I love this chapter. Of the three it’s definitely my favorite. So much happens and it’s quite clever how well the chaos all comes together.
Oji congratulates Kuga on a job well done before managing to get off a small counter attack that tears through Kuga’s leg. Oji bails out, but Kuga is left heavily damaged and bleeding trion. Chika’s still under fire too.
She attempts to return fire on Oki, sinking a lead bullet into his chest, although he manages to blow her leg clean off. Kuga starts to go head to head with Ikoma, in what would appear to be a losing battle. However, it’s a ploy as Kuga launches himself past Ikoma, into the air, and right for Oki. Oki tries to defend himself but isn’t accurate enough and Kuga takes him out with one blow.
Ikoma’s quick with the counter and takes out Kuga. Chika, useless at this point since it’s not like she’s capable of scoring kill points anyway, bails out, allowing Ikoma squad to take the survival bonus point. It’s my one ongoing complaint that surfaces here, allowing Chika to still get away with her no-shooting people policy. It just, let me say again, feels so stupid considering she’d be blasting away trion bodies. I can understand now wanting to kill people, but once you take that off the table it really feels far too goody two-shoes and inane for my tastes.
Despite Osamu’s failing in direct combat, the team comes out on top, beating both Oji and Ikoma squads. The post match discussion covers how this may have worked for Tamakoma-2 for now, but future match ups won’t allow them to get their traps set up and people will hunt them down long before they’re prepared. the commentators basically settle on the idea that while Osamu has strategy cornered, they need at least one more strong attacker on their team. Just as the chapter ends we snap back to the guy we’ve all been waiting for, our Vegeta of the series, Hyuse, who I guess we’re finally about to see how his C-rank status is coming along.
Overall I’m very satisfied with these chapters, despite my misgivings from earlier developments in this arc. I know I sort of flip flop around a lot on World Trigger, sometimes the series is terribly impressive to me, and other times I feel like it’s mistake after mistake. But here Daisuke Ashihara proves that when it comes to battle strategy and the chaos of World Trigger’s combat the manga is usually on point, with developments that are intensely impressive, especially when we’re focusing on battles that consist of more than two opposing sides.
That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are for World Trigger 156-158 in the comments below.