It’s been a very long time since I last read a Manga by famed publisher Shonen Jump. I used to be a huge fan back in my teen years which, coincidentally, is the target demographic for Shonen Manga’s like “Bleach” and “Naruto” but as I continued to grow, my love for these series’ began to dwindle.
This is why I found myself in a very odd place when Madman Entertainment reached out to us an offered a copy of “World Trigger” volume one. For some reason I figuratively lunged at the chance to review a contemporary Shonen Manga despite my dislike for the recently-aired Anime adaptation and for the Shonen genre as a whole.
Something deep within forced me onto “World Trigger” and, for the life of me, I cannot figure out just what it was. I just hope doing so doesn’t lead me down a path of review copies I can’t even stand to pick up…but Madman hasn’t let me down before so I’m hoping they won’t start now with “World Trigger”. (Written before reading Volume One)
Destroy thy Neighbor! A gate to another dimension has burst open, and invincible monsters called Neighbors invade Earth. Osamu Mikumo may not be the best among the elite warriors, who co-opt other-dimensional technology to fight back, but he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.
When Osamu meets a feisty humanoid Neighbor named Yuma, everything that he thinks is right is turned on its head. Can the two natural enemies ever become friends? – Madman Entertainment
As far as overall plot goes…”World Trigger” doesn’t do anything ground-breaking. It’s a pretty simple story of inter-dimensional war populated by some pretty simple characters. Thankfully, the main character, Yuma Kuga, is the most interesting out of the bunch which always proves to be a single beam of sunlight piercing through pitch-black clouds. “World Trigger”, like many other Shonen series’, has a great deal of unnecessary exposition most of which comes from a single character who is a robot the author has already stated was made for that exact purpose.
Even though I did chuckle as a read that little fact, I still don’t think that makes up for just how annoying constant explanation can be. Especially when the person it is being explained to should already know all of this information. The great thing about “World Trigger” is that it has a nice sense of humour and, when necessary, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Thanks to Yuma, we’re constantly given a chance to giggle as he does and says all the things we’re thinking, but he is backed up by a character cast of one-dimensional personality types which quickly gets annoying.
Thankfully this is only the first volume and, as any seasoned Shonen reader will know, it takes more than a handful of chapters to figure out just who these characters really are, but first introductions always last…and these weren’t the best ones. Despite the story simplicity of “World Trigger”, I found myself constantly thinking about it when not reading, wondering what it is that will happen next. There’s a little mystery to it which is a nice, lasting flavour that keeps you coming back regardless of how much or little you like it.
Any Manga worth its salt has to have a great visual style because, now you may not know this but…it’s a visual medium. Any Manga that seems as though no work was put into it will not be appreciated no matter how good its story is. With “World Trigger”, where it lacks in narrative depth it makes up for in visuals.
Usually Shonen Mangas are well-illustrated but because of their week-to-week chapter release schedule they’re not always as neat and crisp as they should look. “World Trigger”, bar a few panels here and there where it seems as though the artist forgot to add length to limbs, is one of the cleanest looking Shonen Mangas I’ve seen in a quite a while and even when it comes to dynamic action panels you’re still shown very precise line work and overall visual quality.
Speaking of; action panels throughout “World Trigger” are all so easy to follow. There are some Mangas like “Air Gear” and “Trigun” that are so detailed it is often easy to lose track of just what is going on. While “World Trigger” isn’t nearly close to as visually pleasing as those legendary Mangas, Daisuke Ashihara (the Mangaka) draws with a just enough detail to get you excited but also simply enough for you to fully understand what it is you’re seeing and, for a Shonen series, this is absolutely perfect.
“World Trigger” is what it is. It’s not going to win any awards anytime soon but it also isn’t a Manga I’d refrain from reading. It’s good fun that reminds me of a time in my life where things were a lot simpler than they are now and that’s a time I hold very dear so anything that’s going to make me feel a similar way is great in my books but I know that this can’t be said for everyone.
While characters are pretty basic and the story didn’t expand too significantly between the first page and the last, this IS only the first volume. I have, thanks to Madman Entertainment, the second volume sitting here on my desk and what I’m hoping is that it gives me a whole lot more information on the characters and the setting…maybe without too much blatant exposition. “World Trigger” isn’t perfect, but it isn’t too bad a read either: Shonen at it’s finest!
You know what would be an awesome present for this holiday season? “World Trigger” Volume One, which you can get at the Madman Entertainment store: Click Here