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

Hello and welcome once more to the Mob Psycho 100 blog, where I gush about Mob Psycho 100! This week see’s an old villains return, multiple defeats and more of Mob’s growth. Lets dive in!

Now, at this point I feel like a broken record when talking about Mob Psycho’s animation. But the fact is, Bones is killing it this season. Yeah there are parts that look iffy as still’s, sometimes when the action slows down Mob Psycho’s style is off putting. But this is anime god dang-it, its meant to be viewed in motion, and Mob Psycho looks unparalleled in motion. All three of the fights this week could be another series finale, with the scale and prowess that went into them. This isn’t even mentioning Mogami, who seems to be Bone’s excuse to get weird every time he shows up. Combine this with the tracking camera, inventive use of space and liberal interpretation of the word “adaptation” and you have enough animation to take over Sakugabooru every week. Still, none of this is new to you, so lets just get to the spoilers.

Starting off, our boy is back! Mob has re-entered the scene and immediately defeats/scares away two of the Ultimate 5. Sure, Shimazaki was mostly already beat by then, but the point stands. Both of these fights, Shimazaki and Minegishi, were fantastic. They were the first, and only it seems, Ultimate 5 to get good fights. Shibata’s was fine, but he was defeated by the Body Improvement Club mostly. It was hardly a full on fight. These two however were the centerpiece of the episode, with Shimazaki dominating the episode. Seriously, he is easily my favorite of the Ultimate 5. Having limited but terrifying powers, and presenting a reasonable challenge. That he was done in by his own powers only made it better. Meanwhile Minegishi, while never a real threat it seemed, did provide a good opportunity to display Mob’s growth with the return of a real villain, Mogami.

You have no idea how happy I am that Mogami made a return. Not only is he an incredibly strong character, having an arc centered around you will do that, but he is an excuse for the animators to go crazy. Mob Psycho already has a tenuous grasp on models and consistent colors, but Mogami just goes off the wall. On top of that, narratively he is responsible for Mob’s biggest character growth, and continues to provide growth even now. Pushing Mob to recognize that being nice, constantly holding back to preserve feelings, isn’t always the best idea. His points aren’t wrong either, Mob can’t watch these Claw members all the time to make sure they have repented. It seems to me that, after their encounter, Mogami respects Mob, or at least his power, and because of this wants to help him grow. If only a little.

Speaking of respecting Mob, lets talk Teru and Reigen. Teru was an interesting one this week as we see his rematch with Shimazaki, now with the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP. What I liked about this fight was how much it paralleled his own fight with Mob in Mob Psycho’s last season. With Shimazaki believing himself to be the best and above everyone else. Except this time, it is the converted Teru explaining just how small they are in the world. It’s a nice callback to what his character was originally like. Yet this time instead of Mob going crazy to finish the fight, it instead wraps around to the powerless Reigen. Not being an Esper, Shimazaki can’t sense him, and so he was defeated by underestimating normal people. Not only was it hilarious, but it once again sold how childish these Espers are and how much the Scars have grown.

What was less interesting this week to me was Sho and his dad. Simply put, I don’t much care for Sho. He is supposed to be the foil to the regular Shounen Protagonist. Rushing in to face the final boss he has a personal connection with. But we know so little about him, that I just can’t care. Not with my boy Mob running around. Perhaps that is the point, Sho’s job is to “job” for Suzuki, the boss. And he succeeds at doing that. Revealing that their powers are the same, the storage of energy, and how long he has been doing it shows he is a threat. Its just that he is not a charismatic threat. He isn’t one I am intimidated by, because the entire premise of the series is that Mob is the strongest. Perhaps that’s a weakness of the series itself though, not the characters.

So all in all, how do I feel about this weeks Mob Psycho episode? Simply put, I am hyped. I am invested enough in these characters that the small mistakes don’t take me out of it. The animation is top notch and impossible to look away from. Everything about this production is a step above everything else airing in this season. Does it help that I am Shounen trash and love a good Shounen series? Sure, it makes me a little biased. But based on the general reception to Mob Psycho this season, I don’t think it’s my bias playing up here. If Mob Psycho can pull off these next two episodes, if it manages to not completely bomb its finale, then I don’t see how Mob Psycho can be anything less than a strong contender for anime of the year. And its still just March!

But tell me what you think down below. I always love reading your comments! They give me a new perspective. So make sure to do that, and I will see you next week!

10 Responses

  1. Avatar jimmytimmy says:

    So I actually like Sho a lot. He’s not immature like the Claw members (including the former Claw members). Plus he’s obviously been neglected by his father but he’s still doing whats right. He’s the underdog and he knows it (remember his line to Ritsu, when Ritsu said that Mob was stronger than him. That basically its not fun if you think like that) but this is Mob Psycho and he will lose to his father so I’m interested to see what he does next.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Your correct, Sho is a foil to the rest of Claw, being the youngest yet still most mature. I think I could come to like Sho, if he hadn’t just shoved himself into the plot. Its a silly complaint to have really, this is a Shounen and Sho was around at the end of Season 1. So it doesn’t really hold water compared to other criticisms. I cannot objectively say that Sho came out of nowhere, because he didn’t.

      Its just that, for my personal enjoyment, I would have liked some more time with him before he gets taken out to show how strong the big bad guy is, you know?

      Like that worked with Teru, because we got to spend time with him. We knew he was strong, and he was a fun character, so Shimazaki beating him made Shimazaki much more interesting. Sho isn’t as interesting as Teru, so his defeat is much less impactful.

      I am rambling a bit here, but I hope that makes sense.

  2. Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

    I was the one in the shoutout thread who mentioned the complaint about Mob Psycho having “iffy still shots” and how that is misguided observation (for the most part anyway). However, before i get into dismantling that super general criticism, I would like to know what still shots critics such as yourself have been referring to. Providing ep numbers will suffice

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Suffice to say, inbetweens. Inbetweens are not made to be pretty. They generally arnt. Take a look at Shimazaki kicking Sakurai down after defeating him at the end. Its not a pretty still, it simply isn’t. It looks fantastic in motion, but as a still frame? It doesn’t stand up to incredibly detailed works like Violet Evergarden, nor does it match some of the incredibly stylized shots from this very season of Mob Psycho.

      Is this a bad thing? No. Its an animated medium. Thats like complaining that the Mona Lisa doesn’t look good when you only view the top left corner and nothing else. To judge it as a still alone is disingenuous.

      Fact is, Mob Psycho has a very low-detail style most of the time. This allows it to spend more time on the animation instead of trying to get every detail of a characters outfit down precisely.

      So tl;dr, its not a complaint, just an observation, and its not misguided.

      • Avatar Lenlo says:

        This isn’t to say Mob doesnt have fantastic stills. It does. It’s just its stills are a series of highs and lows, more often than not looking fantastic, but occasionally the ugly ones bleed through. Thats just a fact of production. You can’t be at 100% all the time.

        And yes, it was a vague statement because I try to keep this at roughly 1k words and I have a whole episode to cover. I figure if there are specific bits people want to chat about, we can do that down here, like we are. Please, anytime something seems vague and you want more detail, hit me up. I love to chat.

        • Avatar sonicsenryaku says:

          Thanks for elaborating a bit on what you meant. I meant no offense by the misguided remark, but despite presenting myself cordially within my comment, I still think calling your viewpoint about how your evaluate stills in general (and that of mob psycho’s) misguided is very accurate. I knew where this was going the very moment you mentioned in-betweens and compared the show to something like violet evergarden You’re sometimes pausing on in-between frames and saying that the show has ineffective stills because of that? That’s literally the worse way to present an argument about visuals. In-between for the most part,are nothing but transitions between key frames (the stuff that animators really want you to focus on). It’s not like you don’t understand the difference between a stylized still and an in-between shot of animation (you’ve done a decent job in your comment showing that you can discern the two) and you generally agree that they don’t look as polished as key frames…….sooooooo why are you using that as an example of the show not having good stills. The fact that you’re conflating polished quality stills with in-betweens you yourself know aren’t meant to be money shots is the very issue that I’m having with your (and few others’) logic. It’s an amateur mistake people tend to make when evaluating visuals and I’m just pointing it out, that’s all.

          Like you said, an in-between, for the most part, never really looks on-model at all; it’s just a transitional piece of animation. There are many people in the business of animating who bust out laughing at their in-between frames for the very reason that they look so preposterous and off-kilter. This leads to them immediately becoming crestfallen, because they are aware that most people will watch an animated work casually and never see the fruits of their work. So if your evaluation of “iffy stills” are based on that, you and everyone else who does that is ineffectually representing the visuals of an animated work.

          I mean hell, you basically said it yourself: what merit is there to look at the mona lisa from the top left corner and making a judgement on whether the painting looks good or not; It would be a completely fatuous way of critiquing the painting, no? It’s uninformed and it’s a disingenuous way of looking at the art, right? By you making this point, you have unequivocally dismantled the validity of your entire argument that mob’s stills are iffy. If a visual is utilizing principles of animation like squash and stretch or using exaggeration to create dynamic and unorthodox timing in animation frames, consistently playing around with 2’s and 3’s and accentuating bombastic follow-through and overlapping (moments of this principle can be seen when Teru is getting Molly-whopped by Shimazaki), why would you find it credible to pause in-between all of that and say: “oh look at this still, doesn’t it look off-model from the key frames? That makes this still look iffy huh?” Sure, just ignore everything else around the still right? There are plenty stills i can take from mob psycho, ones that aren’t even super stylized or intentionally meant to be framed on a wall, and you can see the utter polish in that’s in the scene composition, cinematography, and color design. You can see the sterling details in the storyboarding and the brilliance of the framing within the scene. Those factor play a huge role in critiquing the ENTIRE quality of the still shot my dude. It’s foolsih, and may i even go as far to say, “unscientific,” to disregard all those elements around the still and say that the show is littered with iffy-shots. We all know the show is meant to look good in motion, and YOU yourself clearly know this; so why are we making quality judgments on in-betweens? Are there times that the show relies on low detail models? Sure; absolutely. And your mileage will vary based on your taste in visuals how you respond to that. But to say that a show has iffy-stills because you’re pausing on in-betweens…nope; that’s not a good criticism. This is the simple fact that quite a few people tend to miss when evaluating visuals. Being able to scrutinize what are iffy visuals and what are not is very important in this case.

          Now here’s the million dollar question? does that mean that in-between are absolved of judgement because they are in-betweens? Nope, not at all. But again, there’s a standard in which to evaluate those. Have you ever seen the anime “Just because”…that anime is a perfect example of shitty ass in-betweens. In that show, character anatomy and geometry become very inconsistent within each in-between, morphing the models into things that don’t resemble the character sheets. Characters lose their forms in a way that is not consistent with their character designs and the timing of the in-betweens are very unpolished. THAT’S how you evaluate the difference between a good in-between and a bad one.

          • Avatar Sonicsenryaku says:

            “It’s foolish, and may I even go as far as to say ‘unscientific'”….I just want to clarify that I’m not calling you foolish in any way, like not even close (hell I’m foolish for spelling the damn word wrong 😁😁😁); but rather, I find the act of judging a still shot by the merits of its in-betweens to not be proper criticism. I meant to actually use the word “dismissive” as that perfectly captures how I feel the criticism is of the actually quality of whatever animated work is being brought into question

          • Avatar Lenlo says:

            First up, dont worry my friend. Short of cursing my out and calling me some slur, your not gonna upset me. I can take some criticism.

            And the thing is, what you saying? Its perfectly valid. Part of it is me failing to make precise arguments, because of the nature of a blog post and the style I am trying to emulate, and part of it seems to be fundamental differences in how to judge a series/my imprecise language.

            For instance, with Mob Psycho, I would give its visual’s a 10/10. Its not perfect, but I believe perfection to be impossible. So just because I try to criticise it a bit, doesn’t mean I don’t think its fantastic. Part of the issue is I want to strike a balance between praising a show (Cause I love this show. Holy crap, do I love it) and looking at it objectively. I don’t want to just non-stop worship a series, because I want to at least try and represent some of the other sides of the argument. I never want to say “This is objectively good/bad and anyone who dislikes/likes it is an idiot”. The reason for this is because, even in something terribly produced, people can still find meaning or enjoyment in it. For example I hate Clannad with a passion. I would prefer it never have been made. Yet clearly it resonated with some people, and so to me, that means there must be some inherent value in it. Even if its not for me. Just because I like/dislike something doesn’t make it good/bad.

            Of course, this can come off as disingenuous and lead to some imperfect arguments. Im not a professional journalist, I am a software engineer who does this for fun, so I am still pretty bad at that, apparently. I write technical documents most of the time, and try my best to NOT write these like a technical document. Which is clearly not my strongest style. These kind of comments help me with that and I appreciate it. I want to improve, I don’t want this to sound like an excuse for poor writing/language. I remember some of my first posts on this site and think of how different my writing is now compared to then, and hope to do that again in another year.

            As for the argument itself, I was never trying to argue that Mob looks bad. Or atleast, that wasn’t my intent. Looking back, this could have used another proof-reading before posting apparently. Sometimes I get wrapped up in my own head. I only ever meant to argue that Mob, as a show, isn’t always running at 100%. To expect that would be ludicrous. Sometimes its gonna dip a little, and thats alright. If it was at 100% all the time, the big moments wouldnt hit as hard, because they would look just like any others. I can see from your comment that I didn’t do a good job of this. So thank you.

            tl;dr, Thank you. I will try to not only be better about this in the future, but more precise in my language. I think Mob Psycho, while looking fantastic, has the occasional slip. But its “occasional slips” are still better than most series, and its “iffy stills” are only “iffy” in comparison to the standard of quality it has set for itself throughout this season. And even then, those slips arn’t necessarily a bad thing. So perhaps poor word choice on “slip”. But its 2am and I need to sleep, so sorry if this is a bit rambly.

            Hope that answers your concerns a bit.

  3. Avatar Jimmytimmy says:

    You guys might want to check your code because for some reason you can’t reply to comments.

    But yeah that’s a fair point wrt Sho. Not sure why we didn’t get more story with him considering how season 1 ended

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I think the issue with the comments is you cant reply to deep. You see how it indents to the left abit? I think there is a limit on how deep the reply chain can go before it just says “Reply to the one above this so they are on the same level”.

      Ill look into it though, thanks!

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