This Week in Anime
Mob Psycho 100's Greatest Hits

by Andy Pfeiffer & Steve Jones,

Mob Psycho 100 II powered through this past winter season, leaving so many memorable moments in its wake. This week, Andy and Steve recount their favorite parts of this excellent series.

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.

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


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

Andy
Hey Steve! After you outed my Mob tardiness last week, I was easily shamed into catching up.
So as payback, now you have to talk about it with me!
Steve
I'm so sorry that I made you watch the best anime of the winter season. I will truly be carrying that guilt with me for the rest of my days. But seriously, I was wondering why this week felt less 100% than usual, and it's because there are no more Mob Mondays :(
I can see how that would be quite a punch to the gut.
Anyway, I knew Mob was good before falling behind, so I guess I just expected it to just maintain that level of good whenever I got back to it. I was deeply wrong, and it ramps up into the goodest good boy show ever. I'm so sorry I took my eyes off him and he got hurt while I wasn't looking.
It's okay, all is forgiven. You're totally right, though. I feel like the first season only came into itself in its latter half, but this second season has been nothing but strong from the get-go. i think the last time we covered Mob, it was at the end of Mogami's arc, and while that single episode is probably still my favorite, the journey Mob has taken since then is so incredibly good.
The exorcism is still my highlight of the season, but every scene with the body improvement club gives me life. If not for the serious whiplash at the end of the marathon episode, that one could've easily ended up my favorite. While Mob is at its prettiest during those big psychic fights, I think it's strongest when dealing with the mundane, which says a lot for the strengths of ONE as a storyteller.
Oh yeah, I guess that's one positive thing about marathoning the show instead following it weekly; you don't have to suffer for a whole seven days worrying about your son and his family.
But I totally agree! I think the key to Mob's success is the way it's able to balance the psychedelic superpower battles with the down-to-earth lessons of Mob's character arc. I'm pretentious so I also favor the small character moments, but the story's ability to have its cake and eat it too is certainly impressive, all the more so when paired with a production of this ridiculous caliber.
I can almost forgive the bait and switch on dead parents for giving me this moment.
MY BOY
But they still waited an agonizingly long amount of time to let Mob know his parents were actually safe. His initial rage had long subsided, and the worry didn't really play into his actions in any of the encounters he had until that point. Mob truly focuses on the task at hand. In the moment, he'll forget his own troubles enough to lecture some jobbers on why stealing is wrong.
Honestly, that episode following the cliffhanger is the one spot where I felt the magic fade a little. It makes sense, because they had to cram in a lot of stuff to set up the final arc with Claw, (and Mob was asleep for all that), but it's definitely the season's weakest point. (Admittedly, it's still a head above your average anime.) Mob's self-actualization in the final arc is the freaking best tho.
I'm sure in comic form it works fine as ONE showing that he didn't forget about these other characters, and demonstrating how their interactions with Mob have changed them. However, in anime pacing it feels like an excuse to introduce forgettable bad guys for jobbers to fight while Goku heals in the spaceship Mob takes a nap.
I like Dragon Ball as much as (if not more) than the next guy, but I didn't really need wannabe Frieza out here finger gunning people.
I like how Suzuki being the insufferably chuuni villain figure has become Sho's primary motivation for kicking his dad's ass.

Sometimes your dad makes bad jokes too loud in the grocery store, and sometimes he starts a fascist death cult. Both are equally bad.
That works especially well with the final sting of learning that it means his mom is gonna go off on his dad again.
Mob Psycho 100: all the psychic powers in the world won't make up for being too dumb to apologize to your wife.
Like you said, Mob's strength is in its mundanity, and beneath the esper mumbo jumbo, Suzuki's motivations are the most basic, selfish, narrow-minded motives you would expect. ONE makes a firm point of contrasting Suzuki's stunted emotional growth against the person Mob has grown up to be.
Like, Mob cries at the prospect of having to hurt Suzuki, even though he knows that's his only option. He's weighing much more emotionally complex considerations than Suzuki could even imagine.
 
 
He's so strong, and this is made even more clear by the reappearance of Mogami, before Mob even meets Suzuki. It's a nice little moment of foreshadowing and reminder of how goddamn terrifying Mob's enemies can be. The important part is that Mob concedes that he doesn't have the power to force people to be good.
 
 
Yeah, Mob's overall message is one that champions kindness above all else, but even it acknowledges that kindness may only get you so far.

And boy does Mob go hard...
 
 
Mob goes so hard, but the deeper context is important. We've seen him go H.A.M before but always in berserker mode. This time, his rage is controlled and focused. He's controlling his powers, not the other way around, and that's been the whole point of his journey. He's matured enough to follow through on his own thoughts and feelings, and it lets him be the most badass possible version of himself.
 
 

Anyone can go into a vaguely-defined fugue state fueled by some psychic powers humans can't begin to comprehend. Mob is able to channel that power into telling egotistical dudes off. That rules.
I'm still disturbed that Reigen is somehow our modern-day wise sage, but the fact of the matter is that weaker or stronger doesn't matter when determining the worth of a person. Mob is strong because his empathy is so vast and honest that it helps others feel less alone in the world.
On that note, I totally didn't expect Serizawa to come out of the season as one of my favorite characters, but I love him. His story ends up being a thoughtful piece of commentary on very real modern issues.
He's a welcome reminder that it's never too late to
start caring about yourself and others, but there's also dangers posed by those who will take advantage of your belief that it is too late.
Like, "unemployed dude in his late 20s, screwed over by a stagnating economy and his own social anxiety, gets swept up into a fascist cult led by a charismatic leader" is about as on-the-nose as ONE can get about the rampant radicalization of young men online.
The need to be valued is terrifying but relatable.
It is! And I love that Mob is completely sympathetic to Serizawa because he totally understands, and thus feels all the more responsibility to help him out.

That FRIENDSHIP shot is so pure and good.
Just like Mob! I also love the contrast in visual language between these two scenes, and how it shows why Reigen was a good influence on Mob while Suzuki was bad for Serizawa.

Of course, Reigen was not without sin this season.
It needs be acclaimed that Reigen's selfish motivations never actually contradicted his emotional arc.
I'm really glad Mob finally took control of the story in this season, but Reigen has undoubtedly been the glue holding everything together until now—by which I mean, he's the provider of good faces.
 
 
You must stop before you convince the internet he's a sex symbol again.
I'm sorry, everyone.
I blame the thirsty, thirsty animators.

It's also possible that people are excited for Reigen's obvious Peter B. Parker energy. It's what the kids want these days.

On a serious note, Reigen's arc in this season was so good!
He got back to his roots and returned with a greater appreciation of his own skills and what Mob actually means to him. He also returned with many punches.

Mob Psycho 100 constantly champions putting in the hard work to become the best possible version of yourself, and that even applies to scumbag con men like Reigen. He reaches the conclusion that, just like everybody else, he can't accomplish everything alone. We need each other to better ourselves and be better for each other.
Reminder that the Body Improvement Club is the best. Get yourself a Body Improvement Club.

Speaking of other scenes that made me choke up! (There were a lot this season!)
 
 
"PSYCHIC MUSCLES ARE NO MATCH FOR MUSCLES BUILT WITH HARD WORK!" GOD that scene RULED.
THE STRONGEST MUSCLE IS YOUR HEART!
And my heart is full of Mob.
Same. I will always love my son.

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