World Trigger (Chapters 133-136) – 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 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.
Well, I think it’s official. With Chapters 133-136 Jin’s foresight ability is simply too powerful as is and is actively killing tension here. Something needs to be done, otherwise any battle he partakes in loses any significant sense of threat. It’s a major damper when his foresight so often turns out in total favor of our heroes. Beyond the loss of Yuma’s Replica they really haven’t suffered any other defeats with Jin around and I think that’s really going to damage people’s engagement with World Trigger once everyone starts to get a sense that there’s no real struggle.
Anyway, onto the actual chapter discussion! We return to Gatlin’s battle against Kei, Kirie, Ko and Soya as they all try to stop him from firing his cannon. I like Gatlin and his doctor octopus set up, it makes him appear powerful and he would ultimately be quite a powerful and dangerous enemy if it wasn’t for Jin’s foresight giving everyone on Border’s side an enormous up. Why do we have to neuter our villains like this? Anyway Gatlin is holding his own like a true bad ass while his subordinate Rata also keeps Soya at bay. However, as time begins to run out Rata tries to end things with Soya too soon. Soya sacrifices his arm to faint Rata into a devastating attack taking him out of the picture.
Alone now, Gatlin catches Tachikawa in his claws, using his body as a shield so that Murakami can’t see from what angle Gatlin is firing and stop his attack. Unfortunately for Gatlin, but yay for Border, Kirie slices through Tachikawa to get to Gatlin, cutting him in two as well. This is my, perhaps, other issue with World Trigger. With the whole trion bodies and bailing out it means no one need die in battle. So Jin’s foresight really only aggravates an already existing problem: Lack of threat and consequences. Sure they’d lose the away ship, but no one here is in any immediate mortal danger. What’s keeping me from feeling the full lack of tension is how well World Trigger balances its battles with constant developments, twist and turns. But whenever World Trigger slips up a bit, like last discussion, it becomes extra noticeable how little tension there is at the core of World Trigger.
Anyway, moving on, Reghi reaches the city limits only to meet Hyuse who wants to go back to Aftokrator. Chapter 134 immediately picks up from this moment. We learn that Reghi is actually under orders to eliminate any captives if they get in his way.
We quickly switch back to Gatlin who, despite having been chopped in two, takes the shot with his cannon anyway. This moment would’ve been so bad ass if he’d managed to get the shot in and blow the away ship into nothing. But since Murakami manages to block the cannon’s blast, and save the day, I have to wonder why bother including these pages at all? We’d already won last chapter, why did we need to reinforce that? This should’ve been a reversal or, at the very least, some other negative should’ve come from Gatlin’s last ditch effort. As it is these panels feel pointless.
Thankfully we do get a surprise here as Gatlin, Rata and the rest bail out, something neighbors haven’t done before. This even surprises some people at Border, though it’s apparently been speculated that the Neighbors would eventually copy the bail out technology themselves. It’s not much of a twist, but I guess it’s our consolation prize.
Back with Hyuse and Reghi, Yotaro shows up, asking Hyuse if he really wants to leave and offering him his black trigger, Lambiris. Yotaro is prepared to let Hyuse go free. Reghi is informed that everyone else was forced to bail out and decides, in anger, to tell Hyuse that he won’t be allowed to come with them unless he can prove that he’s still on their side by capturing Yotaro.
With Chapter 135 we get a short flashback into Reghi’s past, showing how Afto conquered his home and he has an innate distaste for Afto, even if he’s forced to work for them. We discover through his inner monologue that if he can convince Hyuse to kidnap Yotaro then Reghi can ensure that Border won’t turn their attention to Galapoula, but stay focused on Afto. This is all in effort to get revenge on Afto for destroying Reghi’s home I guess. However, Hyuse shocks Reghi by stabbing and killing Yotaro to show he’s not a traitor. Reghi gets angry that Afto would thoughtlessly kill a child and divulges the truth: They’re under orders not to help Hyuse. He’s been abandoned.
Yotaro gets up and reveals he was playing dead. This was all a trick to get Reghi to reveal the truth to Hyuse. Reghi tries to attack Hyuse. But, reequipped with his black trigger, Hyuse destroys Reghi easily, forcing him to bail out. Jin arrives (who had of course foreseen this ‘potential’ outcome.) and agrees to help Hyuse return home to Afto. They decide to head back to base and see how Osamu and the rest are doing and if Hyuse will be joining their team or not.
Chapter 136 is a clean up chapter. We get some brief dialogue about what happens if the Neighbors target the city next time, but Border’s top brass shrug it off since Jin’s ability would foresee such an attack before hand. I mean, if Jin’s ability wasn’t already watering down every threat they come across I’d have more faith this dialogue would be foreshadowing that Jin’s ability is not going to save them in the next attack, but I’m also not holding my breath for such a change from World Trigger’s status quo.
While the Border agents are celebrating their victory, Galapoula is back aboard their ship, trying to understand why the battle went so badly. They speculate there could be an information leak, but Rata also seems to be thinking that maybe it’s something else. Before he can come to the conclusion that it’s a foresight trigger (God I hope he does) Gatlin decides he needs to rethink their strategy if they’re going to put a dent in Border’s ability to travel off-world.
Finally, with the conclusion of the Galapoula First Assault Arc, we’re back to the rank wars. We get a brief run down that Osamu’s team is up against two other teams, both also needing to prove their worth. We’re also reminded that Osamu has come up with a new strategy for himself to improve on his inherent weaknesses. Just as the Rank Wars begin Jin arrives with Hyuse and Yotaro to watch the fight and the Chapter ends.
Moving forward I’m praying that we somehow take out Jin’s foresight ability or neuter it. It’s far too powerful and is killing so much of the tension found here. I really hope Rata comes up with some way to neutralize it, otherwise I just don’t feel like World Trigger can stay engaging going forward.
I am excited, however to see we’re refocusing on Yuma and Osamu again, they’re both far more interesting to me than the extended cast and it’ll be great to see how they perform in this new battle alongside Chika. But that’s it for me with this World Trigger discussion! Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on World Trigger’s progression!
World Trigger is published weekly in Shonen Jump. Chapters 80-88 are collected in Volume 10 releasing May 3rd, 2016. Chapters discussed today, 133-136, will be collected in Volumes 15-16, releasing in early 2017.