Daily De-Stresser Review Series: Mob Psycho 100

Well all, pat yourselves on the back! We’ve progressed!

With the first chunk of midterms out of the way, it’s like we’ve finally gotten the hang of university. Math quizzes are a breeze, studying has gotten a bit more comfortable, test problems are easier to anticipate, and socializing is quickly becoming easier to find time for. Life seemed to be looking up.

But of course, like the cliche goes, “what goes up must come down”. It’s hard to stay focused for long; breaking the flow is inevitable. The one thing that had to interrupt the smooth study pace I had going on in school turned out to be my Achilles’ heel, the one thing I can’t avoid:

A new series.

You know that slow, foggy, empty feeling you get when you finish a good book or TV series? Like you suddenly have no purpose in life? That’s me right now.

All of a sudden, focusing in class has become really, really hard because all I can think about is the MIND-BLOWING AMAZING PLOT I just exposed myself to. My brain’s been pretty occupied, as you can tell from how closely I was paying attention in class today:

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(Seriously, all I did was draw today. My notes are more doodles than science. As you can tell, I have a new favourite character!).

I have discovered Mob Psycho 100, and will never see the light again.

Creator: ONE (Also the creators of One Punch Man)
Network (English): Animax Asia
Genre(s): Comedy, Supernatural, Slice-of-Life, Action
Episodes: 12
Episode Length: 24 minutes
Subbed/Dubbed: Subbed Only
Blogger Rating: 7.5/10

With only 12 episodes at 24 minutes each coupled with a fast plot, it wasn’t something I could put down. I discovered it first as I was brainlessly scrolling through Tumblr and came across this interesting gif set:

How cute!

The animation style immediately captivated me: it was so smooth and so adorable! The boy also looked like he would be an incredibly likeable character, reminding me of Wirt from Over the Garden Wall (see previous Daily De-Stresser Series). This is the kind of style I like: simple, drawn, smooth, colourful, cute.

As much as I tried to stop myself from watching it, it stayed at the back of my mind like a catchy song. Eventually, I gave in, and on a homework-light day I decided to sample episode one. To be fairly honest, I wasn’t expecting much…

Turns out that the first episode was really, really good. So good that I did the unthinkable on a Tuesday night: I binge-watched the whole thing. Yup, you read that right. 4 chunky hours of intense stories, amazing plot-twists, sad scenes, and anime wisdom coupled with a cozy blanket, a warm cup of tea, and bags under my eyes as a reminder of it all.

So, What’s It About?

If you loved One Punch Man, you’ll love this!

Mob Psycho 100 is about an average middle school boy named Shiego Kageyama (nicknamed “Mob” because he blends in the background). At his age, Mob begins to experience the “joys” of adolescence: in addition to getting bullied, discovering his passions, and attempting to overcome his shyness, he finds himself crushing on a girl and desperately wants to impress her.

However, Mob is unique: he’s actually an overwhelmingly powerful Esper, someone with natural psychic powers. After an incident with his brother, Mob realizes how dangerous his powers are and seals them away to protect everyone around him. As a result, he suppresses his emotions and becomes incredibly apathetic, living a life under emotional shackles. Of course, suppressing your emotions is never a good thing, and every time Mob is provoked, his power threatens to explode, shown by a rising percentage. He is forced to live in this predicament he hates so much, all the while trying to be a normal boy.

One thing’s for sure, though: you don’t want to get Mob angry.

Image result for mob psycho 100 animosity

It sounds like your typical “powerful boy wants to be normal” story line, but it’s much more complicated. Unique doesn’t even begin to describe this series.

The characters are just so lovable! You have awkward, shy, clumsy Mob who goes through an incredibly drastic personality change when his psychic powers explode. You have his “master” and work boss, Reigen, a persuasive con-artist who mentors Mob while making money off of his psychic powers; however, this relationship mostly benefits Mob and helps him become comfortable with his powers.There’s Dimple, an evil spirit and “anti-hero” who teams up with Mob in his pursuits. They have their tension and conflict, but seem to make an okay team.

There are other supporting characters, such as Mob’s more popular and social brother Ritsu, snobby rich-kid but talented Esper Hanazawa, and a whole range of cool villains.

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“The Three Musketeers”, with Reigen in grey, Mob in black, and Dimple in green.

Honestly, though, Mob is just so precious. We need to keep this baby safe at all costs.

Music

The music for Mob Psycho 100 is really, really intense. There’s a good balance of “electric” songs, rock songs, and sad songs that set the mood for any scene. When I heard the first track, I immediately became hooked to the series: with its energy, fast beat, and supernatural sound effects, I was definitely drawn in.

While the OST hasn’t come out yet (this anime was only released this September, and the OST comes out late November), there is the opening sequence song mixed in with sound effects in the scene that appears at the beginning of the anime. The quality isn’t great, but it’s the best fans can do at the moment:

Give it a listen! Intense, eh?

Oh, and that countdown you hear? It’s the sound of Mob’s “percentage explosion” going up from 0%. Throughout the series, you’ll constantly see an evaluation: “Percentage to Mob’s Explosion”. When this number hits 100%, let’s just say…it gets really ugly from there.

So,why the 7.5/10?

Like many animes, this one has it’s weird moments. The animation is interesting and unique but can get quite creepy and strange at times, especially with the various exaggerations:

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As you can see above, it can go from calm and simple to crazy and exaggerated very, very quickly.

The art style changes dramatically as well:

Image result for mob psycho 100 hanazawaImage result

Come on, do they honestly look like the same character?

I personally find that both funny and really, really weird, but either way it was an interesting change of pace.

To be fairly honest, another reason it didn’t get a higher rating was because this show is partially a rip-off of ONE’s previous success, One Punch Man. A lot of the same themes, ideas, and even characters are seen in this show, up to the point where One Punch Man himself has made cameo appearances in the show. It seemed a bit like sloppy writing to me, but the show makes up for it with its complex characters and interesting story line.

Also, the ending was satisfying, but didn’t solve all the problems. I found myself with many questions at the end: characters that just got introduced disappeared before we could even find out what their role is. However, I can forgive this: the show was just released and is apparently expecting a season 2, and the rest of the plot is covered in the manga.

Lastly, this isn’t really a show for anyone unfamiliar with anime or not used to subtitles. It’s unfortunate it hasn’t gotten a dub yet, but like I said, the show was just released. It might take newbies a bit of time to adjust to the art style, Japanese naming, and language.


Regardless, I hope it hooks you as much as it hooked me! Just make sure to stay focused on your studies as you watch this, hahaha.

What are you waiting for? Check out the opening and hop on the same ride I did! I promise you, you won’t regret it (even if you watch it all in one go!).

 

 

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One thought on “Daily De-Stresser Review Series: Mob Psycho 100

  1. GIRL YASSSS. Mob Psycho was my salvation this summer, amongst all the disappointing anime that made up the majority of the season. It kept me going. I have to give SERIOUS kudos to Bones for animating this–gorgeous, fluid, vivid animations (especially the fights) were just a joy to watch (great animation is my kink), simple character designs that were still able to convey SO MUCH emotion in their ludicrous moments of animation, the soundtrack, and the overall message on how having powers is nothing special, it’s what’s inside that counts. And Mob stole my heart — such a precious cinnamon roll, it was equally disturbing and fascinating seeing him go 100%, but my fave, right from the first episode, was Reigen because that man is just … a sleazy cheap con artist who uses others for his advantage BUT he’s also just such a great person and he really genuinely cares for Mob, and I fell so hard because of that. He loves his student and wants the best for him, and then there’s all the comic relief he provides as well. I’m amazed how the creator is able to weave in powerful messages about society, mostly parodying certain tropes we hold on a pedestal, and that really shines through the seemingly crude, meager animation. The contrast is incredible. Overall, I loved this show and I cannot wait for the second season!

    Like

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