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Mob Psycho 100 II – 05 »« Mob Psycho 100 II – 03

Mob Psycho 100 II – 04

「中身 ~悪霊~」 (Nakami ~ Akuryou ~)
“Inside ~Evil Spirit~”

Wowzers, there was sure a lot to unpack in that one. It goes without saying that Mob Psycho 100 is a series with tremendous tonal versatility, and we’ve seen a good chunk of that range in the first four eps of this season. As with so many great series in this oeuvre, like Hunter X Hunter for example, each facet of the jewel is critical for making it a priceless gem. But there is a certain endorphin rush that happens with the shit really hits the fan and the limiters come off, and this episode was the first time this season we’ve seen that for an entire episode.

With Mob Psycho, part of the rush comes in knowing that Tachikawa Yuzuru and the team Bones has assembled are going to be unleashed. And it’s truly one of the most exceptional staffs in TV anime history, animators and artists and designers who clearly love this series and want it to be the centerpiece of their artistic C.V.. ONE’s writing has tremendous depth – his metaphor-driven take on adolescence here will surely go down as one of the finest in anime history – and when you pair that with the basically unparalleled production quality, the result is, well- Mob Psycho 100.

I have so many notes, I hardly know where to begin. I suppose we can start with characters – there’s Jodou (Tanzawa Teruyuki), the head of Shinra’s psychic’s association who’s probably a real psychic, but a bit of a paper tiger. Matsuo from CLAW turns up, trying to make an honest living as a psychic now but terrified of Mob (and Reigen). There’s the one who brings all these psychics and more together, the okanemochi Asagiri Masahi (Hoshino Mitsuaki), desperate to find help for his 14 year-old daughter Minori (M.A.O.) who he believes (quite rightly) is possessed by an evil spirit.

Most important of all, by far, is Mogami Keiji (unmistakably Ishida Akira). Mob has never heard of him, Reigen knows him by reputation, but Ekubo knows him intimately – he was a famous psychic of the late 20th-Century who exorcised Dimple and almost absorbed him fully. He’s a sick and twisted soul, who engineered his own transformation into a vengeful spirit. He now finds himself in the body of Minori, staring through a two-way mirror into a room full of psychics brought in to evict him.

Wow, where to even start. First of all, once again Reigen shows his true colors because when things get serious, he gets serious. There’s obviously money to be made here and he’s incredibly good at Janken, but once he’s in that room with the girl, he immediately sees through Mogami’s BS even as the psychics in the other room are taken in by it. Reigen has obvious character traits that make him a badass – balls of steel and an unshakable moral compass for starters – but there are times when his lack of spiritual power is a major benefit. He’s not taken in by any of the tricks which bamboozle the psychics – he can spew bullshit with the best of them and he knows it when he sees it. His superpower is his common sense.

Sadly, common sense and steel balls are not going to slow down Mogami in the slightest. He’s a freakishly powerful bastard – if not this season’s big bad, then at least this arc’s – and he has no compunction about taking out humans. When Shinra takes his turn to try and stop him Mob steps in to save him – but then is forced to stand down when Mogami starts destroying his host body. Reigen gets in a good kick and his moves remain as solid as ever, but he’s no match for Mogami either (I loved the detail of him protecting his head when she flung him to the floor). There’s only one person in the house who could possible give Mogami any concern, and it’s only a matter of time before he has to step in and do what he can. That’s the burden Mob carries.

Eventually Mob realizes that he’s just not powerful enough to take out Mogami, and that his attacks are only making things worse. He hatches a terrible plan that may be the only one open to him – use an OBE to try and possess Minori himself and kick Mogami out from the inside. This involves letting Ekubo take possession of his own body so it isn’t totally defenseless while Mob is absent, which suitably horrifies Reigen – but Mob doesn’t hesitate. He probably does trust Dimple too much, but the irony is that it’s that very trust which is slowly changing Dimple into someone that can at least to some degree be trusted.

We’re getting pretty hard into the whole FLCL puberty symbolism thing here, but that’s pretty much the central theme of Mob Psycho 100 to begin with. Even inside Minori Mob is no match for Mogami, at least not now. That psychic powers come from emotions is no surprise, nor that negative emotions are far more powerful – but in telling Mob this, Mogami is trying to make Mob question his very nature. What happens next is a shocking development. Rather than destroy Mob’s soul, Mogami mentally sends him back into his own body (or so Mob believes) – but without his powers (or memories of what’s happened). It seems to be an experiment on Mogami’s part, a cruel indulgence of curiosity – but it’s certainly going to be interesting to see where it takes the story. For Mob, who has certainly dreamed of what a life without the burden of his powers would be like, I fear it’s going to prove something of a nightmare.

 

Preview

January 30, 2019 at 2:37 am
10 comments »
  • January 30, 2019 at 2:44 amAnaxim

    As a reader of the manga, lemme say:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 30, 2019 at 5:02 amAex

    Honestly, the ending feels like another con to me. I don’t think Mogami is faking his confidence or how far gone he is, but I think he knows he actually can’t kill off Mob. Not yet, anyway, so he’s trying to tear him down.

    A dream shown by an enemy is never accurate. They’ll say it’s true and the hero will believe them because they don’t have their head on right at the moment, but it’s always a lie, warped in some way to mold the hero in the “right direction”. From the preview we can see that without his powers Mob is bullied, so that’s the “direction”. Whose to say that if Mob had grown up without his powers and their metaphorical cap on his emotions that he wouldn’t have a personality like Ritsu’s. Or hell, maybe he’d be even more outgoing and he’d be dating Tsubomi. No one knows what a major change like that can do if you give it all the way to highschool, unless they’re lying.

    While I’m on a tangent I’ll go ahead and call BS on negative emotions making stronger power. Writers love that idea, and 9-out-of-10 times they also love the part that the villain missed: negative emotions aren’t stronger, they’re easier. Good and bad are both going to get you to the same place eventually, but bad puts you on an escalator up the mountain while good just gives you climbing gear and makes you do the work. It’s easy to see how people get the misconception, and it’s also always satisfying when the hero figures out the secret and kinda looks at the villain like “Really? You turned yourself into a monster and I still won?” Not that Mob would ever cop that kind of attitude, but that’s what Reigen and Dimple are for!

    • January 30, 2019 at 9:41 amL0ken

      Mogami actually said the same thing as you,that strong negative emotions are easier to harbor,so that’s what makes them much powerful in his eyes.Almost all Mob’s 100% explosions so far were negative,except the last one(gratitude),ritsu awakened to his power due to stress and spirits exist because they have regrets and couldn’t pass with peace,so it’s pretty accurate idea.That’s why positive explosion is so much important and special moments in this series,like gratitude from last season,it’s much harder achieve yet amazing when it happens)

  • January 30, 2019 at 7:09 amUrahara

    Here I was thinking this could not get more interesting

  • January 30, 2019 at 7:38 amstarss

    And suddenly we have our first deafly serious arc in this season complete with blood and traumatic back stories (having to do with Dimple surprisingly) and with it brings this season’s first two-parter. All right let’s do this!

  • January 30, 2019 at 4:31 pmBambi

    The hype for this arc is being realised, very satisfying.

    The only drawback for me was I personally didn’t find Minori/Mogami’s voice creepy enough. Maybe I was looking for more of a “Orochimaru” rather than a “Gaara” haha.

    • January 30, 2019 at 4:52 pmGuardian Enzo

      I really like Ishida in roles like this, and I’m anxious to see where he goes with it. He’s typecast in so many mediocre shows that it’s easy to lose sight of just how good an actor he is, but he can really act. His performance in Shouwa Genroku would be in my top 5 seiyuu performances of all time.

  • January 31, 2019 at 12:38 amWak Aban

    hope more people keep watching mob psycho 2 and give good comment for this post everyweek

  • January 31, 2019 at 6:36 pmInstantNoodles

    Again reminded why I was so impressed by Reigen when I first read the manga. Watching MOB, who has such a strong moral compass grow is also always a treat.

  • February 1, 2019 at 10:11 amprospector4811

    Well i didn’t read managa so i can only guess but i think and hope I’m wrong but what that idiot is about to put mob trough is akin to opening pandora box. I mean if passive doll like mob is already that much of a monster and single emotion outbreak allows him to ground veteran espers to dust. Then what kind of horror shall be unleashed when you fuel that power with not so impotent anymore hatred of bullied kid that will suddenly realize that he can slaughter his oppressors in really slow and painful way, and nobody can stop him.