MOB PSYCHO 100 – WHAT IT’S ACTUALLY ABOUT
- March 25, 2018
”Why do you have to be like them? You’re the protagonist of your own life, arent’t you?”
He looks familiar,doesn’t he? Mob Psycho 100 is a webmanga created by manga artist ONE who is also known for creating One Punch Man. The story about young Shigeo Kageyama aka Mob who is going to Middle School. Since he was born he has psychic powers which he uses to help his mentor Arataka Reigen to exorcize ghosts. Even though he has strong supernatural powers, he struggles with everyday life which include surviving math class and trying to impress the girl he loves. To avoid his power getting out of control he constantly suppresses not only his psychic powers but also his strong emotions until he is not longer able to.
So the series deals with a rather reserved young male protagonist with strong supernatural powers. Some do compare the story to “One Punch Man” and even though the protagonists look alike and the humor is similar there are vital differences. While “One Punch Man” is an anime series that represents a satire of the action hero genre itself, Mob Psycho 100 focuses more on complex characters. Mob e.g. At first seems to be innocent, emotionally week and even boring but throughout the story we understand that he appears that way because he shields himself from the others to protect them from his psychic powers because by Reigen he has learned that he is not supposed to use these against humans. Reigen has also taught him that no matter what kind of powers someone has, in the end everyone is human and that nothing gives you the right to treat people unjustly just because they are different. There are more important values in life than having a certain talent, just like love, feeling accepted and fulfilled. Mob is insecure because he thinks that his supernatural powers are the only thing that make him special – and even those do not help him to get what he desires. The show teaches us that everyone is individual and has a natural talent (Mob his psychic powers, Ritsu his intelligence and the ability to be social and Reigen the ability to psychologically manipulate but also verbally motivate and convince others) that one has to accept and learn to deal with.
Another aspect the anime reveals quite figuratively is that if we do suppress our emotions, it can lead to an outburst in form of violent acts or psychologically damge us. Humans need an environment in which they feel comfortable being themselves. Suppressing your own feelings just in order to fit in is neither physically nor mentally healthy. Every time Mob’s feelings overwhelm him and he cannot control himself anymore, Ithe audience is suffering with him and while he is at the mercy of his mixed feelings of relief and sadness regarding inevitably hurting people. Especially towards the end of the season we get to understand that Mob has such a hard time fighting his enemies because Reigen always taught him that using violence (in his case using his psychic powers) is not justified and that it is an legitimate option to run away when things get dangerous. Even though Reigen himself is in danger, he still keeps preaching these words because he knows that if Mob would kill someone if he would suffer from that more than anyone else.
To say “Mob Psycho 100” is a show about a psychic kid is like saying “One Punch Man” is a show about a guy who punches people. It is not wrong but it does not convey the complexity concerning the characters and the different themes (e.g. tolerance, friendship, individuality, finding and accepting one’s own identity and pacifism) the show deals with.