Post Reply World Trigger
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Posted 12/17/14 , edited 12/17/14
by EyesOfTheScarecrow

Produced by Toei Animation and coming from the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Daisuke Ashihara, World Trigger is a delightful mash of some of the most enjoyable aspects of sci-fi action in recent memory. The story begins four years after the invasion of Mikado City by alien creatures known as "Neighbors" that enter the world through extradimensional portals called Gates. . In order to combat the threat, a protection agency known as Border is established in Mikado City, using a special beacon to restrict the space within which a Gate can open. Border Agents are able to combat the power of Neighbors and their drones, known as Trion Soldiers, through the use of Triggers, transformative devices that bestow upon the users enhanced abilities and weaponry.

Yuma Kuga, a mysterious young man prone to weird facial expressions and solving problems with violence, befriends undercover Border agent-in-training Osamu Mikumo. The relationship between these two characters forms the crux of the series, as both learn from one another. Both are righteous individuals who believe in justice and protecting those weaker than themselves, however they see different paths to that same end. Osamu teaches Yuma what is required to act in 21st Century Japan, educating him on social conventions and the like, while Yuma ( a combat veteran, human lie-detector and unstoppable sass machine) is able to further Osamu's understanding of Neighbors and their Trion Soldiers. The supporting cast is quite large, with focus given to various members of the Border teams, as well as other high school students. It would difficult for any viewer to not find at least one character to grow fond of.

It's not a tremendously unique premise, but that's part of the greatness of World Trigger. It borrows different ideas from different genres and combines them to create an exciting and funny series that can be enjoyed by virtually anyone. Attack on Titan. Gantz. Kamen Rider. Super Sentai. Fish out of water comedies. Sartre. Kierkegaard. The influences on World Trigger are many and varied. They are each respected, but never cloned. World Trigger's strength lies not in its originality, but its ability to take what we have seen before and make it feel fresh and exciting. As a general rule, when it comes to science fiction, few mediums have such unrestricted freedom to explore ideas as animation and comics/manga. World Trigger exemplifies this, as each 23 minute episode contains a substantial amount of character and plot progression, provocative dialogue, humorous exchanges and epic action. As said, World Trigger is not terribly imaginative or unique, but what it does, it does so very well that it's hard not to fall in love with the series.

It's interesting to note that Kuga's first interactions with people are entirely negative, displaying some of the more despicable qualities unique to our race; such as greed, dishonesty and cruelty. Yet Kuga deals with these with cold detachment and a ridiculous facial expression, offering a stark dichotomy that is present within the series at large. Slapstick humour occurs around discussions of moral relativism and giant monsters trying to kill children.
In terms of animation, World Trigger is fantastic. It's crisp, colourful and distinctly its own, without being so different that it can be jarring. It has an almost video game-like quality about it, both in terms of designs as well as choreography and direction. The sparse use of CGI during battle scenes means that fights are visual spectacles, but also not so overdone with computer graphics that fans of traditional animation will be turned off.

Nevertheless, one should beware the expositional dialogue that is quite prevalent in the first few episodes. This is required for most science fiction series, and means the viewer won't be dragged along for 20 episodes just to find out what the source of energy powering Triggers are, but it is still worthy of mentioning. Also, World Trigger is not hard science fiction. It is glorious, colourful action-packed sci-fi with soft social allegory and people running around with katanas made of light; it's the stuff dreams are made of. Quite simply, World Trigger is Shonen anime done right. It's fun and light-hearted so that young people can easily immerse themselves in the fantasy, it has the thematic strength to support the interest of older viewers looking for a meatier series, and it's well written enough that you can be from either group or neither and still want to see what happens next.

Catch the Simulcast on Sundays 9:30am EST! Seriously, do it. This show is great.
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