#1: "Gray (グレイ)" by sajou no hana (eps 1, 7) #2: "Memosepia (メモセピア)" by sajou no hana (eps 2-4, 6, 8-12) #3: "Mabuta no Ura (目蓋の裏)" by sajou no hana (ep 5) #4: "Ikiru Hitobito (いきるひとびと)" by sajou no hana (ep 13)
"I wanted to make something kind." - ONE [Author of One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100] (paraphrased since I can't find the source of the interview)
The most hyped up second season since My Hero Academia II has come to fruition and let me say, it does not disappoint.
My expectations were sky-hecking-high after an incredible first season. Yet, SOMEHOW, the second season went above and beyond the call of duty and blew me away with the most amazing season of any show I have ever seen in my life. Allow me to explain.
While most people's complaints related to the show is "bland" and "too
slice-of-life". I must first say that this show is centered around the characters rather than the plot, despite the plot being really, really good.
Nothing related to the story is wasted. Every character, every line, every moment, every sound, camera angle, power, you name it, is important. There wasn't a single episode that I felt that I was sold short. I ate up every moment, because it MATTERED.
While small things like incredible animation, directing, pacing, humor, romantization of normal occurrences and all other terms I could use to show how great the show is despite 90% of the population not knowing what that means, I want to focus on the main part of the series I love the most.
The characters. Every single one of them feels like a fragment of a real person's soul, and shaped to become a well rounded character. Reigen, Mob, Teru, Ritsu, Suzuki, Shou, CLAW, new villains, side villains, and school kids, are all important characters. I was constantly surprised and satisfied with how real these characters felt and reacted to their situations. Their motivations were understandable, and frighteningly relatable.
The relationships between these characters are even more fascinating and is what brings me to tears a majority of the time.
The psychology of this show blows my mind, and saying that it has taught me how I think is flawed (by showing characters that mirror my way of thinking) and how life is actually beautiful (albeit being kind of awful sometimes) would NOT be an understatement.
Mob Psycho 100 is my favorite form of entertainment on all platforms for probably the rest of my life. I would not hesitate to recommend this anime to other people, knowing that many people will probably miss the point of the whole show, which is this:
You matter. Relationships matter. Living life joyfully and working hard, even as a everyday commoner, is not something to be ashamed of, but to be cherished. Enjoy yourself, your life, and your relationships. A message needing to be heard by every human being.
What makes a show good? Is it the story’s ability of positing a revolutionary concept or to delve into deep unprecedented philosophical topics and tackle uncharted themes and ideas? Or, maybe it’s the unique characters present that imbue the show with relatability and separate it from the rest? This season of Mob Psycho 100 has me thinking otherwise. Mob Psycho takes themes like self-identity, comradery, uniqueness and blends them into a tale that I will not soon forget. Mob Psycho tackles the aforementioned themes in a way that most of its predecessors have failed to do. This has me believing that in order to fabricate
a good story, you don’t need the most original concept but need to execute whatever you have in your hand to a T.
This season, we again go on a journey with Mob (the OP psychic) and Reigen (the conman) as they exorcise the demons present in the world and those present inside of them. The plot is as simple as it gets, we have our exorcisms going on; Mob being taken advantage of and deciding to become a better person; Claw, making a move; the body improvement club being awesome, etc. The plot doesn’t really diverge from what was presented to us in Season 1, though it does take some detours, those are what make this season so much better than the first one.
The previous season focused more on the fights and their aesthetics whereas this season the attention is more on the character development through the fights. Sure, the fights look as beautiful as ever, but more importance is given to how the characters change and what they take away from the fights. Reigen and Mob visit various clients, and most of the time the exorcism of the spirits serves as a catalyst for Mob’s growth as a character and as a human. But, where the anime shines is not the plot, but the characters.
The characters are the heart of the show, which is true for most stories but more so with this one. The characters may look like typical shounen characters if you look superficially, but when scrutinized, one can come up with a different conclusion. One aspect about the characters I love is how human they feel. Mob does not require any catalyst for the instigation of the feeling that he needs to change, it comes from within him. It’s a joy to see him transform into a socially acceptable person from a socially awkward teen. The show handles this change in a way that is realistic and poignant, which is to be expected as the show does such a great job of portraying the difficulties and hurdles faced by Mob due to his awkward disposition. No development feels rushed or out of place and everything is handled at a pace that is not too fast but not too slow that the watchers get bored. As you watch Mob trying his level best to grow up as a person, you can’t help but start to support him. The body improvement club is what our society should be. They are introduced as temporary comic relief characters but slowly they become an integral cog in the growth of Mob. We don’t spend much time with them on screen, but whenever they are on screen the experience is absolute gold.
The two characters in the spotlight are Mob and Reigen with the latter also getting a character arc which is probably one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. Reigen is a conman, he swindles people, including Mob, for his own personal gain, but, despite that he’s one of the most likeable characters in the series. At first, there seems to be a dichotomy between him and Mob, with Mob lacking the very confidence that Reigen seems to be brimming with, but this season lets us view things with a different perspective. We see Reigen’s inner struggles vicariously and realise he’s not much better off than Mob. Reigen when put in a difficult situation where his only ally seems to be him himself, his introspection reveals a great deal about him and his relationship with Mob. He realises that under the pretence of helping Mob control his powers, he was actually taking advantage of him and was holding Mob back from enjoying his youth. After his epiphany, he does not feign ignorance but tires to better himself as a person. Reigen, in Mob’s own words, is a genuinely good guy. Furthermore, his ultimate move – Self Defence Rush – is capable of destroying the whole planet and needs to be nerfed.
The anime also boasts a spectacular cast of supporting characters. We’ve got dimple, the spirit who wanted to take over Mob’s body at first but warms up to him and becomes more and more of a comrade after each passing episode. This change happens gradually which helps audience familiarise themselves with his character. We don’t get any abrupt character change and thus the show avoids alienating the viewers. Another character worth mentioning is Mogami, a resentful spirit who is the perfect depiction of what Mob would’ve been had he not met with Reigen or had Reigen been a selfish person. The serendipitous meeting between Mob and Reigen is what kept Mob and his uncontrollable powers anchored to the ground. The body improvement club is as epic as ever and this season has convinced me that the biggest muscles they have are their hearts. The characters are meticulously crafted and handled with care. That being said, there are some flaws here and there.
Most of the villains are underdeveloped and are there only as an obstacle for our heroes to overcome. We don’t know their motivations for joining the evil organisation that they have joined and neither do we learn about their personalities. Not all villains are cannon fodder though. The leader of the organisation has a goal set in his mind and though his motivations are a bit overbearing, it’s not difficult to picture that among tens of hundreds of espers one would come across such a guy. Although, the villains are not as interesting as they could have been, I don’t think it matters much because at the end of it all what Mob Psycho really is, if you ask me, is a coming of age story.
The animation is absolutely fantastic. Studio Bones have outdone themselves once again. If you’re holding out on this show because you think that the animation looks crap then, I don’t know what to say to you except you’re missing out on an acid trip. The facial animation conspicuously shows the characters’ emotion and much of the characters’ thoughts are accentuated through their body language. There is a lot of visual storytelling which is really well complimented by the unique art and animation. Lastly, the fights are stupendous. The animation does a great job of presenting the tension and force exerted by each punch, each kick that the characters throw and receive. Every time someone uses his/her psychic powers to pin someone to the ground, the anime does an awesome job of accentuating the augmentation of gravitational field around them which helps in visualising the incomprehensible telekinetic powers that the characters possess. This one guy has the power to teleport himself anywhere he wants and keeps doing so while fighting. You would think that it would make it very hard for us to follow him as he keeps darting around, but due to the excellent cinematography and clever use of visual direction, you can always keep your eyes on him using your peripheral vision. That’s some next level stuff right there. Massive props to everyone involved in animating the series.
The music is brilliant as well. I’m no connoisseur of music but I can tell whether a piece of music fits a scene or not and in the case of Mob Psycho 100, most of the pieces perfectly complement the ongoing scene. The music during fights are perfect to get you hyped, and those during the emotional scenes will make the feels hit you like a truck. Also, the OP is fire.
Mob Psycho 100 is one of the best character driven narratives to come out in recent years. It’s a near prefect retrospective look into a teenage mind and how everyone is susceptible to change. It sends a message that no matter how incongruous you are with respect to your surroundings, no matter how detached you are with reality, you can always start over.
“There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”
When season 2 of mob psycho 100 got announced it would be an understatement to say that I was excited. I was brimming with excitement to see the continuation of Reigen’s, Mob's and all the other characters story. But now after it’s release and I’ve watched all the episodes of my oh so awaited season 2. I’m honestly not feeling it, and I’m very disappointed.
I’m in no way saying that mob psycho 2 is a bad show. Not at all. The animation
is stunning, the direction is phenomenal and the voice acting is as good, if not even better than the first season. It’s noticeable that a lot of care and effort has been put into making Mob Psycho 2. But despite all of these amazing features it has, I feel as if Mob Psycho has lost what made it unique and fun. What made the first season of Mob psycho great in my opinion is three points: the lightheartedness, the sense of humor and the characters. Season 2 only hits one of these points, but actually improves upon it. The characters. Mob and friends have never been better. Mob actually has an arc spanning over the whole season, not one forced into the last few episodes (as in season 1). Mob wants to improve as a person and actively makes an effort to do so. Something you really can’t say he does in the first season. Reigen also has an amazing arc this season. I won’t talk much about it because it would be a shame if I spoiled it for someone. Reigen was more or less the same person at the end of the first season as he was at the start. In season 2 tho, he’s a changed man at the end. It’s not only Mob and Reigen that’s gotten better, but all other characters also stepped up in season 2. They all changed so much that some felt out of character. But I don’t mind since the most of the characters are very well written. And that’s the part of Mob I adore. The rest of it kind of sucks.
The two other points that season 2 doesn’t get is the lightheartedness and humor. Which mostly goes hand in hand. Mob psycho season 1 is a lighthearted slice of life anime about a boy with psychic powers that despite his lack of emotion tries to live out his normal life as good as possible. Mob psycho season 1 never gets serious and dark. It has its emotional moments but never something too serious. In season 2 mob literally comes home to find his house on fire and sees what he believes to be his family burning. Mob Psycho 2 is one of the darkest and most serious shows I’ve seen in a while. And I don’t understand why, Mob Psycho was funny because of how lightheartedly these situation that would be handled totally different in other shows. That’s why it’s funny. When the most serious thing ever happen and Reigen then laughs about it later isn’t funny. It seems more like a flaw in Reigens character. I feel weird saying this but Mob Psycho season 2 isn’t funny at all. Season 2 abandons the concept of the first season and it makes me really disappointed. The first season of Mob Psycho was an analysis of manchildren and more or less a parody of shounen animes. But the second season isn't a parody anymore. It’s turned into what it made fun of in the first place. I find it very hard to even call it a slice of life anymore.
To further prove my point that Mob psycho isn’t a slice of life anymore is the frequency and lengths of fights. There are few fights in the first season of Mob, meaning that when Mob went 100% and the fights broke out, it felt Impactful and epic. But in season 2 there are fights more or less every episode. The fights are longer, some spanning over something like 10 minutes. The animation might be great, but it gets overwhelming. I was finding myself sighing and thinking isn’t this fight over soon? Rather than being amazed by them as I was in season 1.
The most stupid thing ever happened as well. You know how the show is called Mob Psycho 100. Well suddenly mobs emotions can get ever 100% and he grew even more powerful. The point of the WHOLE show is that once the emotions get to 100% they overflow and Mob can’t control them anymore. But what’s the point of that if he suddenly can get 200%. It breaks the concept season 1 put up. Season 2 takes everything season 1 does good and throws it in the trash can.
What was once fresh and amazing is now just another My Hero Academia, and it’s a real shame. I had high hopes for this anime and I was let down big time. I would honestly rather watch the worst anime ever than rewatch this. The animes I feel the least from are the ones that are mediocre, the animes with extreme wasted potential. And Mob Psycho has sadly become one of them. I was expecting greatness and when what I got was very mediocre. It hit hard and my rating off this season of Mob Psycho suffered.
Is a component many works seem to neglect to implement into their final structure. Understandably, people can view it as an irrational generalisation, yet to me, this is how more often than not seasonals taste, in the ever-growing landscape that is the anime medium. They feel as if they had no soul behind them; not juicy at all and very bittersweet. It's not vital to having fun with the show through and through, yet its absence hinders potential intenser emotional attachment one might have. Nonetheless, shows with this hard-to-describe segment still make their appearances, and Mob Psycho 100 2 will, without breaking a sweat,
secure this year's champion belt in that discipline.
How does the series' heart manifest? Naturally, in its most glaring form - in the production values. Since minute one, Mob Psycho 100 was destined to be as visually captivating as it is humanly possible, with its myriad of energetic fights and encounters bursting with brightness and vitality taking up the screen quite often, though never seeming overbearing nor exhausting. For their quality only ranges from phenomenal to jaw-dropping and mind-destroying, not allowing you to be unamused even for a mere second. The art style, whose unique nature and its frequent changes is home to many lively and smile-inducing facial expressions, character designs excellent in their simplicity, smooth visual gags which carry a genuine laugh within, and gorgeous, pastel-like colours. It glues you to your seat the second you lay your eyes on it and never lets you go - it's similar to an unbreakable charm, impossible to resist. The animation plays an indispensable role as well, on account of its immersive fluidity and wacky, yet dynamic movements. It complements what the show looks and how it plays out, and is gorgeous on every front.
Candidly, these are the lion's share of the previous season's success, and the primary factor people had to gush over Mob at least once. Not acknowledging this as free as a bird in the sky style would be an impossible task for any animation enthusiasts and me in particular, for I value creativity and freedom in expression. Despite admiring it deeply, I felt as though there was something missing. It was like a fireplace with fire all hot and sparky, yet unusually insignificant in size and volume. It all changed, however, with the arrival of Mob's long-awaited continuation, fans have been dying to see. This missing ingredient came storming in, providing us with one of the most visually appealing and impressive episodes I've ever had the pleasure of viewing, and, to my surprise, maintaining this immeasurable vim and vigour throughout the show's duration. I'm still uncertain what the element is exactly; maybe it's the anew obtained another heart, perhaps it's the slight change in the plot which, in turn, sparked a few more conflicts; showcases of utterly vibrating animation, or possibly it's the fresh air it brought with its entry. Whatever it might be, it goes without saying that there's a major jump in both the art style and animation's quality. An already breath-taking look escalated to heights it hadn't before conquered and achieved extraordinary victory. It won me over.
We can detect the same kind of flair within the soundtrack. While the predecessor's ending and opening themes were quite pleasing to the ear, they are no match for Season 2's counterparts. MOB CHOIR and sajou no hana outdid themselves with "99.9". Delivered a downright catchy and enthralling song, I couldn't stop listening to whenever I had the chance. I had it playing basically on loop for solid hours both at home and outdoors. It also goes well with the established tone, killing two birds with one stone in a way. The three new endings may not have left a grand impact overall, although they are great additions to the already impressive catalogue containing a horde of otherworldly and bizarre tracks you must nod to like a complete madman.
Even though the preceding mentioned parts are the biggest presence in the room, it isn't the sole one. Mob Psycho isn't a particularly profound tale boasting some thought-provoking concepts, slick connotations and ingenious symbolism. At the core, it's a simplistic story about a middle-schooler trying to suppress his emotions as to keep his firm abilities in check, yet peppered with rather humane themes of self-discovery, continually bettering yourself and striving to be good at more than one domain - looking outside your comfort zone and taking new challenges head-on. I find it quite intriguing how this playful comedy battle shounen-like anime contrived to tackle topics of this calibre with surprising finesse and understanding. It didn't come off as a forced or superficial attempt at attaching more depth for the sole purpose of doing so. Quite the opposite - it was genuine. Such undertones don't appear in the foreground at first though. They were a notable part of the series since the very beginning, but season one never seemed to focus on these more than it was necessary. Albeit, the further we delve into the sequel the more we get to observe them in full rotation.
And it displays that in how the characters' evolve and how much there's to them beyond surface level characteristics. Reigen received a remarkable amount of development and changed his persona in a healthy, non-invasive manner. They humanised him. He went from a con artist, a master of deceiving people with the knowledge he'd acquired over the course of his life as a working adult; with an oddly huge and glowing with compassion heart of gold hidden beneath this facade. To a man, whose entire life was filled with loneliness and lack of the closeness of others. He craved attention and strived for recognition no matter what. He was no longer just a comedic relief character - he began feeling authentic and flesh and blood. He started feeling like a person. Shigeo experienced a similar operation, though incomparable in scope. All of the Mob Psycho's motives centre around his personality, and here we are able to examine how great of an impact they can leave. From a shy, socially awkward oddball with magnificent powers, to one of the most kind, good-willed and understanding characters out there. Kageyama grew as a person through unhinged willingness to improve, changed for better thanks to his tenacity, got new allies and friends alike, and didn't' stop developing himself. It's an enormous switch and that's simply compelling. Everything moves forward, including him.
Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 commenced on refining its appearance, swiftly advanced to the backbone - its quirky duo, and finished on making its mesmeric motives seem more grounded and humane; this series proved it's more than capable of turning over a new leaf and showed us how it became the textbook definition of the word improvement both narrative and audiovisual-wise. Without complications at any point, it matured into a product deserving of genuine support and appreciation. It's nothing short of a delightful and overflowing with vitality treat I, for one, didn't expect to fall in love with, notwithstanding its short length. I hope we will be honoured once more and witness this wholesome dose of whimsical entertainment merged with bizarre relatability one day again.