This is starting to get spooky.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Reigen has found a lead on a juicy new client with lots of moolah to spend on hiring their services to help remedy whatever possession has befallen the client’s daughter. Mob and Reigen jump on it immediately, but find once they show up, that they’re not the only psychics invited to help out this particular benefactor. Reigen and Mob are just one of many summoned to exorcise the evil spirit that has infected Minori, the only daughter of the client.
The psychics decide who gets to take the first crack at it by rock paper scissors. Reigen, who has a mastery over rock paper scissors, wins and is the first to go. He tries to see what’s going on with the girl, but she immediately begins to say that this is all just a big misunderstanding and that her father is actually abusing her. The other psychics agree with Minori, but Reigen isn’t convinced. His keen psychic senses tell him that Minori is possessed by a powerful spirit. Realizing the jig is up, the possessed Minori immediately begins attacking and using her powers to force the other psychics to hallucinate.
The psychics deduce that this child is possessed by a psychic named Keiji Mogami, who became an evil spirit after he died because of his contact with all the misery of people being haunted by evil. It would seem Mogami wants revenge, but Mob and Reigen aren’t about to let him continue his sinister ways. Reigen uses his trademark knee kick to keep Mogami at bay, while Mob devises a plan to possess Minori so that he can kick out Mogami from within, since his own powers aren’t strong enough to beat him in the physical world.
With the aid of Dimple, Mob makes it happen, but things take a turn for the worse. Inside the dreamscape of Minori’s mind, Mogami has immense power and is able to strip Mob of his powers. He goes on a maniacal rant about the nature and power of hatred, and offers Mob to join him on his twisted path. With Mob disabled, he then subjects Mob to some kind of dream state where he lives a normal life without having any powers, forcing Mob to undergo a “Shift in perspective.”
Here I thought this show was a comedy, but it looks like Mob Psycho season two wants to show off it’s horror chops as well. We’ve had spooky moments and action sequences in this show before, but they’ve usually had a certain degree of levity or had characters that were charming and funny enough to defuse the tension. Yet here, Mob is facing who is very clearly the most terrifying foe we’ve ever seen in this show. Everything about this encounter is played completely straight. This episode aims to make you uncomfortable, to make you see Mob the ultra-powerful psychic be made weaker than ever. It accomplishes this superbly well, and makes for an episode that’s different from what we’re used to but equally enjoyable in it’s own right.
The writing and scene structure really sets up this episode for success. The characters, even the comic relief ones, feel real and alive, especially Reigen and Mob, whose dynamic has been well-refined over this show’s run. Keiji Mogami, the newcomer, also gets some of the best lines in the episode. He’s a bit ranty, that’s for sure, but he just lives and breathes malice. What’s better is that Mogami is perhaps the only villain to really challenge Mob on his psychic power.
But, in contrast to season one, this expression of psychic power isn’t the kind of physical manifestation that was so prevalent in season one. This season seems to be all about Mob’s internal struggle and Mogami strikes right at the core of that. My suspicion is that he isn’t actually stronger than Mob, just better at manipulating him than Mob is prepared for. Since we already know that Mob’s power can fail when he’s afraid of emotionally discharged, then certainly being manipulated by a sociopath would be bad for Mob’s powers.
I had a great, if not a big terrifying, time with this episode. I usually come here for laughs and wholesomeness, but I’m not about to complain about this episode that only continues to develop the morbid themes presented to us in the first few episodes. It’s a different approach, but one that feels natural and interesting. It just goes to show that you really can’t go wrong with Mob Psycho 100. This is a show that will make you feel things and constantly try to keep you off-balance so that it can surprise you with what is has in store. Not many shows can do that, and even fewer actually try.