Reigen, (fake) esper extraordinaire, is up to his old tricks again as the episode kicks off. Surveying a farmer’s land, he nods knowingly as his perspective client laments his ruined crop. He states that he saw a dancing, shadowy figure just the night before, and now his crop is ruined. After examining the soil and fertilizer, Reigen is stumped and defers to his heavy lifter: middle school student and (actual) esper extraordinaire: Mob.
Mob detects a “weak” signal coming from a nearby scarecrow, and disperses it almost instantly. Unfortunately, it was merely a front for a much more powerful spirit that erupts from the ground, composed of possessed vines and plant life.
While its powers still seem to pale in comparison to Mob’s, Reigen’s involvement makes things more complicated as the spirit threatens the conman’s life, causing Mob to hesitate just long enough to be bound by vines and plunged into the earth. Mob puts two and two together, recognizing that the vines are simply being manipulated by the evil spirit. Sending in his own, more powerful signal, he seizes control of the plants – drawing out the cursed skull that originally possessed the land and destroying it for good.
Reigen is impressed that his student “Figured it out”, and after collecting themselves, they make their way back to the office, where Reigen pays his loyal employee with some…broccoli seeds?
Things transition back to the school, where former cult member turned conniving Mob fangirl – Ichi Mezato – turns her attention to the recently abdicated Student Council President position. In an attempt to groom Mob to become a proper cult leader, she sees this endeavor as a way to help him grow.
Typically, Mob would have no interest in such an experiment, but when Ichi mentions that the move could put him on the radar of the school’s idol (whom he happens to be crushing on massively), he decides to take it on.
Despite his efforts, he ends up being a silent statue during his speech segment, and places dead last in the election. While disappointed, things turn up fairly quickly when he discovers a mysterious letter in his locker inviting him to meet behind the school. He’s greeted by a fellow classmate named Emi, who confides that his courage to try and stand up and talk in front of the school helped her to fall for him and she asks him out.
What ends up following is a “relationship” that mainly consists of them walking home with one another (no hand-holding, of course). Mob is in high spirits, exorcising with a smile as his family and friends note his chipper attitude.
Emi finally confides in him a week later that she asked him out on a dare. We also find out that he actually turned her down, but still continued to hang out with her as a friend. This provided her with cover so that her friends wouldn’t make fun of her for being turned down by Mob in the first place.
Mob reflects on the relationship for a while before making his way home, running into Emi and her friends on the way home. Emi plays coy about a novel that she’s working on, smiling and making fun of herself as her “friends” tear it to pieces and mock her writing. Mob walks up and begins picking up the pieces of the torn up novel –
Emi, moved by his genuine interest in her writing, joins him in picking up the pieces. Her friends, seemingly shamed for their behavior, leave them alone. Just as they’ve finished gathering the pieces, a strong breeze begins carrying the torn paper strips away. Mob decides to demonstrate his powers to Emi, summoning the papers back together and repairing her writing. He confides in her that he’s an esper, not realizing that his crush has seen the whole thing.
Mob Psycho 100 has made a triumphant return with this solid opening episode.
Let’s start with – the intro! “99.9” by Mob Choir features a fantastic beat and allusion to the struggles that Mob has to face in the episodes to come – this is definitely one of the OPs that folks will be watching every week.
The characters are largely all where we left them – with the notable exception of Mob. We can see, just beneath the surface, that his experiences from season 1 have changed him slightly, molding him slowly into a more assertive and confident version of himself. He’s far from perfect (see: speech scene), but these changes are really brought to light in the closing scenes when he comments on the decision to consider his feelings more. Rather than bottle them up, compounding his tendency to “burst” into fits of psychic power.
I think this is such a great message to embrace from the opening episode, encouraging emotional maturity for a demographic that can often feel like it’s not okay to be emotional or talk about their feelings. To a certain extent, My Hero Academia’s Izuku Midoriya checks some similar boxes, but adding Mob to the lineup is a breath of fresh air for sure.
Aside from the return of our favorite characters from season 1, we also see a return of the psychedelic animation style that helped to set the show apart from the start. While the conflict at the start was rather brief, I’m looking forward to some of the higher-octane confrontations that are to come.
A fantastic start! I will definitely be watching and reviewing every week, so stay tuned!