Mob Psycho 100 – 10

Nope, there’s no way I’m going to list all those characters – you’ll just have to look ’em up.

mob-psycho-100-10-1There’s a kind of “blah blah blah” quality to talking about Mob Psycho 100 at this point, because it’s been pretty much great every week for so long.  Do I really need to call attention to how superb the animation and art was again this week, or single out the Kawai Kenji soundtrack or how Tachikawa-sensei is using it?  No, I don’t think so – you have eyes and ears, and if you’re anime fans you’re already most likely sold on what a stellar effort this series is (and hoping like crazy for a second season).  It makes my job easier and harder at the same time.

mob-psycho-100-10-2Mob Psycho is quite a different series than One Punch Man, but a very obvious similarity (in addition to the God-tier animation) is that one very much gets the sense in watching the first season wind down that it’s only the merest tip of the iceberg.  A second is a foregone conclusion with OPM (it sold extremely well for a shounen), and while MP100 won’t sell as many discs, it does seem a better than even chance we’ll get a sequel (or that this was a split-cour all along, as rumored).  Bones is certainly acting like it, throwing a dizzying array of new characters at us and making it inescapably clear than the Claw situation is going to be nowhere close to being resolved when the season ends.

mob-psycho-100-10-3Essentially, I see this rather epic episode as a wold-building exercise.  We’re getting a clearer picture about many things, starting with Claw.  These guys are seriously evil – that they plan to take over the world is an obvious starter, but they also kidnap children and torture them in futuristic iron maidens in order to try and spark an “awakening” through intense pain.  It seems the lackey class at Claw is well aware that aspiration is their worst enemy – there’s no bridging the gap between powerful and powerless.  The best strategy is to lay as low as possible, try to evade notice and hope to feast on the table scraps once the world is conquered.

mob-psycho-100-10-4If there’s one impression I’m left with that’s stronger than any other, though, it’s that there’s a very stark and distinct hierarchy among espers.  That, and that Mob sits at (or very near) the top of it.  Claw is built around this hierarchy – the peon lackeys with no powers at all, the zaku foot soldiers with spoonbender trifles (which are still enough to give them an insurmountable advantage over muggles), the scars – the elites of the branches, effectively the upper management.  And then the division leader her(?)self, and finally the boss altogether, who may be the only esper out there strong enough to have a chance against Mob.

mob-psycho-100-10-5I don’t know exactly where every named character we met this week stacks up, but it seems pretty clear that the stronger esper pretty much always beats the weaker – so one approach is to look at who’s left standing at the end.  Ritsu is on a certain level – he can plow through the zaku no problem, but his race is run when he butts up against a scar.  Dimple is on about the same level in his current state (he does have a rather entertaining duel with a “Pokemaster” style scar), Hanazawa probably a couple of steps above that.

mob-psycho-100-10-6As for Mob, he’s clearly a world above any scar we’ve seen (“I know you were about to do something” he tells a scar he’s just flattened, “but I’m in a hurry.”) – his darkest moment comes when he breaks down in tears at the notion that he must beat up a woman (the scar Tsuchiya) because Reigen has told him boys who hit girls are the lowest of the low.  It’s a classic Mob moment – his innate decency and pacifist spirit shining through even as he’s being forced to become a beast.  It’s the illusionist Mutou who finally pushes Mob to 100 by showing him an illusion of a badly wounded Ritsu – biting off way more than he can chew in doing so.  We see something new from Mob here – a “rejection” once he goes on the boil (taking Mutou out in the process), followed by fainting on the spot.

mob-psycho-100-10-7What we’re left to ponder, of course, is that epilogue.  What do we make of the seeming arrival of the boss of Claw – an aura strong enough to make the lackeys and the escaping Discovery kids quiver in terror – only to see the face of Reigen?  Well, I suppose it’s possible Reigen is both the world’s best actor and actually the head of Claw – but I’m not betting on that.  Occam’s Razor suggests this is a gambit, a ballsy ploy to impersonate the boss in order to rescue Mob (which would in itself be quite a level-up for Reigen).  I mean, we know he can bullshit with the best of them, that’s a given.  One thing’s for sure – I took a while to warm to Reigen, but now that he’s been missing for a couple of eps I’ve really missed him and I’m glad to see him back.  Not only is he a great character, but he’s the one guy who’s always on Mob’s side, and Mob needs all the help he can get.

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24 comments

  1. s

    Hahaha at this point i can almost feel your “positive frustration” whenever you come into a MP 100 post. You’re probably staring at your keyboard like “dammit, they already know what im gonna say so why bother. I might as well just write ‘MP ep so-so and so’……you know it was damn good, why are you waiting for my post…GET OUTTA HERE YOU LITTLE RASCALS AND TWEET ME WHEN THAT SECOND COUR GETS CONFIRMED DAMMIT”

  2. s

    oh and can i add how wonderfully paced this ep was from beginning to end? It had time to focus on dialogue (highlighting some of ONE’S social commentary on societal hierarchy and perceptions of worth when considering the status quo) and keep the action and adrenaline pumping at entertainingly satisfying clip at the same damn time. For some reason i had this fear that things would get drawn out but tachikawa pretty much slapped me in the face and said “hey…i know how to pace an episode fool”

  3. e

    – Hyped for the Coming of Reigen our conlord and saviour. 99,9% huzzah! 0,1% worry at his actual Claw leadership.
    – Bomber jacket kid is giving me faint sort of Killua-ish vibes. Please become an ally please become an ally…
    – Ms Lady Fighter looked genuinely touched by Mob for a second btw. Is there potential there too? She could even drag the puppeteer doll master kid to the other side in case I think.

  4. K

    Yeah….i was thinking the same really….in that they look characters that might turn sides based on how they react to Mob. Its like the Arslan-effect….haha….Loving this show….I know all good things much come to an end but make it end like in 5 years…haha…

  5. I want the Lady Fighter to do the heel-face turn too. She looks pretty decent. Who knows how she ended up with that bad crowd, maybe just craving a good fight? She seems quite the honourable type. And her combat style is absolutely awesome.

  6. This whole sequence has an incredibly H x H-like feel to it to me.

  7. It really reminded me of the Enies Lobby sequence in One Piece, pretty fun stuff.

  8. I’m worried for Dimple, he might actually die this time…

  9. Nah, my bet is he manages to eat all those ghosts and emerges back at full power.

  10. O

    There is a great omake chapter about the pokemon master scar member hanging out with his spirit pals.

  11. r

    I was a bit startled Mob didn’t seek Reigen’s help for the rescue operation, and here we got the answer to the question why… I haven’t read the manga so can’t wait to see what Reigen’s role is in all this, it’d be wonderful if it were just an act as you say, but I have my doubts…

  12. Short answer: I don’t buy it. If that person is really Claw’s leader, then he isn’t Renge.

    Why? Well, we got “confirmation” that he was Claw’s leader on the “next episode preview” that’s a red flag on my book. But, more importantly, we have seen moments in the anime of Renge being… well, Renge. There was no reason for Claw’s boss to look like a cheap snake’s oil salesman when he’s alone, and I don’t believe even for a minute that ONE (or the anime staff) is a writer so bad to create those scenes for the sake of a cheap twist.

    What I believe? This is Renge bullshiting his way to Claw HQ or, if that person is really Claw’s leader, someone who is closely related to him. Family, after all, is a core theme this for this series too.

  13. Reigen*

    Holly shit, I messed up every single time I used the name. Shame on me.

  14. s

    all i can say is i cant wait for the finale of this first cour. There are some parallel’s to the movie “fight club” with the way some things play out and im curious to see the animation talent that will be on display to illustrate all the chaos that will go down

  15. > There are some parallel’s to the movie “fight club”

    Inb4 Reigen is only a figment of Mob’s imagination he materialised with his godlike ESP powers.

  16. F

    Hahaha, so many typos for Reigen’s name, it must be the unconscious influence of Ren-chon from Non Non Biyori.

  17. More like Renge from Kyoukai no Rinne. I haven’t watched (nor I have plans for) Non Non Biyori.

  18. F

    Well, I’ve watched only the first episode of Non Non Biyori and it was more than enough for me so I’ve just assumed the most likely character named Renge based on popularity.

  19. F

    I don’t see how it could be the Reigen we all know trying to con his way into CLAW; if his aura is as freaky as everyone perceives – I just don’t see how that could be faked. I agree with Kamui in that I think it is someone related to him. I like that idea because, up until recently, it would be similar to what is taking place in Mob’s family: one powerful older brother and a younger brother wishing he could be like him.

  20. Y

    Just to be clear, the wounded Ritsu in the hallway was real. He lost to the red-haired kid, who then left him there as bait for Mob, which worked. That’s when Mutou came and showed Mob an illusion of Ritsu bleeding on the ground when they were kids and that’s when Mob started to go crazy and ultimately passed out.

  21. F

    It was a pretty straightforward episode, nonetheless with some stellar moments like Mob’s crying face which just expressed so much honesty and wretchedness that I was so glad to see that it managed to reach even Tsuchiya (The Lady Fighter as the other commenters refer to her here ) and gave her a pause. And of course one of the crowning moments was Shou (the bomber jacket guy) casually waving his hand and telling “Bibinna, bibinna” [Don’t be afraid] with a jovial smile to the totally distressed Hanazawa-kun. Speaking of Shou, and knowing about Mob’s great skills as a hairdresser, the only thing which the show lacks now to make the joke is a character named Bob. (Anyone who gets the reference gets a virtual cooke from me 🙂 )

  22. Are U watching Kono Bijutsubu by any chance? 😉

  23. M

    Well, there is one “person” we have seen that gives out that kind of aura before and Mob has just passed out. So we may be seeing a fake out.

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