Clash of the Psychic and Supernatural in Mob Psycho 100

(Alt. Title) The Sheer Epicness that is Mob Psycho 100

Studio: Bones, BS Fuji, Shogakukan, Warner Bros Japan, FUNimation Entertainment 

Aired: Season 1 July, 2016 – 12 episodes + ova, Season 2 January 2019 – 13 episodes +ova

Score: 10/10 Wake your psyche up! 

From the studio that brought you One Punch Man comes an even more memorable tale of power, the supernatural, telekinesis, and Reigen, Mob Psycho 100.

It’s the story of a junior high schooler, Kageyama (aka Mob) born with telekinetic powers as well as the ability to see spirits and other supernatural phenomena. He struggles to find his place in the world and at school, so when he comes across the charismatic Reigen, a wicked con artist who solves clients’ supernatural troubles with the hilarious bullsh#t he comes up with, the two form a contract unlike any other. 

Basically Mob gets hired by Reigen and is paid mere coins for work Reigen can’t even do himself. Reigen convinces the young and naive boy that he’s psychic as well, which he’s not, in fact far from it… and together they tackle a number of jobs involving the supernatural big and small. 

Now… this sounds just awful on the surface; an adult taking advantage of a teenager and using him for his own personal gain, taking him out of school and away from his personal life to hunt spirits. 

But hear me out. 

It’s a supernatural comedy. 

There’s lots of downright f*cking hilarious moments. One being when Reigen takes a haunted photo and photoshops the spirit out of the picture and says the problem’s solved. Or as a last resort, when he resorts to lighting candles, tossing salt around the client, and gives the client a luxurious massage that ‘banishes’ the spirit. 

There’s other funny moments with the pair as well, like Reigen coming up with a new excuse every damn time he wants Mob to take out a spirit in his place, and the gullible Mob enthusiastically does it. 

But on their adventures, the pair do have bonding moments. Mob grows in power and realizes his true potential. Reigen deep down grows to care about Kageyama time and time again and goes out of his way to make sure he’s ok despite his selfish intentions. 

Season one nicely sets up the school & suburban setting and slowly introduces the vast amount of colorful characters that make an appearance throughout the show, friends and foes alike. 

The opening song (OP) is so catchy and unique to the anime, composed by the ‘Mob Quire’, with bright colors and plenty of images splashed in every frame. The music “[1 mob 2 mob 3 mob 4]” plays off of Mob’s emotional buildup that happens from time to time that makes his inner psyche explode with power. 

The theme/moral of the first season I believe is right in the lyrics of the OP “If everyone is so special, maybe you can be who you want to be”; basically, Mob is special.

He knows he’s special, despite most people treating him like any ordinary fellow, as well as Mob himself trying to ignore his uniqueness to go explore other ways of being special, like joining the ‘Body Improvement Club’. 

Despite Reigen encouraging Mob to focus on improving his psychic powers, Mob tries desperately to improve his physique in the hopes of impressing his love interest Tsubone. While he struggles considerably to become special in that aspect, he does gain the friendship and support of the members of the club as well as other classmates that encourage his natural-born paranormal powers.

Eventually circumstances call for it (aka a certain kidnapping), and so the situation forces Mob to embrace his true powers to save those he cares about, putting him out of the dark.

The ‘villains’ of Mob Psycho 100 are bad@ss in their own way, some having the silliest of ulterior motives, and almost every one of them is redeemable/ change for the good and become an ally of Mob, especially when their goals align when an even bigger threat appears. One thing I f*cking love about Mob Psycho 100 is the way they make each baddie seem so menacing and superior to all else, except there will always be someone stronger to show up after them.

One such threat from episode three/four has such a cool introduction. Mob is led to the base of a cult (LOL), literally that’s what they’re called, and comes face to face with a powerful foe named Ekubo.

After resisting his temptation to recruit him, Mob reaches 100% and has a telekinetic meltdown that saves the brainwashed cultists and shrinks Ekubo down to almost nothing.

Awed by Mob’s power, he follows him home and Mob basically makes him his pet, naming him Dimple. He becomes a series favorite, and while his motives are selfish at first, he later grows to care for the boy’s growth.

Mob isn’t the only grade-schooler with powers however, as the jealous Hanazawa, a middle schooler from a different school, comes to interrogate Mob, because,.. you know, Japan ain’t big enough for the two of them. His tactics are mean and far too hostile however, and while Mob tries to keep his emotions in check, he eventually breaks, reaching 100% and puts Hanazawa in his place.

This fight features one of my absolute favorite scenes in Mob Psycho 100; Mob ricochettes a projectile toward Hanazawa, tearing  his hair straight down the middle, and after that tears the entire school apart and sends him flying into the sky, Hanazawa’s clothes tear off and his naked body screaming as he realizes there’s a psychic far stronger than him.

Hanazawa later comes back with a hilariously oversized wig and vows his loyalty to Mob, as he should. His alliance felt sudden, but him realizing how insignificant he really is compared to Mob has given him a complete change of heart.

The last group of villains of season one, Claw 7th division, are a radical group of psychics that snuff out any weaker psychics and aim for world domination. Mob teams up with a hilarious group of very weakly powered psychics, one who can communicate telepathically with his brother, another who can make a tiny flame with his hand, one who can guess the right path but has a chance of being wrong, and I’m pretty sure there’s another I forgot about.

Each of the division members has really interesting powers they bring to the show, and Mob, accompanied by the seemingly useless but charismatic Reigen and even Dimple, fights his way through them to reach his goal. 

End of spoilers, though they weren’t really spoiling anything honestly. Just… go watch the show… please.

The last episode of the season seems irrelevant to the rest, but shows an iconic moment that appears time and time again. Mob and Reigen come across an evil crop threatening a peaceful farm, well… I forgot how he does it but Mob has the audacity to turn it into a giant plant, a tomato I think? Reigen wants to profit from it, but after tasting a synthetic tomato plant that tastes awful, he quickly ditches the idea. This idea comes back in the next season in a hilarious way.

Season two further amps up the action, story, comedic elements, and Reigen’s ego. It’s just as, if not, more epic than season one. More spirits, more enemies, more character development, and more clients Reigen can exploit.

The OP is also top notch in my opinion. “Get Ready. Wake your psyche up, Mob!”, it’s absolutely colorful and vibrant, with a lot going on in each frame. And the message/ moral of season two is also in its op as well, “Life is your own”. While season one focused on Mob comes to terms that he is in fact special and should embrace his unique ability despite wanting to be special in other ways, season two emphasizes control of one’s own life. 

Mob is so used to being told what he should do, by his classmates and especially by Reigen. Tensions are bound to grow between the two, and Mob must realize that he’s in charge of his own life and can do anything he wants with it, whether or not they involve his psychic powers.

I won’t delve as deep in this season as the first, as there are many similarities between the two seasons. Reigen and Mob continue to hunt spirits, but despite Reigen going softer on Mob’s feelings for what’s right rather than getting paid to exorcise spirits, tension builds between the two and at some point Mob is forced to make a choice. If you feel like Reigen hasn’t gotten what’s coming to him, he is certainly put in his place in a number of moments in this season. Meanwhile Mob bonds with his classmates and clubs. But if you could guess, a new threat arises and characters realize they need the support of each other to overcome the new threat.

I was surprised to see so many familiar faces from the past season, especially the past villains, who all have a change of heart to aid Mob and Reigen take out the biggest threat of all. The amount of destruction in this season is massive compared to the last, with formidable spirits and foes showing up to challenge our unwavering protagonists. 

But what is up with the art of the animation?’ you ask. Yes, the art-style looks simplistic; there isn’t a crazy amount of detail put in the characters faces or certain environments. But what if I told you… that’s the freakin’ point.

Because if you pay attention for a moment, you can capture an insane amount of detail to the supernatural and psychic elements in Mob Psycho 100.

Besides certain hilariously detailed dramatized facial expressions that appear on the characters from time to time, the amount of effort put into the art of the action scenes is flawless.

Each frame of Mob powering up and unleashing his fury is a sight to behold alone. And the spirits he comes across are aesthetically pleasing in their own way as well. 

So if you haven’t seen Mob Psycho 100, don’t judge an anime based on its art or the studio’s past projects. I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but it’s an extraordinary anime and I most certainly recommend checking it out for yourself.

Thank you for sticking around and reading to the end!


By: The Shy Otaku


Share the Word

Leave a Reply