World Trigger 5 by Daisuke Ashihara

World Trigger 5 continues to defy expectations as author Ashihara cleverly puts Osamu in situations where he will unexpectedly excel, Yuma will underhandedly conquer, and Chika will surprise. Volume 5 does feel a bit like filler episodes, however, as our intrepid heroes enter training to begin their movement toward A-rank status. Not a lot happens until the end and then we’re set up for a big cliff hanger.

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Story: Osamu’s team is finding it difficult to navigate the Border academy. Osamu and Yuma, due to their defeat of so many Neighbors and their relationship to Jin, are obvious targets for the other students with something to prove. Chika’s monstrous Trion is also making it difficult for her to adjust as she finds herself blowing holes in the walls with her gun. But they all know that something big is coming; an all out Neighbor attack may be imminent and only Osamu’s team may be the key to survival.

I really like that the main character isn’t all powerful but instead clever – Osamu fails a lot but in the right ways that help rather than hinder. Kuga’s omnipotence is therefore balanced by Osamu’s faults but in no way does one diminish the other. Chika’s raw power, Osamu’s intelligence, and Kuga’s experience are making the strong team that Jn clearly predicted. I love their interactions and how they trust each other and work together.

The characters are all really low key (even Jin!) and that creates a really nice flow. We don’t have Bleach-style declarations all the time nor crazy fights. It grounds the story quite a bit in a way that I’m finding really appealing even after five volumes.

So far, the anime has followed the manga fairly closely. But there is still a lot more information to be found in the manga and not in the anime that make it really worth the read.

So although this volume was mostly mock battles and challenges that all three team members have to work through, the promise of something big in the next volume has me eagerly waiting for volume 6.

Reviewed from a copy received from the publisher.

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