Mob Psycho 100 Episode 9
by Nick Creamer,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Mob Psycho 100 ?
Mob Psycho calmed down in its visual execution this week, even as the narrative drama only got more intense. That was basically what I expected to happen - considering last week's absurd visual spectacle and the general demands of storytelling, it was likely that Mob's initial assault on Claw's base would be somewhat more conservative than his fight with Koyama. Given the expectations of a less visually exuberant episode, this was still a fine installment of Mob Psycho 100.
We received a whole pile of Claw-related exposition this week, courtesy of both the organization's general council and Mob and Hanazawa's unfortunate hostage. Once he learned of Koyama's failure, fellow “Scar” Terada decided to take care of Mob himself - only to be swiftly defeated and interrogated by Hanazawa and friends. And so we learned that this current organization is only the 7th Division of the overall Claw organization, that the group's actual headquarters is hoping to recruit a couple of this division's best members, and that the various Scars are all tempestuous and ego-driven personalities, much like the stars of One Punch Man's own hero council.
While Mob, Hanazawa, and Dimple effortlessly blast their way towards Claw's hideout, Ritsu is faced with a much more immediate and threatening dilemma. I really appreciated the sense of danger and vulnerability Mob Psycho was able to create in the sequences featuring Ritsu and his fellow captives. While Mob was technically defeated by Koyama's trickery, he's still more or less an invincible hero - by contrast, Ritsu is barely able to control the limited powers he has. The villains were framed from ominous low angles that managed to make a man with three chins worth of face look menacing, and the sequence where one of the telepathic brothers was carried away was legitimately chilling. On top of that, Ritsu's ultimate escape relied on smartly employing the various powers of his fairly unimpressive allies, making for a more tangibly satisfying sequence of victories than if he simply overpowered his way to freedom.
In spite of its relative normalcy, this episode still managed to pull off a couple visual spectacles. The most ostentatious cut was likely the sequence where Terada and Hanazawa faced off, with Hanazawa being tossed haplessly through the trees by Terada's psychic whips. I actually wasn't the biggest fan of that cut - I felt like its transitions were too abrupt, and its limited frames made it difficult to parse what was actually happening to Hanazawa. It was certainly less cohesive and impactful than last episode's Koyama-beating, where you could really feel the power of each one of his blows.
But in the end, a lesser episode of Mob Psycho is still an episode of Mob Psycho. I appreciated seeing Ritsu have to embody more humility in his new role as a leader, and I also liked how we no longer have to be told about the searing anger hiding beneath Mob's blank expressions. The show has established a strong enough cast that it's satisfying simply to witness Mob, Hanazawa, and Dimple all express their various strengths as they move towards rescuing Mob's brother. I can't even imagine what action spectacles await in this show's final episodes.
Mob Psycho 100 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.
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