WARNING: The following contains spoilers for World Trigger, Season 2, Episode 3, “Battle,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
As battles escalate, it is inevitable that fighters will start to get anxious. However, World Trigger shows both the cost of acting rash and the benefit of staying calm during battle. Season 2, Episode 3 features several instances where Border agents’ level-headed analyses are the key to winning their respective battles, especially when it comes to Border commander Masafumi Shinoda’s directions.
On the other hand, Border agents can also act impulsively and put themselves at risk, as shown in the battle between Border fighters Rei Nasu, Yuko Kumagai and Galopoula agent Wen Sou.
In Episode 2, Wen Sou deployed a fog trigger that covered the entire battlefield so she can hide and attack her opponents in secret. Nasu and Kumagai were obviously caught off guard by this new trigger, and panicked. Due to her panic and her eagerness to protect her teammate, Nasu forgets that Wen Sou has a shape-shifting trigger that allowed her to infiltrate the HQ in the first place. As a result, Wen Sou disguised herself as Kumagai and cuts off Nasu's arm.
In Episode 3, Nasu and Kumagai are initially stuck in a vicious cycle of behaving too impulsively and having no way to deal with Wens Sou, who remains completely calm. Though as time passes, Wen Sou is starting to run out of trion dogs as her cover, so she speeds up her attack. She uses a new trigger that acts as a projector, able to make multiple copies of her as dummies to disguise her real attack. Pay attention to the animation as Wen Sou starts the copying trigger, because she also uses her shape-shifting trigger at the same time to make herself into a mirror image so she can hide amongst her copies without being detected.
Faced with this new threat, Kumagai once again impulsively charges directly into the copies and is immediately attacked by the real Wen Sou. After being wounded, Kumagai is finally able to calm herself down and starts to understand how the copying trigger works. This is when she discovers all the projectors placed on the ceiling when Wen Sou deployed the fog trigger.
The animation in this scene also does a great job at highlighting the tolls of anxiety, when the distressed Kumagai looks up at the ceiling, it shows a blurry view of the projector triggers, and the same image shifts to a clearer view when the calmer Nasu looks up. This little added detail shows how much one's mental state can influence their perception.
Nasu is able to shoot down most of the projectors and reduce the number of copies to three. And reinforcements arrive just in time to help Kumagai find the real Wen Sou, Shiro Kikuchihara of the Kazuma unit has the ability of super hearing, and he is able to identify the footsteps of the real Wen Sou and informs Kumagai right when she is about to attack a dummy.
Although Border wins the fight and Wen Sou is severely wounded, she is actually successful. Since her mission is to slow down the Border fighters so that her teammates have enough time to destroy the expedition ship. Wen Sou stalls the Nasu team long enough for Border to send reinforcements. This means the fighters that could have gone to protect the expedition ship are instead used to stop her. Her single sacrifice in exchange for four Border fighters’ time is a good trade.
Examining this battle more closely, it is clear that Wen Sou has the upper hand the entire time by remaining calm and actively assessing the situation. She first intentionally provokes Nasu and Kumagai by calling them “little girls”, then used the fog trigger to distract and set up the projectors right when Nasu starts to figure out her attack patterns.
When she thinks she has stalled long enough, she finishes up with her copies and almost takes out Kumagai in the process. The only time she is rattled is when Kumagai correctly identifies her real body; she did not expect the arrival of Kikuchihara, which is also her only downfall.