Anime NYC 2022
Mob Psycho 100 III Panel and Interview with Voice Actor Setsuo Ito
by Reuben Baron,
Setsuo Ito, the voice of Shigeo Kageyama (aka “Mob”) from Mob Psycho 100 III, first came to Anime NYC to promote the anime's second season. With the third and final season of Mob Psycho 100 currently airing, Crunchyroll and Warner Bros. Japan brought Ito back to the con to discuss his work on the beloved supernatural action-comedy.
Ito made a grand entrance to the Mob Psycho 100 panel, hosted by Crunchyroll's Chris Han, wearing his character's infamous monkey shirt. Most of the panel consisted of Han asking questions and Ito answering them, with a broccoli-theme trivia game and prize giveaways towards the end of the hour.
When asked what it was like to return to the role of Mob after a few years off, Ito said it took a while to get back in gear and that the occasion was somewhat sad and nostalgic due to this being the final season of the show. Even so, recording these episodes was a lot of fun. Ito tried to make his line readings funnier this year, and when the recording was finished, staff members gave all the voice actors the fitting farewell gift of muscle-training equipment.
In an interview before season 3 premiered, Ito told people to look forward to a scene between Mob and Dimple in episode 6. Now that the episode has aired, everyone can see why Ito calls its climax of acceptance “the moment I cherish most.” Ito also said episode 8, premiering this Wednesday, is another good one to look forward to for its comedic content.
Ito's advice for Mob if he met him in real life? “Just be yourself and stay pure.” Was Ito thinking similar thoughts as Mob when he was 14 himself? “I wasn't thinking anything,” he joked, but noted that was the age he got seriously into anime via series like Negima! and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, so it was a formative time for him in that regard.
Ito's fandom is clear; Han noted Ito had pointed out all the cosplayers he saw in the halls over the weekend. Han also recommended people follow Ito on Twitter and showed a selection of tweets of Ito's fan art of Mob. Ito started drawing Pokémon at seven years old and grew up with a father who loved drawing and encouraged his son's artistic pursuits.
Drawing and voice acting aren't his only pursuits fueled by a love of anime. He'd recently begun sculpting a clay figure of one of his favorite V-Tubers, Amamiya Kokoro (he spent two months on it, and it still needs to be colored but it looked pretty impressive). His love of rhythm games also led him to compose music himself.
Ito concluded the panel with a closing message to fans: “I felt this last time I was here as well, but overseas, I felt this series is really loved, and I could see that with my own eyes, I could feel that on my skin. You are all just like Japanese fans; you're tuned into details and watching thoroughly. I'm a fan of anime myself and could feel and share my love of anime this weekend.”
Anime News Network also got the chance to interview Ito one-on-one.
Mob Psycho 100 Season 3 is wrapping up the story as told in the manga. How does it feel to be coming to the end of this journey?
ITO: Now that the end is near in sight, it's definitely making me a little sad, but the fact that I got to play this character from beginning to end, especially in a long series, it's very rare [for anime adaptations to reach] the very end of a manga series also, so I'm very happy and honored that I got to play this character from beginning to end.
Personally, as a voice actor, what's your favorite memory of voicing Mob over the past six years?
ITO: First of all, it's just these amazing cast members that I got to play with and act with in the series because a lot of them are voice actors that I saw and heard growing up as a child and I revered them as role models. So the fact that I got to perform with these amazing voice actors on equal ground, I feel very privileged, and that's definitely something that will stay with me for the rest of my voice acting career.
Have you found Mob's growth as a character personally inspiring?
ITO: Especially as depicted at the beginning of Season 3, Mob, when he had troubles or struggles, he started to find solutions and act on them on his own. Sometimes it's difficult; even as adults, we find it difficult to find solutions for ourselves. It's not that easy, so to be able to see Mob go through that visually makes me think he's grown up, and I respect him. Another thing is that for Mob, the problem can't be too small or too big. All problems he pours everything into it to solve them. Mob Psycho 100 is a funny show, but at times it can also be very emotionally powerful.
Are there any scenes in the series that made you cry?
ITO: In the second season, there's an episode [“Poor, Loney, Whitey”] where Regan has a press conference, and something Mob said really moved me. It wasn't what he did that moved me but what he said, so that kind of stayed with me.
How do you come up with different variations on Mob's normal voice? I'm thinking specifically about the deeper-voiced “Chad” version in this season's third episode. [There was a “Chad” Mob toy on the table].
ITO: It shows up in the original manga as well, but objectively from other people, Mob's appearance doesn't change. The style changed because that's how he sees himself, and it's reflected in how he's drawn, so I tried to suit that art style and to look for the voice that reflected that art style the most.
Do you believe you've had a supernatural experience yourself?
ITO: No, I've never. With that said… the closest encounter to that was when my family had a dog, and when the dog died, my family said they heard the dog running around, or they thought that they heard it barking, and sometimes I would feel the dog's presence even though I know that they're not there anymore.
What would you want to do if you had psychic powers?
ITO: I would say maybe teleportation or moving things with your mind. Overall I just want to spoil myself, so I don't have to do things. I want to move things towards me, so I don't have to go there and get them, or I want to teleport somewhere instantly so that I don't have to travel all the way here. Something that can spoil me would be nice.
Setsuo Ito picture via AIR AGENCY
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