World Trigger is, perhaps, the most underrated anime adaptation in recent years. A quality shounen-style anime that features action-packed battles, battle strategies, and notable character development is uncommon. One that blends these traits well is a rarity.
What’s is World Trigger?
Here is the short version of World Trigger’s plot. Several years ago, invaders called Neighbors crossed into Mikado City via an interdimensional portal. Human weapons failed to harm the neighbors. Then the National Defense Agency, aka Border, used Neighbor’s technology known as Triggers. These devices channel a user’s energy called Trion to use as a weapon or for defensive purposes. Border and Triggers saved the world.
Current day in the series: Neighbors attack occasionally. Border repels them. The people go about their daily lives. Then Kuga, a neighbor, appears. Eventually, Kuga meets a middle schooler and covert Border trainee named Osamu Mikumo.
World Trigger Season 3
This season continues Tokohama-2’s journey for selection on the Away mission. To achieve this difficult feat, the team gains the addition of another powerful Neighbor, Hyuse.
In a typical World Trigger manner, we see every fine detail of Hyuse’s prep for the matches. That means we see his choice of Triggers, decisions, and interactions with team members.
Chika gets an entire episode devoted to dragging her out of her comfort zone. We see her emotionally wrought over having to shoot people – well, their Trion bodies – with live rounds.
No doubt Chika is a powerhouse, but the factor holding her back was her choice not to shoot people. The last part of the season is Chika’s big moment. Though she had been helpful throughout World Trigger, she was not the decisive factor in their success.
But she was a factor in the team’s failures. Hyuse takes on a supportive role and pushes Chika through the action to make her first real kill shot.
Like previous seasons, World Trigger lags in buddy-buddy moments.
Usually, this lasts the first two to three episodes between the action. These moments can be great for backstory and character development. But I wanted to see more matches: the character’s efforts and training results. After all, the battles do not disappoint.
World Trigger’s animation is much improved compared to season 1 and even season 2. Even by 2014 standards, the animation needed to catch up to the times. Season 2 improved the animation and style. Season 3 has shown World Trigger in top form. Besides a jarring transition in a highly action-packed scene in the last match, the animation is fluid.
Regarding shows, the plot and themes should drive the music, not the other way around. Based on this standard, World Trigger’s soundtrack gets high marks.
This season’s opening theme is “Time Factor” by KAMI WA SAIKORO WO FURANAI. The track is a low-key rock song. Time Factor aligns with the story – especially as the opening video showcases the series’ characters. Each episode ends with Ungai Dōkei by Fantastic Youth, a ballad song. Neither is particularly inspiring for my western eardrums, but it works if the track fits the moment.
If the action is hype, the music is hype. If the moment is easy, like Sunday morning, so is the music. When fights get heated, the music hustles. The last match, in particular, plays on this last point well. It is suspenseful and tense throughout, and the music takes a tertiary role – behind the melee on screen and in animation.
The climax is the most notable of the series’ tracks. This track makes a triumphant entrance in the last match…at the climax.
The track isn’t a musical masterpiece. But when you hear the music, it is more like: This is World Trigger. This soundtrack isn’t winning any music awards or being replayed on YouTube endlessly.
That’s for Pokemon.
Or Demon Slayer.
Out with the boardroom meetings and political chatter surrounding a militia’s operations; in with the action and character development. Also, the fluff moments include episodes devoted to eating at restaurants and seemingly side commentary and conversations. The former is a World Trigger quirk; the latter is something featured in many shounen. This anime is one of those series you appreciate for its oddities and adherence to typical anime structure.
Ironically, World Trigger triggers some viewers. I suspect that’s because the series is too balanced for their taste. There are anime lovers who like the “its’ so bad, it’s good” type of anime. Often, though, when the series is a little different helmeted anime fans lob criticisms from behind their screens.
Just as you might foresee the ending of this season at the beginning of the season. But the end isn’t what you’d expect and is a solid example of a character’s growth – with a healthy dose of tension for good measure.
The World Trigger anime adaptation is best examined on its own merits, on an absolute basis. World Trigger is not Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, or any number of series with a similar premise. It is also not Bleach, Naruto, or One Piece.
World Trigger is World Trigger. That is because it is more of a blend of genres than others. Whereas other series lost their essence as time passed – less strategy, just big powerful moves like Naruto. World Trigger Season 3 is balanced and reasonable.
Going by reviews on Crunchyroll, that is a good thing. But few genuinely desire balance. They want hype, memes, and Tik Toks of their favorite scenes. Season 4 will need to be a bit unbalanced – more hype – to keep viewers watching.
Watching season three won’t trigger the world. But the segment of viewers displeased with the balance voicing their criticism will feel like the world has been triggered.
Ignore the cacophony.
Watch World Trigger.
My name is R.T. Reid. I love anime, technology, and writing. I wish to this day that the second part of Death Note did not exist.