Mob Psycho 100 Review - Everyone is Not Special


Mob Psycho 100 wallpaper

Everyone Is Not Special


  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
  • Airing Date : July 2016 – September 2016
  • Studios : Bones

Contains Spoilers


About Mob Psycho 100:

Kageyama Shigeo, also known as “Mob”, a nod at his lack of presence, is a 14-year-old boy born with psychic powers who was capable of various feats from a young age, but due to various childhood incidents where he lost control of himself and his powers, Mob has both consciously subconsciously decided to keep his powers (and his emotions) in check. However; every seal has its limit and Mob often loses control of his powers under heavy emotional strain – an event dubbed “Mob’s Explosion”. Under the guidance of his “master”, the phony medium, Reigen Arataka, a man who has no psychic powers, Mob comes to grips with leading a normal, uneventful life with friends, crushes and minimal use of his abilities. At least, that’s what he thought.

With the appearance of several other ESPers, Mob’s wish to keep use of his powers to a minimum becomes but a pipe dream as he is thrown into many life-threatening duels against other ESPers, fights which challenge Mob’s passive mentality and involve his younger brother; the most notable being his fight against an organisation known as Claw, a band of some of the most formidable ESPers which seeks to pit ESPers against aptly named “Normals”, and gain dominion over them.

What I Liked About Mob Psycho 100

Being a series based on an original work by ONE, the same author as the One Punch Man series, Mob Psycho 100 never failed to deliver frequent doses of humour and wackiness that were reminiscent of One Punch Man. My initial impression of Mob Psycho 100 was that it was an anime which thrives on being incredibly unconventional – from the art style to the characters themselves, Mob Psycho 100 is a very unique and memorable journey with amazing visuals and animation and unexpectedly AWESOME fights.

From a character’s perspective, Mob’s stoic nature is given context and even a major role in the story – he keeps his emotions locked away, but it is in scenes where his emotions surpass their limit that we see true depth to a character with very subtle presence. There is also a running theme of superiority complexes among the characters who exhibit psychic powers and in a very strange yet direct manner, the theme is dealt with in moments like the fight between Mob and Teru. These themes are made even more prevalent by the fact that despite having ESPer abilities, Mob is nothing more than a scrawny middle schooler. The contrast between Mob’s true capabilities and his gentle unimposing nature make for a very interesting and memorable main character.

It is the presence of this dichotomy that really anchored my interest in the series - I felt that there was an objective that ONE sought to achieve and a message ONE wished to convey through the story and characters. Mob’s duality as both a formidable yet weak character is the source of many profound and humorous moments in the series. Characters in the series also grow - we see how Teru changes his mentality after seeing Mob’s resolve and his power for himself, the experience humbled him and quickly turned him into a valuable ally and one of my favourite characters.

Mob’s stoic nature was somewhat relatable and I took an instant liking to the quiet and honest protagonist. Despite the fact that he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, Mob is a very kind and compassionate character who will often go out of his way to protect his family and friends. His compassion goes beyond reasonable levels - despite being betrayed by Ritsu, who sought to best his brother where ESPer powers were concerned, Mob was pleasantly surprised by his younger brother’s growth, stating that he’s so happy that Ritsu achieved powers because he used to “cry his eyes out” as a kid whenever he couldn’t use psychic powers to bend spoons the way Mob could.

From an action perspective, Mob Psycho 100 launches the viewer head first into an intense colourful display with silhouette resembling Mob in his “???%” fighting off various creatures, a scene that could be seen as foreshadowing of what is to come later in the series. Fights in Mob Psycho 100 are engrossing and the various forms of ESPer power make for some really cool tactical combat as well as some brutal psycho-enhanced fist-fights which I welcome wholeheartedly.

Discussion Time: Should You Watch Mob Psycho 100?

Mob Psycho 100 is an anime worth watching because it is unique in several aspects. Although the art is, at first, a bit of a turn off, the animation as well as use of vibrant colours in each episode of the show make up for what it may lack in the art department. The story is carried by characters who each have some form of contrast to their characteristics – Mob garners no real attention but is the most powerful ESPer in the show thus far. Reigen Arataka may seem like a bit of a clown at first, but he actually has a good head on his shoulders and he gives Mob much-needed guidance in terms of how he should use and not abuse his psychic powers. These traits create characters with multi-layered personalities, an aspect which brilliantly sets the scene for some character development.

Despite these positives; however, it is worth noting that as it is only crammed into 12 episodes, Mob Psycho 100 has pacing that is at times unsatisfactory, interactions between characters that are jagged lines in an otherwise smooth storyline, especially in the episodes leading up to Ritsu becoming an ESPer. His seemingly stress-free relationship with his brother is shadowed by a consuming jealousy for his brother’s ability, an aspect of his character which many could argue “could be seen coming from a mile away”, yet feels rushed.

Another issue with the pacing is the way in which certain main characters are introduced and dunked straight into the mix moments after their introduction. This is especially true for Teru who was introduced, experienced a life-changing battle and a change of heart – all in the space of two episodes.

For people who greatly enjoy anime where the protagonist experiences moments of self-improvement, Mob Psycho 100 falls flat – Mob is both the weakest and the strongest character in the whole show, but this is also a stunning contrast for people who enjoy having more to feast on that what meets the eye.

Mob Psycho 100 is a show that manages to use unconventional means to bring up themes of the value of human emotion, social status and reflection and that depth allowed me to truly immerse myself in it and ask some important questions. Some characters learn and unlearn behaviours and beliefs through contact with the protagonist, others set the stage for what may be an observation of the human ego – the majority of ESPers in Mob Psycho 100 exhibit a superiority complex and believe that they are special, but as the series progresses, we note changes in the way people think and it could be said that an intentional message was imbedded in the show – no one is truly special or above another because of the gifts they bear.

Why You Should Watch Mob Psycho 100

It’s pretty funny:

Being based on a series written by ONE, the author of One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 has many scenes that can make one giggle, chuckle and sometimes, laugh uncontrollably. The humour can be found in the recurring themes such as the theme of condiments being used to name the various schools in Seasoning City. Mob Psycho 100 greatly reflects ONE’s tendency of turning very serious situations into something rather mundane. The author has a knack for building up situations before breaking them down – with humorous results! Through anti-climax, Mob Psycho 100 is able to be entertaining and funny without needing to be very witty.

Engrossing fights:

What would a story about ESPers be without a little psychic combat? Mob Psycho 100 showcases the best parts of its animation in its intense and engaging fight scenes (as well as some “exorcisms” performed by Reigen), especially between ESPers. One of the standout fights is the one between Mob and Teru, when Mob loses consciousness and enters the “???%” mode. With massive destruction caused by the ensuing fight, the animation had to be amazing – and that it was.

There is more to it than it lets on:

People watch anime for various reasons, some find it good casual entertainment and others seek to take something away from the shows that they watch. Mob Psycho 100 is an anime that manages to bring up certain human issues and sends a message to whoever listens. The interactions between characters bring about moments which can really hit home and inspire some major self-reflection.

The most prevalent theme in Mob Psycho 100 is the thought that some people enjoy placing themselves on a pedestal, seeing themselves as better than everyone else and Mob does a pretty good job as a protagonist who is the antithesis of every other character – he does not feel special because he is an ESPer, he seeks to live a life with minimal reliance on his gifts because that will make him just like everyone else.

Why You Should Skip Mob Psycho 100

Subpar pacing:

Sometimes it’s alright to have a little bit more in between major plot events, it gives the story a better feel in terms of chronology and major events are then able to affix themselves to memory a whole lot better. Mob Psycho 100 rushed to introduce the main characters before plunging them into a life-or-death battle against an incredibly powerful organisation – some people enjoy learning a bit more about each character before the first major arc.

Characters with no real purpose:

For those who were drawn by the introduction of Mob’s crush in the various iterations of Mob Psycho 100’s synopsis and imagined a story with a greater romantic element, the anime does not offer what you seek. In fact, Mob’s crush, Tsubomi, bears no true significance in the show as she and Mob hardly interact, despite being childhood friends. It can therefore, be argued that Tsubomi and Mob’s interactions stand a chance of being more substantial should more seasons of the anime be confirmed in the future.


Honey’s Closing Statement

All things considered; however, Mob Psycho 100 is a standout title from the past summer season for several reasons and although it may not have been an anime revelation like many shows have been this past year, it has definitely earned a right to be included in many “must-see” lists. Looking at the widely positive reception it received, it would not be surprising to see a second season announced very soon and given the extent to which the plot has opened up to the introduction of more arcs from the source material, Mob Psycho 100 is definitely in good stead and worth the watch. Perhaps the exposure to intense psycho-coolness found in this show will spawn some ESPers who’ll use their special powers not to bend spoons, but to drop a comment below and tell us whether or not Mob Psycho 100 has made their watchlists.

Hoshi-kun

Writer

Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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