Mob Psycho 100 – Mid Season Review
Mob Psycho 100:
Original Air Dates: July 11, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: Kageyama Shigeo, also known as “Mob” is a young man who finds it difficult to express himself. He also happens to be a powerful esper. Keeping a low profile, and to keep his ESP powers in check, Mob joins up with one Reigen, a supposed local psychic and shaman to utilize his powers and train them so he can better control them.
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Mob Psycho 100 has really changed since we last talked about it during the Summer Preview Coverage. Mob, Shigeo himself, has grown considerably from his rather uninteresting introduction. We’ve learned more about his own self-doubt, self-loathing and even dug in with backstory in Episode 5 that helps to shed a lot of light on why Mob is the way he is. Viewers will be pleased to find he undergoes quite a bit of character development and expansion, more so than most other protagonists this season.
Linny: If you started the show disliking or questioning Mob’s appeal then know, thanks to the exposition in recent episodes, he has turned into someone who’s at the very least, a lot more understandable for being the way he is. For those who liked him from the very start, there’s just more to get hyped over as the show goes on. Besides Mob, a lot more characters are brought into the spotlight and one of them is his brother, Ritsu who has gone from being a sympathetic younger brother to a troubled and complex character that’s likely going to contribute to the story a lot more than what one might have guessed at first glance. Ritsu’s growing role is making him an interesting character who’s adding a lot more dimension to the story by bringing in complex emotional elements to not just the siblings’ relationship but his own personality. And speaking of interesting side characters, the health fitness club members featured in the show make for some sweet and funny additions thanks to the whole contradiction of these macho men being some kindest characters in the whole show. They provide a nice break from the more intense story lines and watching them fuss over Mob can be quite endearing.
Tom: It’s through the focus on this expanded cast that Mob Psycho 100 manages to generate a wider, more interesting appeal. Mob’s brother, Ritsu, gets plenty of development particularly as we hit the mid season. And a bunch of smaller cast members get increasing focus, allowing for Mob Psycho to diversify its comedy and thus its appeal. Reigen takes a backseat during all of this, helping to alleviate the problem of his over use in Episode 1. While his shtick never changes, and that focus on his phony psychic routine remains predictable, it becomes far less pronounced and a minor influence on the show’s proceedings.
Linny: Reigen’s role in the story, and in regards to Mob, has even been developed, having him evolve from someone merely taking advantage of Mob. Though there’s no denying that he is still the same scoundrel he came off as from the start, his role as a mentor and companion of sorts for Mob is being conveyed as something that does benefit Mob in some ways. His reduced appearance is utilized in a more efficient manner and the reduction in appearance itself helps to make the show feel more fleshed out in regards to content and comedy as compared to the first episode where it felt like a nonstop parade of Reigen’s shenanigans.
Tom: Despite the series being a comedy however, Mob Psycho 100 is actually best when its building towards and hits its more epic moments. It’s becoming clear to me that One, the creator of the Manga for this adaptation, is at his best when crafting stories that culminate in epic events that awe and impress. His writing seems best suited to this, as it was One-Punch Man’s more epic battles that became the series’ biggest draw.
Linny: Mob Psycho is slowly winning us over with its dramatic buildups, especially in regards to getting the audience more acquainted with our hero and his past. It gives the show a lot more heart and depth for those who were frustrated with having an MC who came off as a rather naive and gullible unfeeling robot. We are finally aware of exactly why, when and how Mob came to be who he is now. It makes him feel like an actual and realistic character rather than an extremely peculiar work of fiction. The show has this tendency to go over the top in a lot of regards, from its imagery to even its side characters and storylines. This gives the show a very unique flair all of its own and helps it stand out. On the other hand, sometimes the use of hyperbolic reactions and characters in extremely mundane situations makes the whole thing feel a little forced or exaggerated. While there’s nothing wrong with a show being all out crazy, it might irritate you if you prefer your insanity in smaller or more controlled doses, rather than having it inserted whenever and wherever to the point of feeling overdone.
Tom: When focusing on the more ‘mundane’ aspects of Shigeo’s, or his brother’s, life is where Mob Psycho 100 can feel its weakest. It’s not a golden rule, but often these less epic events can either border on bland, or stray into territory that is perhaps less funny and more simply weird. An example would be Episode 6 when one delinquent character is framed as a pervert who collects girls recorders so he can lick them. It’s absurd, and perhaps goes too far, straying away from humorous and becoming simply bizarre. That said, whether this humor still grabs you or not, it’s all building towards epic events involving Ritsu and that keeps me excited. Shigeo himself remains overpowered, which is unfortunate as One already did that kind of thing with One-Punch Man. But, if you’re not yet tired of the overpowered hero, Mob Psycho 100 offers up a different flavor. Where as Saitama may have been concerned with fighting a fitting opponent, and the frustration of ending every fight with but one punch, Shigeo’s character differs significantly. With Episode five, we learn enough about Shigeo’s past to understand him, his motivations, and even are introduced to a much darker element within his character. The twists introduced here will remind viewers of previously successful anime and manga such as Naruto. In all honesty, it’s a rather predictable development, but it’s depiction and realization here is so on point that it’s hard to levy too much criticism for Mob’s reliance on such an overused trope.
Linny: For a show that we worried would focus too much on a singular shtick, Mob Psycho has grown into a show with a million elements in play. Every character introduced seems to have some ongoing role to play. From a classmate who’s determined to investigate and find out the truth about Shigeo, to the introduction of a new ally-like character , to rivals and big ongoing reveals. It’s a constant flurry of events and developments and for those who like a more linear approach, this might feel overwhelming. But it’s definitely impressive that Mob Psycho manages to utilize its new characters this much when compared to other shows that introduce new characters and then relegate them to the sidelines or forget about them entirely.
Tom: Mob Psycho 100’s art has a fluidity that keeps its visuals as a big draw. While One’s art is notoriously simplistic, if not potentially outright bad by some standards, the anime manages to breath in new life.There’s few, if any, easily noticeable dips in quality and when the action gets cranked up to eleven Mob Psycho 100 becomes a true visual feast as fight scenes are rendered with fluid, impressive animation that matches the epic quality of the events its depicting.
Linny: Mob Psycho was one of the most anticipated shows when the summer season started and it’s slowly but undeniably proving itself worthy of the anticipation. For those who might have been put off by the deadpan Shigeo and the excessive focus on Reigen, the show deserves a second chance as we get a lot more exposition and development of its characters and story. The wealth of characters and the new depths revealed are making this show more interesting than ever. However, if you were put off by the over the top elements, it’s actually the strongest point of the show so Mob Psycho might just not be for you after all.
Tom: I wasn’t exactly thrilled with what I’d seen in Mob Psycho’s first episode. But now having hit the mid season, and giving the show room to prove itself, it’s gradually becoming a much more engaging, and interesting series. For anyone who lost interest early on, I’d recommend jumping back in and giving it a few episodes. If anything I feel Episode 5 could be the turning point/proving point less enamored viewers need to understand whether Mob Psycho 100 will ever be worth their time or not. Right now I’m much more optimistic, and if Mob can continue to improve at this rate I think we’re in for a wonderful second half of the season.
Mob Psycho 100 is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.