Welcome back to the thrill-a-minute, pulse-pounding excitement of World Trigger. Last week, we left off on the excruciating cliffhanger of an administrative board meeting, our heroes desperate to construct a sound and reasonable argument to sway the hearts and minds of Border’s highest leaders. This time, we get the shocking conclusion of both sides civilly weighing the risks and benefits of each other’s propositions before reaching a mutually beneficial compromise and politely wishing everyone a good day. THRILLS. CHILLS. KILLS.
Ok, yes, things are more complicated and involved than that, obviously. But it really is a novelty in shonen storytelling to see such a calm and logical turn of events. In My Hero Academia, All Might prostrated himself before Deku’s mother and gave an impassioned speech about learning the value of life to convince her to let her son go back to school. Here it takes all of five minutes – including the OP – to convince Commander Kido to let a former enemy soldier join their military AND potentially become part of their main invasion force. Osamu may be an average-at-best fighter, but he clearly paid attention in Speech & Debate class.
I’m not joking: It’s revealed later in the episode that Osamu arranged ahead of time for Kido to bring up a particular argument about Hyuse’s utility on the away mission, specifically for Osamu to counter it and turn the whole discussion in his favor. It’s a subtle bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand that’s easy to miss in the actual meeting, and it shows that Osamu was prepared to argue from a disadvantage. The ensuing back-and-forth also establishes and readjusts the goals moving forward, so I’ll try to lay them out as simply as possible:
- Hyuse is allowed to join Border and, so long as he qualifies as a B-Rank fighter in time, join Tamakoma 2 for their final Rank Wars matches.
- Speaking of, the time limit for the Rank Wars is being cut shorter than usual. Border HQ wants as much time as possible to train the team that will be traveling to Aftokrator, and so there are only 3 matches left in the season for Tamakoma 2 to reach the top of the B-rank squads.
- Contingent with Hyuse joining Border, Kido wants to guarantee Chika’s presence on the Away Team regardless of whether Tamakoma 2 qualify, as her massive Trion reserves will allow them to maintain a larger ship and an overall shorter trip. Chika agrees to the condition, but assures Kido that her team will qualify with no problem.
Overall it’s not a huge change – outside of having a tighter deadline, our heroes’ immediate goals remain the same – but it’s just complicated enough that both sides seem to gain something important without losing ground. It’s a careful balancing act that manages to make Border’s previously antagonistic leadership seem more practical than your typical corrupt executives. Kido’s even careful to deliver information so that his condition with Chika doesn’t come off as a crass attempt at manipulation. There’s a sense that, while he still disagrees with Osamu and Tamakoma Branch’s methods, he recognizes they’re still all on the same side, which is honestly refreshing.
After that, it’s back to Rank Wars, and the closing minutes of “Captain” introduce us to our next opponents. Oji Squad only gets a short teaser at the end, but I can already tell you I hate that dude’s shiny hair. Ikoma Squad gets a more thorough introduction, and they are a welcome breath of fresh, dumb air. After years of intelligent, competent Border squads, we finally meet the Himbo Division, as four of the doofiest idiots to ever wield a Trigger trip their way through a strategy meeting. Throw in the detail that team captain Ikoma always looks at the camera when he does a cool attack and you have a recipe for some wonderfully endearing morons. If things don’t work out for Tamakoma 2, I hope we can just follow these guys as they join the Away Mission.
That’s probably not going to happen, as even without Hyuse to back them up I can’t see our heroes facing another major setback with such little time left. Regardless I’m excited to get more Rank Wars and see what this gaggle of dumbasses can get up to.
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