A Hidden Gem in Shounen Anime

A Hidden Gem in Shounen Anime

Alison Thao

Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Hunter X Hunter, Fairy Tail… what do all of these animes have in common? The main character’s abilities suddenly power up? The power of friendship? An overpowered main character? The kick ass side character that everyone seems to like instead of the main character? Oh right, I can’t forget that they’re all shounen animes, which is anime that is targeted towards young males (and females) between the ages of 12-18

If you like any of the things I said then stop reading, because what I’m about to tell you is going to blow your mind, at least I hope so.

In my opinion, the best shounen anime without all the generic stuff I mentioned earlier, is without a doubt World Trigger. This anime is one of a kind, simply because it has like 50+ teenaged side characters that fight strategically. You know Light from the anime Death Note? Basically him but a teenager, minus a few IQ points.

One of the reasons why this anime is number one for me is because it has the power of teamwork, Crazy right? Since when was there a shounen anime that included teamwork right off the bat instead of, “I have to protect my friends.” Besides teamwork, there is one more thing I enjoy and it’s critical and strategic thinking. Woah! I know, right? The main character actually thinks before they go rushing into battle with little to no plan whatsoever.

What if I also told you that the main character (MC) was actually weak. Boom, people lose interest instantly. I mean I can’t lie, having a weak MC is just not satisfying to many anime watchers. But that doesn’t mean he’s useless, heck, the MC; Osamu Mikumo is one of the smartest guys in his squad of 4.

Speaking of squads, that concept is what intrigued me the most, the strategic thinking of teams that work together to balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses is just pure enjoyment to me. I’ll just be watching an episode and then a mind blowing trick or plan comes up that gets Osamu and his team points. This is what got me to continue the show despite the below average animation shown in season one.

The females in the anime aren’t (for lack of a better term) “useless.” They too, are up to par with the male characters even surpassing some of the male characters. They don’t need saving every few episodes or helplessly fall in love with the main character. A bonus is that they don’t have over revealing or sexualized clothing. I appreciate the effort the author put into his female characters and making each of them unique, straying away from the generic “help me,” scenarios during fights.

A downside to this anime is the slow-paced plot, along with a weak MC. But the slow build up along with Osamu’s slow but steady progress to get stronger is worth the wait. Seeing him outplay others who underestimated him and far surpass his athletic ability is just *chef’s kiss*.

All these things are what makes World Trigger so different from generic shounen anime. The constant rank tournaments, strategic thinking, weak but smart MC, that has teammates who are far stronger than him but he perseveres to become just as strong.

Another thing is the plot of the anime. I really enjoy the way the author planned the complicated but cool power (fighting) system that the characters have to use. They all have the same power system and weapons, but each and every character uses it in different ways with different tactics. This is another reason why I really enjoyed and will continue to enjoy the further seasons this anime has to show.

These are the reasons why this anime is my favorite, it’s just so different from the rest while also having things in common. Osamu doesn’t get a sudden power up and the characters actually have to use strategic tactics to beat their enemies. Osamu’s slow progression to get stronger doesn’t go unnoticed, it’s shown through his strategic plans, by utilizing his teammates to their full potential and showing that even though he isn’t as athletic as others, he still benefits his team.

So if you want something that isn’t like all those other shounen animes and has a bit of spice, I’d recommend watching World Trigger.