World Trigger Manga Jumps to a Great Start
Shonen Jump's latest addition shows potential
By Joseph Luster
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Due to the fate of some of Weekly Shonen Jump's more recent additions, I'm going to remain cautious when it comes to their latest, World Trigger. I enjoyed the brief run of Barrage for what it was, but I was seriously bummed when Jūzō Kawai's Takama-ga-hara came to an abrupt end. On one hand, it was kind of interesting to be at least relatively close to the front row when a new series was canceled right before our very eyes, but man, that was a good one! So you'll have to excuse me if I remain wary of World Trigger, because it has the makings of another entertaining series.
This time around it's actually more exciting than following Takama-ga-hara's rise (and fall), because the addition of Daisuke Ashihara's World Trigger came hot on the heels of Shonen Jump's switch to simultaneous publication with the Japanese edition. Give or take a couple days and we're all checking out this new series at the same time. I don't know, I think that's pretty awesome.
World Trigger finds the people of Mikado City under constant threat of invasion thanks to a gate to another world that opened up smack dab in the middle of the place. Unfortunately, nothing came in peace through said gate, and sudden attacks from beasts known as "Neighbors" quickly became an everyday reality. Enter: The Border Defense Agency, known as Border for short. Just as quickly as the Neighbors, this heroic group appeared one day to stave off the otherworldly threat, simply saying, "Leave them to us." One giant base and a few strategically cordoned zones later and we've got ourselves a legit defense thanks to Border.
The meat of the story follows Osamu Mikumo, who, despite his meek and geeky looks, happens to be a member of Border. His association with the agency is a surprise, but even more shocking is the new transfer student, Yuma Kuga. He's clearly "not from around here," and Mikumo takes on the task of keeping him out of trouble while he adjusts to life in Japan. However, as we find out at the end of the first chapter, Kuga is much more than an outsider to Japan. He's an outsider to our world.
Ashihara doesn't waste much time setting things up, which is part of the appeal of the series outside of his clean, playful art. The Neighbor threat and Border's appearance are dealt with in the first few pages, so we can jump right into Mikumo and Kuga's story. Mikumo is kind of your typical nerdy, somewhat wimpy dude, but his affiliation with Border belies this. After that, what was initially seen as weakness turns out to be a form of restraint. I don't want to get into Kuga too much, because the series is brand new and it's more fun to discover these things for yourself, but it should be interesting to see how the pair's dynamic plays out as the series progresses and more characters are introduced.
So far things are looking good for World Trigger. Hopefully it will be given a chance to breathe a little and work its story out, because I really don't want another abrupt, tacked-on ending like the one Takama-ga-hara was forced into. With this and One-Punch Man—which I should really write about soon—Shonen Jump is offering plenty of solid reasons for new readers to hop aboard.
WORLD TRIGGER © 2013 by Daisuke Ashihara/SHUEISHA, Inc.
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