It’s so strange to me; Daisuka Ashihara’s World Trigger isn’t nearly as popular as I imagined it was months ago. I saw this Manga turned Anime and thought to myself; “surely this is what’s leading the popularity polls in Japan”. I can’t honestly say I know why I thought that, it just had a look about it that I couldn’t help but shake.
It was a huge surprise to me when fellow writer and friend Luke Halliday explained that it is a Manga that has constantly been on the verge of being axed, which is sad but also wonderfully uplifting. Think about this: World Trigger calls the chopping block it’s home.
It’s always on the very edge of continued publication yet somehow always remains in the pages of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and author Daisuke Ashihara is still employed to keep up with production.
This means that, although World Trigger is almost always one foot in the grave, it fights on to live another day. This hasn’t just happened once…this has happened many times, and it has lead me to believe that World Trigger is a series that simply cannot be defeated!
Border headquarters is abuzz with gossip about talented new rookies Yuma and Chika. But it’s Osamu who attracts the most attention when an A-Rank agent challenges him to a duel. Then it’s Yuma’s turn to fight when another A-Rank agent challenges him! Plus there’s that meeting with Border’s top brass that they just got called to? Is there such a thing as too grand an introduction? – Madman Entertainment
World Trigger has always been a Shonen series. Seeing as it IS in Weekly Shonen Jump, that much is obvious, but those of you who’ve actually read the Manga will understand what I mean when I say that it hasn’t always felt like your standard Shonen Manga. World Trigger has always felt to me like it was a step up from your average Shonen title. It stuck fairly close to the usual tropes but always walked a little to the left of the usual Shonen paths. It always helped because it allowed me to enjoy it from both a nostalgic and present standpoint. Volume Five introduces audience to a more trope-filled Shonen arc, one that almost every Shonen Jump series features; an exam arc.
World Trigger reaches back even more into its Shonen roots for Volume Five and what you’re delivered is what I consider to be the most enjoyable volume to date. It’s in Volume Five that we’re given a closer look at our main characters alongside a glance at the characters they’ll soon have to become. I’m also a very big fan of a good exam arc so I may be a little biased in that regard. Volume Five highlights a different side of one of the main characters, Osamu Mikumo, and finally shows just how formidable he is in a scuffle. Unlike most Shonen heroes that rely on strength alone to overcome the odds, Mikumo uses his brain to his advantage and because of it he walks away from battle with somewhat of a grand reputation.
Backing up what I’ve now come to consider a highly engaging story is Daisuke Ashihara’s illustrations which have developed wonderfully since the first chapter of the Manga. I never once though Ashihara’s art style was bad, in fact, I actually really enjoy his simple yet detailed style. The problem I had when I first started reading the Manga was that his panel placement and the illustrations that filled said panels weren’t engaging enough to properly carry a story. This has totally been flipped on it’s head and while it has indeed developed throughout the production of all previous volumes, it was absolutely the most obvious in Volume Five. I just noticed that pages flowed so much better than they had before and that panels were filled to the brim with exciting imagery. Ashihara has always been good at illustrating movement and motion, he actually still is, but it was during the more tame parts of the story like during conversation that he failed to keep my attention entirely. This too, I feel, has changed. I now don’t actually minding reading through important, story-pushing dialogue pieces because it seems as though he’s come to understand what it takes to catch the eye of a reader.
Thanks to Madman Entertainment for providing us with review copies of World Trigger, I’ve been able to see just why it is that the series continues to save itself from serialisation execution: It comes across as just another standard Shonen title because of how it sticks to the basics BUT it presents those basic tropes in such a perfected way that it almost seems fresh, like something you’ve never experienced before. It has always been this way, ever since the first chapter, but it is Volume Five that really accentuated just why it is that I love this Manga. Not only did it takes audiences through a fantastic exam arc but it also kicked off what is looking to be such an exciting next step in the story. That’s the way I look at it and, once again, that’s the reason why I think it continues to live on stronger than ever before!
Pick up your copy of World Trigger Volume Four by going to Madman Entertainment’s official online store: Click Here