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Manga / World Trigger

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The main characters, aka a small portion of the cast.note 

In Japan, a gate to another dimension has opened, giving violent alien lifeforms known as Neighbors the opportunity to cross into our world and wreak havoc. To combat this new threat, the organization Border was founded. Their soldiers use highly advanced weapons known as Trigger to fight the Neighbors and preserve the peace. Enter New Transfer Student Yūma Kuga, who has only recently moved to Japan and is unfamiliar with the local customs.

Mikumo, one of Kuga's classmates and a bonafide overachiever, tries to keep the school's bullies off of Kuga's back and teach the transfer student how to blend in. Kuga and Mikumo are quickly caught up in a sudden Neighbor attack. While Mikumo reveals himself as one of Border's soldiers, he's quickly outmatched by this Neighbor, but Kuga also turns out to have connections to Border and a powerful Trigger. However, after the battle, Kuga explains that he is not a Border agent. He's a Neighbor who crossed over to earth illegally!


A shounen manga that began in 2013, written and drawn by Ashihara Daisuke. The series had a humble beginning but eventually became known for its highly tactical battles and its Loads and Loads of Characters. An anime adaptation by Toei Animation started in the Fall 2014 Anime season on TV Asahi, and ended in April 2016 when it almost Overtook the Manga.

During 2016, the manga took frequent one-week breaks due to the author's poor health. In November, the manga went on an unexpected indefinite hiatus. Almost two years later, in mid October 2018, it was announced that the series would return for a five-chapter run, (enough to fill out the volume 19, along with four chapters left over from before the hiatus) starting on the 29th, and then continue publication in the monthly Jump Square magazine starting on December 4 (also the release date of volume 19).


World Trigger Includes examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Aside from Filler, the anime contains various in-between scenes (often Played for Laughs), such as showing what inspired Osamu's strategy in the match against Suwa Squad and Arafune Squad, or Kazama, Izumi, Midorikawa, and Yoneya's visits to the hospital.
  • Adaptive Armor: Kuga's Black Trigger powers.
  • Adult Fear: Osamu's mother has to face her son being seriously wounded while on the job. Though she doesn't have him pull out of Border, in part because she realizes that he's found his purpose there, she admits she was thinking about it.
  • Adults Are Useless: Subverted. While the majority of Border's agents are Kid Heroes, due to the way trion organs work, the adults still play very useful roles and deal with matters typically above a teenager's paycheck (e.g. commanding the army, actually keeping the organization running), and a not-insignificant number of Border's top agents are in their twenties nevertheless.
  • A House Divided: Border is split into at least 3 factions.
    Kido's faction want the destruction of all neighbors.
    Shinoda's faction wants to protect the town and people only, but will protect any neighbor in need just as much.
    Rindō's faction wants to work with the good neighbors.
    • With that said, despite initial appearances, it's Downplayed: though they might have different priorities/ideologies, each faction will absolutely work together in times of crisis, and it's later shown that members across all factions are fairly friendly. In fact, Miwa stands out for his inability to reconcile with Tamakoma.
  • Alien Invasion: This is what starts off the story, with Border going public in the course of defeating the first Neighbor invasion. The entire series is an ongoing, albeit lesser example, with trion soldiers routinely emerging in the forbidden area. The Large-Scale Invasion Arc brings the trope out in full force again, with a much larger invasion in the story's present day.
  • All There in the Manual: The series' official databook, Border Briefing File, serves this purpose. As the name suggests, most of its assessment of the characters is in-universe.
  • Alpha Strike: Shooters in "Full Attack"-Mode attack with both hands which can cause enormous destruction (especially by someone like Izumi and Ninomiya), though it leaves them completely open to counterattacks.
  • Amazon Brigade: Kako Unit, an all-female unit of Border and No. #6 A-Class team. Also The B ranked Nasu Unit, another all female squad
  • An Arm and a Leg: Subverted initially, Averted in the long run. The triggers generate replacement bodies during use which means everyone can loose limbs all the time without effect beyond the fight they're in.
    • This is Doubly Subverted in Yūma's backstory wherein he loses his arm (along with one of his eyes and a portion of his stomach) when he's attacked by a Black Trigger user. Without bail-out, his normal body is wounded, and has to be converted into a Trion one in order to save his life.
  • Arc Words: "Understand your limits."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Miwa hates all Neighbors because they caused the death of his sister, and at the end of the failed Black Trigger Retrieval, when he's spouting off his beliefs about how those who haven't lost loved ones to various Neighbor assaults can't understand how dangerous Neighbors are, he finally gets it thrown right back in his face: the Tamakoma branch, composed of those who believe peaceful relations with Neighbors is possible and all of whom Miwa regards as traitors, has as one of its strongest members Jin, who has lost not only his own mother, but the man who mentored him as a Border agent as well, to Neighbor assaults.
  • Arrested for Heroism: Zig-zagged. C-Rank agent are forbidden from using their triggers unless authorized, in part to prevent them from trying to play hero when they aren't capable of it (and as Kitora argues as justification, Border's tech, Border's rules). At the start of the series, Osamu saves his school, but as soon as Arashiyama Squad shows up, he tells Yuma that rather than be honoured, he'll be punished... except Arashiyama immediately praises him for it. And then Kitora points out that Osamu just broke the rules. Then Osamu gets called into a meeting to decide his punishment... where Kido and those in his faction are in favour of kicking Osamu out of Border, as a proven rulebreaker, but Shinoda advocates that Osamu actually be promoted for his heroism. In the end, thanks to other agents' support as well as the good PR Osamu has brought in with his actions, the latter is what happens.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle—you likely won't notice unless you compare chapters side by side—but the beginning of the series had a slightly more blocky style. (Also, as the mangaka himself admits, characters who were small/looked young at the start have gotten even smaller/younger-looking as time goes on.)
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Chika tries combining Ibis (Power sniper rifle) with Lead Bullet (slow round that causes a heavy weight to appear where it hits). She gets a softball-sized shot that moves maybe a foot per second, but engulfs Natsume in a massive tank trap when she touches it.
  • Badass Crew: The entirety of Border is this, as well as being broken down into various smaller Badass Crews.
  • Badass Normal: Compared to characters like Yūma, Chika and Jin, Osamu only has his wits and knowledge to be able to fight against his opponents.
  • BFS: The "Ray-Gust" Attacker Trigger which Mikumo uses.
  • BFG: The "Ibis" heavy Sniper Trigger and Reiji Kizaki's Minigun Asteroid.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Expect a lot of this during the second invasion.
      • When HQ is facing down Ilgars, Kinuta starts panicking because he knows that the wall can only take one more hit. Shinoda then tells him not to worry—there's only one left. Tachikawa's arrived on the scene.
      • Right after Suwa's been cube-ified and it looks like the rest of his squad is next, cue Kazama Squad, who makes short work of the enemy.
      • When Lamvanein is about to defeat Azuma, Arafune Squad snipes him, now that they have an open shot of him. It gets turned on its head, though: Lamvanein then proceeds to wipe out all of Arafune Squad save for Arafune himself.
      • When it seems like Izumi is out of tricks against Hairein, he laments that there aren't more buildings around for him to destroynote —oh, wait, just kidding: now that he's gotten rid of the obstacles, Border's top snipers are locked on target and ready.
      • After the series has gone through most of its cast at this point, Osamu is saved by an unlikely ally in the last stretch: Miwa.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Large Scale Invasion Arc ends this way. Thanks to the combined effort of Border not a single civilian casualty was suffered and the Neighbours are forced to leave the planet without taking Chika thanks to Osamu and Replica. However six operators died when Enedra broke into Border HQ, 32 C-Rank agents were successfully kidnapped by the Neighbours, 90 civilians were still injured, Osamu is critically wounded and, due to being heavily damaged in the fight, Replica can't escape the Neighbours ship and sacrifices himself to ensure the Neighbours retreat. Not only that but besides from failing to steal Chika the Neighbours' achieve every goal they set out to accomplish during the invasion, including killing Enedra and ditching Hughes. As Jin points out this was the second or third best outcome the heroes could have achieved from this invasion.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Let's put it this way: Kuga has almost no idea how human society works, apart from the very, very basics.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Trigger ON!"
  • Call-Back:
  • Calling Your Attacks: Many agents do this when activating various weapons. Since the trigger interface is mostly telepathic, this appears to be mostly out of habit. B-rank shooter Mizukami often tries to exploit this, calling one kind of bullet when shooting another. No one has fallen for it yet, and the author even comments that it won't work on enemies from outside of Border.
  • Casting Gag: Takumi Rindō is voiced by the same guy who also voiced Maes Hughes, a character with the almost identical design.
  • The Cavalry: During the Black Trigger Retrieval Arc. Arashiyama Unit comes to aid Jin against HQ's A-Class teams.
  • Child Prodigy: Kitora joined Border at a young age and now is in A-class. Same for Midorikawa.
  • Child Soldier: Downplayed. Most Border agents are very young, to the point that Mikumo's classmates discuss applying and getting recruited. However, with trion bodies and the bail-out function, nobody risks injury, death or even pain. Most enemies are literal robots, and those that aren't have the same perks as Border agents, save for bail-out.
    • Averted with Yūgo Kuga and other neighbors being adults and using Triggers. The same applies to the faction leaders of Border who mostly consist of veterans of the first wave of agents.
    • In an interview, creator Daisuke Ashihara explained that it was because the Trion-producing organ develops until age 20 and then stop developing.
    • It's played straighter with the Neighbors, who on the other hand fight in more conventional war zones. Hyuse in particular is pretty much a Tyke-Bomb, as it's implied his foster family is unusual for treating him like an actual person, rather than a tool of war.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Jin's "Side Effect" which is basically a limited foresight, he can only see the futures of people he know.
  • Combination Attack: Osamu and Chika's combined attack, where he powers his Asteroid Trigger with Chika's Trion.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Trigger ability "Fullguard" (literally "Double Defense") is a defensive variant. Requiring 4 Trigger users to combine their powers, it creates a shield strong enough to block repeated attack from the very strong Aftokrator Triggers.
  • Conveniently Empty Building: Justified, as the area around Border HQ (which is where they generally force all gates to appear), is an abandoned zone. Reactions range from Arashiyama Squad's belief that the houses still belong to someone and should be preserved to Izumi's Destructive Savior tendencies.
  • Cool Sword: Attacker Triggers.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: The Border Defense Agency against the aliens called Neighbors, whose members use the aliens' own Trion energy-powered weapons called Trigger. their members are people who have high Trion levels. The BDA was formed specifically to defend against the neighbors, although it was revealed in the first episode that what they were fighting were actually just their drones called Trion Soldiers and that the neighbors are actually Humanoid Aliens.
  • Crossover: Sort of. Ashihara did a one-shot for My Hero Academia, which reveals Ikoma reads said series.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Of the Shōnen genre.
    • There's no 11th-Hour Superpower in effect, and just training isn't good enough—not because Hard Work Hardly Works, but because it's ridiculous to assume that only the protagonist is working hard and that their rivals are no less the heroes of their own story. Similarly, passion doesn't change the tides of battle, as it's still no replacement for genuine skill (and as Tachikawa notes, it's kind of insulting to imply that the loser just didn't want to win enough).
    • Sometimes, "getting better" doesn't mean "improve your combat skills". One of Kazama's key criticisms for Osamu later on is that Osamu is too focused on trying to be stronger, when what he should really be doing is being a better captain. In fact, trying to personally be more skilled actually screwed him over, since as Arashiyama predicted, he got too caught up in trying to pull off the moves he learned/lost some of his cautiousness that came when he was aware of how weak he was, resulting in him being sniped. Taking a level in badass doesn't necessarily occur in a straight line.
    • Teamwork is legitimately important. Even The Ace can't carry a team on their own (especially when a complete and/or consistent Curb-Stomp Battle is rare—even an inferior opponent will likely win a match against a superior opponent once in a while).
    • Along those lines, at the end of the day, everyone's goal is the same: to defend the city. Even with ideological differences, just about everyone in Border gets along well with one another (Miwa is arguably the worst of them, and even he'll put aside his differences and is actually civil to most)—an efficient organization can't run on Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. Most rivalries are friendly and have both parties actually teaching one another, because ultimately, it benefits their greater purpose for everyone to get stronger.
    • Similarly, Jerkass Has a Point is prevalent, because even if you're a bit of a douche, in a functional organization you don't get to be high-ranked unless you know what you're talking about. Rarely is someone mean just for the sake of being mean.
    • People have lives that don't revolve around the plot. Humorously, the main reason a number of squads are late/absent in the second invasion arc is because they were busy with something mundane instead (e.g. Tamakoma-1 arrives late because Reiji and Karasuma had to pick up Konami from school, Kako Squad was on a road trip, Toma was napping, etc.).
    • In an organization, you can't just break or bend the rules and expect to get away with it. Whenever someone tries to circumvent them, it's always through Loophole Abuse or by striking deals.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • In contrast to Border's mass-produced triggers, black triggers and horn triggers tend to work this way. e.g. Yuma's black trigger requires constantly setting seals to use his attacks (typically, he has Replica streamline the process for him), and the sheer versatility of Hyuse's Lampyris requires creativity to use it, given that otherwise, it's technically just a bunch of floating magnets.
    • The Lead Bullet (unless you're Chika and have the sheer trion levels to negate its downsides). As Karasuma notes, it's something only experts like Miwa should use, as its slow speed makes it difficult to hit the target unless you can also fight in close combat and shoot while on the move. (In other words, sorry, Osamu, but nope, not for you.) On the other hand, because Shield—and Hairein's black trigger—can't block it, it's great for getting past defences.
  • Dual Wielding: Border agents can carry up to 8 Triggers into battle (active and supports) and often use two of them at once. Can result in Guns Akimbo and Sword and Gun, depending on the Triggers used.
  • Everybody Is Single: While there are crushes, nobody is known to be in a relationship (even Kinuta, who has a daughter, is separated from his wife). It's a notable pattern in the BBF Q&A, where Ashihara is frequently asked if [x] and [y] are dating, to which the answer is always, "They probably aren't." He elaborates in another answer that if anyone is in a relationship, it's probably not with a Border agent (and therefore named character), as there tend to be issues with dating a coworker.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: Averted to hell and back with the Neighbors. First, they are not Always Chaotic Evil any more than the members of any other species. Second, the reason Neighbors harvest and abduct humans in the first place is because the Neighborhood is a wartorn mess of planetoids trying to blow each other sky high, and earth is (from their perspective) a massive stockpile of fuel (in the form of Muggle Trion glands) and potential recruits. Compared to the scale of the Neighbors' wars, their excursions to Earth are barely noteworthy.
  • The Faceless: All Trion soldier faces' (with the exception of Replica) are just mouths with eyes peeking from inside. The eyes are their weakpoints, but they can close their teeth to protect them. This makes their "smiles" particularly terrifying.
  • Filler: Averted in the manga, which generally moves at a fast pace, but the anime had the filler Fugitive Arc once it caught up to the manga, before ending there.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Osamu, Yūma and Chika. Also extends to battle-comrades from other squads like Kitora.
  • First-Episode Twist: Both Mikumo's status as a Border agent and Kuga's status as a Neighbor are revealed in chapter one.
  • Forever War: The Neighborhood is a godawful mess of these on a Warhammer 40,000 scale. If that weren't bad enough, and as long as this/these wars last, Neighbors will keep on looking for humans to enslave.
  • Friendly Enemy: Enemy is an exaggeration, but while the various Border factions might occasionally have interpersonal conflicts, there are few hard feelings. Even among Kido's most trusted squads, which you'd expect to be hostile with Tamakoma: Tachikawa's actually friends with Jin and Konami, Izumi with Karasuma, Kazama with Jin and Reiji and also being Usami's former captain, etc. Heck, Toma starts off with an amiable chat with Jin, before Kazama reminds him to focus on business.
  • Friendly Sniper: Chika Amatori, Ken Satori and Isami Tōma.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality:
    • The conflict between the Border factions eventually shifts into this, despite initially setting up Tamakoma as the unambiguous good guys and Kido faction as antagonists. Once Old Border's past is revealed (and that Tamakoma's ideals got a large chunk of Border killed), it's not hard to see where Kido is coming from when he prioritizes Mikado City's self-interest over even benevolent Neighbors', and Yuri makes it clear to Osamu that, even with their difference in ideals, they all respect Kido faction; without them, there would be no Border.
    • Though Aftokrator are attacking a city that's done them no wrong, it's not out of malice but out of desperation, as their own planet will die soon (and because this is just how things are in the Neighborhood; even Yuma, for all of his good intentions, took some time to adjust to Earth's more peaceful culture).
  • Guns Akimbo: Pretty common among gunners. Satori, the Arashiyama-team's sniper, prefers doing this with two Sniper Rifles!
  • Hollywood Tactics: Satisfyingly and lovingly subverted throughout the whole series. When Border sends squads to take care of larger missions, it never becomes a matter of "just charge at the opponent and win" - Squads will take advantage of buildings, the enemy situation, and the individual members' strengths and weaknesses in order to have a tactical advantage.
  • Henshin Hero: Entire armies of Henshin Heroes to be precise.
  • Heroes Unlimited: The Border Defense Agency.
  • Heroic Vow: Osamu's promise to to protect Chika for her big brother.
  • Hero Insurance: Averted. It's made very clear that this doesn't exist and is part of why the Forbidden Zone is necessary: aside from keeping civilians safe, it also allows types like Izumi and Amo to go wild.
  • Human Aliens: The Neighbors are shown to be this - despite coming from a different dimension with a completely different culture and social system, they all resemble humans with no significant differences outside of slightly less natural hair colors. Notable exceptions are the Neighbors of Aftokrator, who have cybernetic horn implants, and Yuma Kuga, whose hair is white and eyes are red as a side effect of his Black Trigger.
  • Human Resources: The countries of the Neighborhood are too small to even think about conquering it, so they attack Earth to gather trion and potential soldiers to help fight their own wars.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: With the exception of "The Invasion," every chapter title is the name of the character most relevant to that chapter (and can be one-shots, non-uniques, or groups). It's also not exempt from using the same character more than once. The anime subverts this, although some episodes still have character's name as part of the episode's title (Like episode 4, "Osamu Mikumo's Talent").
  • The Idol's Blessing: Osamu is a mild Hero-Worshipper to Jin, who saved his life. In return, Jin is one of his biggest supporters and helps ensure that Osamu is able to remain in Border, even after breaking the rules.
  • Irrational Hatred: Shūji Miwa wants to maintain a blanket hatred for all neighbors and gets angry when Yūma offers to help his quest for vengeance by investigating which of the dozens of neighbor worlds was actually responsible for the death of his sister.
  • Japanese Spirit: This is a Zig-zagged trope.
    • Team Mikumo each embodies one of the virtues roughly (Yuma = Talent, Osamu = Insight, Chika = Persistence) but in reality it isn't so neat and tidy. Osamu is not just insightful but persistent, lots of people not that it's Yuma's battle experience which makes him dangerous and not just natural talent, and Chika is a Born Winner with more Trion than 100 ordinary people put together. Further, though the team does work together to get stronger, the story doesn't use the Traumatic Superpower Awakening or 11th-Hour Superpower tropes.
    • The fight between Team Nasu, Suzunari-1 and Team Mikumo during the B-Rank wars invokes the trope. specifically, the beginning of the fight focuses on Team Nasu's Resolve, since one of their team members (Akane) will be moving out of town with her family soon, so they wanted their last battle to be meaningful. As par for the trope, the battle is sparsed with lots of flashbacks of the team to show what they feel and why it means so much to them.
      • As such, when Akane is put in a disadvantage, she chooses not to Bail Out when she has a chance and allows herself to be put into a Die or Fly position where she has to take out her opponent (Yūma) before he closes in and defeats her, at best she takes an arm before she gets taken out.
      • Only minutes later, her teammate Kumagai tries to take on another Ace, Murakami on her own by using an Indy Ploy. He cuts her down with almost no trouble, however.
      • The match commentators specifically discuss this trope, and Tachikawa defies it. He says that strength and strategy are greater deciding factors in a battle than spirit. Sure, spirit is great and it's fun to watch when it works out, but overall, if the difference in skill and strategy are too high, spirit won't work. After Murakami defeats Kumagai, Tachikawa adds that he does like battles with emotion, but feels that attributing the results of a battle to emotion just means the loser didn't want to win enough.
  • Jerkass: The bullies and the muggers. Admittedly, Kuga was asking for trouble when he waved that wad of cash around in public, not that he understood that, though.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Kitora criticizes Osamu for using his trigger in a real fight, which is against the rules as a C-Rank trainee. While her motivations are admittedly born from pettiness, she's not just overlooking the fact that he saved people—her point is that that rule exists to prevent C-Ranks from getting themselves killed playing hero, which is exactly what almost happened to Osamu.
      • Later, she declines to give Osamu any combat pointers, citing that she doesn't think he's at a level where it'd be useful. While it might've seemed cruel in the moment, and Izumi is unimpressed when he hears about it, her point is proven when the help Arashiyama and co. gave Osamu screws him over in the next match, though to be fair they did warn him that that'd probably happen.
    • Commander Kido forbidding Yūma to help protect Chika during the invasion might have been a cruel and partially meant to upset Yūma and Osamu, but his reasoning was actually very sound. Yūma's Black Trigger would most likely cause panic among the civilians and is more useful on the front lines in any case.
    • Ninomiya points out that if Tamakoma-2 wants its members on the expedition team, Osamu and Chika are actually holding Yuma back when Yuma could get on the team more efficiently with someone else. It wasn't a particularly nice thing to say, but it wasn't wrong either.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Kogetsu Trigger, which looks like one big energy Katana.
  • Knight Templar: Commander Kido and his faction want to kill all Neighbors to avenge their loved ones. Though later it becomes clear that only a part of them holds these extreme views. Others are mostly in the faction to be part of the more interesting missions, or even if they don't particularly like Neighbors, they don't hold ill will towards any who are their ally.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Up until the Large-Scale Invasion, antagonists had primarily been bullies and fellow Border members, the latter of whom could ultimately be stopped by the powers of bureaucracy. There's no negotiating with Aftokrator, all of whom are more powerful than what most agents have faced before, and Enedra in particular stands out as a Sadist who outright kills Border staff.
  • Laser Blade: Kogetsu and Fūjin.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Every bully and mugger introduced so far either winds up out cold, attacked by a Neighbor or with at least two broken bones.
  • Lighter and Softer: The anime, though possibly unintentionally. Trion leakage in the manga is depicted by somewhat ominous-looking dark smoke, resembling blood in certain panels, whereas the anime depicts it via glowing trion cubes, making it evident that it's not a "true" injury.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are, at minimum, 75 characters you should be keeping track of. More, if you stretch it to every recurring character. The series seems to realize this, and occasionally displays a brief intro when a character appears even if they've already been introduced previously.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jin uses this so he won't need to kill and take Kuga's Trigger.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The series can read like a video game in manga form, and for this reason: the power system is based on a detailed and strict set of rules, which cannot be broken. New technology can be developed and/or introduced, but they must still follow the fundamental laws of how trion and triggers work.note 
  • Master-Apprentice Chain: A few of these, though typically not played for story significance:
    • Azuma -> Reiji -> Chika
    • Azuma -> Hatohara -> Ema
  • Meaningful Echo: In the first chapter, when rescuing Osamu, Yuma unknowingly echoes Jin when Jin saved Osamu in the past, stirring Osamu's memory.
  • Morality Pet:
    • Mikumo seems to be this to an extent for Kuga.
    • Yotaro for Hyuse.
  • Morph Weapon: Most Attacker Triggers
    • The "Scorpion" is a light sword-like Attacker Trigger that can change length and shape which makes it very versatile at the expense of being fragile.
    • The huge "Raygust" Attacker Trigger can also extend morph it's form with the Optional Triggers "Thruster" and "Shield".
    • The "Kogetsu" Attacker Trigger can be extended with the "Senkū" Optional Trigger, allowing powerful ranged attacks.
  • Meaningful Name: This is the case with most Neighbors and triggers.
  • Mercy Kill: Not "kill", mind you. B-Rank sniper Haruaki shoots fellow squadmember Koarai during the invasion so that he could bail out, when he'd be captured otherwise.
  • Mook: Trion soldiers, especially the more common ones, like Mole Mods.
    • Giant Mook: Large Trion soldiers, like Bamsters and Ilgars.
    • Elite Mook: The Rabbits, who are a challenge even for most A-Rank agents.
  • New Transfer Student: Kuga starts off as this.
  • Nice Guy: Mikumo goes out of his way to help and protect Kuga, the school bullies and everyone else. Jun Arashiyama is also constantly cheerful and polite and therefore the ideal "Face of Border".
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Downplayed. Crushes exist, but otherwise, romance is close to nonexistent. It's telling that the closest thing to an Official Couple is Chika and Yuzuru (a so far one-sided crush), the latter of whom isn't even a main character and wasn't introduced until over a 100 chapters in.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Kuga has Replica, a little black mokuna-like critter. Apparently, he's based off of the author's rice cooker.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: Osamu's strategy in the mock-battle against the much superior Kazama. And it worked!
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Some groups of characters in the series have number-themed names
    • Osamu and Yūma's classroom friends: Ichinose (1), Futatsugi (2), Miyoshi (3) and Yotsuya (4)
    • The bullies in their classroom: Eida (1), Bitō (2) and Shiihara (3)
    • And the C-Class trio that always get defeated by Yūma: Teruteru da (1), Hidehide Hinoe (2) and Fumifumi Saotome
    • The city where the story takes place is called Mikado (3). The anime introduces Shizuka (4) and Goto (5).
    • There's also Masataka Ninomiya (2) and Shūji Miwa (3), who were both part of Azuma's old unit. The Mi in Osamu's surname Mikumo also means 3.
    • Finally, a lot of male characters in the series have 一 (1) in their given name, such as Yūichi Jin and Kazuaki Ōji.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • Yūma Kuga has an artificial body made of Trion which doesn't show any signs of aging, so he looks like a young boy despite being years older. Doesn't mean that he's immortal though...
    • Kazama is one of the oldest agents in Border but looks like he's still in middle school. The author implies that you can tell who has't figured out his age by whoever refers to him as -senpai, rather than -san.
  • Omniscient Hero: Jin's Side Effect allows him to see the future - sometimes years in advance. This makes him an amazingly convenient plot device, as the mangaka himself admits.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted in that both the captain of Suwa Unit and one of the Snipers of Arafune Unit are called Kōtarō (although the Kanji writing is different)
  • Prophet Eyes: Jin's side effect allows him to see the future.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Border stops Aftokrator's invasion, but with dozens of C-Rank agents captured, Osamu severely injured, and a PR mess on their hands.
  • Razor Wind: Fūjin.
  • Reality Ensues: World Trigger is essentially Reality Ensues: The Shōnen Manga.
    • Determination cannot make up the lack of strength, skill or luck in a fight; just ask Tachikawa.
    • Talking to enemies in battles is just asking to get killed, unless your aim is to waste the enemies' time.
    • Most combats are done in trion bodies because injuries to the real bodies in the battlefield are fatal: when Osamu takes three bullet-sized stabs on his abdomen, arm and leg, he almost dies due to blood loss; in other shows, this level of injury would be minor.
    • When Osamu is banking on the result of his intensive training to win his team match (he is the weakest link in the team), his team gets defeated horribly instead: Osamu has to learn the hard way that hard work takes years to bear fruit and rival characters also train hard so catching up is almost impossible for someone with no talent; Osamu is told to spend more of his time to develop strategies and learn support skills with instead.
    • Military and defense organizations in the series takes a no nonsense approach in general.
      • Being a Blood Knight in a professional army is fine as long as you follow orders; Enedora was executed for leaving his designation position to seek unnecessary fights.
      • A combatant who cannot kill cannot participate in missions in the enemy's home field: Hatohara and her team got pulled off the expedition mission despite her team winning the ticket fair and square. However, they can still be used for defense missions, because in the home field, every combatant can be deployed.
      • Torture is useless for information gathering because the victim can just make up lies; even with a living lie detector, it's useless if the victim is stubborn enough to stay mute.
      • An S-ranked agent with black trigger that's capable of decimating everything to dust is not deployable in most defensive situations due to the potential collateral damage: negative public relations impact from the said collateral damage can cut into the army's funding.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Jin's boss Takumi Rindō of Tamakoma Branch.
    • Also General-Manager Masafumi Shinoda who is mostly interested in keeping peace and had friendly interactions with neighbors in the past.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Shūji Miwa hates all Neighbors for causing the death of his sister and would never consider making distinction between good and bad Neighbors like Kuga, up until the point where he's basically ordered to.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of characters receive an Early-Bird Cameo or play a minor role (or are at least mentioned by name) before they're properly introduced. The second invasion arc in particular is good for this, as due to the scale of the conflict, it abruptly introduces several characters, most of whom you won't get to know until later during the rank wars.
  • Ship Tease: They are few and far in between in the manga, but the anime adds some more, such as Kitora having a possible crush on Osamu (which in the manga is more of a fan headcanon) and Arashiyama and Tokieda teasing her about it, Nasu and Kumagai acting like a married couple with children in an anime-original flashback, Karasuma being hinted at having a crush on Konami, and even a scene where Kitora is hinted at having a crush on Konami along with Osamu and Karasuma (and in the same scene, Konami is also shown to believe Kitora has a crush on Osamu).
    • That scene is also the only interaction between Kitora and Konami to date. Yes, including the manga. It also implies that Konami and Kitora were in the same school at a point (probably while Konami was in Middle School).
  • Shout-Out: Ouji's icon for Chika was based off of the face of My Hero Academia's Tsuyu Asui.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Most of the top combatants fight this way. While a few use customized/more trick-type triggers, a look at people's triggers suggests that for most, simple is best (e.g. Toma, the No. 1 ranked sniper, uses the Jack-of-All-Stats Egret and only Egret). In the end, they're just very good at the fundamentals.
  • Slave to PR: Border as a whole, which may or may not play a part in why Netsuki—who's in charge of PR—is a Nervous Wreck.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: It is right around the "Men are More Equal" level. In-universe, no one in Border discriminates between men and women regarding recruitment nor combat assignments. Out-of-universe, though, female combat agents are uncommon, and female engineers are extremely rare, as are male examples of Mission Control.
  • Sword Beam: The Black Trigger Fūjin.
  • Sword Fight: During the Black Trigger Retrieval Arc. Jin alone vs. Kei Tachikawa, Sōya Kazama, Shirō Kikuchihara and Ryō Utagawa, and also Tōru Narasaka and Shōhei Kodera (but they used rifles instead).
  • Took a Level in Badass: Osamu does this throughout the series. Slowly.
    • His promotion to B-rank is a significant boost. It doesn't instantly make him more competent, but with standard gear he can fight and defeat at least weaker trion soldiers.
    • In the large-scale invasion, he rather quickly defeats a Marmod, with ample callback to the early-on battle where he was almost killed by one. He also briefly fends of two mod-Rabits, considered equal to A-rank agents.
    • In the B-rank wars, he picks up area-denial triggers. This allows him to exercise a great deal of battlefield control, which becomes absolutely essential to his squad's victories against more powerful opponents. By this time, he has also grown into a decent combatant, and defeats a number of opponents with a combination of skill, trickery and opportune moments.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: Yuma notes that torturing a single prisoner wouldn't accomplish much, since the prisoner could simply spit out a lie. You'd have to torture multiple people and corroborate their stories. However, he also adds that if Border wants to torture Hyuse as revenge for the casualties suffered in the invasion, that'd be entirely fair.
  • Tournament Arc: The Rank Wars are essentially a very long Tournament Arc, albeit broken up by arcs (namely, invasions) in between.
  • Transformation Sequence: In the anime, when agents activate their Trion bodies. The manga does it more rarely- once each for Osamu's and Yūma's first activation of a Border trigger, once for Konami ( in the role of The Cavalry) during the large-scale invasion, and never since.
  • Transformation Trinket: Triggers, obviously.
  • Trojan Horse: The bug neighbors were attached to the wormster neighbor in chapter 1 allowing them to interfere with the border induction device.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Subverted. One of the series' high points is that it's a genuine mystery to as who'll win any given rank battle (and that the victor will have earned it), because the protagonists don't have Plot Armor going for them. In one of the series' more iconic scenes, Tachikawa flat-out states that it's skill and tactics (and some luck) that win fights, not passion.
  • Villain Respect: Considering that Border is something of an underdog in the grand scheme of things, the invading Neighbors often express respect (after suffering defeat) at how well Border fights.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Aside from the expeditions, Border mostly waits for the Neighbors to come and attack them. Justified, as they're explicitly a defence agency.
  • Wham Episode: Downplayed with the Tamakoma-2 vs. Ninomiya vs. Azuma vs. Kageura match. After a string of victories, and Osamu getting stronger through recent training... Reality Ensues, with Azuma abruptly sniping Osamu. Overall, Tamakoma-2 loses miserably, demonstrating that the upper tier is not to be taken lightly and reminding the reader what kind of series this is again.
  • When She Smiles: When Kitora genuinely smiles.
    • Also played for laughs in chapter 36 when Karasuma talks to her and Osamu after Osamu's battle with Kazama.
  • World Building: Each chapter reveals about this world.
    • The types and capabilities of Neighbors.
    • Border's inner workings, machination, hierarchy, and history.
    • The types of working of Trion and Triggers.
    • The nature of the world on the other side.
  • Zerg Rush: Used on both sides.
    • As they can't afford to send their entire forces on what amounts to one of many expeditions, the enemy Neighbors usually send masses of trion soldiers instead. If they send out (a few) human Neighbors, it's about to be an Oh, Crap! moment for Border.
    • Then, there's the heroic version on Border's end. When it comes to human/sentient parties, they lose out in individual strength, but they always have superiority in numbers—which is a large part of why they can ultimately stand their ground. No matter how many of them have to bail out, there's always someone to pick up the slack.


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