After eight episodes of heart warming tales of personal growth and responsibility, Mob Psycho 100 suddenly feels like a totally different show. While I had expectations is was going to make this turn eventually, I mean, look at the show’s high action opening. I’m not entirely happy with how we got here.
In episode 9, not only do we have to contend with remembering a whole cast of returning characters from the first season, but also have to learn about the new cast of villains of the upper echelon of the Claw organisation, and get to know about the layers of infighting and coups that are all happening on top of all of this.
It’s almost like walking into a totally different story half way through. Considering our viewpoint characters are Mob and Reigen, and neither of them really have a clue what’s going in either, it makes a lot of sense. For this most part, this episode is fight scene after fight scene, and as usual, they look fantastic. I can’t help but to find it all a little jarring.
As the episode begins, Mob has snapped, believing himself stood before the charred corpses of his family. Dimple panics and tries to logic up a story to make Mob believe that these bodies couldn’t possibly be his real parents, and that they’re actually still alive out there.
While Mob remains in the peaks of his emotions, Dimple’s story redirects them away from revenge, instead they become obsessive. Mob becomes 100% focused on finding the people who did this so that they can tell him where his family is. While it seemed like a dangerous leap of logic on Dimple’s part, that could majorly backfire on him, it actually turns out to be accurate.
Which, at this point, felt kind of manipulate. While I did expect Mob’s family to have survived somehow, for them to explain it all away within the very next episode makes me feel a little less strongly about the really impactful ending to episode 8. While emotional manipulation is the bread and butter of what fiction is supposed to do, any time you become aware that you’re being messed with, is a failure of the medium.
What followed is an emotionally charged Mob flying around and taking nearby espers apart in an effort to learn the location of his parents. While we’re simultaneously introduced to the leader of the Claw and his “Ultimate 5”, as they enact their plan to take over Japan by overthrowing the government.
Hilariously, all of our supporting cast are saved by the former Claw members from last series who still believe to Reigen to be some ultra powerful messiah, thus are out living normal lives as a result of his ranting at them when he channelled 1000% of Mob’s power at the ending of the previous series.
The other big reveal of the episode is that the Claw leader’s Son; Sho, who was the red headed kid introduced towards the end of the previous series and at the end of the previous episode. As it turns out, he isn’t a bad guy, in fact he seems to be actively fighting his father.
Unbeknown to Ritsu, Sho destroyed Mob’s house after he got the family out of there to manipulate Mob into fighting the Claw, as he believed Mob wouldn’t have the heart to fight without “motivation”. That backfires though, because as soon as Mob meets up with Reign, and the later uses his staggering grasp of common sense to convince Mob his family are still alive, Mob calms down and passes out.
Outside of this, the episode is packed with a number of esper fights, between a government embedded agent and his lackeys trying to overthrow the boss, Mob and a couple of nobodies and Teru getting his ass kicked by a happy-go-lucky blind guy who is kidnapping the Prime Minister.
I have enjoyed the quieter aspects of the first eight episode of this season way more than I’d expected to. so I’m a little apprehensive about this upcoming, action heavy series of episodes. While I have no doubt there will be some amazingly animated moments of pure hype, I hope they don’t come at the complete expense of the quieter character building moments that made me love this series so far.