Warning: The following contains spoilers for World Trigger, Season 2, Episode 7, “Showdown”, now streaming of Crunchyroll.
The latest episode of World Trigger highlighted the character growth of the Kakizaki and how he was able to overcome his overly cautious nature. This week, the focus shifts to the remaining opponent Katori and shows that even though Katori has plenty of talent and a tragic past, not everyone can grow from their past experiences if they lack the drive to move forward.
Episode 5 sets up the internal strife within Katori Team, Katori’s arrogant and reckless personality frustrates her teammates, but they still have to rely on her raw power to win most battles. This means that Katori Team doesn’t have any real teamwork or strategy to speak of, which is a devastating weakness when fighting a well-coordinated team like Tamakoma Second.
When Katori encountered Osamu last episode, she initially thought she could easily defeat him since she is much more skilled, but her team didn't gain any ground against Osamu, who neatly held his position with his wire traps and Chika’s sniping. Luckily, Katori Team still has the calm operator Hana Somei helping with strategizing. Hana sees an opening as Chika is attacked by Kakizaki team’s Fumika, and she sends her teammates to attack Osamu from behind. But Osamu had already anticipated the attack and planted traps to take out Katori Team member Rokuro Wakamura. Yuma arrives just in time to wound both Katori and assist in taking out the second team member Yuta Miura.
Hana apologizes to Katori for her miscalculation, but this only irritates Katori. Katori and Hana are childhood friends but have opposite personalities. Hana is rational-minded, hardworking and patient -- her parents thought that Katori was a bad influence on her studies and forced them apart. Though Hana and Katori stayed friends, Katori became annoyed by overachievers. During the first Neighbor invasion, both girls' houses were destroyed and Hana saved Katori from the rubble. Katori later learned that Hana chose to save her instead of her own parents because she believed Katori had a better chance of survival. Katori is alive because of Hana but Hana lost her parents forever.
Katori feels indebted to Hana, so when Hana decided to join Border, Katori followed, thinking that she could easily reach the top with her genius-level intelligence, as with most things in her life. But her experience at Border has not been so smooth. Whenever Katori felt she'd reached a bottleneck in her performance, she would switch positions to try something different. She looks down on people without her talent but works hard to try to achieve something that she deems impossible, including Osamu.
Katori is something of a counterpart to Osamu, as she has the talent and the power that Osamu lacks, a flashier personality and even a more tragic backstory. On paper, Katori should make a better shonen protagonist than Osamu. In fact, World Trigger has even received criticism over the years for having a boring and weak protagonist like Osamu. But what makes Osamu a good protagonist is his persistent and earnest personality. Osamu is proactive even when he keeps losing, while Katori feels defeated by the smallest failure. Osamu knows he is weak, so he always thinks of new ways to become stronger and be a bigger help to his teammates. This is why Tamakoma Second is constantly improving while Katori Team lags behind.
Katori feels annoyed by Tamakoma Second because they “act like protagonists,” but her real frustration is towards herself. Katori is letting her friend Hana down by not working as hard as she could, while others who have much less talent are moving forward at a faster pace.
Katori has the ability to be a top-level fighter, as shown at the end of this episode when she uses Osamu’s wires against him, surprising everyone. But since it is a team battle, and Osamu's wires can stay effective even when he's absent, Tamakoma Second’s brilliant teamwork ultimately wins the day. Only time will tell if Katori chooses to live up to her potential, instead of running when things get hard.