World Trigger – The Good Neighbour

  • Titles: World Trigger
  • Genre: Action, science fiction, shonen. kinda mechaish
  • Episodes: 73
  • Studio: Toei Animation

Mikado City is still not completely safe for citizens. Four years ago, mysterious forces from another world suddenly appeared and kidnapped a large number of people, leaving the city in ruins. And to this day, you never know when these neighbours might return to kidnap and destroy. But thankfully, humans have created an organization to guard against these intruders, called Border. Their agents are highly trained to repel attacks and keep the citizens safe. After losing a good friend, Osamu decides to join in hopes of helping others and maybe even finding his friend again some day. Unfortunately, Osamu isn’t exactly a natural-born fighter and his Border career is almost over before it starts when he stumbles into a neighbour attack. Thankfully his new classmate Yuma is there to save the day. Less thankfully, it’s pretty clear Yuma isn’t quite human.

Leth (of Lethargic Ramblings) and I were once brought together by our undying love of Hunter x Hunter. We were both huge fans of that series and still are. Once he mentioned that World Trigger was the closest anime experience he had had to Hunter x Hunter. And that was all I needed to hear, on the to watch list it went. But you know, 73 episodes is kind of intimidating. It sort of stayed there for a while. But then I heard a new season was coming out and that was the push I needed. Now, here we are.

here in Mikado city…

The first season of World Trigger is a good looking show. It started in 2014, a time during which animation was already pretty great looking and it took advantage of all that was available. I really couldn’t mark a weak point in the production.

The character designs are distinctive. Those odd ringed eyes and the angular features make it so that when you see a character from the show, you immediately know they are from World Trigger, even if you have not seen the character at all. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I quite like it. Moreover, it creates a sort of visual harmony. I watched the first episode of the new season and I was thrilled to see that they have kept the style and designs completely intact.

these eyes…

There is a lot of action in World Trigger and the animation doesn’t let down. Movement is fast and fluid and there is very little loss in art quality. I’m pretty sure I would be gushing about the animation if that first episode of season 2 didn’t have a very visible animation boost and really just some of the best animation I have seen in a while.

When I started World Trigger, I figured there was no way I would finish the first season before the second started. I was actually not entirely sure I would finish the first season before the second season ended. After all, I had a bit over a week to watch 73 episodes…

shush you, let me continue

Yeah, I finished it like the day after episode 1 of season 2 aired. and I was pushing myself or anything. I considered for a second waiting to watch s2 and possible s3 which has been announced before reviewing the show but decided against it. Because guys, I really liked World Trigger. 73 episodes went by in a pleasant action-filled flash and I was so grateful that a new season was right there waiting for me. So I really want to encourage folks to watch it and remind folks that have seen it of how fun it can be so they’ll watch season 2.

This is not something I usually do. I am not an anime salesman. But aside from Leth, I pretty much never hear anyone talk about World Trigger. I did see from AniList that my dear friend and frequent contributor Crow, was not a big fan though. Phooey. Also, that’s a big change for us. I’m usually the spoilsport!

what is happening here….

So, the one question you may have right now: Is World Trigger like Hunter x Hunter? Well yes and no. The stories are of course completely different. World Trigger is a clear science-fiction epic and that also implies certain tropes and clichés that were not in HxH. Also, World Trigger is a much more innocent and straightforward story. HxH had quite a bit of bite to it. Some very morally questionable heroes, some not so happy endings, some pretty brutal subversion that built up slowly over the episodes.

By contrast, World Trigger is a classic hero story. But it’s so earnest about it that it becomes very charming. I got the feeling that both the author of the manga and everyone who worked on the adaptation, really liked this story. And as such, there are no adornments. I’ll get back to this point.

it depends what you consider adornments

I don’t mean to imply that World Trigger is an extremely cliché and simple story. It does have quite a few original elements and a bit of subversion of its own. Osamu is an actual everyman main character. I don’t mean an audience surrogate that has to have everything explained to them or a harem MC that seems the most average in every way but somehow is great at everything. Osamu has strengths and weaknesses and half the time, his strengths don’t make up for his weaknesses. It may not seem impressive on paper, but it’s actually really rare in fiction.

For most of the series, it seems the villains are a general bad guy is a bad type. After all, the bulk of them were just killer robots with no lines, though to sympathize. And when actual characters were introduced, they were cartoonishly evil. But then, at like episode 67, we get the rug pulled out from under us. For a while, we have known that the people kidnapped may still be alive and now we learn that they have a very strong, almost understandable justification for the attacks.

am I the only one that thinks the killer robots would make cute plushies?

I said episode 67. You probably picked up on that. One of the reasons I am so happy there is another season is that those 73 first episodes to set up a lot of things that never get resolved. And I really want to know what happens next.

Let’s jump back a bit at the unadorned nature of World Trigger. It’s a weird expression. Well, this is where I think that World Trigger actually does resemble Hunter x Hunter. It’s a complicated story with tones of characters and a unique universe to set up. But the author really believed that this story was great as it is. As such, there is pretty much no fan service. No sexy ladies, no characters were written specifically to be fan favourites, no narrative throwbacks to what the demographic would find cool.

The fact that they are super cool is a coincidence…

Moreover, similarly to HxH, World Trigger is at its core a story about friendship between two very different characters with very different personalities. The friendship between Osamu and Yuma is the driving force of the show. It’s the central element that will not change and that drive the main characters into action. What can I say, I loves me a good friendship!

The characters have backstories because they are fully developed characters but those backstories never become the focus of the plot. The narrative doesn’t really fall into melodrama or resort to slapstick humour. It just takes the viewers of this grand adventure without any detours. I mean there are almost no filler episodes. It’s sort of what I would call a pure shonen. And watching it, made me remember why I like those.

unless you happen to think this arc was superfluous

I never got bored, I didn’t find it dragged. It was great visually and took its time establishing the story and characters. It also never felt like it had an agenda or deep message to bring across. Just a nice little piece of escapism and who couldn’t use a bit of that these days.

I know 73 episodes is long but if anything here piques your interest, why not give it a try. I will be watching season 2 and I’ll review it in full once it’s over.

do it for Shiori!

Favourite character : Shiori!!

Suggested drink: World Cocktail

  • Every time Yuma makes a weird face  – take a sip
  • Every time Osamu gets called 4 eyes – hey!
  • Every time Replica pushes Yuma to make his own decisions – awwww
  • Every time anyone says Mikado city (not in the OP) – take a sip
  • Every time we see a trigger transformation sequence – cheer
  • Every time anyone purses their lips (3 face) – breath in, it happens all the time
  • Every time anyone mentions trion  – take notes
  • Every time Osamu goes to the void – you’ll know it when you see it – take a sip
  • Every time a new neighbour shows up – gasp!
  • Every time Kitora gets shy – take a sip
  • Every time Osamu rises to the occasion – clap
  • Every time Yuma sees if someone is telling the truth – take a sip
  • Every time someone gets cubed – take a sip
  • Every time a neighbour is defeated – victory!
  • Every time we see or hear about Hugo (Yuma’s dad) – take a sip
  • Every time Jin is snacking – get some snacks
  • Every time Karasuma lies – take a sip
  • Every time Jin refers to himself as the talented elite – roll your eyes
  • Every time someone sneezes – take a sip

In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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16 Responses

  1. When it ended at ep. 73 I was like, “Do NOT do this to me!”

    I was in fear the anime would never be renewed. Supposedly we’ll se this continued later this year. Hooray!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m caught up with manga(yet to start with anime) .

    I will agree that it’s similar to HXH and other parts you mention about World Trigger. I always recommend it to my friends when they are looking for something similar to HXH. It’s not like it has any extraordinary story or plot(main plot is quite simple like HXH) . The part which make it stands out is it’s characters and how they thinks and acts in various situation (same thing I like about HxH) . Another similarity between them is power system (Nen in HxH & trion in WT) , both have well defined rules and they are logically exploited in story.

    I love World Trigger(my favourite shonen after HXH) . It can be tough to follow all character later on (for some ) .

    I do plan to start anime(it would be good way to recognize all characters again . As manga is running on monthly basis after a long hiatus, there are many characters of past whom I knew but can’t remember them clearly. )

  3. I’m in the midst of watching HxH now (Chimera Ant arc), so I find this comparison interesting. I also love a good friendship, especially between guys (thus my love of sports anime). I’m glad you like it! I feel like some people were turned off because Osamu isn’t progressing as quickly as they’d like, but honestly I like that. It feels more genuine. I also appreciate the focus on strategy. But man, the action for season 2 so far has been great! I want to wait and binge it all but I just don’t have the patience, lol.

  4. ramon3ljamon says:

    I’m glad you wrote this post through the prism of a HxH fan. I’ll be waiting for your take on Season 2, before deciding whether to take the plunge!

  5. Dawnstorm says:

    I’m in a little odd situation here. I really liked World Trigger, but despite that I didn’t finish it. I watched it as it aired, and then (I think around episode 50 or so) they went into an anime original arc (according to manga readers), and sort of lost interest during that and never came back. So now I’m watching season 2, but since it’s been a while I don’t remember much, and to top it off there are elements I never got around to (I certainly didn’t make it to 67), but at the same time have the same sort of feeling that I should know what this is about all through the show… It’s weird.

    What I liked about the show the most is the ever expanding cast of characters. There’s some low-key weirdness to all of them that’s not immediately apparent. By the time I meet the kid who rides around on a capibara, I didn’t even blink, and that was early on. I find them all so likable.

    So I’m thinking of catching up, but I can’t remember where I left off, and I’m also not terribly motivated to start for some reason. So I’m really not sure what I’m going to do. It’s entirely possible that I’ll catch up after finishing this season, even though that’s hardly optimal. Oh well, I probably shouldn’t overthink this. (Note that I think it’s unlikely I’ll stop watching altogether.)

    • Irina says:

      Well that sounds complicated although I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been in that exact situation before.

      I’m really enjoying series 2, I think you’ll manage to pick it up along the way

  6. World Trigger is a great series and more people should talk about it! That being said my experience is purely as a manga reader as I’ve yet to watch any of the anime.

    I love Osamu as a true everyman and the focus on strategy when it comes to the battles. That being said I do have a couple of complaints when it comes to the manga, mostly with regards to there being way too many characters and my general fatigue with the B-Rank Wars story arc. I don’t know if the anime has gotten to that arc yet, but I am interested to see how it handles it so I might start watching season 2.

    • Irina says:

      I think season 1 got it mostly out of the way. The B-rank wars where structurally very similar to a tournament and the show was very reminiscent of a Sports anime in some parts. I had a good time with it!

      • Wait, has the anime gone through it all already? It’s still ongoing in the manga.

        The whole arc, though I guess you could split it up into multiple phases, puts me in this weird place. I’ve enjoyed each individual battle, it’s a lot of fun to see all the competing strategies and see how characters adapt to situations, but after every battle my heart sinks because I know there’s going to be more and more battles with no end in sight. I just want them to get to the ship already and take on the Neighbours on their own turf. I’ve been waiting for that arc for years!

        It feels like a selfish compliant because I know the mangaka has had health problems and from a point of realism I get it. The characters need to be at a certain level to go on the mission and it’ll take time for them to get that good, I like that they don’t just magically become awesome, also all these new characters will probably be important on said mission, but can we just get to it already!

        Sorry, rant over, I just needed to get that off my chest.

        • Irina says:

          I’m not sure, maybe I just thought it was done because the team lost and now there’s a huge attack. Let’s see, the first season covered up to chapter 121 which I think was all that was available at the time.

          • You know I’d completely blanked on the fact that there was an attack, I guess because it’s not actually that long compared to the rank wars. I just want them to get to the Away Mission already, but maybe that’s due to the fact that I’m reading it once a month as the manga comes out. Maybe I’ll watch the 2nd season and enjoy it more when it’s compressed together.

  1. January 23, 2021

    […] World Trigger – The Good Neighbour […]

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