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This Week in Anime – How Can Mob Psycho 100 Have 3 Perfect Seasons?

The anime continues to be an incomparable display of fantastic animation, emotional story beats, and laugh-out-loud moments. It’s never too late to jump into one of the best anime of the year.

This series is streaming on Crunchyroll

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @BeeDubsProwl @NickyEnchilada @vestenet

Steve, we’ve got a pretty special surprise for our readers today. We’ve done the occasional guest spot here on TWIA, and this time we’ve got a real big name joining us. That’s right everyone, today, we’re joined by THE second-place contestant in the Tumblr Sexyman competition, certified internet sex symbol, and gijinka for the concept of tax fraud: Arataka Reigen!
Reigen, it’s such a pleasure to have you here with us. Let’s begin with a softball question: in an age and society increasingly defined by fragmentation and manipulation, where the gossamer border between truth and fiction is dissolving before our eyes, what do you make of Elon Musk’s purchase and rapid deconstruction of Twitter, both as a company and as a social media concept? And do you think this will make it easier or more difficult for you to win more Sexymen competitions?

Oh no, he’s stormed off the set.
Ah, well, nevertheless. We’ll send an intern to the green room with some fancy-looking sandwiches to see if he’ll return. In the meantime, I guess we can talk about the decidedly less sexy member of the show.
Nick, are you telling me this isn’t the ideal male form?
No, Rock Lee mixed with Peter Griffin is not the peak of male performance.
We’ll have to agree to disagree there, but luckily for both of us, the third season of is stuffed to the gills with various examples of masculine perfection. Some of them are more metallic than others.
Let the record show that I am genuinely concerned for anybody attracted to Anime Slimer From Ghostbusters. I do not abide by any of this specific degeneracy. Get help.
I’m merely an objective observer reporting the facts as I see them. And this week, I saw Dimple absolutely double-cheeked up on a Wednesday afternoon.

Should change his name to Dumple.
This column needs an adult. And no, Reigen does not count.
You’re out of luck then because there aren’t any other adults in this show. Everyone else is my child, and I love them dearly. Especially the perennial goodest boy, Mob.
Now, now, this whole season has been about Mob growing up. He may be a boy right now, but someday soon, he’ll be a man, and like any teenager, that thought scares the piss out of him.
That’s where we find Shigeo at the beginning of this third (and final) season, and though he’s still a tiny bowl-cut full of anxiety, the premiere invites us to reflect on all the connections he’s made and the growth he’s undergone since the start of the show. He has a long path in front of him, but he’s come a long way too.
But the road to maturity is long and difficult, and this season, Mob faces his most difficult challenge yet: learning to eat his vegetables.
Seriously, at least for me, an essential step into adulthood was the realization that broccoli is an S-tier vegetable. Drizzle a little oil on those bad boys, roast them, and maybe add a little lemon. Mmm, good stuff. Though I must admit, some recent episodes have been doing my vegetable appetite many favors. Unless you’re cooking for Cthulhu, your plate should not look like this.
I’m more on the Reigen side of things, where growing up meant realizing that nobody can make me eat broccoli, so I can throw that plant in the garbage and ride the chaos of life, baby. No rules; just right.
I guess I really can’t argue with THE internet sex symbol himself.
The point is, there’s no single “right” way to be an adult. The important thing is that you take responsibility for your choices and make them with confidence. Sometimes that means taking vitamin supplements because lima beans are shit. Other times it means not joining a cult just because a cute girl invited you.
Per usual, doles out its thoughtfully considered reflections on Living In A Society with equal parts sentimentality and shitpost energy, all wrapped up in a spectacular, singular creative package. We’re at the point where it feels redundant to call the anime “good” because, of course it is. It’s been firing on all cylinders from the beginning. We get meditations on loneliness at the same time that we see Reigen freaking out over roaches.
It’s challenging to talk about the show because it’s been consistently excellent in pretty much the same way every season, despite years between entries and a shift in director for this final installment. There are only so many ways you can say, “this show’s every frame and storyboard whips ass” before you repeat yourself, y’know?
You’re telling me! I’m the guy who’s gotta pull an episode review out of his posterior each week! By the same measure, though, Mob is a treat to watch, think about, and—eventually—put words to. It’s an adaptation in a league of its own. Where else do you see an ending animation done with oil paints on glass? Tons of unique creative decisions like this, enacted by artists at the top of their game, add up to Mob.

It also sometimes adds up to an uncomfortably wet Chad Mob, so win some, lose some.
Testicular mandibles are a risk you’re always going to take with ONE writing things, but I think it’s worthwhile.
Really though, this is the kind of adaptation you usually only dream of if you’re a fan of any particular manga. The amount of love and care put into every episode—and facilitated by an unusually healthy production schedule—makes this series shine. It can transition from some of the slickest battle animation in television to goofy bullshit to genuinely unsettling horror in a single episode, sometimes a single scene, and make it all work. It rules.
It also makes it hard to choose favorites, but out of the season so far, I have to give my nod to episode four, with storyboards that sharpen the story’s sense of paranoia to a mesmerizingly unsettling point. Seriously, all hats off to Naoto Uchida for crafting such an oppressive atmosphere.

It is perfect and captures the creeping unease of the Psycho Helmet story. It’s a classic horror story, watching more and more people around Mob succumb to the cult’s control until it feels like the whole world is out to get him.
Psycho Helmet himself also has such a great, uniquely creepy character design. Not sure I ever would have asked myself what Moe Howard would look like if he were made of plant matter, but now I have my answer, and it sucks so hard.
Vegetarians worldwide are terrified to discover this was where those Impossible Whoppers come from.
In Seasoning City, broccoli eats you!
Of course, Psycho gets less intimidating when you remember he’s the talking fart cloud who’s been shadowing Mob for the whole show. Kind of hard to be scared of this thing.
That was also my worry going into this arc. At this point in his narrative, it makes sense for Mob to confront somebody he’s close to. However, Dimple’s mainly served as comic relief and a dry, cynical foil to Mob’s naivete. Asking us to take him seriously as an adversary is a pretty big request. Though, again, impeccable direction and animation do wonders for that cause.

If this were a different series, it absolutely wouldn’t work. But Dimple is the perfect antagonist for this point in Mob’s story because of that near-parodic mixture of seriousness and silliness. It also allows them to drop homages into an otherwise serious dialogue.

I wish they’d fully committed and had Psycho Helmet punch Mob in the kidneys while he said it.
You can’t win ’em all. But yeah, if I can repeat the phrase I tossed out in this week’s episode review (because I like it), Mob is a series where farce walks hand in hand with finesse. And this arc works because we see how much it affects Mob. He is mad! He is upset. While Dimple might not be much of a character on his own, he means something to Mob, and that’s enough.
That’s largely how I related to this arc too. Dimple himself is just kind of a scumbag—and not even the charming type like half this show’s cast—but I can at least feel for Mob and his perhaps misguided attachment to the little poot ghost. Still really nice when he gets his ass handed to him, though.
I also like the way Dimple reverts to his scummy cult leader days, with the narrative even more acerbic in its treatment of him this time. Lots of great jabs at the moral vacuum inside cult leaders of all types and lots of overt connections drawn to stuff like politics and mob mentalities. Sadly, these subjects have only become more relevant since the series began, so it makes sense to be this loud and exasperated about it.

That is something I appreciate. Media about cults often lean into their leaders’ image as awful yet incredible and charismatic geniuses. Still, just about any time you look into the real ones, you find mountains of incompetence and bullshit. So I’m glad that MP100 finds a way to make Dimple intimidating but never legitimate.
Yeah, and homing in on the weakness and, ultimately, the humanity of Dimple also segues nicely into the eventual resolution. Which, like pretty much everything in Mob, is so impressively thoughtful. Like, the show dismisses the idea that violence is always the wrong answer because Dimple deserves to be taught a lesson that only fists can provide. But the actual resolution comes from Mob and Dimple hashing it out with words because of their relationship and history. In lesser hands, this would feel flimsy and inconsistent, but it works here. And I attribute that 100% to the show never shying away from the dumbest punchline imaginable.
Three full episodes build up to that one line turning a tacky shirt into not just a punchline but the fulcrum point for the entire arc’s conclusion. Truly an unrivaled commitment to The Bit.
Just the most brilliant way to instantly defuse the situation. It’s as if I were locked in mortal combat and the other guy suddenly told me my favorite anime was shit. I’d have no recourse except to agree with him and hug it out.
Who knew “WHAT ARE THOSE” was the solution to all supernatural conflict?

I need to tell some of these other shonen heroes that the key to victory is letting the villain roast your ass.
It also helps when the villain is a giant Oscars statue with rosy Pikachu cheeks. Another great example of the show taking Dimple’s blowhard ambitions—and thus the ambitions of all the Dimples out there in the real world—exactly as seriously as they merit. Which is none.
Put him in a sailor’s hat and sunglasses, and you have L. Ron Hubbard. Though that asshole had a decidedly less auspicious farewell than Dimple does here. All he got was a bewildering and terrible album from Edgar Winter. Not even a single immaculately animated fight to his name. Pitiful.
Haha, what a loser. Dimple may be forgiven by Mob, but he still has to pay some cosmic comeuppance for trying to enslave the entire world. I can’t say I don’t think that’s fair. But if I ever have to go out in a blaze of glory, I certainly hope it comes with the distinction of having Yutaka Nakamura painstakingly animate my bare bubble butt.
All that broccoli gives you nice glutes before obliterating you in a hellacious parade of psychic laser fire.

It may be a midseason finale, but craft-wise, it’s anything but mid. It reminds me of how insane the second season’s fifth episode was, and I’m sure we haven’t even seen the peak of the third season’s prowess yet.
I cannot even imagine how this show will go out. Any one of its seasons could stand up as some of the best animation in television, and with a production this confident, I have to expect they’re holding something in reserve for the ending. I’ve said plenty of times that this is a stacked season, but if you’ve slept on Mob before now, there is still time to get in and experience this extraordinary, incredible series with the rest of us.
Yeah, it’s only gotten better and better with time, and it began as a gold standard for transformative manga adaptations. Something that captured the spirit of its source material and used it to fuel pure manic cartoon goodness. Something that, by never taking itself too seriously, manages to be more humble and heartfelt than the vast majority of its peers. Mob is a treasure.



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