When the Mob Psycho 100 anime was first unveiled, I gravitated to the idea that it had to be just as good as it’s predecessor, One Punch Man, who were both created by the famous online manga artist, ONE.
I endured the wait and dealt with the relentless advertisements, both online and in theaters. At this point I thought that Crunchyroll was trying way too hard to get people to watch this show. Eventually I decided to give the show a watch. What did I think? Well unless you’re a mind reader, you’ll just have to read and find out.
Mob Psycho 100 follows the story of Kageyama Shigeo, or as he is commonly known as, Mob. He is known as a ESPer, a person gifted with psychic abilities such as telepathy and exorcism.
Mob is a naïve middle school student that works a part time job as the student/assistant of Reigen Arataka, a con-artist/fake psychic that uses Mob to help him when he actually gets into trouble with spirits. The show revolves around Mob trying to live a normal, happy life while keeping his emotions and powers under control. A task that is easier said than done given the fact that he faces various thugs, spirits, and opposing ESPers who aggravate him and push him to lose control of his god-like powers.
From the first episode I had my doubts about the show. The character designs of a majority of the characters looked unappealing and bland, forcing the viewer to adapt to the art style. Although, I will admit that the oil paint effect used on some spirits and the outro look pretty amazing, plus the animation does stand out among other anime, even though it’s not my favorite.
While watching I couldn’t help but feel the many similarities this show has when compared to One Punch Man. Both feature deadpan, simple-minded, overpowered protagonists in a world with other overpowered people.
However, the humor is not as wacky and silly as it is with One Punch Man. It does have some hilarious moments later on but not as many noteworthy or memorable ones as those with Saitama.
In regards Mob, he’s actually a pretty decent protagonist. While not perfect, he is relatable in that he is unsure of what he wants to do in life other than wanting to feel normal and accepted.
After a few episodes you do feel sorry for Mob since he chooses not to stand up for himself and use his powers because he doesn’t want to lose control or harm anyone. Plus, the dilemma he faces over whether he should use his powers to help others and risk losing control is pretty compelling since it’s not easy to answer. Aratake and Mob’s brother Ritsu stand as interesting characters as well, with Aratake being a conniving con-man that tends to use his ability to manipulate others for his own benefit but also help protect Mob and teach him that it is alright to not be normal. He also has some of the funniest scenes. Ritsu is a supportive yet envious brother of Mob that takes some time to develop but turns out to be a good addition to the show. The rest of the cast has potential but I feel like they aren’t given enough time to develop because Mob spends more time interacting with characters like Aratake, Ritsu, Dimple, or Teru. The rest come off as forgettable, especially the members of the villainous organization CLAW. They’re a lot like the side villains in One Piece: they have an interesting gimmick but not enough time to flesh out their character.
What stood out to me is how they manage to subvert certain anime tropes throughout the series. For example, a few episodes in Mob joins a Body Improvement Club to become stronger and works out with guys that are incredibly muscular. Instead of being cliché bullies that pick on him, they actually treat him like an equal, encourage him to keep trying, and rescue him when he gets captured by a rival school. It doesn’t happen a lot but it’s a nice detail.
If you’re watching this series expecting it to be as wacky and funny as One Punch Man, don’t get your hopes up. It has funny moments but not until the second half of the show and even then it has a more serious tone to the story. While the show may not have a memorable cast as One Punch Man, the characters we do get exposed to are actually pretty good. This show may not be for everyone but it is at least worth checking out. Overall, I think that Mob Psycho 100 is a good show and worth checking out the first three or four episodes.