World Trigger is very triggering story about protection of borders. In this case dimensional borders from various aliens, that try to come in force and pillage Earth. That is the purpose of Border, organization using superior alien technology based on trion particles to arm their members in order to fight invaders on equal footing. Weapons using trion particles are called triggers – thus the name of manga. Sounds good, right? If you're looking for fan service i.e. breasts, panty shots, beach and hot spring arc, etc. in your manga look elsewhere, this is serious business. It's a fighting shounen adventure with occasional comical relief. I take this as a positive attribute.
The Mexi... I mean neighbours are serious threat, therefore a large ensemble of characters in Border is to be expected. To be more precise yuge number of characters are introduced through the story to the point it feels overwhelming. Half of the names you aren't going to remember, but the mangaka always puts the name and the position in Border, whenever the characters popup again. Border as any organization is split into various branches and sections. When it comes to Border members that fight on battle field there are three categories based on skill C, B and A plus extra S rank. C is low level trash aka small fry (zako). Still there are several reoccurring characters from this low rank. However most characters are from rank B and A. Just B rank has at least dozen teams each consisting of at least 4-5 members. A rank is smaller, but still consists of several teams. Now I'm getting to the point, why to go to such detail, because each Border member has name, occupation and many of them even have backstory. Even more same can be said about most of the humanoid neighbours attacking Border.
The story focuses on rookie border member Mikumo Osamu, but other characters have their moments too especially those close to him. Osamu is an underdog archetype. He is not very strong. However unlike in very popular shounen series with an underdog, he stays underdog. No hidden broken power up or full plate plot armor for him. He gets stronger and better, but he doesn’t get suddenly stronger just by one training montage. His growth is gradual. The series even kind of calls this trope of sudden rise to the power through the words of one of the side characters. I like this very much. Slight drawback is this makes Osamu in practice somewhat hard to like character. On the other hand Kuga seems initially like an OP character and he in a sense is, even if it’s excused by his backstory and how trion based technology works. As I said there are many characters many of them are interesting and fun, but I’m not going to talk about them in order to avoid unnecessary spoilers.
What I’m going to talk about is about how action i.e. fights work in the series, because in a sense this stands at the centre, where the fun or lack of it truly is. In the series fights are relying on teamwork among team members and multiple teams. Individual skills are still important, but there is no lone solo hero, who can alone win a fight. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a ranking match or even more in an actual battle. Even a very skilful fighter can lose against well-coordinated team of weaker individuals. This another very positive thing about the series.
The fight mechanism reminds me of rock-scissor-paper mechanics. Basically there are three basic classes. The attacker a close combat class fighting with melee weapons. The shooter a middle range class that utilizes machine guns, pistols or free trion projectiles manipulated at will like missiles. The sniper class that specializes at support and surprise attacks from distance. There are further sub-categories based on which set of weapons are used or even special customizations.
Overall the story is continuous one overarching story consisting of smaller arcs that, few exception aside, follow quite naturally. The story is driven by characters and their common goal.
Art has its own distinct style. It’s easily recognizable. It’s not super detailed. Level of detail is consistent. No large discrepancy in art style comes to mind. It does good job to convey things it needs.
Japanese difficulty 4/10 (see my profile for details about the difficulty)
As usually I read manga in the language it was made in. It’s standard shounen with furigana, there is a lot of story based technical jargon. Nothing too complicated. It’s not that difficult, but it’s not beginner level Japanese either. One of the top B rank teams consists of members speaking in Kansai dialect, but that is somewhere around the volume 18.
World Trigger was enjoyable and hopefully it's going to be in the future. That is to be seen, because there was long delay due to health issues author had. It is one of the series that makes a lot of things right and very little wrong, when it comes to the story and world building. Synopsis on the page does not make justice to what the story is about. It's a very shallow tease. I would recommend it to anyone, who likes fighting/adventure shounen.