I was pretty entertained by Mob Psycho 100‘s first season. Based on its first episode (which I watched prior to leaving the show on-hold as it finished out the season), I wondered if it might take a more normal approach this time around. The episodes that followed only strengthened that assumption, before everything that I never would have expected came flying back at me like a punch from an esper god. My face still hurts.
Mob Psycho 100 II is one of the more impressive feats that I’ve seen in quite some time. There are times when one gets a sense of the world one creates with their story and it happens to break the mold of what an “anime” feels like and naturally turns it into a universal story that anyone could find entertaining or complex. I would recommend this to my weeb-hating family. That’s how confident I am in it.
Everything considered, perhaps the most impressive thing this series does is flesh out its characters. It almost seems like an unwritten rule for anime series to constantly flesh out the main character and leave the minor characters aside, only to develop them when they see fit (or in response to further developing the major character(s)). In Mob Psycho 100 II, a large assortment of characters are given ample amounts of screentime, allowing them to flourish and obtain weight to the decisions and actions they contribute to the main storyline. Did I ever think that Mob’s body-building club members would ever actually contribute anything to thwarting an evil scheme by ultra-powerful espers? Absolutely not, but here we are in 2019 and it happened. I was stunned, too. Delighted, but also stunned.
That said, I think characters also bring down the quality somewhat for the series, almost similarly to how it improves the series. What the series manages to do so well in allowing other characters to take the limelight is phenomenal; the only issue with it is that sometimes it gets a little too lenient with it. Notable examples include Tsubomi-chan, Mob’s love interest, the girl from the first episode (cannot remember her name at all), and various esper characters that were prominent in the first season. All those named get a decent amount of screentime, yet don’t actually contribute much in the way that would make the audience care all that much. The first few episodes in general are kind of lackadaisical in contributing to the wholesomeness of its characters. Cute moments and Mob being a really swell guy™ is a marketable choice for the author, only it feels a little more calculated than it needs to be in various moments, especially when these characters, overall, don’t really even need to be here.
The true heroes are Mob, Reigen, Dimple, and perhaps the ultra-negative dude they face in episodes four and five. These are the characters that one truly cares for and move the series unequivocally forward. These three are the lightning rods that keep the series tight, focused, and (suitably) electric. Their development throughout the series (including Dimple, who is primarily comic relief) and the contributions they make in aiding each other (even involuntarily) make for a captivating aspect all of its own, completely removing the fact that this is an esper light show.
If there’s one thing that the creator of One Punch Man can do, it’s make a captivating and over-the-top fight sequence. The animation attributed to these fights are absolutely phenomenal. Even if one gave zero shits about the characters involved in these battles, they may keep watching regardless to appreciate the effort in animating the whole affair. There’s clearly heart in this series if the battles are any indication, showcasing ultra-fast-paced action and near-monotonous amounts of explosions and disorienting effects. Mob Psycho 100 II is something that can most-unanimously be referred to as “dope.” I almost never use this term ever because I am essentially a hillbilly.
There’s one top review on MyAnimeList that claims that this series isn’t as light-hearted or humorous as the first season. While I could probably agree, I still find the amount of cheesiness attributed to the second season to be promptly filling. As regular viewers of the blog may know, I don’t really laugh at anime because anime humor typically isn’t up my alley. Mob Psycho 100 II made me chuckle on occasion, which is a success based on the typical average of “not even a smirk.”
Reigen is by far the most humorous character in this series and likely the most humorous character in anime at this point in time. The way he teeters the line of surprisingly great mentor and apathetic businessman is something that is at constant play throughout the series, wonderfully done by the author so as to give him numerous opportunities for humor. I’m almost tempted to put him among my favorite characters list, because he really is just as much of a rounded character as he is a giant joke, and that’s a very rare quality to find. He alone almost makes the point by said reviewer not all that heartbreaking.
So, too, is the writing that permeates throughout the course of the anime’s course. Funny and occasionally insightful, it’s something of a mix between THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!! and actual good writing, in that the situations aren’t formulaic and boring and the dialogue is super easy to get into. Oftentimes, anime tends to get dark and serious near the end of a series to give it that fulfilling conclusion of ultimate proportions, and this title does no different (to my dismay early on).
Episodes nine and ten are probably the weakest episodes of the series in that is ruminates the whole “We are the bad guys and we are evil hahahaha you cannot defeat us, fools sfdhjbdahfsberfgbs” a wee bit too strongly, as I felt the eyes rolling into the back of my head in complete boredom. Thankfully, the evil characters get sprinkles of human development that paint them into a more sympathetic light, and the big bad boss even gets some of this near the very end, as well, which helps to give him a reason to exist past being “the bad guy.” In addition to really, really, really good action sequences that had weight behind them because Mob isn’t (entirely) God, the ending arc, despite being dark and serious because marketing shows people like that shit, was enjoyable.
It’s a really good series, and it may have given me hope for anime in the future to follow its course. It’s not perfect, as there is some lenience provided to really dumb and stereotypical aspects of a fantasy-action series, but the brainpower in allowing not just the major characters, but all characters to flourish is a great sign. Action sequences are wonderful, the story can be interesting at times, and the characters are consistently lovable. Give it a shot, but be sure to watch the first season, as well. If the premise was at all interesting, you likely won’t be disappointed.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.
If you’d like to see more reviews like this, feel free to look at my full list of anime reviews!
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