Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 anime series cover art
Mob Psycho 100

Overview

Mob Psycho 100 (モブサイコ100) is a supernatural comedy series from the same creator as One Punch Man, ONE. And if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure if I would really like this series when I started it. I felt the same way about OPM before I watched it, but I ended up really enjoying that one in the end.

However, Mob is a fairly different series and the circumstances surrounding my introduction to it were different as well. With OPM I was originally hesitant to watch it because I’m not all that into superheroes and everyone seemed to love it. And by everyone I mean a lot of people who don’t watch all that much anime, so I expected something like Sword Art Online.

Now, luckily OPM wasn’t like SAO, which is part of the reason I was willing to give Mob a shot as well. But, while I wouldn’t say that everyone seemed to love Mob, those who do often claimed that it was the best anime series. The fact that Monogatari is the actual best aside, when multiple people constantly hype up a series, it tends to disappoint in the end.

Anyway, what’s this series all about? It’s about a kid with psychic powers who just wants to live a normal life, but always gets roped into crazy situations, partially due to his mentor, a washed up conman. In a way you can think of Mob as simply a supernatural version of OPM, though that’s a pretty broad comparison.

The reality is that while these two series may share ONE’s art style and sense of humor, the stories they tell are very different. While OPM is a story about saving the world, but being bored while doing so, Mob is about being the person you want to be despite the situation you were born into.

It may sound strange, but Mob is actually a much more down to Earth story.

That said, the story wasn’t actually the part of Mob that I cared about. The first half of the season (this is solely a review of season one by the way) was pretty much a supernatural slice of life series. And aside from the episode which introduced Dimple, I preferred it over the latter half which became much more plot-driven.

Speaking of the episode that introduced Dimple, that was by far the worst episode of the entire season. If I had to rate that episode alone it would probably be a 2 or 3/10. Other than the shot that said “Mob loves milk” there wasn’t really anything of interest to me.

Characters

This section is going to include some spoilers. So keep that in mind if you plan to continue on.

The titular character is Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama. Don’t ask me why his nickname is mob, because I actually don’t know. It must have been explained at some point, but I’m pretty sure the only person to actually call him that is his mentor, Reigen. Everyone else either calls him Shigeo or Kageyama(-kun).

Mob has had psychic powers for as long as he can remember, and as far as he’s concerned they simply end up getting in the way. His silverware bends when he tries to eat, and other kids at school think he’s weird because of his powers. However, he doesn’t let that stop him from attempting to live a normal school life.

And because he’s trying to live a normal life, he doesn’t want to use his psychic powers. Instead, he wants to woo the girl of his dreams by getting in shape. To this end, he joins the body improvement club (who just so happen to be some of the best characters in the series).

But there are times at which Mob will use his powers, mainly when confronted by an evil spirit of some sort which he has to exorcise at the behest of Reigen.

Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama and Arataka Reigen from the anime series Mob Psycho 100
Mob and Reigen

Reigen is Mob’s mentor, sort of. He actually just lies to and uses Mob, but he still does seem to genuinely care about and look out for him. Reigen works as a psychic and “specializes” in exorcisms, though he’s actually just a conman who calls Mob in whenever there actually turns out to be an evil spirit.

He even pays Mob for his work, although it can barely be called pay and is more like he gives him the loose change found in his pocket. However, the real thing Reigen gives to Mob is guidance. He may not actually know anything about having psychic powers, but he does still give actual life advice meant to help Mob.

A great example of this is how Reigen was the one who created a rule for Mob about never using his powers against other humans. Sure, he specifically said humans so that he could continue to leverage Mob’s powers to exorcise spirits, but at the same time he knew that harming humans would send Mob down a dark path.

My favorite Reigen moment of the series came in during the climax of the series towards the end when Reigen actually intervenes in a fight between Mob and enemy espers. Despite not being an esper himself, Reigen was willing to put himself between Mob and the enemy to prevent Mob from using his powers against humans.

Also, a fun fact about Reigen is that he’s voiced by Takahiro Sakurai who you may know from his other roles which deal with spirits, the Medicine Seller from Mononoke and Meme Oshino from the Monogatari Series. I love how he plays the roles of a spirit hunter, a spirit mediator, and a spirit fraud.

Other notable characters from this series are Dimple – an evil spirit defeated by Mob who often takes the form of a gas cloud, Ritsu – Mob’s younger brother who desires psychic powers, Teruki – a psychic from another school who befriends mob, and Musashi – the president of the body improvement club.

I could discuss these other characters at length, but I think I’ll instead end this section with a brief word on Musashi and the body improvement club. First of all, despite already being spoiled on the whole body improvement club thing, I still thought that was a great way to subvert a common, school anime trope.

But what I really love about Musashi and the rest of the body improvement club is that they accept Mob for who he is. Despite him being a small, weak, dork, they still cheer him on and empower him to follow his dream of becoming physically fit. They don’t care who he is, what they care about is that he’s committed to exercising like they are, even though he’s bad at it.

Conclusion

In the end I decided that Mob Psycho 100 was a 7/10. Originally I had it rated as an 8, but after thinking about it more for a few days I decided it wasn’t quite as good as the other series I gave 8s to. For example, OPM is an 8, and I liked that a decent amount more than Mob.

I do hear though that the second season of Mob is better than the first, so perhaps that one will be an 8 or higher. I don’t really feel like it’s going to be a 10 as many people have tried to convince me, but maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

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