「調子に乗る ～100%～」 (Choushininoru ~Hyaku Paasento~)
“Getting Carried Away ~100%~”
It’s been a flying start to Mob Psycho 100’s third season, as you’d expect. Included in that is no perceptible dip on the production side (at least that I can see), which seems to put to rest any concerns related to Tachikawa Yuzuru’s title change. But one thing that’s mostly been missing is Ekubo. This series works on so many levels that it can handle character’s absences no problem (as witness this week’s stellar A-part with no Reigen). Still, Dimple is pretty great and Ohtsuka Akio flat-out one of the best seiyuu in the world. Plus, it’s a character that fills a crucial and unique niche in Mob Psycho’s character dynamic.
That’s why Ekubo’s return to prominence this week – as teased in the preview last week – is so welcome. It’s all tied into that giant broccoli. and the Psycho Helmet religion. The latter, of course, is something Dimple is pretty deeply entangled in already, but he’s got designs on leveraging the developing situation in town to his own advantage. And it’s not only Dimple who wants Mob to seize the role of “founder” for the Psycho Helmets – Mezato-san does too, albeit for somewhat different reasons.
Mezato isn’t the only girl who lavishes some attention on Mob at school. He manages a rare interaction with Tsubome-chan, bailing her out after she has a snot emergency. Tome-san is perpetually interested in Mob too, and has plans with him on the weekend. It seems – to Mob anyway – as if he’s suddenly becoming popular (and Emi-chan reinforces that perception too). Mob can feel the eyes of girls turn towards him as they pass him by, and (imagine that he can) hear their whispers about him. As foreign as this notion is, Mob unsurprisingly rather likes the feeling – whether it’s based on reality or not.
On that point I’m not entirely certain. It was obvious when Mob was walking with Ritsu who the actual subject of the girls’ gazes and whispers was, but I also got a vibe there was actually something afoot here – Mob seemed to be attracting a lot of female interest in his own right. It’s funny seeing Mob getting a swelled head about, well, anything. Ego seems somehow completely antithetical to his nature. Reigen is diplomatic enough not to pop the boy’s balloon despite clearly believing this is all a fantasy, but Ekubo is nothing if not completely undiplomatic. And Mob didn’t like having his tires deflated, either – it was as if his eyes were saying “why can’t you shut up and let me enjoy the moment, you stupid green blob?”
The relationship between Mob and Dimple has always been a complicated one. Mob has never forgotten what Dimple truly was (and is) of course, and Dimple is eternally cynical. But there’s genuine affection between these two, there’s no question about that. I think Ekubo really does want Mob to voluntarily team up with him and take over the Psycho Helmets – most obviously because that’s the easiest path for him to do so, but also because he just plain wants it. But ego or not, what Ekubo is asking genuinely is antithetical to Mob’s nature. From his perspective, it’s a non-starter.
That said, Mob’s ego boost does impel him to acquiesce to Mezato-san’s urgings to attend the “audition” the internet religion is holding for a new founder. Reigen initially warns Shigeo off, but once he sees the revenue generating potential he quickly changes his tune. He even gives Mob ¥5000 to go shopping for a new outfit to wear. My immediate reaction to this was that Reigen was kind of dim in not going with Mob to spend that money – is this a boy you would trust to pick out clothes? Fortunately he runs into Teruki – though the evidence suggests that meeting might not have been fortuitous after all.
However, Mob’s refusal to team up has given Ekubo the green light to take matters into his own hands. He messes with the phone system (the product of that psychic power he’s been leeching from the broccoli, presumably) so Mob can’t communicate with Mezato and join her in attending the audition. And he manages to appear as a candidate at the audition – though just exactly how and just exactly what that was up there at the podium I’m not sure. Dimple has a way of unleashing forces greater than he understands, and I suspect this latest caper is going to be another example of that.