In my review of season one, I praised how ONE manages to make overpowered characters likable and their stories tense through sheer emotion. This story about self-betterment and the discussion permeating the spectacle made battles ones of ideology in addition to super-powered flair. With a sequel, how does one continue this discussion without becoming repetitive?
Sequels can often succumb to a temptation to be like their predecessors, but bigger and better. Doing something different, even radically so, can be remembered better, but it is far more risky. That being said, you don’t have to be radical in order to make the sequel interesting in new ways. Sometimes it simply requires a change in focus.
Mob Psycho 100 II does exactly that.
Season one spent a lot of time developing Mob through his battles against other psychics and the ideological battle between them. That is still present here, cause obviously we gotta have psychic battles, but from the first episode, Mob’s personal growth and internal conflicts are put at the forefront.
The premiere starts off simple with a mostly standalone episode about Mob and a girl who asks him out. It doesn’t effect the rest of the series a ton (at least this season), but it sets the tone nicely, showing how Mob is opening up and trying to push himself to be more social.
The first couple episodes are more narrowly focused on Mob and Reigen and less on the large class established by the end of season one. This further emphasizes the spotlight on Mob as he begins experimenting with different types of psychic abilities, such as possession, expanding his arsenal.
Outside of psychic abilities, Mob is beginning to think for himself and is more willing to express his opinion, which surprises Reigen. As they go about conducting all kinds of investigations, it becomes clear that there are a lot more psychics popping up in their lives. Seeing how these psychics use their powers gets Mob pondering about how he uses his powers and society’s reaction to them.
Perhaps most radically, he begins to start suspecting that not all spectres are evil, creating serious doubts about his work as the lines begin to blur. By the way, Reigen starts this season as an absolute MVP, really going out of his way to be there for Mob.
This first arc culminates in this two-part exorcism that leads to one of the best episodes in the series. Mob’s encounter with a particularly powerful esper leads him to endure a cruel alternate reality. It is an emotionally taxing episode, but also super satisfying, encompassing the heart of this season.
Season two’s most potent dialogue deals with personal connections and priviledge. Mob realizes that without the friends and family he has been blessed with, he may have become very different. In acknowledging this, he learns to appreciate what he has, a crucial step in becoming better.
With this thematic focus on personal connection and influence, it is no surprise then that the second half of season two is when the majority of the cast comes back into the fold. To start, there is a super dense arc focused on Reigen that is pretty close to perfect.
I say pretty close because the beginning of said arc has him treating Mob kinda like a dick all of the sudden. I have no issue with there being an inciting incident to his arc, but it seemed a little out of character. Hopefully, it will not impede your enjoyment as his story beyond that point gives a very heartfelt look at the personal life of one of the series’ best characters.
By episode eight, the entire story has been wrought with engaging arcs of personal growth that ropes in the viewer as much as any of the visuals that to an outside viewer may appear to be the entire allure of the show. Because of this, the last five episodes seem to take an abrupt turn. It revolves around Mob and friends facing off against the evil psychic organization Claw, but on a much larger scale than in season one.
Now, in concept, this isn’t that bad, even if it was already done in season one. However, it comes right at the end of episode eight, which felt like the beginning of an arc in its own right. My point is that it felt very sudden since we hadn’t gotten any hints of this imposing threat since the end of season one. I may have preferred another arc focused on Mob pursuing his high school crush honestly.
To be fair though, season one through us into this heroes vs villains plot too, but that season had a more gradual build with more foreshadowing. And even as I say all this, I’m getting flashes of some truly incredible fight scenes that rank among my favorite moments in this show. There is still enjoyment to be had from this finale, especially considering the recurring characters joining the fray.
The creativity when it comes to even minor characters in works by ONE is astounding. Minor characters can leave huge impressions, a trait evident in One Punch Man and certainly here as well. The single greatest fight of the season featured the single greatest display of teleportation I’ve ever seen. It is a masterpiece by animator Bahi JD and, to me at least, his greatest work thus far.
The rest of the animation is, to the surprise of no one, amazing. However, I think it stuck with me more this time around thanks to the creativity in the action but also more engaging storytelling this time around. There was more emotion motivating the action throughout this season.
In many ways, the messages of season two are the same as the first, but approached in exciting new ways. Mob is an inspiration and a hero who I think a lot of people these days could look up to. The end of this season leaves things open for a continuation that will undoubtedly get made, but I just hope that it can maintain this level of quality. Then, it is bones we are talking about.
There were some puzzling takes on what makes a show a classic recently in the anime community. Typically I tend to think that classics are made such by time, and that we won’t know if something is a classic until it comes time to reflect on a series years later. In that way, I’m hopeful we might think back on Mob Psycho in the same way. It is one of the best shows that I took way too damn long to watch and one I am happy to call a new favorite.
Mob Psycho 100 II is available for legal streaming on Crunchyroll and FunimationNow. Season one is available on Blu-ray through Funimation
Leave a comment below telling me what you think of Mob Psycho 100 and tell me what shows you have watched that you think might be remembered as classics.
This is the LAST post from Nagoya, Japan. A lot has happened these past four months, but to all my followers, I am so happy I was able to share the ramblings of my mind during this time. A lot is gonna be happening with this blog in the future. I’m not gonna switch up my release schedule quite yet, but we’ll see what happens.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time.