Posted by Lenlo on 5 February 2019 with categories: Mob Psycho 100 II

Screw the intro, forget being clever, Mob Psycho just dropped an episode so well animated, you could piece together the entire thing with nothing but Sakugabooru clips. Lets go!

I will get to the actual narrative pacing and adaptation discussion later. For now, I just need to gush for a bit. Mob Psycho look good. Like, real *good*. As in, 23 minutes of Sakuga good. Everything from the character and facial animations to the psychedelic, bombastic ending 12 minute fight scene. I loved it so much I had to find a good way to shove more screenshots into this post, so enjoy like… 4 slideshows below the break. Sadly static pictures don’t do it justice. Hakuyu GO did a fantastic job directing this episode and I can’t imagine how many animators they had working on this. We aren’t even halfway through the first season and Mob Psycho already has Best Animation for the year locked down. It’s insane. My gushing aside though, how about we actually, objectively, look over it a bit hmm?

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The first thing everyone probably noticed was that the entire dream sequence was letter-boxed. Personally, I thought this was great. It added a very cinematic feel to the whole thing, while Mob Psycho’s “real world” went back to normal. Really differentiated between the two. It focused the eye toward the action and kept everything centered, also probably made animation easier because of the smaller screen space. However, I also have a rather wide and high resolution monitor. I imagine that for those with 4:3 or lower resolution monitors/TV’s, this made the episode a pain. Combine that with all the small details animated throughout and Mob Psycho could easily have become a visual mess. For me and my experience however, I found the letterboxing to be a net positive. It even gave the subs a nice place to sit without blocking the animation!

The other aspect of the animation I feel worth mentioning is the direction. Mob Psycho had so many unique camera angles this week, it’s impossible not to mention it. So many scenes, like the milk or the brick, were made even better by the camera position. Almost claustrophobic in some cases, so close was it to Mob. Mob Psycho really tried to dial up the despair and unease, no doubt because of how much narrative it had to compress. We will get to that later. For me though, I think it succeeded. All future issues I will mention come almost entirely from being a Webcomic reader. I knew what was coming and had my own experience I was comparing it to. However I think Mob Psycho gave me an equal, if somewhat different, experience that only animation can provide. It was just as memorable, in its own way.

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Now lets get onto pacing, a contentious subject. In my opinion, Mob Psycho did as well as it could. For adapting the whole arc into basically 2 episodes, I don’t think BONES could have done any better. Aside from cutting the OP and tacking on a few minutes to the end of the episode, at least. Considering the arc they want to get to in the latter half, they almost had to cut it down to 2 episodes. In our chat, there was a discussion about what this compression missed, and the conclusion reached was experience. We, the audience, didn’t get to experience Mob’s 6 months. We just got told it. I think this is an accurate statement, though one only really applicable to Webcomic/Manga readers who had their own expectations. For anime only, I suspect this was a non-issue.

As far as what got cut, from what I remember, not much. Mob Psycho cut some animal cruelty in regards to the cat, and a bit about Mob getting shivved. I understand both of these decisions. I think the animal cruelty would have, with this level of animation, been needless. Almost fetishistic, had it been to the same level as everything else in this episode. As for the shiving, I imagine its a very similar issue. With BONES not wanting to depict a Middle Schooler doing that so vividly. It would have made Minori’s ending scene of the episode much more difficult to connect with, as she realizes how terrible she was. So content wise, I don’t think anything noteworthy was cut. It just continues to be an issue of time spent with Mob, which nothing short of a whole other episode could have fixed.

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For themes, Mob Psycho was about as subtle as an 18-wheeler this week. It opened up and hit you hard and fast with the suffering. No doubt trying to condense it to not lose anything from the Webcomic. Could it have been subtler? Sure, it could have. Would it have worked as well? I don’t think so. Mob is a blunt character, he doesn’t read people well and he is terrible at context or social cues. He needs bluntness to operate, its the only thing that would get through or come from him. So in that sense, I think it fits perfectly, as it is exactly what he needs. As for the message itself, I liked it. Learning to appreciate what you have and those around you. That people can change, if you let and help them, and how holding onto past wrongs can hurt the future. So sweet.

In fact, Mob Psycho was so successful getting these themes across, that I didn’t entirely hate Minori by the end. Parts of that were no doubt do to the beautiful facial animations on her. But by the time it came around, I was with Mob. Regardless of what she had done in the past, she was a victim in this whole incident. If it caused her to realize how terrible she was, to change for the better, why begrudge that? Mob Psycho isn’t saying to forgive or forget their actions. Only to not let them overly influence the future. That if someone wants to change, to be better, to let them and help them do so. That your actions have effects on others. Maybe its the animation high speaking, but regardless of how heavy handed it was, I can’t begrudge that message.

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So, all in all, I LOVED this episode of Mob Psycho. Mob hasn’t had an episode below a 9/10 for me so far. Yeah, small things here and there, but as a whole? It just comes together so damn well. ONEs writing comes through clear and BONES gets to flex their animation muscles. What is there not to love? Considering the upcoming arc and the finale yet to come, that we aren’t even halfway through the season? There is plenty more to come. And I, for one, can’t wait.

How did you feel about Mob Psycho this week? Best thing ever? Am I to enthralled by the animation to see the narrative issues underneath? Am I a fanboy? Let me know below and I will see you next week!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar damian says:

    wow i love this series!!!

  2. Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

    Oh lenlo you’re not being a fanboy. This ep did not have narrative “issues.” Fans of the manga are just conflating that with having material cut (which is obviously a logical fallacy). Ask yourself: did you have any difficulty understanding the themes being communicated by the episode or the pathos of Mob’s defiance of Mogami’s ideology? Of course you didn’t, because the writing and storytelling still remained sharp and cohesive.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I had no issues understanding it, your right. I want to make it clear, incase it wasnt up there, that I loved this episode. I loved everything about it. Its just that sometimes, having read the webcomic, you get a disconnect from anime only viewers. Sometimes this means narrative aspects that were not explained well in the anime still work for you, because you know what the original intent was, and so forth.

      I had worried that might be the case a bit here with Mob. That my knowledge of the manga might have swayed how I interpreted the story here.

      Glad to know that wasn’t the case though and that you enjoyed it! It truly was a fantastic episode!

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