This Week in Anime
Mob Psycho 100 is a Tour de Force of Animation

by Nicholas Dupree & Steve Jones,

Mob Psycho 100 II has blown the doors down with its incredible visuals this season, but how do they complement the story's growing stakes? This week, Nick and Steve share about a hundred reasons why you should be watching this impressive anime.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead. Not Safe For Work warning for content and language.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


You can read our weekly coverage of Mob Psycho 100 II here!

Nick
Steve, I don't know whether you'll believe me, but I've been dealing with something pretty unsettling. I've always been sensitive to the supernatural, but recently I've been getting a feeling that something's strange in my neighborhood, and it doesn't look good. Thankfully, I've recently found a great resource for fixing this problem: https://spiritsandsuch.com/. If their advice is as good as their graphic design, then I'm sure everything will be fine!
Steve
Wow, I am blown away both by the absolute legitimacy of this webzone, and by how devilishly attractive its owner seems to be.
If there's anyone I trust, it's a man who's willing
to punch children.
Amen. And let me break kayfabe to unload heaps of praise on whoever designed that site in real life. It's a work of art that soothes the big Geocities-sized hole in my heart.
All that's missing is an Angelfire domain. But yes, it's finally time to talk about The Reigen Arataka Show featuring Mob.
And speaking of soothing my heart, here's the good boy.
After what felt like ages, Mob Psycho 100 is back with a brand new season full of familiar faces both living and dead. I don't think I fully appreciated how much I missed having this show in my life until the first episode swept me away, but wow is it good to have Mob back.
I kinda bounced off the first season of Mob, to be honest. I absolutely loved the aesthetic of it, but much like ONE's other series, it just never clicked with me emotionally. But S2 so far has done a lot to warm me up to it. That first episode had a lot to do with it.

They grow up so fast. It seems like only yesterday Mob was levitating some plushies, and now he has his first fake girlfriend. But yeah, his relationship with Emi is a wonderful microcosm of what makes Mob (both the show and the character) so lovable—by twisting something initially built on lies into a beautiful expression of innate human goodness.
Even the show kinda lies to us at first! After the confession it just shows them walking home together, and Mob being all excited about it, but then it pulls the rug out and says nope, they're aren't dating. Mob's just happy to have a new friend.
And he's really trying his best! I adore the blink-and-you-miss-it shot of his bookshelf at the end of the episode showing that he even bought books about reading novels so he could critique hers better. Even if he's still pretty bad at it, he's always sincere in his efforts.
It's a truly touching show of empathy, which is core to what makes Mob Psycho tick. In a world where psychic powers get handed out like gum, the greatest strength in the world is the power to understand and support others—even if those people are kinda scam artists.
Even con men have to eat!
Reigen legit is a great foil to Mob. They're basically exact opposites in every conceivable way, from psychic aptitude to personality. But Reigen is also somehow a great father-figure to Mob, which is something I still have to use all my brainpower to reconcile in my head.
I think it makes sense given that Reigen is basically the only real adult in this show. Everyone else is either a teenager or a psychic still stuck in their chuunibyou phase, despite being in their mid-30s. Meanwhile, Reigen's a grown up with a suit and probably a mortgage, and no psychic powers to arrest his development at age 13.
There's also something to be said about trusting the devil you know over the one you don't. And despite his many, many, many flaws, Reigen is fundamentally decent enough to feel responsible for helping Mob grow up into a better person (than Reigen is). Don't get me wrong, I love Reigen, but he also sucks.

For sure, but he's also somehow the most responsible person in this show. Like in episode two where he goes around and helps a blind old man and his dog, while the "real" psychic is busy playing Street Fighter with a pervert on a literal playground.
Also, he understands that the real source
of evil is Twitter.
Oh yeah, Mob And Reigen Discover The Internet was an incisive moment of social commentary.

But since this season has been veering heavily into exploring Mob's self-reflection as he becomes more aware of his own feelings and desires, he needs people like Reigen around to rely on when things get rough.
And boy do things get rough this season. Mob Psycho's always had a ton of striking imagery, but it's mostly stayed in the "wow that's cool" corner rather than stuff like THIS.

Even before we get to the haunting Mogami stuff, episode 3 was stuffed with genuinely unsettling moments and images.

And appropriately, it's when Mob experiences a moral crisis over whether to help people who are jerks (but living) or people who are nice (but dead). It's a situation he hasn't found himself in before, and you can tell he wants to do right by everybody, but it's impossible.
It's the sort of problem everyone has to encounter as they grow up. Well okay, not the part about helping the dead, but having to figure out where you stand and what you're willing to do if it means hurting somebody else. And while Reigen steps in to help this time, you can tell it leaves Mob pretty shaken up inside.
Mob is basically the anti-Chuuni. He's been gifted with colossal power, but he's so afraid of using it that he just wants to avoid the issue. But season 2 seems to be all about him reckoning with that side of himself and making peace with who he is now before he can figure out who he wants to be.
And this all segues nicely into an arc about a nice and talented psychic who loved to help people until he got so twisted up that he turned himself into an evil spirit.
Well, this isn't the first time Mob and company have gone up against an asshole psychic. I'm sure everything will go just fiiiii--

Yeah Mob's attacks don't go so hot, and Reigen's special brand of martial arts can only do so much.

So Mob has no choice but to go from waging a psychic war to a psychological war with Mogami, but that immediately goes to shit too.
It's fine. He'll be fine.
IT'S NOT FINE.
It's just a little day trip through a misanthrope's nightmare world. Our boy will bounce back
from that in no time.
Six months of my precious son's psyche getting chipped away by bullies is absolutely not fine. The first half of this episode is absolutely brutal, and I just wanted to give Mob a hug ;_;
I'll say right now that even if they haven't been super into MP100 so far, everyone owes it to themselves to watch episode five of this season because holy fuck.
It's a fucking animation tour-de-force from start to finish, running the gamut from expressive character acting to scenes crawling with horror to full-on psychedelic superhero battles warping everything in sight. It's ridiculous.
Like I have a ton of screencaps that look like cool pieces of abstract art, but they're so much more impressive in motion, believe me.

It's the kind of episode you just never expect from a TV production. As soon as it kicked into gear, I went "holy shit" and then it kept going and I went "holy SHIT", and then there was still eight more minutes.
Incidentally, this is largely by the same team responsible for the similarly ridiculous 22nd episode of Fate/Apocrypha. Both episodes raise the bar, but I think I have to give the edge to Mob Psycho for how well it matches its visuals to its tone.
It also takes things even further than that already bonkers episode. By the end of this fight, it feels like reality itself is tearing at the seams and both Mob and the world around him are only barely hanging on.
Ah, the return of our good friend ???% What a nice fellow. It's so freaking cool, but I love the less flashy and creepier moments too.

Oh for sure. The whole episode is a fascinating and haunting look at Mogami's psyche as he tries to "save" Mob from his own selflessness. A lesser production just wouldn't be able to sell the trauma of spending six months being psychologically tortured in such little time.

What really makes Mob Psycho 100 work for me is its sympathetic emotional core, which gets reflected in this beautifully-animated and heartwrenching scene of the no-longer-possessed Minori being overcome with both gratitude and regret. It's just an absolutely stellar episode in every way, and the season's not even halfway done!
It's a fantastic climax that builds off everything that came before it, and I am genuinely apprehensive about how the rest of the show can follow it up. But I'm also excited to see it try!
Side note: it turns out that Mob cleans up pretty well!
We needed Hot Mob in order to counter the extreme amounts of negative energy radiating off the Buff Dimple from the previous episode.
Bishounen Mob is so powerful that people are ready to make a religion out of it! Sadly their web design can't compare to Reigen's genius, but it's the
thought that counts.
I don't have a better place to put this so please enjoy this very cursed in-between where Mob looks like the lost 7th Osomatsu sibling. You're welcome.
I'm gonna need a lot of salt to dispel that.


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