Earth is under constant threat from Neighbors, invincible monsters from another dimension that destroy our way of life. At least we have the elite warriors of Border, who co-opt alien technology to fight back! Our hero Osamu Mikumo may not be the best agent, 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?
World Trigger... This is one manga that is extremely underrated and needs more followers. With the end of the longest arc, I can see just how much talent Ashihara has.
Story (may include spoilers, read at own risk):
World Trigger starts off as your normal "aliens invading Earth" story, but proves it self not to be. However, as we learn about the invaders (called Neighbors), we learn that they're so much more, and with the revelation of several Neighbor worlds, a story is set up since our protagonists are going to face it. While it goes into softer parts, especially during training, when the protagonists go to the other worlds, there will be lots of suspense; the invasion arc proved it.
Oh man, the art is amazing and fits a sci-fi setting. Each character, Trigger, and background is drawn with so much detail that you can virtually see the characters moving in battle. And the colour pages are extremely appealing, anime worthy.
Character (spoilers, read at own risk):
While not World Trigger's biggest point, it certainly deserves to be acknowledged. An example of character development in the series would be Osamu. He is one of the few shonen protagonists who are weak and work hard for their strength. On top of that, he has strength in other forms like mental resilience and intelligence, which Ashihara cleverly uses. Another example of this would be Chika's high strength but low battle ability.
Overall, I have enjoyed the story very much and can see it becoming very successful if Ashihara keeps up his unique and interesting way of storytelling and showing.
With the upcoming adaptation it’s high time this series got at least one review on MAL. Let me say it straight from the start: at this moment (ch. 55) it’s an OK battle shounen, that many readers will find entertaining, though I can’t shake off the feeling that it’s a bit tryhard. WT works diligently on being a good action series for teens but rarely strives for more and doesn’t show many moments of brilliance. However the potential of the series is great and it can develop into something more profound in future.
I’ll start with the art, since it will be the obvious dealbreaker for many readers. WT is drawn in characteristic cartoonish shounen style. It’s not terribly expressive, facial features are simplistic, female faces are especially bad, because of the angular mouths. That’s a conscious choice – designs of the uniforms and of the monsters are seriously good, nonetheless it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and may take time to adjust to.
Then there’re characters. I’ll give you some hints of what to expect from the characters shown on all the promo materials. The main teen trio is more or less interesting. The most original of the cast is Osamu (the guy with the glasses), who is weak, both physically and in term of superpowers, but has a strong set of knight-like principles. Surprisingly, he doesn’t miraculously power-up and remains in his sad and complicated position. I am worried though, that if they will leave him like that, he will be too plot-armored, when the difficulty finally goes up, but who knows, maybe they’ll manage to make it work. Yuuma is the titular white-haired kid, an outsider to our world and, by all means, a child soldier. He is your typical overpowered good-natured shounen hero. As for now he is somewhat weak as a character, but thankfully he is often left at the background – more of a force to be used than someone who acts on his own. Yuuma can be annoying at times, because of his OPness. This situation won't last, but there have been enough chapters where he was like a cat among pigeons. The third one is Chika, - a shy girl with a big power potential and a terrible design. She provides great comedic relief and some motivation for rescuing, though you don’t feel the need to blame her for it. She is underdeveloped at the moment. The adult guy is Jin, OP as hell, self-consciously, but annoyingly flashy, at least for the first half of the available chapters. There’s a huge amount of named supporting characters, some of them even promising, though, maybe, there're even too many. The adult cast is so-so and a bit painful to watch after CCG from Tokyo Ghoul or Urakai from Kekkaishi.
The plot promises a lot. Most likely at some point in future the heroes will travel to another world or even worlds, and it may even happen soon, but until now the story has been pretty slow. Battle shounen doesn’t work without strong enemies and those appear around 50th chapter. Until then it had been mostly introduction and status struggle. A rank battle was even mentioned, but thankfully it won’t come or it is postponed. So I’d say that there is potential too, but the flow isn’t that good. My problem is that so far it has been pure shounen. The best works in the genre usually have something for more adult audience as well – some conflicts outside of the usual topics of saving friends and becoming stronger, but WT doesn’t develop these motives enough.
The setting is interesting and ripe with possibilities, most likely there’re a lot of hidden secrets. The monsters are good. The huge amount of parallel worlds perpetually at war allows for any number of interesting developments. The system of power is more or less detailed and logical. The not so good part is that they made things easy for the fighters. Despite all the talk about battlefields and everybody being battle-hungry 100% of time, until now it has been mostly a video game – nobody gets scarred physically or mentally during fights (townsfolk does sometimes, but offscreen). In battle mode the bodies are replaced with artificial constructs, so gruesome injuries do not matter. Combatants can bail out at any given moment. There’re even special virtual environments to train without care. I understand that it is a teen series, but some things are made way too convenient. These conveniences make battles look a bit less tense, than they should be in a series focused on exactly battling. It is changing slowly and the stakes and consequences are mentioned, but I can't help but get the feeling that they have it easy even compared to the other shounen series.
In short, in my opinion, WT is a solid and for the most part entertaining series, which, unfortunately, still doesn’t reach the upper tier of its genre, though it is very possible that it will develop in the future, so I wish it a long run.read more
Honestly I had low expectations when I first started. But as I read each chapter, I was looking forward to the next chapter so much! Very underrated manga I'd say. This is my first review so I hope I do good!
Edit: I wanted to add some more so…
The plot and the story is amazing! It first starts off as those "invasion from another race" thing but as it progresses, you'd realize that WT executes the the theme really well. Also I found that the mangaka foreshadows things a lot which makes you want to know more! It was 121 chapter so far but there is still a lot of potential. The world building of this verse is really interesting too! There's a lot of dialogue but it will help you a lot! I'd give it a full 10 if it lives up to the potential. It may start off pretty generic but just be patient. As the story progress it shows that the being called Neighbor's are much more when it comes to their backgrounds and their countries. Also some of the foreshadowing kinda brings out a darker atmosphere...
Oh man, the art is one thing I love about this manga! One of the few manga where I find every single character design hella appealing! The art style is really fitting for a sci-fi genre. I also like how much detail is put into the backgrounds.
Urgh, the characters are great too! The character development! The MC in this isn't your typical shonen main like Naruto. Mikumo Osamu is weak in combat compared to the other casts. But his quick thinking and tactics make it up a lot. He gets the most development in this manga. He may be frustrating to see but just pay attention to his growth.
Kuga Yuuma is Osamu's partner and a shocks you at the end of the first chapter! His =3= face is the best! He also gets a lot of development so its fun to see him grow in the course.
Amatori Chika is a smol precious peach that must be protected. Usually, most female characters in shonen is the princess who gets saved by the MC but Chika, she wants to fight instead of leaving it up to the MCs (which I like).
Jin Yuuichi is my life ruiner! Urgh he's so badass and angsty. He's one of those cheerful "big bro" type but as the series progresses, you find out his down side which makes me want to cry.
WT had ridiculous amount of characters but I'd say let it slide because it's part of the world building. It's hard remembering names unless you're a hardcore fan like me. But don't worry! Every time the minor characters appear, the manga shows their name, age etc.
Again like the story, some may come off as tropes, but each character's are handled nicely.
Man, I really wish more people would give this manga a chance! Although, the pacing in the first few chapters might be slow for some of you, it gets really good! So again, please give WT a chance. It is very underrated.read more
"Extremely underrated" this is what I have seen all too often from most of my friends and various reviewers on MAL, so I'd told myself I'd give it a try. Quite frankly, someone has to take the bad role here, and I'm expecting a fair amount of hate for this review, but no matter, I'll stay as impartial and clear as possible.
I'll get straight to the point, it's bland, basic, cardboard cut, whatever you want to call it. The story in itself had potential, however, it's so awfully generic that I really can't get myself to enjoy it while reading. I've always been bad with shonens, while this manga somewhat tries to be more serious (oscillating between shonen-styled writing and seinen-styled) it fails to do so. The synopsis is quite simple, so I'll keep it short. "Random gate pulled out of my ass brings random monsters wanting to destroy the world for the sake of it, then some random Japanese speaking teenager comes up, claiming to be one of them but says he wants to save the world" the rest of the story then proceeds as the following: monster appears, destroys stuff around him, MC&co. arrives, saves the day and repeat. This is my main problem with shonen, I can't support the fact that it's always the same thing, some people like it, because we see the characters fighting against yet stronger enemies and powering up after the fights (one piece, fairy tail or dbz are excellent example of such stories) and while some people like it, it really isn't my cup of tea.
Bland. Bland. Bland. I'm using that word too much, I know, but I don't have more appropriate terms in English to describe the overly boring charecters of the show, so instead I'm gonna use the French word "chiant", have fun googling it. The MC is the epitome of the shonen character, strong, virtuous, practically flawless, oblivious, always believing his "nakama" and standing up no matter what. Reminds you of anything? Of course it does! It's practically any other damn shonen MC ever created! The main problem with this manga, like I believe I said earlier, is its lack of originality. Most of the supportive characters are mostly plot convinient and have the rather usual upbringing in shonens.
Probably the strong point of this manga. While it is definitely not the most beautifully drawn manga out there, the art is quite steady, it improves quite well with time as well as being visually appealing. The character designs are surprisingly well done, so I don't have much complaints about it.
Enjoyment and overall note: 4
And I'm being generous here, the thing I hate the most (after messed up adaptations) is the lack of originality in stories. I believe the world created in this manga had a lot of potential, especially after I had seen the first chapters, I thought to myself "huh, maybe this shonen could be fun after all!" Oh, how wrong was I. All of this brings me to my final and next point: I do not think I have to judge one's taste, but I really do wonder what in the world do people find interesting and underrated it this. I can't quite bring myself but to think of this as another generic shonen story. read more