Top three time means we get to the meat of the anime and video games I really cared about this year. Not to say that the entries on the list before now didn’t have a strong impact on me. I know Senko-San certainly did. But the following entries are all pretty important to me in 2019. And I hope I can do my feelings justice in written form on these last six entries.
#3: Mob Psycho 100 (Season 2)
Originally Aired: 7th January to 1st April | 13 Episodes | Based on the Manga written by ONE | Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural
I love this series. At this point, the comparisons between it and One Punch Man feel utterly pointless, Mob Psycho is such a superior show that bringing up the giant bummer that was OPM’s second season as a point of comparison feels unfair to both shows.
At its core, Mob Psycho has always been a series about adolescence, feeling like you don’t fit into the world forging a place for yourself. The main difference being that the teenage angst is replaced with god-like superpowers. Mob’s story always was especially interesting to me though. Despite his insane power, he is insistent on living his life and growing as a person without using them.
Instead, he chooses to focus on the more mundane aspects of his life like his personal fitness and social standing. Mostly because he has a crush on a girl, but that doesn’t make it any less admirable on his part.
And the first eight episodes of the series delve into this to fantastic effect. Mob is constantly bombarded with examples of why his choice is a poor one, continuously showing the sympathetic aspects of the spirit world, while also revealing just how crappy humanity can be. Imposing a choice on Mob to pick a side between the normal world and the world of spirits and psychics. Which builds up to a pretty intense tipping point, right before Mob is reminded of the circle of support he does have around him.
And what a circle it is. The supporting cast for this show is amazing. Reigen is a fantastic character, despite lacking any powers himself, he is seemingly always the most competent person in the room, thanks to his staggering grasp of common sense. Even when he is outed as a fraud, it’s only because he makes an incorrect assumption after having the deck stacked against him.
But even he gets some real development, realising why Mob respects him so much and how he played a pivotal role in how Mob has developed as a person. The ending of episode 7 is an amazingly touching character moment between the two, one that makes me feel teary eyed just thinking about it now.
Plus, there’s the Body Improvement Club. A bunch of meat headed jocks who buck all stereotypes and become amongst the best boys in the series. The fact that they don’t care about Mob’s lack of ability, nor his slow progress, that they cheer him on and celebrate his baby steps at every opportunity makes them so wholesome and good it hurts. They’re like, number 2 most wholesome characters of the year.
The final five episodes of the series raids One Punch Man’s broom closet though, setting up a major antagonist and putting Mob out of commission for the majority of it, while a bunch of the supporting characters have middling success, all of which is building up to a final confrontation between Mob and the big bad.
Not that I can really complain about it though, because the action in this show consistently looks amazing. Mob Psycho has a very unique art style to say the least, one that leans more into ONE’s own (somewhat limited) drawing style, giving the characters basic, if striking looks.
When the action gets going though, the weirdly, slightly off model characters contributes to the insane scale and weight of the action in so many ways. The big fights in Mob are huge in scale, akin to One Punch or things like Dragonball. And it looks amazing.
In the end, I ended up enjoying the quieter, character focused early episodes of this second series a lot more than the more action orientated second half. Even though the action on display is incredible. There’s not much more story to adapt now, and I’m curious as to whether we’ll get a final season of this show or not. The two we already have are fantastic though and perfectly manages to blend being touching, incredibly silly and hype as…