Mob Psycho 95/100

The following three things almost always make anime suck:

Mob Psycho 100 not only survived these abominations but thrived despite them. Written by the same author as One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 delivers what One Punch Man doesn’t: a story, and a damn good one.

Although the first few episodes are pretty bland, the series soon develops something curiously rare in anime: a huge variety interesting conflicts presented without moralization. For example, the main character doesn’t want to use his superpowers for fear that they might consume him and/or be a crutch he needlessly relies on in everyday life. We’ve seen this before. A lot. But how often is it done without the show bombarding you with its righteousness? How often is it done without the show trying to shove the right vs. wrong debate down your throat? This kid’s philosophy is just some kid’s philosophy, not necessarily the philosophy of the show or its creator. It’s not necessarily right or wrong. It’s just what he came to believe as the sum total of all the circumstances and encounters earlier in his life. You know, good character development.

It’s precisely because the show doesn’t moralize that it’s much more interesting than shows that really want to make you care. I recently watched Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. Towards the end it couldn’t stop moping over its “survival of the fittest” debate. Who cares? Let the viewers make the call—if we feel like it. Otherwise let us watch the zombie apocalypse in peace.

As with many great stories, it’s unpredictable without being random. Randomness blows. I hate that randomness is often passed off as creative, especially in the realm of comedy. The anime faked me out (for the better) several times over. Perhaps that’s the sign of a great show more than anything else.

Final Grade: +++

Best anime of 2016.

I was going to wait until finishing Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu before making that call, but since watching the first three episodes of Rakugo, I’ve watched precisely zero episodes of Rakugo and 30 episodes of Railgun (a good show, but not “anime of the year” material). Also, Rakugo doesn’t seem like it’d hold up without the homoeroticism.

5 Replies to “Mob Psycho 95/100”

  1. This is one of the shows I was talking about when referencing art and didn’t break the show if the story was strong back on your previous Akami ga Kill post. The art apparently is the extent of the mangaka’s ability, but how he writes a story is excellent. To me, One Punch Man and Mob Pyscho have some similar themes, but I’ve only watched One Punch Man, while I both watched and read Mob Psycho 100 a little bit past the point the anime ends, so I’ve experienced how One writes things and makes it resonate within me. I was was pleasantly surprised with the direction of the anime after he finally decides which club to join, and all the ways he’s so strong as a psychic, the hints that there is…something….within him that is a vast well of dark power, and how he struggles to be a better more well rounded human being was a pleasing ride to watch. Seeing how his abilities affect those around him is also an intriguing analysis. Mob Psycho is also strongly supported by the presence of Reigen. That kind of character is a rare treat to behold.
    Showa Rakugo was on my list to watch since a friend talked about how much he enjoyed it. I promptly more or less forgot about it until it suddenly blew up across many of the YouTubers I watch late last year into the beginning of this year, and now I can’t quite seem to get it out of my head. Railgun and Index have been like a good old friend to me: Always great to see them and kinda sad to see them leave, but you know you’ll see them again eventually and you always remember the time you spent with them fondly, mostly glossing over any of the less favorable times. I was actually thinking about Kongou Mitsuko a couple of days ago and how much I liked her character. The ojou facade while actually being a social klutz and really just wanting friendship was super endearing to me. Unfortunately even though she’s drawn to have a body of a 20 something she’s only about 14 or 15 so she is stricken from my “waifu list”. Esdeath sorta fills that niche, so its fine.

    • So you’re saying the artist isn’t a One Hit Wonder?

      One Punch Man (which I like, don’t get me wrong) was a premise in search of a story. Mob Psycho 100 had a story in mind from the start, which is why the storytelling could really show off the author’s talent.

      Sure, Reigen’s a great character, but something about liking characters you’re supposed to like rubs me the wrong way.

      I’m almost done with Railgun. Wasn’t planning to watch Index at first, but after everything that’s gone down, I think Index will pay off.

  2. I still haven’t seen either Rakugo or Mob Psycho. I dropped both after watching the first two episodes. I have to try to watch them again st some point because of all the positive reviews. I didn’t care about the backstory in Rakugo and all the Rakugo scenes made me yawn. I just didn’t find them entertaining. Mob Psycho was just meh.

    My anime of the year was Durarara!! I miss all those characters a lot. If we don’t count sequels then my anime of the year would be Yuri on Ice.

    Never really liked Railgun. I’m one of those who prefer Index. It has better main characters, better side characters and better story. The action scenes kinda suck so they might be better in Railgun. I also think that Touma and Index make better couple than Touma and Misaka. I know that I’m one of the few who thinks that way and I usually really like tsunderes.

    • Mob starts off pretty slow if you’re in it for the action. It can also be pretty slow in other ways because Mob becomes his own person largely through deeds over words and the interesting conflicts that challenge him and his beliefs come in a bit later. I tried to like Durarara, but I think since I went in thinking it would be another Baccano, I was just vastly underwhelmed. I take Railgun and Index as a whole creation for the most part. I like seeing how each part fits in the story line and seeing how each side solves a given problem. It usually ends up with Touma punching who/whatever is in his way regardless of gender or power scale. I considered Index in the league of tsundere as well as Misaka. Maybe I need to re-watch it and reevaluate. I haven’t seen an episode of either series in maybe five or six years.

    • Mob Psycho’s first 2 or 3 episodes didn’t impress me. After that it gets amazing. Perhaps I’m not being fair to Rakugo by putting it on hold after 3 episodes…but life isn’t fair.

      I’m glad the sequel seasons of Durarara were made, but there was too much buildup and not enough payoff.

      Yuri on Ice looked too gay for me, so I watched All Out, which in actuality is probably twice as gay.

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