A little late on these episode reviews for Mob Psycho 100, but I actually think this worked out for the best. Alone, episode 4 of Mob Psycho 100 is kinda bland–its a set up episode, and the saving grace for the episode is the last five or ten minutes. But when you watch episode 4 and 5 of Mob Psycho 100 back to back, you get a the full impact of the story that they’re trying to tell and it provides some really great character development and background.
Episode 3 builds up some backstory on why Mob doesnt use his physic powers very frequently, though the reason is kind of vague: Mob just wants to be like everyone else and blend in. We dont get the exact reason of why Mob wants to be normal–but we do know it has nothing to do with his high school crush.
The story folds out that a neighboring school is looking to pick fights with some opponents, who just so happen to be the body improvement club. Long story short, they capture poor Mob, thinking he’s the weakest, and things escalate very quickly as Mob’s club friends win fights against his captors. Eventually the challenger’s cavalry comes, their gang leader,Teru—and he just lays waste to everybody.
Its here we find out that Teru inst physically strong, he’s actually using his physic powers to win the fight–and that’s where Mob’s temper starts to climb.
Episode 4 of Mob Psycho 100 puts all the pieces together for some solid character development and adds some amazing fight scenes for good measure. Teru and Mob’s pretty much duke it out, going on about their ideals. Both are on the opposite ends of the spectrum: Teru is all about using his power to his advantage at any given moment. Mob believes that his esper powers should never be used, especially against normal people. That’s why he tries so desperately to fit in, in his own odd way. We understand the back story of exactly WHY Mob doesnt like using his powers. He got into a fight when he was younger, his brother was being picked on, and while they were both being beat up Mob snaps. During that snap, Mob doesnt feel bad about punishing the bullies, but he hurts his brother in the process. This is why he doesnt like using his powers frequently, Mob is scared of hurting those around him.
Cliche, yes…but it makes sense.
I suppose its the cliche character resolve that kinda kills this episode for me. I wish they would have written a better plot for why Mob tries so hard, but at the same time its understandable and what makes the most sense. Mob gets that he’s all powerful, but hes seen that his powers can do when left uncheck and he’s not willing to hurt anybody. Mob continues to get all the high road moral points.
Continuing with the episode, both Mob and Teru can not accept the other’s ideals and how they should use their powers. Mob blatantly refuses to fight, and in doing so is pretty much choked out by Teru. During this whole choking portion, Mob is desperately trying to NOT use his powers, recalling the accident that he invovled his brother in. Unfortunately, self preservation kicks in and when passed out, Mob’s psychic powers trigger….past the 100 state, and into something demonic.
We get this really amazing sequence where Mob just puts Teru into check, and we see the full (??? we have no idea if this is Mob’s final level!) chaos Mob’s physic abilities can cause. The dude rips apart an entire school building, creates a temporal rift in the sky, and sends the debris into– what we can assume–another dimension. To say the least, Teru gives up and is beaten, literally, into submission and accepts Mob’s ideals that they shouldnt be abusing their powers on the daily or on regular people.
But what is the actual highlight of this episode is not Mob’s monstrous powers but his humbling humanity. Mob realizes exactly what he did and the harm he could have caused; he thinks he hasnt changed at all from that day the bullies were picking on him and his brother. Mob knows just how dangerous he really is and he earnest wants to keep himself in check and deeply years for some kind of penance. Mob triggers himself back into 100 mode, where he is in control, and places the entire environment that he destroyed back to it’s original state in a matter of seconds.
Hot damn, this kid can be god– Dimple was not kidding at the start of episode 4.
Episode 4 may have been the set up episode a just a bit bull, but was entirely needed for the delivery of episode 5. They were great episodes with excellent delivery. Mob Pyscho 100 may not deliver this over arching plot that Ive been waiting for, but instead provides me with a story about a layered character and his personal progression of becoming a better person and unmatched ESPER…and, honestly, Im okay with that.