- Titles: World Trigger 2nd Season
- Genre: Science Fiction, action, shonen
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Toei Animation
Osamu, Yuuma and Chika have not given up their quest to make it on an expedition team. After all, they all have loved ones to find out there. But that’s easier said than done. First, they have to deal with this brand new invasion! And these neighbours aren’t going to go down as easily. They’re smarter and stronger than anything we’ve seen before. Thankfully, the senior Border agents aren’t anything to be sneezed at either! However, even if Tamakoma-2 makes it through unscathed, they are still going to have to prove their worth in the B-rank battles. Those might prove way trickier. But you know what they say, if you can’t overpower your opponent, out-trick them! And that’s exactly what Osamu and the gang intend to do!
If that summary made no sense to you, it might be because you haven’t seen season 1 of World trigger (or haven’t read my review for it, cough). I did that on purpose because season 2 of World Trigger is one of those anime that will make no sense if you haven’t seen season 1. It gives you a little recap to situate fans that watched it years ago but it’s not going to do all the work for you. However, I am. Here’s the gist of it.
World Trigger is a classic science fiction action series in which Earth was invaded by an alien force we called neighbours. We’ve held our own since then but it seems all living creatures generate a form of energy we did not know about and humans are particularly good at it. So neighbours from all sides are interested in “harvesting” it. But there are some individuals who are not quite as mercenary and would work with the humans instead. We follow a young man names Osamu and his childhood friend Chika as they join the organization that fights neighbours in hopes of making it up the ranks and getting a chance to go on an expedition to other worlds. There they hope to find Chika’s brother (who is also a good friend of Osamu’s) who went missing years ago. Meanwhile, Yuuta is a neighbour who found himself alone and decided to go to earth to find allies. He met and befriended Osamu and now they work together. That was longer to explain than I thought…
At a cursory glance season 2 looks very much like season 1. There is a very specific art style used for World Trigger, which is most apparent in the character designs. and that was maintained perfectly. You can always tell when a character is from World Trigger. Moreover, the voice actors came back to reprise their roles so there’s a strong sense of continuity despite the break.
However, if you look closer, you can really see the upgrades. For lack of a better word, the season 2 production just feels more grown-up. The colour palette is more subtle, there are a lot more interesting tricks does with the lighting. The environmental sound design is much richer and more elaborate. And the animation is just awesome.
All in all, the production has just levelled up. And it was nice to see. I always enjoyed the look of World Trigger, it was great to get a chance to see what they could do with more resources.
Story & Characters
I think I said this in my season 1 review, World Trigger isn’t exactly special. In fact, a lot of the main characters are kind of run-of-the-mill. They aren’t the best, they aren’t the smartest, arguable, they aren’t even the most noble or determined. often get by on luck and they often lose. That’s part of what I liked about the first season and it follows through here. Although it is satisfying to see them come up with simple practical solutions to offset their weaknesses.
Another aspect that I like about the show in general, rather than season 2 in particular, is the classic science-fiction premise. At the end of the day, I find that science fiction is just a variation of fantasy, and vice versa. Science instead of magic, aliens instead of elves, etc. But for whatever reason, I have a slight preference towards sci-fi, and anime definitely prefers fantasy. So it’s nice to see the classic aliens v/s us scenario.
With regard to season 2 though, there are highs and lows. First I have to say, even as I was watching it, I realized that World Trigger is the type of show that does better when binged. At the very least, I enjoyed the experience better watching in blocks rather than single weekly instalments. I found that single episodes with weekly breaks just bogged down the momentum too much. This could only be me mind you.
The season itself is essentially two arcs. Or should I say 1 and a half arcs? The first half or so covers the second neighbour invasion and it’s pretty tense. I was worried a few times. It gives us insight into a few characters we didn’t get the chance to know before, introduces us to a new species of neighbours and deepens the overall lore of the series. It’s actually really good, but when it ends, it feels like a lot of it was set up for events to come.
The second half of the series is a return to the B-Rank battles. This essentially puts a sports anime structure of the show. Osamu and his team go head to head against other teams. We get to know the new challengers a bit so that we care about the outcome of the matches. It’s sad if someone loses but they can always try again next year. You know the drill. Obviously, I like this.
I have heard some viewers complain that the B-Rank battle arc is simply too long. That it bogs down the story. And I can definitely see that argument. If you aren’t a fan of sports (anime or otherwise) the latter half of the season may get a bit too repetitive for you. Even though each match is different they are essentially doing the same sort of thing. I liked it because I genuinely got into the innovations each team was putting forth but I can’t say I would blindly recommend it for all.
And annoyingly, I wanted to see Hyuse compete all season. I really wanted to see that. There a lot of potential for character development and wacky action built into the idea of having Hyuse (a potential enemy) join Osamu, Yuuta and Chika. But he only joins in the last minutes of the last episode. Basically, we’re only going to see that play out in season 3. Argggg!!! Let’s just say, I will be watching it as it airs.
So what did I think of World Trigger 2? I liked it but then again, I was already a fan of the franchise. Since it’s not a stand-alone season by any means, it’s thought to really judge it by itself.
You might like this anime if:
Actually, I’m pretty sure you will like World Trigger season 2 if you liked season 1. It’s the same but better which is exactly what you want out of a sequel!
My favourite character:
Hyuse. Maybe more as a concept than as an actual character.
- Every time anyone does the “3” face – take a sip
- Every time you wonder where the main characters are – take a sip
- Every time a border agent gets “hurt” – gasp!
- Every time anyone uses bailout – raise your glass
- Every time Chika shoots – take a sip
- Every time people give a high five – Yay!
- Every time there is announcer exposition – listen
- Every time you sort of want to root for the other team just a little – take a sip
- Every time Osamu and co. try out a new tactic – cross your fingers
- Every time we see Kido – take a sip
- Every time there’s a dutch angle – take a sip
- Every time lead bullet gets someone – whoa
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.
4 thoughts on “World Trigger S2 – The Quest for the Expedition”
Irina, I forgot to thank you for selling this show to me. What impressed me most was its grounded, rule-based approach to fighting. In that regard, World Trigger is the only show I’ve seen get close to Hunter x Hunter.
While I enjoyed the invasion arcs, with their big unknowns & heightened stakes, I also found myself looking forward to the rank battles. World Trigger takes great care in establishing the specific skill-sets or limitations of the combatants, and encourages the teams to form strategies so as to complement their strengths & minimize their weaknesses. Once I got to understand the various pieces on the board, as well as the rules of the game… I took a lot of pleasure in seeing the characters come up with inventive ways to set the pace of the fight, or to play spoiler by swiftly turning the tables. It was also great fun to see the best-laid plans get torn to shreds & the characters suddenly be forced to sink or swim, or how differently the show’s various fighters would react to the same situation. Finally, top marks to the show’s macro-tactical build-up from one fight to the other — every new attack or strategy is only a surprise once, with teams continually pressured to reinvent themselves in order to maintain a cutting edge, while still having to contend with their core limitations.
I am deeply in love with One Piece’s sprawling world-building, its joyful sense of adventure or its charming character banter. Oda’s mastery of momentum & tension cannot be praised enough, and his intricate interweaving of disparate narrative threads for maximum emotional power consistently amazes me. When it comes to his big fights, though… Man, do I wish he took a page or two off World Trigger’s book. I’ll be eagerly waiting for the conclusion of Season 3 in order to binge it in a single go.
Ramon, this makes me so happy. World Trigger fasseem few and far apart and I really think the show deserves better.
All I can say about season 2 is that, well, it was World Trigger, and I like World Trigger. It isn’t anything special, but it’s just charming. I adore the entire Tamakoma branch, They have such great chemistry, and none of them are rule sticklers.
It took me a while to notice the art upgrade, since the style didn’t change at all, and I don’t have the best eye for it. I think it was the use of lighting that tipped me off, but I can’t fully remember.
I, too, will be watching season 3 when it comes. (I think it’s quite likely we’ll get one.)
That’s exactly where I stand. I like World trigger and that’s what I got!