Anime Corner: Mob Psycho 100 Review

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It’s the final countdown!

What’s the Story?

Mob is just an ordinary kid, well, he wants to be ordinary; unfortunately he happens to be one of the most powerful espers on the planet. He may look like a quiet, meek little kid, but should the emotions he bottles up reach boiling point then it’s a case of duck and cover as no one’s going to be able to stop him. Under the guiding hand of his con-man master, Mob tries to live a good and ordinary life, while facing off against evil spirits, a secret organisation of espers and his own brother’s suppressed feelings. This can only end well.

The Review

Damn it! He’s done it again. The creator behind One-Punch Man has led to the birth of another anime that I really, really like, actually I think I may like Mob Psycho 100 more than One-Punch Man. It has the zany sense of humour and action so over the top it’s in the stratosphere that One-Punch Man had, as well as a main character who is extremely overpowered yet I still care and root for, but Mob Psycho has a little dash of something else, human drama. I mean One-Punch Man was great, I did care for the struggles of Saitama and the other heroes, but I care about Mob more. He’s a more relatable character, yes he’s super strong, but he’s also socially awkward and nervous about talking to the girl he’s crushing on. Yes he’s a bit too good-hearted and naïve to be a believable teenager, but that just makes me want to put my arms around the kid and shield him from the world. He just wants to be normal and yet never will be.

However much I like Mob though, the more interesting character for me is his younger brother, Ritsu. His psychological state could have a series all its own, I mean he’s everything Mob wants to be, he’s exceedingly normal, he does well at school, he’s good at sports and popular too, he even looks like the older brother and looks out for Mob. Yet despite all of that he yearns for psychic powers like his older brother has and you can see how much it’s eating him up inside not being able to do anything. Then the series reveals another little wrinkle, he’s actually scared of Mob. Seeing what Mob can do when he loses control, I’d be scared too and the reason he looks after Mob so much is one part brotherly kindness, one part preventative caution to try and stop his brother from blowing his top again. All of these emotions are swishing around inside him and conflicting against his admiration for his older brother and if Mob teaches us anything it’s not healthy to bottle up your emotions until you explode, especially when you have psychic powers.

Ritsu’s journey to the dark side is probably my favourite story arc in the series. There’s a palpable sense of tension as you watch Ritsu go further and further down the rabbit hole and the hints at a confrontation with his brother. It’s a different kind of drama to what we had in One-Punch Man and for me I prefer it. There is a bit less mind-blowing action that in One-Punch Man, it takes us until episode 3 before Mob really shows us what he’s holding back and it is so worth the wait. Due to the set up of the series with the percentage popping up to show us Mob’s emotional state, it can sometimes take a while for him to hit boiling point, plus the fact that his master drilled into him not to use his powers against other people. This works for the series though, it makes it so that when Mob does break out the psychic powers it’s a lot more satisfying.

I do have to talk about the animation with this series because it’s another major plus in this series’ favour. It’s done by Bones so you know it’s going to be good from the start and it is. It’s bright and colourful though in some cases when the psychic powers come out I think the best way to describe it would be psychedelic. The action, when it comes, is fluid and fast and it has this continual sense of motion to it, the best way I can describe is that it feels likes you’re on a roller coaster that is going full speed. It’s constantly moving forward faster and faster, but you never get lost with it, you know what’s happening and it is awesome, over the top, but awesome. What I like most about the animation though is the artistic style it goes for. The character models and the motion all have this loose, scratchy outline to them, it looks like the characters just pulled themselves off of a manga page and started walking around. Yet not once do I stop believing in these characters and this world, it suits this show perfectly.

The only real shame about this series is how criminally short it is. Only twelve episodes? Come on! We need more Mob! There is a plot there just begging for a second season, who doesn’t want to see Mob and the gang back to take on the boss of Claw (the evil esper organisation). Also, I haven’t read the source material so I don’t know if this happens, but I would think it’d be nice to have some development of Mob’s crush, I know she’s mostly there for Mob to admire from a far, but I’d like to know a little more about her and get some resolution to that plot thread.

The Verdict

Mob Psycho 100 is one of my favourite anime of this past season. It’s got some really loveable and interesting characters, some heartfelt drama, some funny jokes and some blistering action sequences. If you liked One-Punch Man I think you’re going to like this and if for some reason you didn’t like that show still give this one a try, you never know you might like it. The animation alone is worth the price of admission; it is nothing less than exceptional.

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Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday. 

 

4 comments

  1. Pingback: Anime Corner: Mob Psycho 100 (Season 2) Review | Never Argue with a Fish
  2. ospreyshire · November 5, 2019

    Some of my friends have been recommending that anime to me. One Punch Man didn’t look interesting since invincible heroes are a dealbreaker for me, but Mob Psycho actually looks interesting even though I’m not into most popular anime. The humor looks quirky and it certainly looks original. Not going to lie, when I heard the villainous organization was called Claw, I laughed. I get it’s supposed to be a generic name, but it’s hard for me not to think about the villains with the same name from Inspector Gadget and Kimba the White Lion respectfully. I expect to see faceless mechanical baddies with pet cats or evil black-maned lion usurpers with scarred left eyes who use hyena henchmen. Okay, I kid about those characters.

    Good review nonetheless.

    Liked by 1 person

    • neverarguewithafish · November 5, 2019

      Definitely check this out, both visually and character-wise it’s stunning and it only gets better in season 2. Most of the villains would probably fit in an episode of Inspector Gadget, which I guess is the point. They’re so obsessed with being special that they’ve turned themselves into cartoons. Luckily Mob and co are there to show them there’s a more mentally healthy way to approach being special.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ospreyshire · November 5, 2019

        Gotcha. I’ll see if I have time to watch it. I am so uninformed about anime that came out this decade since I got back to watching it only a few years ago. Haha! I could see that with the villains especially since the Claws I mentioned certainly can be hammy and over the top. That’s good to know about Mob saving the day in that fashion.

        Liked by 1 person

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