World Trigger Volume 17 by Daisuke Ashihara

With Volume 17, the rank war with Kakizaki and Katori ends – with surprising results. Meanwhile, Jin’s ‘interfering’ produces surprising results that may just give Mikumo Squad the advantage in the next rank wars, this time with Ikoma and Ouji squads.

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Story: Mikumo’s wires and Amatori’s lead bullet lightning gun are making the difference in this rank war after the last rank war’s resounding defeat. Kakizaki tried to take Kuga with him – but Yuma’s fast thinking once again saved the day. Katori is hell bent on taking out Mikumo while Teruya is slowly closing on Amatori. But Tomakoma-2 isn’t the only squad full of surprises – and Teruya’s ingenuinity is going to prove very destructive to our team. After the rank war ends, Mikumo will strike a very interesting and cleverly thoughout out bargain with Kido – one that may or may not make the difference in whether they make it on the next away mission to retrieve the kidnapped Earthers. And by the end of the novel, the next rank war will begin!

With this novel, we get the back story of Katori and Somei and how they came to be at border. It’s a good story and explains Katori’s skills yet huge character flaws. It also explains why she is so disgusted with T2’s ambition and upbeat attitude. Her squad is almost the perfect antithesis to Mikumo’s squad – and for that reason, we just know that they are going to lose to T2.

Jin’s clever manipulating will ease the way for Hyuse to join T2. I would be surprised if we learn sometime in the far future that his real names is Hughes and that he was stolen from Earth a long time ago. It will mean his loyalty will be called into question at a pivotal time – and also explain Jin’s interest in him.

T2’s next rank war battle is with Ikoma and Ouji. Ikoma squad is VERY funny. I was curious how the translator would interpret the Kansai accent – which used to be the stereotypical villain accent until Osaka comedians performing with their accent became popular in the nineties. These days Kansai is generally used to indicate a fun loving, impatient, loud, boisterous personality. And Ikoma definitely fits that bill – while Ouji is carefully planning, Ikoma is pondering the latest cafeteria meal choices! Kansai is typically translated as Brooklyn or Southern accents – with World Trigger, they went hillbilly Southern.

Ouji, the careful and clever planning squad, also has its funny moments, including drawings and ‘renames’ of their opponents during the strategy sessions. Kuga becomes Cougar and their opponent icons are a Kewpie doll, a head of broccoli, and an Egyptian eye for the sniper. I have to appreciate Ashihara’s humor here and that with each new squad, we get great new stories and personalities. I only wish the icons had been explained in the volume with footers.

Of note, this is the second to last volume before World Trigger went on hiatus (since last November, 2016). It’s currently on hiatus as of this review (August 2017) but it hasn’t been dropped – so we can hope there will be much more once Ashihara’s health improves again and he resumes drawing/writing. Until then, I look forward to more of the rank war battles in Volume 18. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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