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World Trigger Volume Eight – Review

World-Trigger-Volume-Eight-Cover-Image-01Last we saw of World Trigger, back in volume seven; our world was at war with the invading Neighbours. Unfortunately for Border, the organisation created specifically to defend against such forces, the Neighbours are no longer simply sending through their monstrous soldiers. The appearance of what the series is calling Humanoid Neighbours has raised the stakes of this war ever higher, because with their introduction comes the true motive of this invasion. The true enemy have revealed themselves, and they’re from a world called Aftokrator. Their purpose; to collect as much Trion energy as possible, and if that means they have to take a few of our Border agents with them, then that’s just what they will do!

In the previous volume, we saw one of their toughest soldiers, Ranbanein, taken down by a small team of A-Rank agents in a life-or-death situation that could not only mean the end of them, but the end of the world we know it as a whole. Unfortunately, despite the retreat of one soldier, there are more Humanoid Neighbours to be dealt with, and it is they who are the focus of volume eight’s contents. Osamu, Chika, and many other Border agents are being targeted for not only their Trion energy but for some other mysterious reason which, as of right now, has not been detailed.

Jin, who has seen the future, understands that they’re now walking a thin line between victory or absolute destruction, and Border as a whole will have to tread lightly to allow for the best possible outcome. Osamu and Chika, if lost to the Aftokrators, could mean the tragic end to the war and our world, but if following the right path could lead us to salvation. Thank you, once again, to Madman Entertainment for giving us the opportunity to review one of Shonen Jump’s newest Manga series’.

As the Neighbor invasion continues, Osamu’s brave defense of Chika lands him in combat against the Neighbor commander! Border’s weakest agent will have to do better than his best to win against a Trigger that seems to generate life itself. – Madman Entertainment

Possibly the most unfortunate thing about volume eight is that it simply doesn’t feature enough story developments for me to go on about. Not until the very end does something pivotal actually take place, and by that point in time, well…it’s the end of the volume. This release does indeed leave us with quite the cliffhanger that, in my humble opinion, is the greatest feature of this volume, but it saddens me to have to admit that this simply wasn’t as exciting nor engaging as previous volumes.

While there was plenty of combat, and plenty of dialogue, I just felt as though I was somewhat bored while reading through it. Essentially, this volume had the exact same layout as the one that came before it, the only difference is that the last one was quite a departure from the volume that had come before it, whereas this one just seemed like somewhat of a copy and paste job. New Aftokrator soldiers were introduced, and battles between them and the agents of Border begun, but once again I felt like I had seen this exact same thing before…because I had…in volume seven.

Thankfully there were story developments closer to the end of the volume that have given me hope for the upcoming volume nine, and if it wasn’t for some of the cinematic illustrations that were featured in this volume I would have considered it a total write-off. Ashihara isn’t the greatest illustrator, this is something I have covered in previous reviews and is something I still believe. The quality of his illustrations tend to dip from time to time, but his style really shines when it comes to dynamic action scenes. The great thing is that he knows how to draw movement and combat, but often I get characters confused because he simply draws them far too similar.

There were certain panels throughout this volume that left me in an absolute state of awe, but after Ashihara’s comment thanking his assistant for working on the bulk of that specific image, it took somewhat of the majesty away from it, leaving me mostly underwhelmed. It is unfortunate, and can be seen as something quite petty, but knowing the background of certain features does add to ones overall experience with a piece of media. Even in saying that though, I do still find enjoyment in his artistic style, and I have seen it improve over the span of these past eight volumes, so my assumption is that he is only going to get better and better, honing his practice as he continues with World Trigger.

The biggest issue I find with World Trigger’s writing is that Daisuke Ashihara tends to introduce many characters all at once, and despite the fact that he finds a place for each and every one of them, it is not often that I remember who they are. It also doesn’t help that many of them look the same, or strikingly similar. This was quite prevalent in volume eight simply because of how much was going on throughout the volume. There were something like three battle raging at the one time with the volume cutting between the trio as the story went on. Instead of telling three small but evolving stories all leading to the same place, it just felt as though it was a busy mess filled with random characters, half of which I don’t remember.

Eventually, those three small stories did lead to one place, as I mentioned. The only unfortunate thing about that is that it happened at the very end of the volume. Thankfully the cliffhanger that volume eight left us with is one that has very much piqued my interest, and has given me a hopeful feeling that the series will break out of this small rut that I feel as though it is currently in and into the next portion of this invasion arc. While I do enjoy Shonen-style, cinematic battles, the repetition of a specific formula can only go so far, and I feel as though this one has run it’s course.  it’s fun though, because, as mentioned, I think volume nine will truly surprise us with what it has to offer. It’s just a small dip in a long, mostly-successful road, and I cannot wait to get back on track in volume nine!

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out World Trigger for yourself by going to Madman Entertainment’s official site: Click Here

Grade: C

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