Posted by Lenlo on 19 February 2019 with categories: Mob Psycho 100 II

Hello and welcome to the halfway point of Mob Psycho Season 2! This week continues Reigen’s story as he rises high, falls low and comes to an epiphany. Lets jump in!

Starting off, Mob Psycho once again looks fantastic. Say what you want about the story or characters, the quality of the animation is undeniable. In an episode with no big fights or villains, just character moments, Mob Psycho was more expressively animated than most series finales. Everything from Reigen’s exorcism and incredible reactions to the continuous ending shot of the floating camera. Mob Psycho impressed me this week, in a very different way from episode 5. We also got to see more examples of unusual animation, with the paint on glass effect appearing again. I will admit, this effect is a personal favorite of mine. Seeing the individual brush strokes takes me back to the backgrounds of cell animated series of old. Yet it has a modern polish that makes also crisp and clean. Enough about animation though, as always, spoilers below the break.

For the episode itself, Mob Psycho can easily be split into two halves this week. Personally I found the first half, involving the exorcism and Reigen’s fall, to be a bit melodramatic in places. Usually I enjoy Mob Psycho’s over the top everything, but for such a serious character focus, it felt out of place at times. Some of this might just be Mob Psycho successfully making me uncomfortable, conveying the awkwardness of being caught out and all. But take Reigen’s assumption that the child was faking for the show. Like always, he is very observant and noticed right away. However unlike with the Minori situation of episode 4, Reigen’s arrogance gets ahead of him and he goes along with it. That just feels… off for his character. That’s not the kind of harmless fib he usually pedals, and it bugged me throughout this first half.

I am also surprised at how large a thing it became. Naturally, a story has to play some aspects of its world up for the sake of the plot. However, getting so great that he had a press conference and became an internet meme? Are psychics that important in Mob Psycho’s world? I assume this would be similar to a big TV Evangelist getting outed as a fraud on live television here in the States. But the way it is portrayed is just so… over the top, grandiose. It feels out of scale, making a much bigger deal for what should have been a focused character moment for Mob and Reigen. We still get that character moment at the end, and the 2nd half was fantastic in my opinion. But I do not think the first half helps it much, mostly managing to stay the course.

Now, this tails nicely into a discussion had in the comments of last weeks episode, with how the characters acted. With Mob and Reigen acting out of place, for the sake of conflict in the story. I didn’t see it last week, and I largely still disagree as I think the setup for Mob’s growth has been well established. However, with how this episode opened up with Reigen and how it felt to me, I can better understand where they are coming from. This is a valid conflict, their characters really do need this to better their relationship. And while I think the 2nd half does this well, and I will get to that soon, I can see how the setup would feel… unreal. Constructed, as a better word. However, if the worst Mob Psycho does this season is a forced intro to an arc, its still in good standing.

Speaking of the second half, once you remove the out of scale memeing of Reigen, I loved it. I thought this was one of the best character moments/scenes so far. Even comparing it to the first season, I think Mob Psycho has stepped it up a notch here, going for less big battles and more subtle character arcs. Reigen’s reflection, of looking back on the whim that started this career and why he kept it up for Mob, was awesome. We saw this scene back in Season 1 from Mob’s point of view, so hearing Reigen’s inner thoughts was nice. We also get a reminder that, though said basically out of hand, Reigen is responsible for Mobs entire world view at this point. Reigen is, at least to us viewers, more of a father to Mob than Mob’s actual father.

The best part of the episode for me though, was of course the ending. Reigen’s realization, Mob’s help and acceptance. What made it work though, in my opinion, was the ordering. Namely that Mob didn’t help Reigen until Reigen grew and apologized. He realized the error of his ways, with no expectation for help or that Mob was watching. To me, it is that ordering and Mob’s acknowledgement that he always knew, that made it all work. Sure, there are still some questions like why didn’t Mob say anything if he always knew. What does this do to their characters and will this carry over, yadda yadda. All of that matters in the future and for the series as a whole, impacting the overall product. Possibly breaking its tone. In the moment though, in this episode? It just works.

So all in all, how do I feel about the episode? Well, I like it. Its one of my favorites so far. I think Mob Psycho is setting the bar quite high for the rest of the year. Throwing out fantastic character arcs and beautiful animation left and right. Yes, it has issues. There is no such thing as a perfect series with no room to improve. But Mob Psycho checks all of my boxes, managing to have hidden depths available to be delved if you look close enough, while also being enough fun to just sit back and enjoy if that is all you want. Mob Psycho doesn’t feel like it is trying to fit any specific mold, like a shounen series or something. It is, wholly and utterly, it’s own thing. And I love it.

But what do you think? Is this resolution too hamfisted, not really playing to the characters? Does it feel to convient to you? Let me know down below! Also, quick reminder, I will be away in Japan for a week starting Friday, so there will be no posts next week. This means that I will have to double up the week afterwords. Apologies, but vacation calls!

16 Responses

  1. Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

    I’m of the viewpoint that this resolution was not hamfisted for reasons i’ll get into real soon. At the moment im pressed on time so i just wanted to say that this was a great episode and that once again your write-up nails why that is. I thought last week’s discussion in the comments with the guy who wasn’t a fan of the series, while interesting to see a different perspective, did not properly represent what the series actually excels at.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      No problem.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      Also, pls bear in mind I was trying to talk about what the series does NOT excel at (as it is more interesting for me in this case), so what you said is only natural. I see no point praising something that already gets much well-articulated praise, particularly if I feel like there are negatives overlooked. I desire a novel discussion, not joining in on who-says-the-same-thing-louder festival.

      Interestingly, for you this ep seems to affirm your opinion of the show, yet for me it does the same.

      • Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

        I said that you don’t accurately/properly represent what the show excels at, meaning (at least to me) that the claims you make about what the show and how it handles its drama are not supported by what is ACTUALLY happening within the show. For one, you said that the show’s drama is contingent on how the viewer sees the character relationships rather than the relationships themselves depicting the emotional pathos to its audience; but you don’t support this whatsoever with how scenes in the series so far have illustrated this weakness. And that’s where i find most of your stance with the series very weak. I think it’s perfectly fine if you don’t care for the show or think it’s underwhelming; it’s just that your reasoning is weak. For me, I don’t think Mob Psycho is perfect (no piece of art ever is), but it excels strongly at what it aims to do and does it with aplomb; that’s how i determine whether a show is worth something or not

        • Avatar evafan says:

          Conversations about what something excels at and at what it doesnt are different. I was trying to point out what I perceived as error in your sentence, because I would prefer to think that I was pointing to “additional” failings, not countering mentioned achievements.

          Also to put my like/dislike into perspective. Id rate S1 8/10 and S2 7/10, so I think it is overrated rather than bad. I used the word “bad” before, though what I meant is “not free of obvious problems”. It’s the MAL style of bad (with median of 7/10).

          What you said now does challenge my points. But you are arguing against
          – what I said to Lenio
          – taken out of context (the “pathos” was referring (implicitly) to single scene in episode 6)
          – and only that one point (not addressing any other)
          – which you applied to all of the show
          – and used my lack of evidence as an argument (and why do only I bear the burden of proof?)
          – then generalized it to all of what I said

          That’s unfair. https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Steel_man

          I also definitely kept trying to show where I’m coming from. I also did not repeat here my points on bobduh’s blog.

          I did not write full blown post and examples to reduce size and not alienate readers.

  2. Avatar Crixdec says:

    I really liked this episode, having just found out from ep 6 I’m almost Reigen’s age that idea of trying to find/become something did hit me a bit. I don’t think the meme-ing of Reigen is too unrealistic, people just roll with whatever and he did pretty much do whatever for like 30 minutes(having sometimes looked up Reigen’s special moves on youtube for a quick laugh I can see how someone can roll with it if they tried). I do find it a bit odd that he went with it for so long though like he didn’t bother trying to ask the host or kid what was up during his act. I understand once it was revealed he’s stuck as no matter what he says it comes off as a lie.

    The ending with Mob and the flashback imo was just wonderful. I felt like tearing up a bit when Mob Reigen what he really was, and acting like nothing happened offering to take Mob for ramen was a nice touch as well.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Im glad you liked it! I don’t want to praise Mob non-stop, as that just becomes a boring sort of echo-chamber to write about. So sometimes I worry my criticisms are unfair in my desire to give it a fair shake. Like I overcompensate for just how good a show might be. So reading comments like this really help me know that, no it wasn’t just me, this show really is that good. So thank you for reading!

      For the memeing, there are some comments below that helped me understand the memeing a bit better. But long story short, I don’t use much social media, causing me to be wrapped up in my own little bubble internet community wise. So I might not have a good view of what that is actually like beyond the comically huge memes.

      • Avatar Crixdec says:

        No worries I enjoy reading your perspective(and others here). I do understand how difficult it is trying to come up with meaningful commentary outside of “this show is really awesome etc.”(one of the reasons why I never blog/wrote anything I’m too blunt for my own good). Ultimately to me I think it comes down to how well the show or episode achieved its goal, and these past episodes made me feel and relate to Reigen while also reaffirming and growing the relationship between him and Mob.

        As for the memes yeah that’s quite difficult if you’re off social media. I’m personally not a memer however even a passing glance at past trends(gangam style, pen pineapple etc) has taught me the internet will roll with whatever and you can’t really predict it. Hell I remember for Portal 2 the developers were apparently sick of the cake is a lie meme from Portal 1 and tried to avoid having something similar in Portal 2,instead everyone latched on to the Cave Johnson lemon speech

  3. Avatar azerty says:

    I don’t know why you think media and internet blowing things up isn’t realistic. It’s literally media and internet in a nutshell. Even in a small market like anime community these things happen for example Goblin slayer and Shield hero controversy.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      Agree. Getting targeted on internet can destroy your life nowadays. I liked that the show included this, but I think it rushed through its points. I wouldnt mind seeing more of Reigen ‘fighting against the internet’ as it is very actual topic. Watching this ep, I was strongly reminded of this: https://yanderedev.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/hate-and-shame/

      There are real life Reigens out there.

      • Avatar Lenlo says:

        Interesting video! Thanks for the link.

        I personally don’t use social media much. I don’t have a twitter or instagram, hardly use facebook and its set to private, and the most I write/post online would actually be this blog. Maybe reddit. I am, effectively I suppose, in a bubble. So, from watching this video, it looks to me like it’s just an experience I have not had. I have, luckily, managed to avoid it.

        Seeing this video, and looking up some further examples of it, I can see I was a bit off base with my post on Reigen’s internet memeing.

        What this video has done for me though, has helped me draw a line between internet memeing and say… how politics skews the news. How they are similar in effect and scale, I just haven’t had it aimed at me, and so don’t have a proper appreciation for it.

    • Avatar eva says:

      Better link: http://www.yanderesimulator.com/debunk/

      Disclaimer: I really want to put the real life Reigen to everyone’s attention (following this ep). I’m not the person, nor do I know him or play his game or anything…

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      It was just the scale of it, for what was effectively a TV Evangelist, that felt off to me.

      Maybe I am out of touch with the meme-sphere and how quickly this stuff spreads though. I don’t keep track of the latest memes. Like to me, Salt Bae is still relevant, cause I just don’t care to be up to date on the stuff.

      So most likely that colors it a bit for me.

  4. Avatar Animosh says:

    I don’t think Mob meant to say that he always knew Reigen didn’t really have spiritual powers. He obviously didn’t always know that. What he meant to say is that he’s always known who Reigen really is underneath it all: a good person. Whether he has powers or not, that will never change – and in the end, that’s what is (and has been) most important to Mob, so he’ll accept Reigen even as a fraud. So I don’t think this breaks their relationship or anything. Mob values Reigen as a mentor, a source of support, and possibly even as a friend of sorts: whether he has special powers is secondary in their relationship.

    Have fun in Japan!

  5. Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

    “because I would prefer to think that I was pointing to “additional” failings, not countering mentioned achievements.”

    But you didn’t adequately achieve what you set out to do; that’s why i said your arguments were weak. You didn’t mention anything alternative to what was being praised; your initial comment delved into the things that the show is typically praised for and you gave your viewpoint as to how those things don’t quite do those things in an effective manner. However, like i said, your arguments as to why you feel your opinion is validated is not evidenced by what is actually represented in the show, hence my claim that you misrepresent what mob psycho aims to achieve and how it goes about doing it.

    “But you are arguing against
    – what I said to Lenio
    – taken out of context (the “pathos” was referring (implicitly) to single scene in episode 6)
    – and only that one point (not addressing any other)”

    What am i taking out of context exactly? I haven’t strawmanned anything here. I specifically took something you said in your comment and elaborated slightly on why i thought it was an ineffective outlook of the series? It’s called presenting an example (which i prefaced in my initial comment by saying, “for example”); What am I obfuscating exactly? How am i being unfair to you? Trust me, i don’t need a link explaining to me what a strawman argument is; I know exactly what it is and it’s not something i have committed in this discussion. The strawman fallacy doesn not apply to my actions whatsoever dude

    • Avatar evafan says:

      “What am i taking out of context exactly?”
      The “pathos”.
      “the show’s drama is contingent on how the viewer sees the character relationships rather than the relationships themselves depicting the emotional pathos to its audience”
      This critique is not my “stance with the series” as you said. It is only related to single episode/arc: Reigen-Mob arguing & getting back together. It was one example of many (purportedly) faults I pointed out, hence it is taken out of context.

      “For one, you said that the show’s drama is contingent on… but you don’t support how… And that’s where i find most of your stance with the series very weak.”
      This translates to: You showed no proof/example of your point, therefore most your points are/appear wrong.
      Your argument was lack of proof on my part. That is not an argument at all! Also lack of proof does not make a claim weak. And you extended that to ‘my stance’, which I think is ugly generalization due to ignoring my other points, which I do not think ever comprised an overarching stance that could be argued against as a single point.

      “like i said, your arguments as to why you feel your opinion is validated is not evidenced by the show”
      This translates to: you are wrong. Just rephrased. It adds nothing to the conversation.

      “I specifically took something you said in your comment and elaborated slightly”
      Except your elaboration was: ‘not evidenced by the show’. That’s all of it.
      So I felt like you perhaps missed my points a bit and concentrated too much on my (insufficient?) wording and wished you rather tried to improve my arguments and go against that, hence the mention of steelman.

      I did not say or implied you commited to a strawman. With steelman I was implying you could collaborate on the points expressed, the why, rather than who is right or wrong.

      I posted link to steelman, not strawman. I did so not to patronize or explain what strawman is, but to highlight the existence of steelman. No hidden agenda.

      “Trust me, i don’t need a link…”
      “I know exactly what it is”
      “it’s not something i have committed”
      “whatsoever dude”
      You misunderstood what I did, possibly due to misinterpreting my intention (attacking you), and then defensively lashed out instead of confirming. None of this contributed anything, you repeated yourself and called me dude, which could be considered hostile.

      It is not relevant, but I see no reason to not point it out.

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