Mob Psycho 100 II

TV (13 eps)
4.616 out of 5 from 17,087 votes
Rank #12

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Ripped Apart ~Someone Is Watching~

Episode 1

Ripped Apart ~Someone Is Watching~

Urban Legends ~Encountering Rumors~

Episode 2

Urban Legends ~Encountering Rumors~

One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~

Episode 3

One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~

Inside ~Evil Spirit~

Episode 4

Inside ~Evil Spirit~

Discord ~Choices~

Episode 5

Discord ~Choices~

Poor, Lonely, Whitey

Episode 6

Poor, Lonely, Whitey

Cornered ~True Identity~

Episode 7

Cornered ~True Identity~

Even Then ~Continue Forward~

Episode 8

Even Then ~Continue Forward~

Show Me What You've Got ~Band Together~

Episode 9

Show Me What You've Got ~Band Together~

Collision ~Power Type~

Episode 10

Collision ~Power Type~

Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~

Episode 11

Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~

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Reviews

CodeBlazeFate
6.4

It's taken quite a while to sit down and write my thoughts on Mob Psycho 100 II. For the longest time, I've been trapped in this limbo of not wanting to write but never finding anything remotely close to my perspective being represented. It's as if no one has any of the same problems I have with this season, therefore I’ve yet to find someone disappointed in it for any of the same reasons as me. As such, this review is born more out of a place to satisfy myself and bring peace to my perspective than anything I’ve written thus far. Keeping a measured and somewhat informed perspective is still integral to what is being written here, but the fact remains: this was the first of many anime from 2019 to disappoint me. Let’s get the big positive out of the way. The visuals are some of the best in recent years. Season 1 already had stellar animation with its vibrant fight scenes filled to the brim with sakuga. The first scene alone was enough to set the standard for this series, which would be matched by several key fights in the show. There’s a sense of weight and impact to many of the attacks combatants use, from psychic blasts to superpowered fists slamming people into the ground. It’s not that the fights were ever exceptionally brutal or bloody since they weren’t, but they were heart-pumping with how they communicated each devastating hit and frenzied blow someone took. It’s the way characters would stretch and contort with every crushing blow, how environments would shatter upon impact and the camera zooms in at a controlled pace to create dynamic angles that sell attacks traveling at blistering speeds. The show’s simple, rugged art style allowed for all of this to be possible, and the direction by Yuruzu Tachikawa that allowed for a steady hand that could keep up with the frenzy being shown on-screen This second season continues this trend with several astounding sequences such as the main fight scenes of episodes 5 and 11. While nothing is ever quite as epic a slugfest as Mob vs Koyama in season 1, the animation in most of the fights here is top-notch. The camera is allowed to be taken to even wilder heights as battles get more aerial than ever before. Hakuyu Go, the man behind the monstrous fights from Fate/Apocrypha episode 22 and One Punch Man episode 12 came back and delivered another grand slam with his storyboarding and animation direction for this season’s 5th episode. Perhaps more so than any other fight in this series, it feels dynamic and larger than life in a way that’s hard to put into words. Few titles this year can keep up with some of the fights presented here, even as films such as Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel 2 step up to the plate. Even outside of the monumental fights, the show’s rough art style and vibrant aesthetic make it interesting to look at even in scenes of characters just sitting around and talking. They never quite reach the levels of just having lip-flaps be the only real source of motion for minutes on end like with most shows that require exposition dumps or characters conversing, as there’s always a nice visual gag or a few gestures going around. The general aesthetic of the show is eyecatching in general, and the designs remain simple yet often vibrant just as before. The only moments I found awkward were in episode 9, including its big fight scene. Even then, it’s not like the show ever looked bad, so a few stumbles in animation quality still have the show looking better than many of its contemporaries. Unfortunately, animation does not a good anime make, and I have a more complicated assortment of feelings towards everything else about the show. The easiest to cover would be Kenji Kawai’s OST, as I didn’t notice a single new background track. All of the music that plays during the fight scenes sound exactly as they did in season 1, and find themselves feeling overplayed here. If any new additions were made, it’s unnoticeable in the show itself, which is criminal for a Kenji Kawai score. This man did the music for Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2, as well as Irresponsible Captain Tylor. Even his Gundam 00 OST had a few memorable pieces that got expanded upon with each installment. I’m not sure what happened here. Luckily, we still have a banger of an OP theme with “99.9” by Mob Choir feat. sanjou no Hana. It’s a more adrenaline-pumping, energetic tune that captures how much more action-driven this second season is compared to the first. The show also has 4 EDs, but the only one I care about is the song that played at the end of episodes 1 and 7: “Gray” by sajou no Hana. It’s easily the most tender and emotional track, fitting for some of the beautiful moments that cap off those two episodes. This brings me to some of the emotional climaxes in the first half of the show. Episode 1 was a beautiful and hilarious reintroduction to Mob as a character, with him being roped into running for student council (and failing miserably) before someone asks him out. We follow him as this new girl, Emi, as they struggle to connect before Mob eventually reveals his psychic powers in one of the most genuine scenes in the show. The way he uses it to repair a piece of writing her so-called friends tore up in front of her really brings to light how committed the show is to accentuating how much of a sweet person Mob is and how beneficial his powers can be. The show has always been about self-improvement and recognizing the benefits of your gifts while never losing sight of how everyone has one so no one should let their gifts define them as some supreme being. While there are a lot of moments like this peppered throughout the series, it’s when the show decides to quiet down in its more human, slice of life moments, where Mob Psycho 100 is at its best. There’s no better example than the Reigen arc, which comprises episodes 6 and 7. Finally taken to task for his slimy conning and how he puts himself before even Mob, the one person who looks up to him for all the advice he has given, Reigen is at wit’s end. It’s only when he finally owns up to what a scummy douchebag he can be that he’s saved from the ultimate character assassination which had been catching up to him, before Mob lets him know that he understands who Reigen truly is beyond all of the fronts and scams he put up. It’s hard to do this moment justice without spoilers, but it’s the one time this show nearly brought me to tears. Mob and Reigen by this point, have become a perfect duo for exemplifying the core themes of this show, and their dynamic, ever-evolving personalities are a joy to watch. Sadly, there’s the rest of the show. Episode 2 is a perfectly fun joyride of explosive animation and cute comedic scenes, so I’m got gonna dog on this one. Episode 3 is where the cracks really begin to form, as Mob has to choose between doing his job of exorcising spirits or sparing them as they just want to live their lives. This feels like a plot that should have been handled as early as the 3rd or 4th episode of season 1. It’s the most obvious story to tell with this kind of premise, and the way they execute it feels so melodramatic and hamfisted, like the show keeps shouting “FEEL BAD” without just letting the emotions play out naturally. It feels sophomoric for how late into the series this plot comes in. Then we get episodes 4 and 5, which make up the Matsuo arc. Matsuo possesses a teenage girl and a bunch of espers are summoned to exorcise him, including Mob and Reigen. Once Mob holds his own against Matsuo, he’s effectively transported to a nightmare scenario where for several months, he’s powerless and put into a school where everyone hates and bullies him, that way Mob’s idea of self-improvement and how his powers don’t make him who he is will crack. It’s amazing how in a show about absurdly durable superhumans that something like this can still test my suspension fo disbelief, but sometimes this second season does that to me, especially since it feels like the show wants to go to extremes to get its point across compared to season 1. It’s going this far just for the classic fight between self-improvement/the human spirit and nihilism and chaos. It doesn’t exactly feel earned, and when Reigen’s voice finally reaches Mob after months in this simulation (probably a couple of minutes in real-time) and suddenly makes him remember all of his values so he can stand up to Matsuo, instigate the epic fight scene, and win the literal and ideological battle. It all feels hamfisted and not nuanced, even compared to season 1 which never had to go overboard to get its point about self-improvement and foregoing entitlement across. It all starts to get across the idea that the show is gonna keep suffering from these issues as it progresses into its second half, making it all the better when the Reigen arc avoids these pitfalls. I should mention that at no point in these first 7 episodes is Claw, the evil organization that wreaked havoc in the second half of season 1 while threatening to make a return, even mentioned. In season 1, this made sense as we were getting to know the world and what kinds of enemies and struggles Mob would face before the evil organization stomped onto the scene to test our heroes and further solidify the show’s main themes. Season 2 tries the exact same structure, with the first 7 episodes being primarily slice of life comedic or dramatic escapades as well as encounters against one asshole psychic, before episode 8 onwards has the big bad Claw organization jump into the fray. However, this set-up doesn’t work as it completely undercuts the looming threat they’re supposed to have. It would be fine if maybe there were a few encounters planned out by them or even passing mentions to remind the audience not to get too comfortable as the bad guys could come back at any moment. It ends up just having these guys retroactively leave no impact on the story or setting from their first arc back in season 1, undercutting what tension they could have. I get that maybe their reintroduction with the sabotage of Mob’s family in episode 8 is supposed to come as this wham-episode cliffhanger surprise to end all of the endearing hijinks the first 8 episodes had, but it felt so obvious that it was never truly earned. Everything afterwards has its own set of issues. There were some nice scenes with some of the supporting characters such as the members of the Body Improvement Club that Mob joined and had tried to keep up with back in season 1. Long-since reformed Teruki Hanazawa and the reformed Claw members along with Reigen taking on the teleporting Shimazaki, one of the top dogs of the organization, made for a fun and creative action setpiece. However, the first hurdle outside of the untwist that the son of the big bad of the organization very obviously did not kill everyone in Mob’s home and instead hid them and tried to awaken Mob’s power to help him fight the dad, was the first lame thing to occur here. Killing them off would be rather out of character for the show, which makes this so obvious that it genuinely feels cheap. Another awkward move was everyone’s decision to leave Mob with Reigen and Dimple when he was rendered unconscious, given that Reigen isn’t even a psychic, Dimple is still pretty weak after his encounter with Mob back in episode 3 of season 1, and they’re facing a group of superhumans who want to track down Mob. I get that this is supposed to show that Mob’s closest friends who aren’t the ultimate non-Mob badasses are with him to help, and that the plot still needs to get from point A to point B. It does feel like this show writes itself into a corner, though. Then the final episodes pull a few sins that I never thought possible: they made me stop caring. I no longer cared about the conflict, and I even stopped caring about Mob. I get that Mob is this pillar of self-improvement, the kind of guy you should want to root for all the way as he goes from the small kid you wanna protect to the badass who can protect you all the same while remaining true to the nervous dork he’s always been. Up until this final arc, the show has managed that, but with how hamfisted the show gets and how Mob becomes the center of almost everything, I felt ejected from what was going on. I was no longer immersed. When Mob faced the penultimate bad guy who was clinging to the main antagonist’s coattails cuz he finally felt valued and useful, I didn’t care. When the show blatantly spelled out multiple times that the dude was basically being used and that he needed to learn to truly value himself so he can stop being a shut-in loser who clung to people, it went in one ear and out the other. Season 1 was never the most subtle thing on the planet, but it never felt this preachy. That’s not to say that these lessons aren’t worth teaching, as they absolutely are. However, season 1 did most of them better. I get that this is all meant to be payoff as Mob does what Reigen did back in season 1 by bitch-slapping to sense into misguided and/or entitled espers, but by the end he basically becomes Jesus, going as far as to attempt what seems like an ultimate sacrifice when trying to save the main antagonist of the show, who wants to rule the world. That brings me to the big boss man himself, the boring man Toichirou Suzuki. He views people as lesser and beneath him, so he wants to rule the world. While the show does make fun of the generic nature he announces his plans before he and his goons proceed to tear up the city, he still remains the boring bid bad guy who wants to rule the world cuz he’s the coolest and best while everyone else is boring and lame. There’s basically nothing else to him. He feels the least like an actual person out of anyone in the show, more akin to a typical Fairy Tail antagonist than even some of the lesser Mob Psycho 100 side-acts. His fight with his kid was only barely more interesting than his fight with Mob, as at least that one had personal stakes and build-up despite that being a fight designed to job the kid who was already a mysterious, untrustworthy powerhouse. I genuinely felt bored when Toichirou and Mob threw buildings at each other, as this climax barely had any build-up to pay off. The fact that afterwards the dude’s wife and kid are there to forgive and support him despite all of this, comes across as utterly asinine in context. Sure, forgiveness and reform are part of self-improvement i.e the core of this show, but there is a level of believability that can be strained before the show’s decisions regarding its themes and messages become hamfisted and ridiculous. The dude treated his wife and kid like shit due to his callous nature, and his kid wanted revenge on the man. For them to just quickly forgive him, resulting in everyone turning a new leaf, is a bigger stretch than when Teruki immediately went from an entitled jerk to a chill dude who gets everything without warning in season 1. There’s a way to make a quick and dramatic character change work, but that requires evidence that the character is starting to crack beforehand, and we have to spend time with them during the change. Otherwise, it’s like when Kirito got super depressed at the end of SAO episode 3, only to just become a generic OP badass in episode 4. That’s ultimately the problem I have with this second season of Mob Psycho 100. While its visuals are outstanding, it frequently overreaches when it comes to delivering its messages and thematics. It’s often hamfisted, sometimes extremely questionable in its writing. It’s a shame because a lot of the show’s lighthearted and comedic moments are incredibly charming. The subplots regarding the girl Mob pines for, the girl from episode 1, and Reigen’s arc are wonderful just as the slice of life and comedic elements in season 1 were. There are some sweet payoffs present too, and the show has a good heart to it. There are some shounen titles people believe work better when they’re purely in slice of life mode such as Fairy Tail, and I think I can say this applies to the second season of Mob Psycho 100. When the show wants to be more profound than that, it stumbles pretty heavily more often than not. It hurts to say because I was genuinely hyped for a continuation of a great series, and there are several wonderful moments and elements here. It just bogged down by all of these issues to the point that I somehow managed to stop caring. I could not have imagined that happening prior to the last arc of the show, let alone before I even got to season 2, but here we are long after this mixed bag ended. Where it counts, this season is not as consistent or effective as its predecessor, which is the opposite of self-improvement. That’s some cruel irony.

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