「モブと霊幻~巨大ツチノコ現るの巻~」 ()
“Mob and Reigen: A Giant Tsuchinoko Appears”

I can sum this one up in three words: it was great.

It’s been a very interesting season, with a basket of really strong shows at the top that span a fairly huge range of styles and genres. From the lovably cheeky romcom of Konobi to the abject emotionalism of Orange to the peerless and almost regal Hollywood storytelling of 91 Days, there’s been something here to suit a sizable array of tastes. But in Mob Psycho 100 I think we have the most quintessentially “anime” of all the top series – a series that’s both reminiscent of the medium ten or twenty years ago and quite timeless. No matter how retro it is I don’t think a show like this could ever feel dated, because it’s simply too alive and inspired.

In truth, I don’t think Mob Psycho 100 has really out a foot wrong over the course of its entire run. And funnily enough I’d include the first episode in that even though it was the weakest of the series. The reason is that I think it was the weakest quite on purpose – it was an insidiously clever tweaking of the manga by director Tachikawa Yuzuru to both send us down the garden path when it came to what kind of character Reigen was, and to throw off our expectations of what kind of series Mob Psycho was. I was lucky enough to see the first two eps in one sitting but most weren’t, so there’s no question this would represent a lot of faith in his audience on Tachikawa’s part. But based on the evidence, I think it’s going to be justified.

I think the signs that there was something kind of deep and touching about Mob and Reigen’s relationship started to creep in pretty early (I believe I noted it around Episode 3) and this season finale was the natural culmination of that turn of events. If we look at Mob’s powers as an extension of who he is, it’s only natural that after Reigen saved him (and I mean in the existential sense) Mob would extend those powers to Reigen. For me, what it really comes down to is this – Reigen is the only one who tells Mob that wants to believe in his heart is true. That he’s a good person, that his powers don’t make him special, that he not only doesn’t have to hurt anyone, but that he absolutely has a duty not to. Time after time when Mob is in darkness, Reigen pulls him back. And what nobler purpose could there be for Mob’s powers than to protect someone he loves without hurting anyone else?

That’s what it means for Reigen to be Mob’s “bridge” – a very elegant way to put it (I assume coined by ONE). And let’s face is, Reigen is a pretty badass guy. Mob’s powers may be propping him up but damn, this dude walks the walk. He indeed has powers of his own – he’s such a good bullshit artist himself that he has an infallible eye for BS in everyone else. He bats away Ishiguro’s gravity balls like soap bubbles and snaps Sakurai’s sword (that’s sort of ironic when you think about it) like the plastic toy it once was. But much more than that, be punctures the bubble of pomposity and false superiority these overgrown schoolyard bullies have built around themselves. The emperor has no clothes – not when Reigen strips him naked. By the time he’s done shattering their illusions about themselves the lot of them have been left broken, defeated husks. Mob’s powers and Reigen’s chutzpah – an unbeatable combo.

The carnage includes Ishiguro, whose mask Reigen literally and figuratively rips off (after scolding him for not removing it when talking to people), revealing a wretched, spotty old geezer who’s the most pathetically insecure of the bunch. Even after it’s clear the battle has been lost Ishiguro decides on a scorched earth strategy, and with even Mob’s power starting to tire things look dicey for a moment. But then Shou steps in, and reveals why he’s unscarred – he’s clearly a step up in power from the rest of the Seventh Division elites. He puts down Ishiguro once and for all, declares that the Seventh Division is to be shuttered, and calls Mob a coward before disappearing into thin air.

I realize that we’ve yet to see Claw’s true fangs (or whatever), and that when we do, that’s likely to be a major part of seasons to come. But what happened here seemed quite predictable in a way, because as far as the Seventh Division goes at least, Claw has always struck me as a paper tiger. The reason Reigen’s verbal assault was so effective was because it was so on-point – these really are a bunch of school bullies, and once you take away their implicit advantage in brute force they have nothing. Even Onigawara found this out, though he more or less reached the conclusion on his own after Ritsu and Kamuro’s treachery drove him to rock bottom. I don’t know what the future holds for the ravaged remains of the Scars, but it’s hard to imagine that they can be reformed as a meaningful weapon for Claw.

The postscript of the episode is conspicuously open-ended, given that this was in theory the final episode. Ekubo has eaten his way through Matsuo’s remaining spirits (that belch!) and emerged rejuvenated. Hanazawa has decided to team up with Awakening Lab to try and act as a mentor to the esper’s eggs, helping them prepare for the next time Claw comes for them. Reigen and Mob return to their usual life as itinerant spook hunters – though it might be argued that the truth of Reigen’s lack of ability is now no longer a secret to Mob. Most interestingly, it’s revealed that Shou is the son of the man we can safely assume is the leader of Claw – and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind to him, either. The Scars may be finished, but we’ve surely not seen Claw’s big guns brought to bear yet.

So what’s next? Well, as usually happens, we’re left to ponder and wait. I was hoping for a S2 announcement at the close of this episode, but not really expecting one. And frankly, I’ll be very surprised if we don’t get a second season, and fairly soon, too. There’s plenty of manga for it, and there have been rumors (including of a supposed hidden cache of episode-chapter correspondence on the official website) since the series began that Mob Psycho 100 was a split-cour. If all that weren’t enough, the series looks to be on track to sell quite well on disc – wedged between Boku no Hero Academia (which is a far bigger seller in manga form) and One Punch Man, if Stalker is to be believed. Bones is sure acting like this series is going to continue in anime form, and it’ll be a far bigger surprise if it doesn’t than if it does.

That I sure hope so is so obvious that it hardly bears repeating. The equation here is simple – if you take really smart and well-written source material, pair it with arguably the best studio in anime and probably the most exciting young director in the business, you get Mob Psycho 100 – a powerhouse of an anime that exemplifies the best that the medium can be. Tachikawa is the goods – a stunning talent, equally adept at storytelling and storyboarding. His visual interpretation of ONE’s idiosyncratic (to use a charitable term) art style is nothing short of genius, and Mob Psycho 100 doesn’t have a manga adaptation by a heavy hitter like Murata Yusuke to act as a template and buffer. Bones has pulled out all the stops here – Kawai Kenji’s music and a murderer’s row of legendary animators – and the results are nothing short of staggering. Bring on Season 2 – and the sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned.



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  1. Season 2 inc, no reason to show the dad if it’s not happening.

    The only quarrel I had with Mob Psycho was they used the meeting flashback in Ep 11 when it really should’ve been saved for it’s real placement in the future arc.

    Kurisu Vi Britannia
    1. Wasn’t because he fight claws head on?
      He mentioned that mob was a coward but then said that Ritsu is interesting. IMO That’s because Mob was running away by giving his power (temporary tho-) to Reigen. Ritsu didn’t “run away” like Mob did.

  2. I have to say, this episode felt very satisfying. Every bad guy had a change of heart (and not a single one of them felt forced), every good guy got a happy ending. Basically, everyone learned something from what they had done, I’m so happy that even Kamuro snapped out of his “evil” ways. And Onigawara looking at what happened to him as something positive rather than be upset about it? Seriously, this finale was just so so so satisfying.

    I didn’t really feel bad about Ishiguro (he and Matsuo were the only one that didn’t get a positive resolution), but he was just completely psychotic with his “I’m special, everyone else is shit” attitude so I wasn’t that upset when he was offed. I wish Matsuo had gotten some form of conclusion though, he simply got knocked out and that was it.

    This episode just made me feel so satisfied. Definitely one of the best finales to a season or show I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. I can’t wait until next season!

    1. I felt bad for him. It is seriously sad to see a person so close to the end of his life so mad, childish, scarred (the most of them) and miserable.

      The fact that it was by his own decisions makes it even sadder and in the end there was no choice but to put him down.

  3. I thought Reigen being missing a few episodes was sad, but I never expected him to show up with a storm xD dam you a££, to be honest I thought he had a special power too but was hiding it very well xD but now I realize he never did and dam.. I love it!!

    Hands down, Reigen is one of my favorite anime charecters! Thank you for your review Enzo!!

  4. That line about Ishiguro about “I thought he might be a girl” was hilarious, because it was totally something I assumed given the height and the voice and, well, if a middle school girl got scarred up wouldn’t it be kind of middle school logic to cover up entirely?

  5. Guardian Enzo,

    What did you mean when you wrote, “…snaps Sakurai’s sword (that’s sort of ironic when you think about it) like the plastic toy it once was” ? In what way was it sort of ironic?

  6. Reigen is totally one of the best anime characters i have seen in a very long time, he is surely flawed and has his share of lies and hypocrisy but at his core he is are really good person with truck loads of charisma and a very interesting world view, his relation with Mob exemplifies that in spades, the positive influence he had on Mob’s life is just ridiculous, and what’s a better way to show that than what they did here in this epic final fight.

    Mob trusts Reigen so much and believes in him that he unconsciously handed him the reins of his psychic powers for a short time, which is great because Mob loses control of himself when he let’s his power loose and puts everyone around him in danger, but Reigen wouldn’t because of how much self-confidence and charisma he has (sadly unlike Mob who despite Reigen’s help is still struggling with a lot of self-doubt and confusion).


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