Mob Psycho 100 – 05

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I know buddy, bad hair days make me cry sometimes too.

Awww, poor Mob. He can’t go a week without getting kidnapped, beaten up, or abducted by a cult. I feel so bad for the poor kid.

Coming into Mob Psycho 100, I expected nothing but animation porn. Admittedly, the show still has a shallow plot, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how it makes up for this by having deep characters. Plotwise, this episode was a contrived fight between Teru and Mob due to a bunch of punks having a petty yet complicated feud. Everything is really just a set-up so we can explore different facets of Mob’s personality each week, which I don’t mind at all. It’s nice that it isn’t all just mindless action sequences – there’s some great characterization going on for Mob (and now for Teru and Ritsu).

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Mob Psycho 100 is a nice contrast to One Punch Man, where Saitama was a very one note character who never really grew in a big way. He was already at his maximum power level and he had no qualms with using his abilities when he could. Everyone in that show was already confident doing their thang. In Mob Psycho 100, we have teenagers who already have enough stress passing history class, let along grappling with how to fit in as an esper. They don’t have that confidence in their powers and what they mean to them just yet. There’s a much bigger personal dilemma here with “I have so much power that if I don’t learn to control it soon, I might actually kill people (which is bad)” than “uggghh, I’m so strong that everything is boriiiingggggg”. Even Ritsu’s false confidence is an interesting take on how one deals with being given a special gift in a world full of judgemental teens.

This is the first time we’ve seen two real psychics (sorry Reigen) together, so it’s the first time Mob can have Real Talk about issues only other people with powers would understand. However, Mob and Teru have opposite approaches to coping with having earth-shattering mind powers. Mob prefers to not abuse his powers. It’s just unfortunate that having that much mental restraint is so taxing that every now and then he lets himself go and the results end up worse than if he’d just used them in the first place.

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We learn that part of his complex is from a childhood memory where he accidentally hurts his brother (and some bullies) using his powers. This isn’t entirely accurate, as Ritsu says he was actually the one with violent psychic powers. Now, it’s hard to tell if that’s true or not, but if it is, it looks like he has even less control over it as Mob does. It seems he can only activate his powers when under duress, so we have some dark foreshadowing of him accidentally unleashing a wicked force later on. The good news is that he doesn’t seem particularly pleased with the idea of causing mass destruction, so he won’t be turning evil just yet. At least, not on purpose.

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It may be interesting to see Ritsu and Mob try to learn to control their powers together. For now, Mob’s in this alone, and he has to find his own way to deal with the cards he’s been dealt. Mob’s current strategy is to hold in his powers, but we see that this doesn’t work. In fact, he’s completely dismayed when he unleashes his powers twice (a ???% explosion and a 100% explosion), in a series of events that destroys the school and then puts it back together again. His fight against Teru makes him realize that no matter how much he lifts weights, he won’t become strong. He’ll never have a talent other than his psychic abilities. He’ll always be a boring kid who will constantly be tempted to use his powers to survive, because he has no other means to succeed in life. It’s a cold, hard reality, but Mob is still trying to resist against this by continuing his friendship with the Body Enhancement Club and limiting his power usage. But just a little, I feel that his confidence in his desired direction of change has wavered. It may be time for him to find a new strategy soon, because this just isn’t working.

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Mob isn’t the only one leaving a little different. Teru also is a changed man, and I’m not talking about his hair. The way Teru deals with having supernatural abilities to use them to the fullest. He cheats at tests, tweaks his shots in soccer, and just basically coasts through life thanks to his gift. It doesn’t take Mob long to realize that Teru is a textbook narcissist – underneath the thin veneer of his false confidence is a frail ego. Like Mob, his one skill is being psychic. Strip that away, and he’s just another nervous teenager trying to fit in. It’s something Teru loathes to admit, and this pushes him into a murderous rage.

They both have some tweaking to do with their morals in order to make it through life (or at least high school). Ideally, Mob shouldn’t restrict his powers so severely, because it just makes him prone to explosive outbursts from the stress of holding it in. Trying to change may sound noble, but not if it’s at the expense of denying a core aspect of your being. Teru seems to understand now that he can’t just godmode through life using his psychic powers, although it will take a while for him to find a source of confidence outside of his powers. Maybe he can rely on his looks once his hair grows back. Then people can like the real Teru.

Oh, and I guess Dimple died too this week. Whatevs.

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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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8 Responses to “Mob Psycho 100 – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    Oh, and I guess Dimple died too this week. Whatevs

    Yeah, the less of the green pet fart the better…

    I like how they’ve set up how different the two power sets, not just in how they’re activated, but the levels. Mob’s, it’s seems, is just beyond the pale in a way that people just cannot deal with in most way; like it’s too much of a challenge to their minds. By contrast, Teru, like you point out, does the easy stuff, or predictable things. Yeah, make a knife float, no big, right? Knock chunks of city into the air and keep them there without so much of a “I did that”?

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, Mob’s powers are a lot harder to comprehend. I don’t think even he knows what he’s doing a lot of the time. It’s more interesting, and it makes me glad he’s the MC instead of Teru.

  2. Hoshi says:

    ~When reading through this part in the manga, I remember I didn’t feel that emotional, but seeing this part animated actually brought me to tears ;; I didn’t realize how dark this part actually was?? And Teru’s animation was so over-the-top it actually was scary to me (probably because his faces reminded me of Beevus and Butthead and that cartoon disturbed me as a kid lol). I guess this is what happens when something I read actually gets a good enough adaption that makes me feel something totally different than from when I was reading the manga.

    Anyway, I love this series precisely because the characters are so great and well-developed over the course of the series. I think it’s also why I love ONE’s stuff so much because everything starts off super simple with simple characters and a gimmick, and it’s like “haha! that’s all there is! he just one punches stuff!” but the more you read, the more you see the complexity. Yet, the complexity isn’t so up-in-your-face with super long, super dense monologues or in twisted storylines; it’s just tid-bits in the dialogue and simple stories…if that makes sense (sorry, I haven’t written reviews in forever so my writing and through process is all jumbled up lol).

    • Overcooled says:

      It was really dark. The choking scene was so intense, especially with the veiny butthead faces going on. That’s pretty great the adaptation is doing so well it’s making you cry when the original didn’t!

      Yeah, it’s nice. The deeper stuff is there if you wanna think about it, but it doesn’t ever become too pretentious. It’s very efficient. And yes, you’re making total sense!

  3. Noc says:

    But Ritsu wasn’t saying he was the one who caused the accident from when they were children – he was saying that the mindless force of destruction that activates when Mob is forcibly rendered unconscious is what caused it. A primal identity so far from anything similar to the brother he knows that Ritsu is convinced it’s something else entirely. Teru seemed to get an inkling of it as well. I’ve seen this confusion cropping up a few places. Can I blame it on Crunchyroll’s weird translation choice in that scene?

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahhhh I see. When he was like “it wasn’t you who caused this…” I just jumped to thinking it was Ritsu. Thanks for clearing that up!

  4. sonicsenryaku says:

    “This isn’t entirely accurate, as Ritsu says he was actually the one with violent psychic powers.”

    If im not mistaken, i think ritsu said that it wasnt mob who hurt him but the bullies. I dont think he mentioned anything about unleashing psychic powers

    • Overcooled says:

      Noc’s comment above cleared it up. Ritsu lied when he said the bullies caused it so that Mob wouldn’t feel as guilty. However, it was Mob’s weird shadowy primal psychic form that did it.

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