Mob Psycho 100 – 11

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 School is just getting started, but a lot of anime are ending now. That’s…all I have time to say here really since school is REALLY GETTING STARTED NOW AHHH ASSIGNMENTS

Leave it to a con artist to sneakily steal my heart. What a thief! Reigen may be a bit of a weasel, regularly duping people for whatever money he can get his paws on, but he’s not unscrupulous. There’s a mature wisdom about him, underneath the sly exterior. I love all the pep talks he gives to Mob (and even the Claw grunts) because they end up being these surprisingly deep life lessons. Saying that being psychic is “just another trait you gotta live with so whatevs” was a nice way to normalize what Mob saw as a stigma. It also feels like any of us could apply it to whatever we feel insecure about, so whenever Reigen encourages Mob, I end up feeling happier as well.

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“I used to be like you as a kid.” “REALLY?” “haha no way you loser”

I thought it was sweet that Reigen sat down and gave Mob that talk considering that at that point, he hadn’t figured out what a potential gold mine Mob would be. That was a purely charitable conversation where Reigen thought he was just quelling the worries of an overly-imaginative child who was babbling nonsense. There was no ulterior motive to that. It’s only after he realized Mob was serious about his abilities that his exploitative side came into play. Reigen always seems to follow-up any endearing moment with one where he’s selfish, which should technically ruin how I see that flash of kindness. In the end, I feel like that hypocrisy is just part of his charm.

Reigen is full of these interesting dualities where he says one thing and does another. Going back to the flashback where Mob first meets Reigen, he helps Mob at that moment, but then tries to shoo him away when he thinks Mob is a waste of time. He’s also brave enough to straight-up punch a psychic in the face, and yet he still preaches pacifism to Mob.

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I think part of why Reigen seems to show two faces is because he divides the world between children and adults. For him, an adult, it’s alright to be violent sometimes because he already has a firm view of who he is as a person. He won’t lose himself to that anger and become a different person because of it. Mob is still very much a wavering, lost teenager working out who he is and what he wants in life. Just look at Ritsu – give him a taste of power and he becomes a radically different person (and he regrets it immensely now). Reigen doesn’t want that to happen to Mob, so he tries to make sure Mob can grow up and become a proper adult instead of a child holding onto petty rage. Saying that these Claw psychics are children who never grew up really cements how stunted your growth can become when you experience hardships from being just the slightest bit different from your peers. Not that we know their backstories yet, but it’s probably not a far stretch to say their powers and what they experienced in life because of them contributed to them being so darn messed up. They didn’t have a Reigen in their life to set them straight.

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At least some of the psychics can be reasoned with

The problem is that this fatherly aid is not practical advice in every situation…especially this one. Yes, ideally Mob shouldn’t let his devastating powers be unleashed on other humans and it would be great if they could just run away and call it a day. However, it’s clear that there’s just no opening to run away. Teru doesn’t have to scream it for it to be obvious. Everyone is sitting on the verge of death as Reigen tells Mob not to use his powers.

Mob almost succeeds in holding back, until one stray blow incapacitates Reigen. I hesitate to say “kill” because this is anime, and not a particularly serious one at that. However, I can at least say Reigen is in serious danger. This ends up being worse than Mob just using his powers to protect everyone in the first place, as now he’s drawing power from some unfathomable, almost Lovecraftian force. As much as that’s fun for me, the viewer, to watch, I doubt it’s quite as enjoyable for Teru and Ritsu to deal with. There will be suffering! If he goes berserk, he could easily end up hurting them in the process, and that will reopen some tender scars for him when he regains his clarity.

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The finale should be a really interesting one. Mob’s been wrestling with whether or not to use his powers in certain situations the entire series. But now his mentor is dead(?)…because he didn’t use his powers to protect him. I can’t imagine what complicated feelings are swirling around inside Mob. What would have been the right thing to do? Disobey Reigen and save him or obey him and let him get flayed open?

As another side note, Reigen had some great non-serious moments as well. I particularly liked his dropkick and hypnosis punch, which for some reason I didn’t see coming because I’m super gullible.  It’s been a while since Mob Psycho 100 hashed out some comedy, and I appreciate the mood-lightening effect right before shit got real. Good job Reigen. I really, really, really hope you pull a Dimple and come back to life somehow.

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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5 Responses to “Mob Psycho 100 – 11”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    I think that was a really intelligible point you brought up about reigen’s adulthood acclimating him to being more in control of his emotions and knowing when and when not to resort to violence . As an adult, he has enough experience to understand how far he can take a situation and when to bail when a situation has gone to far. This is one of the reason’s why i disagree with some of the opinions floating around that ritsu’s descent into the dark side of the force was haphazardly executed (aka it came out of nowhere). ONE is clearly making a statement about adolescents and how their insecurities can lead them to dark territory once they obtain a position of power. If you want proof of this being ONE’s intent, look no further than teruki (who illustrates this recurring theme in ep 5), who with his power (well technically he tried to do it barehanded, exemplifying his madness even more), was willing to go as far as killing mob when mob exposed him for who he really was. Dont fall prey to your insecurities and if you are good at something, dont let that one thing define you. You should always seek to improve yourself (the body improvement club is the semi-subtle representation of ONE’s message)

    • Overcooled says:

      Ah, I can see why some might say Ritsu’s sudden violent streak was random…probably because it was resolved so quickly and Mob just forgave him. But I feel like that’s just how life is as a kid. Sometimes you just snap from things building up and it doesn’t take much to realize you were being shitty because you didn’t want to actually become that kind of person…you just felt cornered. I like how all the psychics are learning how to properly use their powers throughout the course of the series because it makes for a really cool coming of age story…but with telekinetic powers involved (which is even cooler).

      ONE seems like a really neat guy.

  2. sonicsenryaku says:

    I guess my initial comment got blown into the spam stratosphere

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