I talked about the first series of Mob Psycho 100 over two years ago. I wasn’t planning on going further with it, since I was, to put it charitably, less than impressed with the series. But I do take review requests and someone really wanted to see me look at the follow up. So, here we are.
In the wake of the last series, Mob has, unbeknownst to himself, become a religious figure. In an attempt at getting him more personality to base his cult around, his school mate, Mezato, pressures him into running for Student council since he might get the attention of that girl he likes. This does not go well. Meanwhile, he’s still working with his Master, Reigen to scam people out of jawbreakers and occasionally perform actual exorcisms.
Like the first series, this one has a very dull, under-developed sense of comedy. There are occasionally moments that are a little funny, but it’s not often and there’s never anything really uproariously funny.
Also like the first series, a big issue here is that you get a lot of build up for the action sequences and then Mob ends things with ridiculous ease. With One Punch Man, that’s the whole shtick. With this, it comes across more as the writer not being able to write confrontations all that well. The closest Mob comes to facing a worthy adversary is an evil spirit of a dead medium who manages to actually trap him for a time. Which is definitively the most interesting segment of the series since Mob does have a bit of an ideological crisis and has to struggle a bit to retain his sense of self. The natural problem being that an event like that should result in some growth but things pretty much go back to the status quo afterwards,
The area where I can give this series some credit is that it is strongly hinted at that Mob actually does know Reigen isn’t psychic. So, even though he still comes across as dull-witted and bland, that does give him a little more of a character.
Overall, though, the characters are pretty stale, uninteresting and just a bit annoying. Mob’s friendship speeches may be the most cringeworthy part of the anime. About the closest we get to a compelling character dynamic is the way Mob interacts with Reigen. And even then, there aren’t that many moments that elevate their dynamic.
I’m sure I’m going to be repeating a lot of the points I made with the first series here. The character designs are ugly and look like very little effort went into them. Similarly, the backgrounds are pretty low effort. The action sequences are mixed. On one hand, they incorporate some creative visuals. Since they’re basically battles on a psychic field, they can get by with illustrating that in a lot of different ways. On the downside, they can go way overboard with bright, flashing colours and some of the scenes are pretty difficult to follow. Not just because they’re a bit of a disconnected mess, but because they hurt your eyes.
The voice acting suffers from extremes. There are the actors like Sakurai Takahiro who just overact like hell. And I say that as someone with a lot of respect for Sakurai Takahiro. I’ve heard fantastic performances from him in most of the anime I’ve seen him in. This is an exception. You also get actors like Itou Setsuo who may as well have found an old phone book and be in the middle of trying to read it out loud for how bored they sound. It’s like Mob is supposed to have the emotional depth of a pair of tweezers and Reigen is supposed to counteract that by going full Brian Blessed. The in music is fine. Not particularly good, but it’s okay.
There isn’t any in this series. Which is all well and good since its idea of romance is Mob having a crush on a girl with no personality.
Areas of Improvement:
- Some nuance to the acting. Going with extremes for performances just emphasises how flat the characters are. Speaking of..,
- Flesh out your characters. I know I’ve said that comedic characters don’t necessarily need complexity so long as they have strong comedic potential. The problem here is that the characters don’t have either and the series does have a good number of more serious scenes which would necessitate some depth to work well.
- Give Mob some challenges. The series comes its closest to being interesting when he actually does have some difficulties.
I have to say, this might be a little more tolerable than the first series. I still don’t like it. I still wouldn’t call it good, but it does have a bit more intrigue and a small measure of improvement for Mob as a character. So, I won’t call this one bad like I did the first. I’ll settle for calling it sub-par and giving it a 4/10.