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

Hello everyone to a double feature of Mob Psycho 100 this week! I have returned from my vacation and its time for some catch-up. This time Mob Psycho goes from 0 to ??? faster than a bullet and we meet our big bad. Lets jump in!

Starting off, as always, lets talk animation and visuals. Mob Psycho is without a doubt one of the best looking series of the season, and probably the year. It’s all so expressive, from the faces to the wild activity on screen. I find it almost impossible to look away while Mob Psycho is on screen. Combine that with it’s willingness to dive into completely different mediums and styles, and its a feast for the eyes. Always changing for whatever works best for the scene instead of feeling constricted by its art style. Simply put, Mob Psycho looks fantastic. As far as the actual story goes, I am going to tackle this two-parter one episode at a time. Delving into 8 and then 9. Really, I think I got lucky with the vacation, as it meant I didn’t have to wait on that cliffhanger. And remember, spoilers after the break!

Now, let’s talk Episode 8, Even Then ~Continue Forward~. This was, for 95% of the time, such a wholesome episode. It was another example of Mob’s growth, shown through the rather obvious opening flashback of his bloody knee. While it wasn’t the most subtle aspect of the episode, it definitely worked. I also loved how Mob Psycho showed us all of Mob’s friends, his support group that he has made throughout the 2 seasons. All coming together to support him in his marathon endeavors. From Onigawara giving him shoes, to Teru and Ritsu taking over his part-time work. And of course, like always, the Body Improvement Club being absolute mountains of encouragement. Compare that to the first season wheres Mob’s inability to run was being used as a gag as he collapses, exhausted. It’s just another example of the series dedication to his character growth.

However, as great as all of those were, the big 2 were Reigen and the parents. For Reigen, I loved the subtle attempts to show his growth from the previous arc. He saw how important the marathon was to Mob, and even though he had a fully booked day of work, he let Mob off early. Then he runs with him, both in training and at the marathon, supporting him like so many others. Basically, Reigen was thinking of someone else before himself, without Mob Psycho ever directly calling out it and going “Look character development!”. It was just… there. For the parents, really the ending should have been obvious. They got some minor focus in season 1, so the only reason to get so much camera time this week was for the big ending. Flags were clearly being raised, and yet it all still worked.

On the parents, we have to talk about episode 8’s ending. Whew. Some might say it was unnecessarily dark for the series, or out of place after such a wholesome episode. However I feel the need to remind viewers of the Mogami arc in episodes 4 & 5, where our boy was literally stabbed. This is hardly a new tone for the series, but rather a sudden, jarring tone switch. Considering the end goal was to shock both us and Mob, which barely makes the cliffhanger ok, I would say it fulfilled its purpose. It also took what would otherwise have been a sort of filler episode and dragged it into the larger plot. Making all of Mob’s previous actions with Reigen’s press conference and their fight with Claw have consequences. However it might feel to you, I think it did the job well prepping for Mob Psycho’s final arc.

Speaking of follow up, its time for Episode 9, Show Me What You’ve Got ~Band Together~. This week was part setup, introducing all of our villains, and part follow up to last weeks cliffhanger. Personally, I was split on how the cliffhanger was handled. Learning they were alive felt a little cheap at the start. As if our emotions, as a viewer, was played with. However the actual logic of why was, while not exactly sound, acceptable to me. Susuki wanted to make Mob react, to get angry, and thought this was the best possible way to do that. Suffice to say it worked. What I did like that came out of all of this though was Reigen and his unfailing logic, explaining everything to Mob instead of treating him like a child. That, at least, worked and was done well for me.

Now, we can’t mention Reigen without talking about his attaches. I love how the first season villains are back now, as largely productive members of society. Even wearing suits! Its a clever way to increase the scale of the upcoming fight, without having to continuously introduce new characters. We are already familiar with these people and their powers, so seeing how they have grown will be a treat. As happy as I am that they Mob Psycho is getting into its final arc though, oh boy is this a lot of characters. From the Foreign Squad to the Ultimate 5, Mob Psycho is throwing a lot of new faces at us. It makes the smart decision of only providing name-cards/intros for the important ones, so its obvious to the viewer, but still. It can feel almost cluttered at times. However, not one to miss an opportunity, Mob uses this.

You see, this week Mob Psycho gives a crash course in “jobbing”. For those unaware, “jobbing” is the art of losing a fight to make your opponent seem stronger. Its used in Pro-Wrestling as part of the performance at times. In Anime, its about demonstrating how strong a new character is by having them win against an established character. Mob Psycho did this well twice. First, by pulling a bait-and-switch with the Foreign Squad/Claw Division Leaders/Ultimate 5. Setting them up as the villains, then having them get beaten by bigger villains. It’s basically what Cell did to the Androids in the Cell Saga of DBZ. The other instance of “jobbing” was of course Teru vs the Ultimate 5 member. This lets Mob Psycho setup a rematch, established the Ultimate 5’s strength and create a solid ending to the episode. In my opinion, it was a great ending.

All that said, what can we expect going forward? A lot of fights, no doubt, but what about narratively? The last time we had a Claw fight, Reigen came in with a dose of reality and explained how live works. I am curious if Mob Psycho is going to try a bit of a repeat on that. As there has been a pretty clear theme of Espers and childish mentalities. Even in this season, with Mogami and Judo, we have seen examples of this obsession with Psychic Powers being played up. The reverse of this has also been seen with Mob’s growth and his refusal to rely on his psychic powers. Being one of the strongest Espers, who has grown the most emotionally. Because of this, I fully expect at least one more Reigen-Rant about society in coming episodes. Regardless though, whatever happens, I expect it to look beautiful.

So all in all, what did I think of these two episodes? I think Mob Psycho is easily the strongest show of the season and is so consistently good, I can’t believe it. If this is what a few years break, to really nail down story boarding and production does, then I am fine being patient. It also makes me, since BONES is working on it to, excited for this years My Hero Academia Season 4. Really, the worst things that can be said about Mob Psycho to me are nitpicks. Stylistic differences usually, instead of comments on actual quality. Because in terms of sheer quality, it beats out everything else this season. Can’t wait for these next few episodes.

But what do you think? Was episodes 8 ending out of left field for you and to much of a shift? To many characters in episode 9? To Shounen-y for you? Let me know down below, and I will see you next week!

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Allen says:

    I’m so torn about that last episode though…

    Off-model characters abounded, and you could see them saving time and money in almost every frame. I guess it’s to be expected before what’s sure to be a big bang soon–but still, it was pretty jarring. It felt like I was watching Naruto filler, literally seeing characters with no shading of definition in their faces.

    Maybe that’s just the best way to use funds: save in the expository episodes and go all out on action.

    PS. I had to go back and watch it twice when I read all the glowing commentary. Nope, still looks like crap. :(

    • Avatar Meh says:

      Still looks better than ONE’s manga art

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Hmm… I went back and rewatched it and can kinda see what you mean? I assumed parts of it were stylistic decisions though. Such as during the torturing, where the waterboarded the dude? They got heavy black lines during the group shot. I assumed that was a conscious decision, trying to be unique. There are other examples of this to, where I perhaps give Bones the benefit of the doubt.

      Looking at it cynically, for me atleast, I can understand where your coming from though

  2. Avatar evafan says:

    “without Mob Psycho ever directly calling out it and going “Look character development!”. It was just… there.”
    I think the shameful self-serving pointing out is a real problem an alarming number of shows suffer from. But avoiding this pitfall should be the norm and I dont think it needs an explicit praise. In the end, it is like commenting a child’s grade with “great, you didnt fail”.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I see your point, and on a personal level I agree with you. Decent writing should be expected But the fact is, the average of the industry is to fall into the pit. So to not recognize it when a show successfully avoids it is a mistake in my opinion.

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