World Trigger is a highly captivating and action packed anime adaptation of the original manga series written and illustrated by Daisuke Ashihara. The first chapter of the manga series was published in a February 2013 issue of Shonen Jump magazine before Shueisha began publishing the series into volumes, the manga is currently at 16 volumes with more on the way. The anime adaptation began airing early October 2014 and finished airing early April 2016 with a total of 73 episodes. The series blends together science fiction, action, and comedy to create a world that can make you laugh one moment then have you immersed in its action packed battles the next. While the series was not positively received due to having mildly outdated art and what some viewers considered to be a cliche plot it also had plenty of positive qualities which are often overlooked.
The series takes place in fictional Mikado City about four years after a strange gate leading to another world suddenly appears letting strange monsters known simply as Neighbors into the city. In order to fight back against the Neighbors an organization known as Border was formed. Border agents use special weapons known as triggers which give them the power to fight the Neighbors. Osamu is a junior high student who is secretly in training to become an agent of Border despite being very weak with a trigger. After meeting a new student named Yuma he is forced to reveal his identity as a Border trainee when he and Yuma come face to face with a Neighbor. During the battle Yuma also reveals to Osamu that he is a humanoid Neighbor. Instead of reporting Yuma to Border Osamu decides to keep his identity a secret and helps him adjust to life in Japan. After Osamu ends up in a second battle on the school grounds he gets into trouble for using his trigger outside of training and while Border would normally punish a trainee for breaking the rules he ends up saving many citizens from yet another attack in the same day. Border decides to use him to boost the morale of citizens and figure out why so many gates have been opening around the city. As the battle against the Neighbors continues the roles that Osamu and Yuma play become greater and greater but soon they will discover that there is another battle taking place that they are unaware of.
As the series continues other important characters such as chika and Jin will join forces with Osamu and Yuma. Chika is a young girl who attracts Neighbors due to her incredibly high trion ability and Jin is a member of Border’s Tamakoma branch who takes interest in Osamu and Yuma. Chika is apparently the reason why Osamu wanted to become an agent of border despite her refusal to accept their help so she plays a major role in the story for a number of reasons. Chika is often afraid to get close to people out of fear that they will be taken away by Neighbors as her best friend and older brother were but she was okay in growing close to Osamu as she believed he wanted to join Border to protect everyone. It is thanks to Jin that Osamu finally made it into border as a full fledged B-ranked agent of Border so early in the series. Jin is a very laid back character who’s side effect is useful in sensing events before they happen. Each of the new characters that join Osamu and Yuma play an important part in the progression of the story and none of their roles are minor. The cast of characters is very diverse and each character is unique from one another meaning there is bound to be at least one character that the viewer will enjoy.
While the graphics aren’t as mind blowing as those of many other recent anime series the more manga styled art does its job well in staying true to the manga itself. The story does well enough on its that it does not necessarily need such modern and vibrant graphics to boost the quality of the anime. The one problem I did notice is the occasional awkward pauses in the animation and while they normally only last a few seconds I often found myself double checking to make sure the anime didn’t freeze. The music throughout the series was great and I found myself wanting to listen to the first opening theme over and over. While the series was often criticized for its outdated graphics it actually has many strengths that went unnoticed.
Despite the graphics being outdated they actually complimented the story well alongside the catchy soundtrack and massive cast of characters. While the bare basics of the plot seem full of the humanity fighting giant monsters cliche there is more to the story than fighting giant monsters. With the only negative being the occasional odd pauses in the animation I can say that watching the anime from start to finish was an enjoyable experience and I would watch it over again. I highly recommend World Trigger to those interested in anime that is full of both action and comedy.
PROS: Enjoyable Soundtrack, Immense Cast of Characters, Accurate Manga Adaptation
CONS: Brief Pauses in Animation