English Dub Review: Mob Psycho 100 “Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~”

One Mob Punch Psycho-Man 100.

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Sho and Ritsu make their way to the tower to face Toichiro but are stopped by Shimazaki, an expert teleporter, who Ritsu decides to take on so Sho can fight his father. Ritsu gets his ass handed to him at the start of the fight, but is assisted by Teruki and the former members of Claw. They land a couple of good hits, but Shimazaki just dodges about every other one, making things start to look really one-sided. However, they soon realize that he can’t protect against attacks he doesn’t see coming, as well as the fact that he relies too much on his powers and not actual fighting. With that knowledge, they gain the upper hand temporarily, but he soon overpowers them again.

Meanwhile, Mob engages in battle with another powerful Esper, Minegishi, who uses plants. He’s soon helped with this by Matsuo, another former Claw Esper who uses evil spirits to combat Minegishi’s plants, but eventually accidentally unleashes the previously sealed Mogami, who goes on a rampage. That is until Mob pleads with him to give the enemies a chance to prove they can learn from their mistakes, which seems to calm him down. He leaves Mob with the lesson that sometimes he needs to be tough on people. Mob then tries this out on Shimazaki…or at least he would, but Reigen ambushes Shimazaki with his patented “Self-Defense Rush”. Mob gives him a stern talking to, so he runs away, likely changing his ways. Mob then goes to the tower, with Dimple not far behind, with only Serizawa left in his way.

Sho confronts Toichiro, who reveals the extent of his plans for taking over the world with his overwhelming power, but Sho won’t let him take things any further and uses a blast of saved up energy!…to no effect. His father is just too powerful for him to face by himself.

OUR TAKE

Once again, this series shows that it is no slouch when it comes to portraying nail-biting and awe-inspiring battles, as this episode is inundated with amazing fights that surely test the limits of Studio Bones’ overworked and underpaid animation staff. The fight against Shimizaki is probably the most impressive and imaginative take on a teleporting enemy that I’ve ever seen, while the other fights, however shorter than this, also dazzle in terms of spectacle and tempo. We’ve really hit the fireworks display in this show, which is fitting for the final few episodes of the season.

However, while I’m liking a lot of this, I can’t help but be concerned about the direction the series is heading in if this is going to become more frequent. What I’ve come to appreciate about Mob Psycho 100 over its sibling show One Punch Man or most other shonen action series is that the fights, even the long and glorious ones, were secondary to how the challenges of having great power were balanced with ordinary life and how Mob overcame his insecurities that way. Now it seems we’ve swept that aside for admittedly intense and epic fight scenes, but I can get that pretty much anywhere, while what I believed to be the heart of the show is starting to get buried in favor the more typical shonen fare.

That’s not to say the episode is light on strong character work, as Mob runs into some Esper mooks and implements his teachings from Reigen about not getting too full of yourself just because you have special abilities, followed by him talk no Jutsu-ing Mogami to back off from more blood on the battlefield and then taking Mogami’s lesson to heart later on. This show is pretty fine-tuned in regards to using its cast in precise ways, so much so that the rather mundane and unremarkable designs almost fall away when looking at the heart and unmistakable impression each character gives off. Even the villains’ collective attitude reflects the antithesis of Mob’s teachings, which makes them perfect fit as antagonists.

But after that, where can this story go? Once they inevitably beat this world-ending threat, will we be caught in a trend of ever harder to beat escalation? With two episodes left, it’s hard to say. In any case, I’m definitely still having fun watching and writing about what’s happening, I just have my worries.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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