World Trigger 174-177 – Manga Review

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?

Review:

With 174-177 the end of the Rank Wars in sight. It’s noted after the most recent match up that the next battle with be the final, deciding in which direction the series will go: Going on the away mission as legitimate members, or Osamu and Co. breaking Border rules to make it on their own. But the road to that next arc feels like it’ll be rocky, based on what these chapters choose to focus on.

174 near ends the latest match, but suffers the same problems I’ve discussed before: stop and go pacing due to the commentary. It doesn’t help that the commentators often give us information that then the fighters themselves express, making the commentary kinda pointless. Often you could cut out most of, if not all the commentary here, and the chapter would just fly by, with a much faster pace. It’s a shame too, as there’s some awesome character work here as Osamu struggles with responsibilities of command, proving himself, deciding when to stick to his guns and when to back down. But it’s undermined by so much stop and go.

175 is a long chapter where we basically close out the fight and recap the match with even more commentary from the spectators. It’d be one thing if this was the majority of their page time. Then this chapter would be welcome: a recap/overview of the entire match. But seeing as the commentators have been bogging down the whole match, this recap is far less welcome.

Sadly once in the aftermath, and before we get going with the final Rank Wars battle, we get a rather lame sub-story. Here Osamu and Co. realize Hyuse has been standing out too much, and rumors are spreading that he might be a neighbor. The threat of a rumor feels weak, especially since we don’t really visualize what kind of fall out that might entail. If we could see Border fracturing, the threat of agents going rogue, or questioning command, it’d feel more substantial. As it stands now the rumor feels like it has all the threat of teenage gossip.

Things aren’t helped by Osamu getting sidelined for the solution. When Osamu realizes the rumor is a big problem he rushes to Border command, only to find out that his solution stinks, and command already has a much better idea. The chapter tries to play it off as this is all a sign that Osamu really has grown, but it feels weak and dishonest, especially when other characters solve his problems for him.

Ultimately I hope we move past this storyline quickly, and get right back into the final Rank Wars match up. The sooner we move onto a new arc the better as that’s where the series can break the current formula and offer up something new.

That’s it for this week! Let me know what your thoughts are on World Trigger in the comments below.

World Trigger is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 152-160 are collected in Volume 18 which released on January 2nd, 2018. Chapters discussed today will be collected and released next year. Probably. Maybe?

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