Warning: the following review may contain spoilers.
This is a re-post of a review originally posted March 7th 2017
Mob psycho 100 is a hard review for me to write, not because I won’t do it justice (that’s a given) but because it’s just hard to explain. But I’ll try to explain it to the best of my abilities and hopefully no one will want to crucify me.
Mob psycho is an anime adaptation of a manga that started back in 2012 and is still being written, it was made by ONE, same guy who did one punch man and so the two are often compared, but apart from just then and right now, I won’t be talking about one punch man anymore in this review. This anime however aired in the summer of 2016, it’s just 12 episodes long and you can find the sub on crunchyroll and funimation with funimation also having the dub.
The story is hard to explain, the show has a lot of different small plots, a lot of subplots and no main plot (at least in the beginning) the subplots all come together eventually to form a bigger plot, which leads to some more subplots which all eventually come together again, and through all of these we end up with a situation of Psychics invading a base of an organization made up of other Psychics known as claw, specifically there 7th division I belive.
Every small thing and subplot leads to this much grander plot which takes up the later end of the show and i really like that everything matters and it’s not just a case of subplots stay as subplots and never really amounting to the main plot in any real way.
Every character (that gets a name) is also important and tons of the supporting cast actually have something to and do and help move the plot forward in some way shape or form.
Now as I said it’s hard to talk about mob psycho and we would be here all day if I had to explain all the gears that make this plot machine run but it’s very good and I like the connecting stories it also helps build the world and make it feel more alive and real, it’s very well written.
Now the presentation is easily Mob Psycho’s strongest point. It uses a variety of different styles throughout the show one of which is extremely hard to do and very rare.
The presentation is great because even when it’s just being itself it doesn’t look like your average anime. You see ONE isn’t the best artist, in fact his art isn’t really that good at all, he can’t draw well, he’s getting better over time but it’s not good.
Studio bones went to great lengths to make sure his style was recreated well, they were able to make it look nice while still keeping the simple and slightly off drawing of the characters.
This is further helped by the constantly changing art style, while it sometimes goes really detailed and dramatic but it can also get worse, lose colour and go into a much less detailed and well drawn face, think Nichijou.
It’s really hard to explain just how many styles there are and how much of an impact they have, plus the animation is so freaking smooth, I love smooth animation and let me tell you… This is smooth.
With so many people jumping around and psychic powers flying all over the place it would be really obvious and really bad if the animation wasn’t nice and smooth and had bad flow. Luckily the animators knew what they were doing and the fights and psychic powers look great in action.
Heck Mob Psycho won best fight scene for the anime awards 2016. It really is an amazingly animated show, I can’t believe it didn’t win best animation either, that was some bullshit, but that’s getting off track.
Now let’s get into the music, now I took way too long to write this review and so that might be part of the reason why I don’t remember any of the background music, but yer I don’t remember any of it which is the very opposite of memorable, so I’m gonna say it’s unmemroable.
That’s just how it is but I will admit that it took me ages to write this so that could be apart of the problem. It’s definitely not gonna help me remember it that’s for sure. The opening and ending on the other hand, *deep breath* BOI!
The opening for mob psycho 100 is easily one of the best anime openings ever made, it’s greatly animated and is done in just a few shots, what I mean by that is that there are very little hard cuts, things morph and transform into different objects and move around to make for some great flow.
Also it is absolutely packed with manga references which is a neat thing for fans of the manga to see and it also gives some nice foreshadowing, however this will only pay off if there are more seasons, which there needs to be.
Also you don’t need to know everything about the manga to enjoy the opening either, as I said I really enjoy it and I don’t know shit about the manga, all that stuff I mentioned before is just cause I do my research.
Now the ending is super important for a very specific reason and that’s the style that it’s done in. It’s done with paint on glass animation which is done by using slow drying oil paint on a sheet of glass and then smearing it over and over in different ways to make all the individual frames.
It’s an extremely hard style of animation to pull off and it’s also extremely rare as only one person in all of Japan is working and professionally trained in it, hence the rarity of it.
I wanna take a quick side note to say that it’s a style used in the show to great effort on stuff like the spirits however I waited till now to talk about it since the entire ending is done like this and it looks amazing.
Not only is it extremely hard to do but it’s also takes a very long time to do. But Mob Psycho blows it out of the water and the style of it along with the dynamic movement that comes of it makes it look really amazing.
The ending also has a lot of small character moments, it focuses on Reigen a character we’ll get to in a bit, in the morning, getting up and doing all the morning stuff before leaving for work and eventually running into mob on the way and that’s where it ends.
The character moments I was talking about are simple things like Reigen drinking some water before pouring the rest into the pot of a plant he has in his house, how he puts his shoes on and how color is restored when he runs into mob. There’s also a great shot of mob slowly growing up, as he has been getting mentored by Reigen from a young age.
It’s a simple yet touching moment as it shows that despite Reigen kinda being a con artist he does actually solve people’s problems and does really care about mob as well. Which helps further push that he only cons people so that they don’t end up falling for a real con that won’t help them, he just helps them and lie about how he did it.
It’s a really good ending and even if you decided not to watch the show I’d say try to find it on YouTube (a little hard since a Bones has been cracking down on Mob Psycho 100 content on YouTube.)
The voice acting is also great, they each feel so right and fit the characters perfectly. Itou Setsuo hasn’t done much but he did Mob really well, he was able to have that monotone vibe he has while also having strong moments where he shows great disdain and rage towards people, mainly the claw members after his brother is kidnapped.
Speaking of his brother, Ritsu’s voice actor Irino Miyu who has done a whole lot of work but is currently on hiatus for studying. He did a really good job on Ritsu, Ritsu has a big important character arc within the show and he changes emotions and feeling a lot, he has a serious complex and Irino did a great job with it.
He was able to cover the huge range he needed to in order to play this boy who has so many angles to him due to his ever changing situation and power complex, but more on ritsu later just know that the voice acting for him was spot on and very strong.
Lastly I also wanna give special mention to Reigen’s voice actor Sakurai Takahiro, an extremely well versed voice actor and if you haven’t heard of him his props been in something you have seen if you have seen a good range of anime.
Him as Reigen is perfect, he is able to pull off the laid back tone that Reigen has while also giving off a vibe of authority and importance. He is the perfect fit for Reigen seeing as Reigen is basically a con man who has a kind heart and acts like he doesn’t care about anything so much to a level where people just think his important.
That might not sound like it makes much sense but just wait till I talk about him and you’ll see what I mean.
Well, the presentation section ran a bit long but it really is where mob psycho shines the most and where it shines the second most is in its characters and after all the small info I’ve been dropping I’m sure you want to learn some more about these guys, so let’s go, characters.
Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama
Makes sense to start with Mob or Shigeo Kageyama. It’s a bit hard to talk about Mob because he has a very monotone voice and doesn’t really do too much. His whole thing is that he’s a psychic and a very powerful one at that.
Mob didn’t have to train or work hard to get good either, he is just extremely talented with psychic abilities, Mob however doesn’t believe that he is extremely special because of these powers, his had them his whole life and he’s had Reigen as a mentor since he was young.
Reigen has taught him that he’s just very good with psychic powers, however everyone is good at something, people are just good at different things and there is no one thing that can make someone more special than anyone else.
Mob also refuses to use his powers in order to harm anyone, at first, he later ends up retaliating at some people and he does also do it sometimes unconsciously when he gets a huge amount of stress put on him.
But the point is that due to Reigen’s teachings mob is a stand up guy who believes in not harming anyone and that just because he is good at something unique that doesn’t make him special.
Mob is basically an inside look on the idea of someone extremely talented who doesn’t think they are and the way that plays on them, for instance Mob actually thinks that his brother Ritsu is extremely special and amazing since Ritsu is able to do all kinds of things and figure out all kinds of issues without having any psychic powers. I could go on but this review is already long and there’s still a lot to go so I’ll move on now.
Now Ritsu Kageyama, Mobs brother. Ritsu is my favourite character from Mob Psycho, he has many layers of depth and a very strong character arc. Very early on he just seems like a perfectly normal and nice brother however he actually has a very serious inferiority complex.
This is because he has no psychic abilities at all, he is good at other things, in fact his good at a lot of things, most things, but he has an issue with his lack of psychic abilities which are none as far as he knows.
Ritsu stresses over this idea and eventually with help from Dimple he is able to awaken to his psychic powers, turns out he was simple just a late bloomer of sorts and always had the powers however he needs Dimple to control the output for a while but Ritsu eventually gets a feel for it and is able to use his powers on his own however they are weak compared to someone like Mob or Teruki although strong against just normal humans.
Ritsu, unable to handle this kind of power becomes an eadg lord, this isn’t helped by the fact that the student council president (Ritsu’s the Vice President) makes a plan to frame a thug within the school in order to be able to get rid of him and hopefully improve the overall rating of the school and has Ritsu help, it works. Which leads Ritsu into a dark space.
Due to a series of events a bunch of gangs around town start to search for mob under the code name ‘White T Poison’ this is all very hard to explain without doing way too much story telling cause as I’ve stated the plot is very closely interwoven and every event matters.
But basically they wanna fight him, however Ritsu ends up confronting gangs under this name and with his psychic abilities beats the crap out of them and this leads to a case of misunderstood identity and he gets kidnapped by claw as they think his Mob. Which leads to Mob and Teruki going to save him.
Ritsu also leads a band of other people with weak and small psychic abilities to break out and then in the end help out with the overall fight, however they are mostly useless with only Ritsu, Mob, Teruki, Reigen, and Dimple doing anything of value.
Ritsu however is someone like Teruki who believes that using psychic powers in order to harm others is okay as long as there is a good reason unlike Mob and Reigen who believe there is never a reason that validates harming another human with psychic abilities.
Ritsu is easily the deepest character within Mob Psychos first season, all the others have great death it’s just that Ritsu has a very clear and strong character arc throughout the whole of the season which is important and critical to propelling the plot forward.
Ritsu also eventually learns that he doesn’t need to be better than mob in psychic powers to satisfy his complex as once Mob, Teruki and himself get trapped in a room that invalidates psychic powers Mob says there is nothing to worry about since Ritsu is there and that Ritsu is so amazing that he will find a way out of it since Ritsu can figure anything out despite not having psychic powers.
Ritsu is an extremely talented and smart young man who is held back by the belief that psychic powers make Mob better and worth more than him. Once again it all comes back to that central theme.
Teruki is a boy who I believe is the same age as Mob who goes to a different school and at first believes that he is a huge hot shot and extremely special and important due to having psychic powers.
(It’s almost like this show has good writing and a consistent tone, plot and theme. Imagine that, a well written anime.)
Eventually he ends up facing Mob however Mob refuses to respond or retaliate in any way.
Mob instead ties to convince Teruki that his powers don’t make him any better than anyone else however all this does is agitate him further and eventually Teruki just goes absolutely berserk smashing mob through walls and punching him over and over, endlessly abusing him all the time yelling for him to fight back.
Mob stays strong and true to his morals until he ends up unconscious and on the ground however due to the extreme stress of the situation and losing consciousness and thus control of himself he goes into his ???% mode which is even more powerful than his 100% mode.
He ends up absolutely wiping out Teruki and the school they are in however in his last moments he puts it back together and this is the event that gains him the codename of ‘White T Poison’ due to the white tee he was wearing at the time.
So Teruki obviously starts of as a bad guy and this whole event helps him see things differently, he still believes that people with psychic powers are better than mere normal humans however he can see that no matter how good someone is there always someone better and thus he is able to feel and act more like a normal human since he can see that he is nowhere near close to the best and most special person ever.
His hair also suffered damage from his fight with Mob and now he has a wig that goes way too high, it’s ridiculous and it’s great, by end of the season his hair is back to normal since all the extra hair gets cut off during the invasion of the claw division hideout.
As mentioned before Teruki believes that harming others with psychic abilities is justifiable, even after he becomes a good guy he still holds this belief and does so multiple times however all directed at enemies. Teruki is the one who notices something wrong with Ritsu and goes to get Mob and after Ritsu is kidnapped and Mob beaten, Teruki decides to help Mob out with getting Ritsu back and the two invade the claw division hideout and this is where Mob spends sometime actually harming others with his abilities before Reigen shows up and stops him from doing it anymore despite both Ritsu and Teruki screaming for him to fight back as it’s the only way they are going to win since Ritsu is getting easily beaten and Teruki can only hold his own without making any ground.
Teruki is a strong character, like that’s any surprise in mob psycho 100s case. Terukis character arc does basically end once he changes sides and then it’s thanks to this arc that he then helps out and is a part of the rest of the season however in the final episode we can see the beginning of a new arc for him as he decides to help train the group of psychics that got trapped with Ritsu who are extremely weak, weaker even then Ritsu is and he does this in order to help them be able to fight back the next time another division of claw shows up.
Which will definitely happen considering they showed up and wiped out an entire division, they have all made enemies with claw now. The group agree saying they don’t just want to have Ritsu do all the work next time.
Reigen is simply put an awesome character, he’s Mobs mentor and he’s absolutely amazing, he’s also technically a con artist but he’s a con artist for all the right reasons. He helps people out with their problems in a way that actually helps them so that they can’t get conned by a real con man who will just take there money and not even solve their problem.
For example at one point a woman comes in with an issue and after asking a few questions Reigen knows it’s just a simple back problem however this woman believes in spirits and such so she is only going to get conned if Reigen try’s to tell her the truth which she won’t truly believe, so Reigen gives her a massage saying that it’s a way to drive out the spirit and then she feels better after wards, and thinks the spirit is gone plus Reigen gets payed, it’s a win win situation.
He lies to people however he is really helping them out and in the few situations where he does have to deal with a spirit he has Mob to sort that kind of thing out.
Reigen as I’m sure you’re aware by now lives by a very strong moral code about not harming other and not believing you are better then anyone for any reason but simply better at just one specific skill.
Reigen also greatly cares about Mob. Since Mob was young he has been going to see Reigen regularly after one day showing up, saying, and then showing off his powers to Reigen.
Reigen’s greatest moment and something that just shows how good he is, is while mob and Teruki are raiding the claw base Reigen shows up out the front of the base and when the goons questions him he simply says he’s here to see his associates.
Due to the wording and the fact that Reigen is extremely casual and clearly doesn’t care that these people are questing him the goons think it’s the main overall leader of claw who was planning to visit soon anyway so they thought he simply decided to show up early.
The funny thing is that after going through the facility and Reigen pointing out the horrible morals at play and then helping Teruki, Mob and Ritsu to get out of the anti-psychic chamber he has all but gained the loyalty of the goons legitimately and so when the division leaders find out that they were all mistaken he tries to take his anger out on them but Reigen being the guy he is tells them all to run and genuinely cares about if they’re okay and basically destroys the divisions lower ranks all together as they would all much rather follow Reigen.
This also isn’t the only case of Reigen being the one to save everyone, in reality Reigen is the true hero, of this first season at least.
Which helps further emphasis his teachings when they turn out to be right, in fact he beats the higher ups of the division by simply showing that they’re acting like children and not accepting the real world for how it is, with some help from Mob he’s able to withstand their attacks.
Saying how he doesn’t have powers and able to easily take what they’re doing really helps drive the point home and that Reigen was right in saying that you don’t have to use violence to handle these kind of situations, he simply out logics them only using psychic powers given to him from Mob in order to help hammer that point home to them and after all he doesn’t attack any of them, the Psychic power only acts as a shield.
After having been given Mobs powers for a brief while Reigen is now able to see spirits however that’s it and overall the psychic powers he got are all but gone unlike Ritsu who actually awoke to powers and has them naturally.
Overall Reigen is an awesome character who drives a lot of themes and points of the show and is great at hammering them home and being the main true hero of the story by taking apart the organisation by just being the guy he is and using absolutely no violence on his part.
Now Dimple is an interesting character who I didn’t see becoming important at all, at first he’s someone who’s running an underground cult that, like all cults, more or less tricks people into joining, however this is more like hypnosis.
Either way the trick used isn’t able to work on mob at all and mob can see that the cult leader is actually being controlled by an evil spirit and so mob ends up fixing things and then leaves and everyone awakes from the cult they fell into and start to praise mob as they’re God although this hasn’t really been fully explored yet.
After Dimple is taken out he survives and then joins up with Ritsu. He tries to get Ritsu to consent to handing over his body to Dimple so that he can take over and from there eventually work to take over Mob however he didn’t know that he was so weak that he can’t even actually take over Ritsu at all and so instead he does help him out by controlling the output of his powers.
That is until Ritsu decides he wants to pick a fight with mob and Dimple wants no part in that knowing how strong Mob is. Dimple ends up helping mob and Teruki in the claw division attack. After they take out someone Dimple is able to take control of them and uses that to sneak around the facility.
I have to say that Dimple has some pretty funny lines, I wouldn’t say he’s a pure comedic character because most of his quips and responses are just him being him and aren’t exactly funny however at one point he wants to go through a door but some goons find it wierd and his excuse is just that he’s never been through that door before and so he’d like to.
Eventually dimple ends up running into a division leader who captures and has control of evil spirits, Sprite which seem much stronger then Dimple. I gotta say that Dimples fight with this guy is pretty fun and I wish they had done some more with it, hopefully we can get some more next season.
But basically Dimple goes in and out of controlling the guy he was using as a vessel as well as going through the roof and wall at different points for some great manipulation of the battle and it’s really neat to see, even if he does lose at first. I say at first because this guy just ends up locking Dimple in a jar with a bunch of the other spirits and his whole thing is that he keeps whoever wins the battle as another one of his spirits.
Dimple wins and when his let out of the jar he just takes the guy out right away which I like, Dimple like Teruki starts out as a bad guy and in his heart he may still be one, however through a series of circumstances it almost feels like Dimple cares for Mob and Ritsu.
He also did help take out at least one person in claw and so it feels like he’s part of this team of heros.
Overall I did enjoy watching Mob Psycho 100 and while I can admit that the show is extremely well made and has very high production value, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as well as I enjoyed something like New Game!
Mob Psycho is amazingly written and presented and everyone who was a part of it clearly put in a very strong effort and churned out a show that’s amazing in objective terms. However my reviews are subjective and it’s more about my personal experience with a show.
Now I don’t know why I didn’t enjoy it a lot, I think back on it and the show was really good and I understand the great value behind it and as you’ve seen I’ve done nothing but heap praise upon it, but something about it limited my enjoyment and the worst part is that I’m not sure what that limiting factor is.
I think it might just be the lack of fun in the show, like I said all the quips didn’t really seem funny to me and while the great writing is a huge plus for someone like me and I love the characters. It’s all a bit too serious, you saw how often I mentioned the themes of the show and the message it was trying to push, maybe it just spent too much time on that.
Or maybe I’m just pure weeaboo trash who only like shows with moe girls being adorable and gay, who knows.