2019 is bringing new seasons from My Hero Academia to One Punch Man! For some of us, reviewing the upcoming anime list sparks interest in exploring unfamiliar titles like Mob Psycho 100 . A mix of comedy, action, and psychedelic animation by Studio Bones, it’s an anime that goes beyond the typical shonen trope.
Mob Psycho 100’s animation style is unfiltered and mind-bending. The art direction and design match perfectly with the over- the- top storyline about an 8th grader exorcist. The opening scene alone displays the images of flying cars and objects with hot bright colors. Mob Psycho 100 is unlike any other shonen anime. Personally, I loved the Mob Psycho 100 opening as it reminded me of the animation styles of Masaaki Yuasa’s Mind Game and Satoshi Kon’s Paprika.
The crazy opening scene that looks similar to Satoshi Kon’s animination style:
In this whimsical anime, we meet a young powerful psychic named Shigeo Kageyama, or Mob for short. He is hired on the cheap to be an exorcist by a poser psychic named Reigen Arataka (more about him in a bit). Mob is undeniably the most powerful psychic as he battles countless demons and monsters throughout the entire series. In each episode, a power level ticker displays his psychic level. Once the level strikes 100, Mob goes super psychic mode like a Super Saiyan effect. This is wildly captured in neon explosions and brilliant combinations of old and new animation styles. Even the monsters are grotesque and sickish with their morbid movements.
Mob about to reach 100% in an explosive inked animation:
A monster from the anime:
The first character introduced though is Reigen Arataka, a sleazy, outspoken psychic that convinces Mob to join him in defeating evil in the world. His personality fits well for a shonen show; absurd, rude, and immature. He is an entertaining fellow that uses his psychic abilities to fight demons in the strangest ways- salt throwing, massages, and photoshop. On the other hand, the Mob is presented as a conflicted adolescent that is just trying to understand girls, middle school, and his powers. The struggle to be a hero and a kid at the same time is real. Complete opposites, Reigen Artaka and Mob's work relationship reminded of me of an old show I used to watch, the Odd Couple. Watching these two characters problem solve on how to protect earth from all evildoers was like watching an old married couple bickering about life. Despite their personality differences, they manage somehow to save the day with a few punches, explosions, and sarcastic comments to each other.
Master Reigen Arataka, the sly fox he is:
In real honesty, Mob Psycho 100 isn’t centered around the character development. If you watched at least a shonen title like One Punch Man, which Mob Psycho 100 is written by the same writer, there will be action, adventure and the overreaction to life’s problems. Oh yes, let's not forget there is a little fanservice, which is typical to see in a shonen anime. Mob Psycho really hits the home run on the animation. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the art styles more than the plot. Though the plot isn’t too bad, it’s not anything out of the ordinary on a shonen story scale. I looked forward more to watch how each episode unveiled a new artistic perspective on the challenges that Mob and Reigen faced. Season two will premiere on January 7th with an early special theatrical debut on January 5th. Hopefully, the next season will be filled with more animation surprises!