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Mob Psycho 100 III
Episode 7

by Steve Jones,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Mob Psycho 100 III ?
Community score: 4.3

The ephemerality of youth hits us all at different times. For Mob, it manifested with the anxiety of having to choose a profession to aspire to. For Tome, it flies in on the realization that she has yet to communicate with aliens. Both extraterrestrials and careers are, I would hope, at functionally equivalent distances away from your average middle schooler, and thus they're equally irrational to worry about. However, because aliens are much cooler than jobs, I find my heart sympathizing with Tome and, by extension, with the club members determined to summon a little grey man for their president.

Pacing-wise, this episode is the necessary cooldown after last week's explosive and wrenching midseason climax. Mob Psycho 100 smartly uses this opportunity to pull the focus away from Mob for a bit and focus instead on the folks in the Telepathy Club as they reckon with Tome's upcoming graduation. Outside of the occult dressing, it's a very thematically familiar storyline for any anime that's ever featured a high school with a club in it. It's something that resonates with all of us. We all have at least some regrets about a youth idly squandered. Don't get me wrong—youth is the ideal time for squandering, but once we start to feel it slipping away from us, we start acting like Tome. We all want to take some lasting memories into adulthood. And some of us want those memories to feature the Flatwoods Monster. That's valid.

The series' good-natured humor takes the reins this week, as there's really not a whole lot going on besides a bunch of nice boys trying to do a solid for their friend. It'd honestly be dull if not for that charm and the anime's finely honed adaptation of that charm. Tome speaking about her frustrations is one thing. Tome exhaling so much frustration that she coats the entire table in a vape cloud full of ennui—that speaks more than words ever could. The other club members don't have much depth to them, but collectively, they become an endearing bunch here (with exquisite taste in winter coats, I might add). Reigen also gets some choice material and facial expressions this week, and it's nice to be able to point and laugh at him again after the necessarily heavier and more insular Dimple arc.

Takenaka is our main source of (tele)pathos this week, with a backstory notable for how it both echoes and doesn't echo Mob's life. Honestly, though, the similarities are most important: two sensitive kids get stuck with an involuntary onset of psychic powers, and both turn inwards in order to protect themselves, lashing out when that coping mechanism fails. Even the broad strokes of Takenaka's life story are sad, and the adaptation shades them appropriately in a melancholy blue. The main distinction is how Mob has put together a support network of friends for himself, whereas Takenaka, though not a loner, shoulders his problems by himself, literally plugging them up inside his head. It makes sense, then, for Mob to be the one to reach out to Takenaka with sympathy, understanding, and an invitation to use his powers for someone else's sake.

It's no surprise that Takenaka left the Telepathy Club when it didn't meet his expectations. He wanted a comrade in psychic arms, and all he got were a bunch of laid-back nerds. But this episode proves the Telepathy Club's strength lies in its members being laid-back nerds, because ultimately they're laid-back nerds who care about each other. They care enough about their own to trek all over the city in search of people who can help them make Tome's dream come true. That's the real measure of their worth. And similarly, Takenaka's worth doesn't come from the strength of his telepathy. It comes from the fact that he agrees to help them, because he can.

Just like Reigen's worth comes from his ability to rent and drive a car. And absolutely nothing else.

All in all, this is a slight episode of Mob Psycho 100, which means it's an expertly put-together and personality-rich piece of animated entertainment—just not a brain-bending or heart-rending one. And that's fine! Mob has never coasted before, and it doesn't look like it has any intention to do so this close to the finish line. By all accounts, we've got a fun mountain camping trip ahead of us, and if Laid-Back Camp has taught me anything, it's that the kids and the audience are in for a cozy treat. Or they're going to summon an alien and forever upend our relationship with the universe at large. I can see it going either way.

Rating:

Mob Psycho 100 III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Steve is a regular freelance contributor to ANN and also the guy who called Arataka Reigen an internet sex symbol that one time. Feel free to roast him on Twitter about this. Otherwise, catch him chatting about trash and treasure alike on This Week in Anime.


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