Mob Psycho 100 – Episode 3

Mob Psycho 100 actually managed to up the ante this week, by coupling its usual visual splendor with a far more focused and incisive look at Mob’s insecurities. The new-age cult backdrop was a perfect setting for a story focused on peer pressure and the meaning of fitting in, and Mob’s feelings helped him feel constantly vulnerable in spite of never actually being in danger. Mob Psycho is pretty much everything I’d want from a concept like this – yeah there’s some stupid humor, but Mob’s powers are consistently grounded in an absolutely human place, creating a sense of tension regardless of how strong he is. Damn good stuff.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!

Mob Psycho 100

Mob’s powers don’t make him attractive to the girl he likes, and so he joins the muscle club. Being powerful in one way doesn’t help with Mob’s general insecurities

The Body Improvement club

I like how the very limited frames of Mob running evoke how much he is staggering. He can’t keep up, and so his motions become literally less smooth

So the psychic club get to keep using the room, since the Body Improvers just want it to store their equipment

The telepathy president’s antics can be a little overbearing, but the show sure does go all-in on their visuals

“I’ve finally found something I want to do.” Mob is actually feeling pride about this, which is adorable

“Read girls’ minds, that’s how you’ll become popular.” Mob only has terrible role models

The psychic reads his problems on her fourth guess. “How did you know?!?”

Mob is soft-spoken and polite and gullible as hell. I love this kid

Lol, this 2D elevator shot

Dimple-sama the cult leader

“If you laugh even in pain, your hearts will be set free”

Mezato, who works for the school newspaper

“If I forced myself to laugh, it wouldn’t be sincere.” Seems like we might be going somewhere with this and Mob’s desire to be popular

“I don’t want to lie to myself!”

“I don’t want to smile. Someone save me!”

Tons of really imposing shots of the cult chief

“Everyone has a different idea of ‘missing out’”

Mob is insecure, but not bending to peer pressure

Less animation in this episode, but that’s to be expected

More of those painted shots for Mob spitting out the milk

“See? You don’t have a single enemy here.” Yeah, this episode reflects on popularity in its own way

“You’re the only one who’s not laughing.” “Get a clue.” A translation of “read the atmosphere,” basically

“You must not have emotions, brat.” Man, I can definitely relate to this one. If you don’t react in the same way, you get singled out

“Mob hasn’t realized that his aversion to using his powers has become a complex.” This seems like an unnecessary and actually weak explanation. Why can’t he just not be an emotive person?

“These are my real emotions. This is what happens if I let them show.” Ah k, so that’s the nature of the 100 thing.

“Because I’m such a downer, I ruined a whole bunch of people’s fun”

“Why do you have to be like them? You’re the protagonist of your own life”

4 thoughts on “Mob Psycho 100 – Episode 3

  1. I guess I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t find anything at all “incisive” about the storytelling in this episode. For all of this show’s kinetic visual energy, the overall story has about as much propulsion as Mob himself does most of the time. So far, everything has felt bland, lethargic and predictable.

    Mob doesn’t seem like a full-formed character, he’s just a bunch of frankly uninteresting tics and quirks masquerading as one.

    While I didn’t love “One Punch Man,” you could at least see that underneath its glossy production, it had something interesting to say about the life of a salaryman. I really don’t see where “Mob Psycho” is saying anything particularly compelling about adolescence.

    Hopefully, it will improve, though…

    • I’m entirely with you. I find a lot to admire about the show’s aesthetics, but very little in the character writing. I agree with Nick/Bob that the framing of the scummy detective mentor is particularly on point, though.

  2. “This seems like an unnecessary and actually weak explanation. Why can’t he just not be an emotive person?”

    I think the point is that if psychic powers are a metaphor for emotions, then that ends up being one and the same anyway. Consciously controlling emotions so much you end up suppressing them without even realising just out of habit is a thing. Of course that’s the problem with metaphoric stories, they end up never perfectly matching reality and leaving up some weird questions.

  3. Mob isn’t extremely unique as far as anime characters go (the superpowered but insecure thing has definitely been done), but he is very likable. ONE always makes it very easy to cheer against the antagonists, but he makes it much easier to cheer for Mob than for Saitama.

    Saitama has some texture related to his young adult ennui, but the conflicts mostly focus on him being strong and his enemies being dicks, without saying anything interesting about his situation. So far, Mob is defined by his insecurities, and all of his decisions and conflicts and relationships have revolved around this. Mob Psycho 100 just seems like a more thoughtfully constructed thing at this point, which is kind of consistent with the rumors that OPM is more of a side project.

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