- 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.
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.
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…
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!