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The Winter 2021 Preview Guide
World Trigger Season 2

How would you rate episode 1 of
World Trigger (TV 2) ?
Community score: 4.2

What is this?

Each with their own reasons, Osamu, Yuma and Chika continue striving towards their goal of being chosen for the away-missions. However, in order to be selected, their squad must first reach A-rank by participating in a series of team-based rank-wars.

World Trigger Season 2 is based on Daisuke Ashihara's manga and streams on Crunchyroll at 1:30 pm EDT on Saturdays.

How was the first episode?

Nicholas Dupree

World Trigger has had a rough god damn time. Initially a slow but steady sleeper hit in Shonen Jump, this promising series was granted an infamously amateurish anime adaptation by the D-team at Toei back in 2014. It was such a rough, cheap-looking adaptation that no amount of good writing could really save it, and outside of absolute diehards the series fell off the map within a season of starting up. The anime eventually finished up at 73 episodes – with some filler content – but not long after its conclusion the manga took a serious hit when creator Daisuke Ashihara took an indefinite hiatus to deal with serious health issues. For over two years being a World Trigger fan was like being the sad dog from that one Futurama episode, and it seemed almost doomed to be an incomplete series marred by a lazy, cash-in adaptation.

Now, though, things have changed. The manga's been back up and running since early 2019, now on a monthly schedule, and the anime has somehow managed to swing a second and future third season. Even more miraculous, as of this premiere, the anime looks good. Actually, no, it looks great, with a plethora of sharply-animated action sequences for what amounts to the warmup of this coming story arc. Moreover, the largely new staff has revamped the color and design work for the better, along with a quantum leap forward in direction and storyboarding. This isn't a wall-to-wall sakugafest, but it's an excellently executed return for the show, and easily the best these characters have ever looked in motion. It's probably not enough to get folks to catch up now, but this is finally an anime that fans can be proud to have and excited to follow.

Though you will definitely need to be a fan to follow this new season. Absolutely no attempt is made to catch up anyone who's new or has just forgotten things in the 5 years since the anime concluded. Personally, I'm very grateful I slammed back the first dozen volumes of the manga so I could remember who everyone is, because damn near every named character in the series makes an appearance as a host of new Neighbor invaders arrive to infiltrate Border HQ. Except, awkwardly enough, the main characters. Osamu, Yuma, and Chika are busy preparing for their next Rank Wars battle, and in the name of keeping this new invasion low-key, the higher-ups are keeping anyone not involved in the fight entirely in the dark. But World Trigger has a positively enormous cast, which means there's still four dozen or so A and B rank agents to take on this new threat. Oh, and while all this is going on, the captured neighbor Hyuse is escaping Border security to hitch a Ride Back with the new invaders. So yeah, this is definitely not fledgling friendly, and if you're really wanting to get on board this train, you'll want to read the first 120 or so chapters of the manga before getting here.

That's certainly a large barrier to entry, but speaking as somebody who initially didn't even like World Trigger, I'd say it's worth it. This series has a killer knack for inventive, complex, tactically-engaging battles and a power set that turns even the most inconsequential of fights into a gripping chess match. It has a ton of likable, memorable characters to get attached to (NASU SQUAD! NASU SQUAD! NASU SQUAD!) and treats everyone from the big guns to the most tertiary of B-listers with dignity and empathy that's rare even in its Shonen Jump brethren. It may not be for everyone, but I do think there's a reason World Trigger has managed to make a comeback after all this time, and I'm super glad to have it back. Trigger...ON!

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