Summer 2016 in Review: Mob Psycho 100

Right now, I think I can easily call this another one of my top shows of 2016.  In twelve episodes, this show has almost everything that I look for in a series.  It has emotional impact, great characters, a half way decent plot, it uses the full use of the medium/art form of anime, and it has some killer battles.  Notice how I saved the action scenes for last.  To me, action scenes need characters the watcher/reader cares about to make the fights have more impact.  To get my gushing out of the way, let me tell you why I liked it in even more detail.

The main theme of Mob Psycho 100 is the most interesting aspect to me.  While Mob acts in the way a normal battle series does, like Mob gaining more friends as he moves along or the over the top action scenes, it is so fundamentally different from one on a thematic level.  When I think about a battle shonen protagonist, I always think of characters who are completely separated from the rest of society just because they are different.  In Mob Psycho, psychic powers are considered a completely ordinary thing just like being incredibly good at math or having the ability to play a musical instrument.  Psychic powers should not allow a person to have control over anybody because it’s just some talent that a person has.  It’s a show about societal inclusion not separation.

Mob Psycho has a wide variety of characters that just feel so unique and fleshed out.  Starting with Mob himself.  When you first see him, it’s easy to think of him as just another egg headed Saitama like person who is over powered.   Mob is over powered, but he is a psychically withdrawn person because of his powers.  He is constantly trying to keep his power in check and since his power is heavily connected to his emotions, he doesn’t emote that much.  Reigen is another fascinating character.  Despite being a con artist in a business where he cons Mob to use his powers when he actually needs to exercise spirits, he’s also like a father to Mob.  Infact, Reigen is the entire show of Mob Psycho 100 because it’s his ideals of the world that are thrown around.   So besides these two characters, there is Mob’s brother Ritsu, the body improvement club, Mob’s eventual side kick Dimple, and a lot more.  Each one is at a minimum fleshed out on a level that we understand what motivates them.

Do I even need to talk about the art and animation of Mob Psycho 100?  Really?  There are so many unique uses of a lot of different art styles and art designs that would even put FLCL into shame.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that Mob uses the visual medium completely to its advantage.  From framing Reigen as a detective despite being a con artist, using visuals to show how one character’s older sibling is always driving them from the shadows, and so many water color like scenes.  Combine all this with the stellar fight scenes that can compete with One Punch Man and you have a show that is a feast for the eyes.

If I had any major complaints about Mob Psycho 100, other than it being too short, its the pacing.  It takes a few episodes before this series dips into the real material.  While the comedy and gags of the early episodes are good, I wish the show would get to the meat of what it’s about faster.  Because it didn’t, Mob Psycho felt rushed sometimes.  Also a little more world building would have driven those show over the top on my list.  With those minor flaws, I would highly recommend Mob Psycho 100 to everybody.  It doesn’t have a lot of the trappings of what most see in modern anime, other having characters that are still in high school.  There is just a lot of great things put into a 12 episode package.  Season two when?

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