Fan Letter to Mob and Co.
In how many ways shall I compare Mob Psycho 100 to a masterpiece? This show rightfully deserves the praise and hype that it receives from critics and fans alike. And let me tell you all about it, my friends! First, let’s start off with this pure image:
(Warning: there might be unmarked spoilers ahead but I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible!)
Mob Psycho 100 is an adaptation by Bones Studio by ONE’s webcomic of the same name. It’s about a middle school student named Shigeo Kageyama, otherwise known as “Mob”. He is a powerful psychic whose powers are based in his emotions–in fear of losing control over his powers and accidentally injuring someone (or worse), Mob keeps his emotions muffled. The intensity of Mob’s emotions are symbolized in percentages throughout the show–and, well. Bad things happen when Mob hits 100%.
His master, Reigen Arataka, is a conman who calls himself the “Greatest Psychic of the 21st Century”. When all of his tools (persuasion, perception, and other tactics) fail, he calls in Mob to finish the job (which usually involves exorcising spirits). Despite his occupation, Reigen takes Mob’s struggles to heart and gives him good advice and looks out for his young protégé whenever he can.
In opposition of its aggressive and crude older brother, One Punch Man1, Mob Psycho 100 explores themes of pacifism. Where One Punch Man was shallow, Mob Psycho 100 unexpectedly delves deep into questions about responsibility, power, and violence. Mob’s pacifistic ideals are constantly challenged by other psychics in the show and there are times when he is forced to choose between his ideals and protecting his family, friends, and himself.
In spite of its intensity, Mob Psycho 100 showcases its wacky yet beautiful world with deadpan humor and a particular fondness through its equally colorful characters. All of the characters quickly become endearing through their distinctive personalities–Mob is shy, forgiving, and kind; Reigen is responsible, cunning, and (kinda-sometimes-always) cowardly; Dimple (a ghost that haunts Mob) is ambitious, devious, and evil. The characters are well-rounded and more complex than their first impressions. Which is part of the reason why the show is so loved–another reason is its amazing animation.
Bones Studio is a well-known Japanese anime company for their stellar work in various anime shows. They’ve worked on hit titles like Ouran High School Host Club (a series near and dear to my heart), Soul Eater, Noragami, My Hero Academia, and, of course, Mob Psycho 100. I mention them specifically for this review because they employed all sorts of animation techniques and even worked with Miyo Sato, a Tokyo University of Arts graduate student renown for her paint-on-glass animations, for Mob Psycho 1002. Her oil painting works can be seen throughout the show in haunting spiritual encounters and emotionally intense moments She also did the animation for Mob Psycho 100’s ending song3.
There’s a very distinct energy to the animation of Mob Psycho 100 that’s especially shown in the small details of the characters’ tics–Reigen’s extreme gesticulating, Mob’s timid fidgeting, and so on and so forth. I’d even say that it’s a visual feast for the eyes! Unlike other anime shows, Mob Psycho 100’s animation quality remains staunchly consistent throughout the show and even keeps up with the story’s breakneck pace. I think part of that consistency is thanks to the show’s short running time (there’s only thirteen episodes).
And, honest to god, I cannot leave out the voice acting because the voice actors have done an incredible job of portraying the characters’ personalities and speech patterns very well. Itou Setsuo did an absolutely fantastic job of voicing Mob in all of his awkward teenage glory!
I’ve already written quite a bit about the show, so I’d like to end this review with a very favorable rating of ten stars out of five.
You can watch this show for free at Crunchyroll!