“Amatori Chika’s Side Effect”
I feel like every third episode of World Trigger is going to annoy me. The pattern is certainly emerging, but I do hope I’m proven wrong next time around. I really want this anime to be better than it is, because I just know it can be.
Overall, I’m fairly mixed on the episode, but on the whole I was disappointed considering that I was actually looking forward to it after last week’s episode – which I honestly enjoyed, as I felt it was heading in the direction that the series works best in. But sadly we took another detour, in what seemed like random sequences of events pieced together in a rush job (or at least it seems the case, if SHIROBAKO has taught me anything this season). I know that many people haven’t been impressed with the quality of the series as a whole, but it’s undeniable that there is a clear difference between the previous two episodes when compared with this one.
As I’ve said before, I’ll only mention the poor production when I feel it deserves being brought up – and that would absolutely count for this week. It was just… bad. I’ve seen fan animations that surpass this. I think the reason why it stood out this time in particular is that it just felt very unimportant, at least for most of the episode. Again, I could put that down to the early chapters of the manga being the poorest of the series, but speaking for the episode itself, I was simply unimpressed.
The rather weak first half of the episode focused on the clean up of the reconnaissance Rad drones, as Replica explains that they are the reason for the rise in abnormal gates. After Jin works his magic to get the top dogs of the Border agency working on getting rid of the little menaces, we see a few familiar faces working to exterminate the threats. I would say it passed by rather quickly, but at least that allows us to move on to the more interesting aspects of the episode.
Side Effects, for one, are also properly explained now, being described to Osamu as an extension of human ability in those with bodies with high Trion ability – like Jin, whose Side Effect allows him to see the near future of those in front of him. Another character whose Side Effect is focused on (as well as it being the title of the episode) is that of Amatori Chika.
After a bizarre choice of having the opening play 12 minutes into the episode, we finally get to the official introduction of our final main character. It’s a quiet little scene, lighthearted, but with hints of darkness. Having Chika teach Yuma how to ride a bike was cute, and there characters certainly do ‘click’ together, but the good stuff doesn’t come until another gate opens. We see a link back to the very first scene of the episode, where Chika’s childhood friend was killed by a Trion Solider – or as killed as she could be, given the early morning timeslot. For Chika, history starts to repeat itself, so she runs away from Yuma, isolating herself in order to keep anyone else from being caught up in the threat that is attracted to her. It’s almost a curse; she’s an easy target, but with a solid reason behind it – a reason that will be explained next week.
The final part of the episode worth mentioning would be Osamu’s battle against the Bander. Now officially a B-rank Agent, Osamu activates his trigger to reveal his newly upgraded uniform. He has slight difficulties with his techniques, but in the end he targets the eye of the Trion Solider and manages a victory, albeit a messy one. It was actually good to to see Osamu use his skills in order to win, and not have Yuma be the one save the day again.
So to summarise, I’d say this was one of the weakest episodes so far, for me at least. It felt random in the first half, the animation and editing was exceptionally poor throughout, and Chika’s introduction wasn’t as exciting as I would have liked, even if it’s still nice to see her enter the story. For now though, Yuma’s secret is known by Jin. And thankfully, he has a much more tolerant outlook on the threat of Neighbours, as well as them as individuals. Once the series dives into those differing opinions and the consequences of those conflicting ideals, World Trigger will hopefully prove that it’s not a hollow shell of a series, and that there is in fact some real substance to what we are seeing.
Osamu’s Proper Introduction:
Bander Trion Solider: