World Trigger 162-164 – 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?
With news of the author’s illness cropping up again, and the manga entering an ‘indefinite hiatus’ phase it seems a shame that these are our last chapters for awhile. It’s a shame in multiple ways. 162 is a pretty solid chapter, but both 163 and 164 get bogged down in minor, seemingly needless complications that just aren’t intriguing enough. I do hope he has a speedy recovery though as overall I’d still love to see where World Trigger is going, even if 163 and 164 aren’t the series best chapters.
Picking up from last time Osamu explores his new room and what was Commander Kido’s old room. A lot of backstory is introduced here. We learn that Kido was one of the founding members of border and Tamakoma Branch’s HQ was the original border HQ before the expansion. He’s shown a photo of the original 16 members of Border, by Yuri, who then reveals that ten of the people in the photo all died in a battle five years ago. The group died defending one of the neighbor worlds they’d allied themselves with and those who died turned into black triggers. It’s legit interesting stuff. Sometimes World Trigger can feel a tad random in what it chooses to divulge and when, but I’m hoping we’ll learn a bit more about this battle sooner rather than later.
She explains that Kido changed his stance, where as Border stood for connecting the worlds (with a name like Border?) Kido sees most, if not all neighbors as the enemy. Sounds a tad like Islamophobia.
Snapping away from that Hyuse has finished his match up against Kuga and lost 8 to 12. Chika arrives and asks if anyone would like to come to HQ with her. Kuga agrees but Hyuse stays since he’s supposed to be a secret weapon.
Kuga and Chika arrive at the HQ and go their separate ways, with Kuga meeting up with Masato and Ryo? Maybe? Outside of this tooing and froing at the end, I feel this is a really interesting chapter that highlights some much needed backstory.
Chika does some sniper practice and afterwards converses with her fellow snipers. Okiji says hello to Chika who butters her up by revealing her couldn’t shoot a girl as cute as her. Yuzuru gets a bit defensive of Chika and awkward when Chika says she’ll see him in the next match up. It all feels… well.. pointless, and I don’t think what comes after is any the more engaging. It’s all fluffy character interaction, and considering how sprawling and unfamiliar a lot of this cast is, it feels entirely uninteresting.
Kuga goes out to eat with Kageura Unit. As the group eats they chat, first about how taken with Kuga Kage is. Kage then reveals that Yuzuru has a crush on Chika. The group initially just teases him but Kage reveals that it’s not funny, as Yuzuru is thinking about throwing the match for Chika’s sake! Yuzuru wants to ensure Chika makes the away team, since his team doesn’t plan on going along anyway. The chapter tries to play this moment up like it means anything, but Yuzuru was only introduced back in the early hundreds chapters, has generally played a fairly minor role, and this crush thing comes out of the blue. It’s almost like the author is buying time and padding things out between Rank Wars, but doesn’t have any content that really feeds into the natural drama of the story. I understand Rank War match after match could get a tad overwhelming, but I’d rather have that then things like this get dragged out.
However Kuga assures him it doesn’t matter and explains Chika’s guaranteed involvement in the upcoming operation. Yuzuru still wants to ensure that she has her teammates accompany her however. Again, the author undermines whatever drama could be here, by immediately negating the problem, further giving this entire chapter a wishy washy feel of unimportance.
Shortly thereafter Atsuji and Tetsuji arrive. The group explains the situation to Tetsuji, who points out Yuzuru can just join the away team as an individual. Again, whatever tension this might’ve had feels, well, like a big waste of time. Kuga says that no matter what Yuzuru ultimately decides to do however, his team is going to win anyway.
Yuzuru storms off to review logs on Tamakoma, leaving the group to discuss a bigger issue– Chika’s inability to shoot people. Kuga tries to down play it, but nobody is buying it. Isami interjects though and says she’s sure it doesn’t that Chika can’t shoot people, but won’t. Isami gets into a bit of debate, arguing that Chika simply needs to be pushed into a corner in order to bite back. It’s nice to see the manga finally address this character flaw, although I’m unsure of where exactly all this is going to go. Are we merely looking at foreshadowing Chika having to evolve as a character during the away mission?
Later Kuga goes to visit Osamu and tells him what Isami said. They briefly consider pushing Chika, but don’t want to. After, Osamu looks into getting new triggers, but learns with his already limited Trion supply there’s little room for adjustment. Usami then explains to him not to worry, as the team has their secret weapon, Hyuse, so they need not overthink things. Later Osamu tries to console himself, and focus on what Usami told him, but he still feels uneasy. It’s real weird that Usami tells Osamu just to rely on their secret weapon. It feels like the manga is very forceful in setting up the idea that Osamu and Co. are relying too heavily on Hyuse’s mere presence. But it feels so awkward the way it’s approached here, with characters who have far more experience telling him “hey don’t bother trying to come up with new ideas, rely on the new guy.” From there we flash forward to Round 7 as the B-Rank Wars continue.
And that’s the end of the World Trigger, at least until it comes back from hiatus. Again it’s a real shame it ends at this point, and not on a high note. Although perhaps it’s a good thing we didn’t hiatus as soon as everyone boarded the ship and followed in the footsteps of Berserk or HxH. Here’s hoping Ashihara gets better soon!
That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are for World Trigger 162-164 in the comments below.
World Trigger is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 116-124 are collected in Volume 14 releasing January 3rd, 2017. Chapters discussed today, 162-164, will be collected and released late 2017, probably.