Unless you were looking for a gag comedy anime, if you were to apply the customary “three episode test” to Mob Psycho 100, it would most likely fail. While that genre has its fans, those anticipating a Bones Inc production about a teenager with psychic powers would likely expect something more, and certainly something with explosive action and maybe a little light peril. Luckily, after its opening few episodes, the story of Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama, an average middle school kid with psychic powers, it grows from a slight comedic affair into a tense battle worthy of the best shōnen anime of any year.
First airing in Japan in the summer 2016 season, and based on a webmanga by One Punch Man’s ONE, Mob Psycho 100 made a huge splash with anime fans despite being miles away - visually, at least - from the usual Bones Inc production. The art style is jarring, and shares more in common with western animation like Rick & Morty than would accompany the usual slick action drama; stylised beyond the boundaries of human anatomy at times, it’s an acquired taste that - by the end of the series - becomes an essential component of the story.
Mob is the most passive of protagonists, and much of the action is driven by the supporting cast; his brother Ritsu, his rival Tero, a reformed evil spirit named Dimple, and Mob’s “mentor” Reigen, a con-man affecting to possess spiritual powers but who is nonetheless the moral heart of the tale. Over its twelve episodes, Mob does grow - as all good shōnen heroes should - but most of the growth is undergone by those around him, those touched by him.
This Manga Entertainment release includes both the original Japanese soundtrack - Akio Ōtsuka as Dimple is wonderful - and Funimation’s English dub, which has good work from industry veterans Kyle McCarley, Chris Niosi, and Michael Sorich, if that’s your thing. Also included is a series of six comedy shorts, Mob Psycho Mini, and a handful of other extras.
Bizarre, funny, and genuinely affecting, Mob Psycho 100 is a recommended addition to the anime collection of fans of action and the experimental - just give it more than the usual three episodes to find itself.
Extras: Mob Psycho Mini shorts, promo video, flipbook video, commericials, textless closing song, trailers
MOB PSYCHO 100 / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: Yuzuru Tachikawa / SCREENPLAY: Hiroshi Seko / STARRING: Kyle McCarley, Chris Niosi, Michael Sorich / RELEASE DATE: 17TH December