“Miwa’s Squad Assault”
And so we get to the moment that propelled the initial popularity of World Trigger upwards, allowing it to find its audience. To give a little background heading into this episode, I think it’s important to mention how this was the moment in the manga where World Trigger – which had up until this point been in fear of imminent cancellation – quite literally shot up to the top end of the magazine, catching everyone by surprise. There are many, many WSJ manga that start to fall into the bottom of the machine and are doomed to end. World Trigger just did something that many fail to do: Survive.
But before we get into what was the cause for that increase, we learn a few very important things this episode. Branching off from Chika’s introduction last week and her ability to attract Trion Soldiers, we get confirmation on why that is – as well as also explaining why they invade Earth in the first place. It’s for Trion, the energy that some humans have more of than others, allowing them to use the Neighbour technology to its fullest. The Trion Soliders that are sent by the Neighbours to wreck havoc in Mikado City are there to gather those with the desired amount of Trion, so they can use it for themselves in the ongoing wars taking place in the other world.
I suppose if it annoyed you that the Neighbours just appeared for no reason in the first episode, we now have that reason! Honestly, from a storytelling perspective, I think the underlying plot for World Trigger is just waiting to be uncovered. It’s like we’re standing on top of an industrial site, enjoying what’s on the surface when there is a giant, shiny gold mine beneath our feet. Things are going on offscreen that we will certainly see in time, but for now our focus is on Yuma and his travelling to Earth.
Replica measures both Osamu and Chika’s trion within their bodies, resulting in two quite different amounts on display. Osamu seems to have around the average of any usual person, but less than that of a typical Border Agent. Chika, on the other hand, has a massive amount. It’s no wonder that the Neighbours are attracted to her – she’s undoubtably the most useful source of Trion for them to harvest. Now it just comes down to how to protect her from being kidnapped and taken to the other world…
Tying to that, Osamu says that watching out for Chika wasn’t his sole reason for becoming an agent. But I think there’s no doubt that it plays a large part in his decision. With that, we get a little flashback of Amatori Rinji – Chika’s older brother, and Osamu’s tutor – who was aware of what was going on with the Neighbours and Chika. Basically, what it comes down to is Chika doesn’t want to cause problems for anyone else, especially after losing a friend because of it. She attracts danger, and to her to best way of combatting that is by isolating herself.
We then have our moment that effectively saved World Trigger in its early run, when Miwa Squad enters! Straight away Yuma clears up their misconception of Chika being the Neighbour, and from there the combat gets underway. It may not have been perfect (when will it ever be?) but I thought the action this episode was pretty much on point. It was fast paced – contrasting from the long pauses and reaction shots that we still get far too often – and it did have a certain kick to it.
One thing I enjoy most about the action in World Trigger is how tactical it is. We got a hint of that in this episode, as Miwa and Yoneya Yosuke (Kishi Daisuke) both lure Yuma out into the open so that the two snipers of their team can get a clean shot on him.
It does seem like Toei enjoy making cliffhangers out of scenes that were not like that in the manga. I think it worked effectively this time, but as evident by the previews, it’s obvious that thing are not as dire as is made out at the end of the episode.
That being said, things will certainly change from here onwards. Yuma’s secret is out, and it’s obvious that members of Border have differing views on Neighbours and how to treat or deal with them. There’s also the “Takoma Branch” to consider, who were labelled as traitors by Miwa – and it just so happens that our Elite Agent Jin is part of that particular group – who seem to have a different ideology than that of Miwa Squad and the Border HQ Commander.
Miwa Squad Introductions:
Most Trion in One Person?: