World Trigger (Chapters 129 – 132 ) – Review Discussion
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 the triggers, the weapons used within this war. Now, in the middle of the tournament to determine the Border agent teams that’ll be allowed to venture back through the portals onto the Neighbors worlds, another enemy comes through the portal, attacking Border HQ. It’s up to the Border Agents not part of the tournament to defend the base to the last man in this surprise assault and prevent these new enemies from destroying their target: The Away Ship that would allow Border to strike back against the Neighbors.
When Weekly Shonen Jump’s Bakuman ended, and the Western roster began to fall apart, Shonen Jump introduced a few different manga to us over the course of six months, trying to find something that’d stick. World Trigger was one of these manga and even in Japan it struggled with its first few issues. It wasn’t until the action ramped up that people began taking to it and World Trigger finally got the recognition I think it always deserved. It’s not a superb manga, but I think World Trigger has a lot to offer and that’s namely it its intricate battle mechanics that often have a lot of back and forth in each chapter keeping the battle flowing and exciting.
So today we’ll be starting with Chapter 129, as the Galopoula Neighbor agents continue their assault against Border all in an attempt to destroy the Away Ship and prevent Border from enacting their upcoming offensive. A host of Trion soldiers swarms toward the base. This threat isn’t too bad and our massive cast of agents easily pulls them apart one by one, that is until a Trion soldier breaks away from the back and makes a mad dash for the base.
Both Kitora and Futaba intercept the soldier, but quickly discover that thanks to its complex and responsive movements it can’t just be an automated soldier, but it must be controlled by one of the Invaders. They manage to get the upper hand and send him running.As it looks as if Kitora and Futaba both have the perfect upper hand, until Yomi, the Trion soldiers’ operator, figures out Futaba’s powerful Skanda attack, managing to badly wound her Trion body and turns the tables around. What I love about this, when compared to something like Bleach, is we’re well aware of these characters mentally working out how to win. There’s no sudden “oh wait I have a secret attack I didn’t bother mentioning before” or “oh hey you didn’t actually do any damage to me I was just kidding” reveals. Instead it’s really all about who can outsmart the other and that’s what I think is so awesome about World Trigger exemplified right here as Yomi turns the tables on Futaba and Kitora.
For Chapter 130 we briefly see Kitora and Futaba realizing they need to change tactics in order to defeat Yomi’s Trion soldier before we head back to one of the battles within Border HQ between the Invader Wen and Rei and Kuma. Wen’s become painfully aware that she needs to try and buy time for her commander to complete their mission, but she’s outnumbered. She decides to dive in for one last big attack to try and turn the tables. Wen suddenly pops out a bunch of duplicates like she’s read one too many chapters of Naruto. This catches Kuma and Rei off guard until they work out that it’s simply duplicate triggers hanging in the air above them allowing her to mask her presence within this huge number of fake clones.
Unmasking her ability, Rei proceeds to destroy each of the duplicate triggers, but it’s not enough as Kuma gets badly beaten by Wen. Finally Kuma figures out how to tell Wen apart from the rest and the two girls crush the invader, breaking apart her Trion body and defeating her. Compared to the last chapter this feels a lot less clever and makes for a rather ho-hum battle compared to last chapter’s events. Wen’s quick defeat helps to turn the tide of the battle and it begins to feel like the Galopoula Invaders aren’t up to their big important task here.
Chapter 131 doesn’t do much to reignite the enemy as a big threat either. We head back to the battle between Koskero, another invader, and Yosuke and Shuji. Koskero briefly uses his liquid shield to impede Yosuke’s movements, but Shuji very quickly puts together that Koskero’s shield won’t affect anything that isn’t Trion based. They forced the house down around him and Koskero out onto the roof tops. There Shuji presses Koskero to answer if it was Galopoula who attacked the Earth 4 years ago, giving Koskero a chance to catch both Shuji and Yosuke in his net of slime. I was enjoying the chapter quite a bit up until this point, as seeing both Shuji and Yosuke become over confident and lower their guard, only to have that bite them in the ass is great. But then Jin undermines the moments by easily slaughtering poor Koskero from afar.
It’s moments like these that make me wonder if Jin’s Precognition ability is more a detrimental to the story than the worth it adds to it. Jin is generally able to see how to get to the positive future and it rarely seems like they’re in much danger of not achieving that goal. I think it might be doing more harm than good at this point, but I guess we’ll see as we continue.
The chapter wraps up with both Reiji and Kyosuke talking about how it seems Osamu and the rest won’t have their rank wars interrupted for all this. I’m hoping this is foreshadowing, that everyone has gotten too cocky and we’ll be seeing stuff go wrong near the end of this little arc. Reiji and Kyosuke are then given permission to go wild on the invading Trion Soldiers and mop them up. The two activate their super forms and begin mowing the enemy down.
With Chapter 132 we now know that Invader Reghi, controlling the Trion dog soldiers, is panicking due to how quickly they’re getting obliterated now. He tries to pull the Border agents away from their big defensive group by making for the city, as if to attack the civilians, but thanks to Jin’s ability again, no one believes he actually will. Again, it’s moments like this that make me concerned that potential tension is averted purely by Jin’s ability making everything too easy for our heroes.
But this next section makes me hopeful we’ll start seeing our heroes struggle again. We finally get back to the battle just outside the Away Ship’s hangar as the Invader Captain, Gatlin, is holding his own against Border agents Kei, Kirie, Ko and Soya. His subordinate is also holding his own, but the two are beginning to run out of time. The border team tries to take down Gatlin, but this guy is a veritable bad ass and despite all their powerful attacks he stands as if nothing happened.
He prepares his super cannon attack for another shot and decides he needs to finally wrap this up. Kei thinks his team has this in the bag and we’re left on this pretty big cliffhanger. My own expectations make me hopeful that Gatlin will in some way succeed, forcing Osamu and the rest of the cast to find a way to cope with the loss of the Away Ship. I’d like things to become more difficult for our heroes, especially as Osamu and Co. were completely unneeded up until this point and not even bother themselves with the Galopoula forces. Our main characters have literally had nothing to do within this arc.
So we’ll see in the next chapters whether Osamu and Co. will continue the Rank Wars as normal or if things are about to become a whole lot more complicated for them. I’m crossing my figures for complicated.
World Trigger is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 80-88 are collected in Volume 10 releasing May 3rd, 2016. Chapters discussed today, 129-132, will be collected in Volume 15, releasing in early 2017.