With World Trigger Volume 9, the large scale invasion completes. Sacrifices made on both sides bear fruit or frustration – most especially for the Earth side as a valuable member is lost. But one of the best World Trigger arcs begins in this volume as well – the continuation of the rank wars with Arafune and Suwa squads. Ashihara has said in interviews that Suwa is one of his favorite sets of characters – and he really has fun with them here. Poor Sasamori!
Story: Osamu has carried the ‘Chika cube’ all the way to the entrance of Border – and portal location to the Aftokrator ship. But as he is is pinned by Mira’s warp spikes, he will attempt to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Chika from abduction. Yet it is Replica (and Miwa) who will play key parts in concluding the invasion in as favorable a manner as possible. Afterwards, rank wars continue as Tamakoma 2 is squared off against the all-sniper unite Arafune and gunfire-heavy Suwa. Can the they triumph against the powerful middle-rank B squads?
This second rank-war one is among my favorite of the arcs in the book since Ashihara has so much fun with Suwa squad. As well, we get even more scenes of Arafune jumping off a building (Ashihara calls him the stunt man par extraordinaire for the amount of times he jumps off buildings in this series). Foreshadow hints about the tide of battle are given in the advance briefings, with fun payoffs later on.
Included in the volume are rejected storyboards from before the World Trigger pilot (Elite Agent Jin) – showing how Ashihara originally drew the characters and the great changes in personalities and looks. Also a Q&A and squad bios (all of which will likely be in the “Border Fact Book” published in japan in March 2016). Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.