Mob Psycho 100 returns with a character enriching episode that makes everyone look deeper within.
A Very Quick Recap
This arc of Mob Psycho 100 begins with all the characters we know and love with the addition of Serizawa, providing this relatable older character that I can personally project all my insecurities on.
Besides that point..
This episode focuses heavily on the theme of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
It’s a question that any person would have been asked growing up by their parents and/or teachers. It’s a question that boggles everyone’s mind that doesn’t have some special talent that sticks out like a sore thumb. This episode revolves around that very dilemma. Every character in this episode provides their own unique takes and perspectives from all different backgrounds. This all culminates with Reigen, Serizawa and Mob providing an exorcism of this possessed middle-aged man that has some life regrets.
Now! Let’s talk about the top 5 best parts of episode 1!
1. A Good Ole’ Learning Lesson
What makes this episode great is that it can be a standalone episode that any newcomer can watch. Because of the theme and the learning lesson, if you popped on this episode to show it to a complete stranger; I have a strong hunch that many people would be able to easily relate.
With Mob having to figure out his career path early, the theme of this episode focused on the learning lesson of “figuring out what you want to do in your life.” It kind of gives an insight into Japanese culture with how they handle raising children in their society. No matter how people think about a “hierarchy,” your grades and proclivity towards a particular career path is essential to understand what your future may look like.
Don’t worry folks if you are struggling to “find your place!” Life is a complicated process that happens slower for most.
Mob, Reigen and Serizawa visit this man that’s been possessed by an evil spirit. If there was one metaphor that best described what this spirit was doing to the old man, it was putting him in a “rut.” Everything in his life was falling apart(job & girlfriend) and his physical health was deteriorating no matter how much maintenance he provided for himself. Sometimes life can turn for the worse and before you know it, it becomes irreversible. He’s a 50 year old man that took it easy on life and that possessed spirit is that representation of his laziness.
When Mob and Serizawa start to acknowledge and relate to the old man’s issues, the humor was 2-fold. Mob, being this young middle school student is stressing over old man issues over not having a career path. At the same time, Serizawa reminisces about how his life had no meaning when he was stuck in his room. In the end, the learning lesson here is that if you don’t put any effort and hard work towards something, you may end up like this 50 year old bum.
I can safely say that is a guy’s worst nightmare..
2. Katsuya Serizawa「 芹沢克也」
The life of an adult man is a lot harder than what mainstream will portray it as. Besides my own projection, his character very much provides very relatable qualities that the younger crowd might miss. Even at the age of 30, life is difficult and when tasked with something—messing up is apart of that process. When Serizawa broke that antique figure, it perfectly represents that old guy struggle. However, Serizawa’s quality of being humble and continuing to learn is a great example for young Mob.
3. Arataka Reigen「霊幻新隆」
No matter how scam-my and disingenuous Reigen Arataka comes off as, his redeeming qualities of providing wisdom and being protective & loyal to Mob, can’t be overlooked. As a boss, he uses his charisma and charm to help uplift a self-loathing character like Serizawa. Using his ingenuity, he helps Serizawa fix his mistake with the broken antique figure. Reigen’s contrasting over-the-top personality, along with his serious words of wisdom, provides an entertaining dynamic between the trio of Mob, Serizawa and Reigen.
Toeing the line between superstitious faux abilities and the thought of it actually working is still one of the most hilarious qualities of Reigen and Mob Psycho 100.
There are many examples of mentor archetypes for shonen anime, but none of them are quite like Reigen. Kishibe in Chainsaw Man is another character that comes to mind that blurs the lines of comedic satire and providing realistic wisdom.
Without a character like Reigen, Mob will be lost. Reigen providing Mob enlightenment at the end up the episode, explaining that he started his business off of a “whim” were perfect words of wisdom for Mob to hear. Unfortunately for Reigen, Mob sees a future where he isn’t working for Reigen, which may have certain implications down the line.
4. Over-the-Top Reactions
Mob Psycho 100‘s over the top presentation of emotions and funny abilities makes it stylistically easy to consume, especially with a character like Reigen. The contrast between the hysterical nature of his “ability” to fight against the spirits, using highly animated over-the-top reactions and “attacks” versus his intellectual side is one of the biggest reasons why we watch Mob Psycho 100. Add in all of the other supporting characters like Dimple, Ichi, Serizawa and the Body Improvement Club, the delivery of these characters’ reactions make it one of the most visually appealing(hyped & disturbing) animes to watch.
5. Broccoli = Plot
After a long layoff and almost forgetting what happened in seasons prior, I’m sure some of us went on a little wiki recap and watched a few videos to see what the heck happened with this divine tree thing. After the previous battle between Mob and Toichiro, a gigantic broccoli tree grew to a massive size from Mob and Toichiro’s attacks that got absorbed into broccoli seeds. Thus, resulting in this massive broccoli tree that just screams “plot.”
Once Mob speaks with Reigen and finds solace in his wisdom, Dimple ends the episode by playing the role of “plot device” as he finds his way to the tree. If there’s one thing we know about Dimple, it’s that he has some selfish endeavor on his mind.