Mob Psycho100 is a summer 2016 twelve episode series, from the same creator as one of the most popular anime this decade: One Punch Man. The two series have a ton of similarities from the over powered main characters that feel near invincible, to the funny banter between the main character and their partners. But the series does enough different for them to be considered two separate entries, most fans upon watching Mob Psycho might not even know that it and OPM share the same mangaka.
Mob Psycho100 follows main character and incredible psychic: Kageyama Shigeo also know as Mob. Mob is a shy middle school student that battles with anxiety issues despite being superior to everyone around him. We follows his everyday escapades throughout his school life and his work as a psychic under his mentor Reigen.
The story of Mob is simply enough for anyone to get into and captivating enough to get people to watch the whole way through. The story is rather endearing as well, as it follows Mob trying to get his confidence up and talk to his crush, as well as managing how others see his powers and how he chooses to use them. The best thing about the story is that it explores so much in such a small amount of time; from aspects of school life like the Body Improvement Club, the school council power grab to relationship issues such as Mob’s feelings on his family and his mentor. This focus on more slice-of-life elements somehow does not deterrent from the overall story as the story manages to pace itself really well by balancing the action with the story.
One of the aspects I prefer the most about Mob Psycho is that it isn’t completely episodic, the story focuses on mini-arc’s that span 2-3 episodes. This helps the story’s themes feel explored and developed than in episodic series, and helps the pacing of the series as well. The series doesn’t finish completely as the manga is still ongoing, it leaves enough room for a sequel to improve on whilst not feeling as if the season ended on a cliff-hanger. I do think the story could have had some better writing, as some plot points felt dragged out to far or some elements that I really enjoyed didn’t feel quite as explored as they should have been.
Mob Psycho features a great cast of characters, the heart and soul of the series comes from the cast of characters themselves. From Reigen’s helping Mob develop the most throughout the series without him even meaning to, to The Body Improvement Club being so caring over Mob despite him weighing the club down and everyone in between. The colourful cast of characters is where the series shines the most, the characters aren’t anything too deep but they don’t need to be. The cast not only fulfill their roles but surprisingly do more than what most were expecting from them.
The main set of characters go through a lot of character development, from Mob to his younger brother and even in small ounces Reigan. I am somewhat disappointed by the villains in the series, the first antagonist around episode 4 was great, but after that they went downhill. The antagonists seemed more of tools to exhibit Mob’s might rather than genuine characters, it seemed not enough thought was put into them as much as the rest of the cast.
The art style here is one of my favourite from recent anime. Studio Bones returned back to old form with this entry, as the art style seemed expressive and fresh. The anime felt like it was conceived by a crop of new animators as some of the techniques that were used and animation choices that were made were new to me. The animation quality still felt consistent throughout the 12 episode run, and the expressive art style didn’t suffer because of it.
The sakuga used here was in my opinion even more impressive than in One Punch Man, since it felt more thought out rather than a studio wanting to show off how much money they have. Since the sakuga was used in the right scenes as during the best moments it maximized it’s effects. I don’t consider myself an expert of sakuga, but Mob really knocked it out of the part for me.
Studio Bones have brought on the most creative individuals in anime to create this series. From employing Miyo Sato to handle the spirits using what I find to be 1 of the most difficult animation techniques I’ve seen: Paint on Glass; to Yoshimichi Kameda the key animator behind Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood to handle the key animation here. This is one of the most creative series I’ve seen to date, that has employed so many different and unique animation techniques in 1 series. These diverse styles somehow combined and mixed well with each other, which resulted in a amazing showcase of animation talent.
Amazing OST; the soundtrack was a great addition in every scene it was in without overpowering the scene. The music melded with the scene and fit most of the scenes like a glove. The OP especially was fantastic as is one of my favourite openings in anime, as the combination of the music with the visuals created an exceptional end product.
To wrap things up, Mob Psycho is a brilliant anime and a did not fail to disappoint considering it coming off the back of a massive anime like One Punch Man. The art and animation are amazing especially how new and refreshing the art felt to me, the soundtrack was well done with the highlight being the OP but at some points I expected it to do more for me. The soundtrack did a lot of things well, but it did not blow me away like how I would expect a Yoko Kanno or Yuki Kajiura soundtrack to sound like. The story was great as well as the mini-arc based set up let it fully explore its themes without them feeling rushed by the amount of time available to them. And finally the characters were the stand-out of the series, as the not only felt genuine but added a lot of soul to the series.
For another anime to check out that I’ve already mentioned multiple times throughout this review would be One Punch Man. Since it share the same mangaka, it contains a lot of similarities. One Punch Man focuses a lot of action and comedy as it is a satirical look at most shōnen anime, whilst Mob also incorporates slice-of-life and school life elements.
Another shōnen series done by the same studio that has some similarities in tone and narrative as Mob Psycho would be Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. This also shares some production staff members as Mob, for example the aforementioned Yoshimichi Kameda. This was done during studio Bones’ prime as is claimed by most as the best anime ever.
[story+characters+animation+sound] + [enjoyment]