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‘Mob Psycho 100 II’ Review: Psycho Killer

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In 2016, Mob Psycho 100’s first season aired to universal acclaim. Lauded for its originality, a product of webcomic author One’s magical mind, it reaffirmed Japan’s mastery of all things weird and wonderful. Three years on, its hotly anticipated second season has hit screens, continuing to follow One’s now finished webcomic.

So having concluded its short but sweet 13 episode stint recently, how does Mob Psycho 100 II hold up against its top-notch first season?

The titular protagonist, middle schooler Mob, is riddled with the anxieties and insecurities any run-of-the-mill introvert teenager faces. He wants the girl of his dreams to like him, he wants to be physically fit, and he wants to conquer his shyness. But unlike typical teenagers, Mob’s a powerful psychic, capable of exercising evil spirits and whisking objects about the place with a flick of his fingers.

Teaming up with the secretly fraud psychic Reigen, who runs the Spirits and Such Consultation Office, Mob Psycho 100 II aptly continues Mob’s journey of self-discovery.

A cacophony of offbeat comedy and character study

Mob Psycho 100 II, like its first season, is a cacophony of offbeat comedy and character study. Locking its gaze on Mob and Reigen, the two undergo massive growth throughout its 13 episodes. Highlights include Mob’s heartwarming romance with Emi (I’m disappointed this wasn’t continued), Mob and Reigen’s fallout (resulting in character development for Reigen), and coming to blows with the upper echelon of villainous esper organization Claw (a chance for Bones to flex their animation muscles).

And speaking of Bones, Mob Psycho 100 II’s animation studio, they knocked it out the park. Responsible for the equally excellent My Hero Academia, the animation on display gets top marks, bolstered by fluidity and polish. This takes center stage most prominently in the seasons’ tail end, as Mob and a bevvy of espers face off against Claw.

(Of course, Mob’s showdown with Mogami Keiji in episode 5 is also deserving of special mention. It’s outstanding!)

Bones successfully retain One’s artistic quirkiness, whilst refining the clunky bits, to manifest visual splendour throughout Mob Psycho 100 II.

Despite its highs, like the first season, Mob Psycho 100 II always left me wanting more. Side characters remain with minimal to no development, spelling the standout pitfall of this otherwise spot-on series. It successfully expands on its likeable leads in Mob and Reigen, but don’t expect Hanazawa, Mezato, or Tsubomi to receive similar attention. And if you’re scratching your head trying to recall whom those characters are, that only proves my point. Mob Psycho 100 II has a fascinating cast, but with scant time to explore its members.

A flawless successor to its first season

Mob Psycho 100 II is a flawless successor to its first season. It’s chock-full of the laugh out loud gags, white knuckle action, and amazing animation fans have come to expect, with a generous slice of character development for Mob and Reigen. Its supporting cast remains lackluster by comparison, being largely underdeveloped, but this barely detracts from Mob Psycho 100 II’s countless successes.

(Fingers crossed One-Punch Man season two will be as good.)

Catch both seasons of Mob Psycho 100 on Crunchyroll HERE.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ruslan

    April 6, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Side cast will be explored in eventual season 3,so look forward to that!

    • Harry Morris

      April 6, 2019 at 9:19 am

      That’s fantastic to hear! 🙂

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 33: Coming into Maturity

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Anime Ichiban welcomes our anime waifu overlords, old and new. Join Matt and Kyle this episode as they discuss the return of the Goddess of Anime, Haruhi Suzumiya herself, then hop on over to the new virutal sensation that’s finally sweeping English-speaking nations: Hololive Vtubers!

For this episode of Anime Ichiban, the SHITSUMON! topic will have the duo diving into recently released Aggretsuko Season 3 and The Great Pretender and explore how the two shows work with mature themes.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions and what we’ve been up to
23:33 – The Return of Haruhi Suzumiya(‘s light novels)
37:23 – The Debut of Generation 1 of Hololive English Vtubers
53:07 – Minor news roundup: (Shenmue anime announced; Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel Part 3 movie debuts to huge success; KyoAni fire updates)
58:35 – SHITSUMON! How does anime portray mature themes in its storytelling?

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Anime

Anime Ichiban 32: The Art of Following a Formula

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry.

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diary of our days at breakwater

Corporate shakeups and Galapagos Syndrome spell omens of a changing global landscape for the anime industry and that the crew digs into along with how a series can effectively perform within its genre conventions.

TIMESTAMPS

0:00 – Introductions
12:28 – Legacy piracy site KissAnime shuts down
28:45 – AT&T reportedly looking to sell Crunchyroll
43:27 – Galapagos Syndrome: Is anime in danger of losing its global identity?
58:41 – News Reel
1:02:20 – SHITSUMON! How do shows perform effectively and still entertain in genres whose formulae are already well known and expected?

TRACKS

Intro – “Cagayake! GIRLS” by Houkago Tea Time (K-ON! opening theme)
Outro – “Tsuri no sekai e” by Umino High School Breakwater Club (Our Diary at the Breakwater ending theme)

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Anime

‘One Piece: Stampede’ is an All-Star Behemoth Buckling Under Predictability

Does One Piece: Stampede sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

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As the fourteenth film in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece saga, One Piece: Stampede was released in 2019 to critical and financial success. As a big-budget commemoration of the anime’s 20th anniversary, Stampede has lots to live up to, from successfully stamping a momentous two decades, to satiating the hype of a passionate global fanbase. Does it sail all the way to Laugh Tale, or remain anchored in an East Blue of mediocrity?

It’s party time at the Pirate Fest!

The Pirate Fest, a grand gathering of the sea’s most infamous individuals, is underway! At the festival, the Straw Hats compete with their Worst Generation rivals to retrieve a treasure of Gol D. Roger. But behind the scenes, festival organiser Buena Festa and legendary pirate Douglas Bullet are scheming something sinister.

Cutting to the chase, One Piece: Stampede soon kicks into an all-out battle against said Douglas Bullet, with Luffy working with friend and foe alike to fell his opponent.

Much like Dragon Ball Super: Broly, also animated by Toei Animation, each frame of One Piece: Stampede is a treasure to behold. Fluid animation and colors spell eye-candy magic, and the odd bit of 3D animation isn’t (too) visually jarring.

One Piece: Stampede nails its mission statement of lightning-paced popcorn entertainment to a tee. Goofy shonen films don’t have to transcend ‘awesome action and silly superpowers’. Rather than shooting for the moon and coming up short, Stampede settles for smashing the sky. With white-knuckle fights and satisfying character moments conveyed with a zippy pace, One Piece: Stampede assuredly brings what fans want. And whilst not as developed or memorable as other film baddies (One Piece: Strong World’s Shiki or One Piece: Z’s titular Z), Douglas Bullet is terrifyingly tough enough to tick the boxes.

Playing It Safe

Whilst the ‘playing it safe’ ethos of One Piece: Stampede succeeds on the surface, the imaginative innovation of One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is missing, and the excess of characters prevents the possibility of channeling the simplicity of One Piece: Dead End Adventure. Stampede works as anniversary celebratory bombast but isn’t the series’ smartest, and with the core of the film occurring in a single spot and under dull skies, location fatigue rears its head.

For some, the draw of One Piece: Stampede is its constant character cameos. From the instantly recognizable to the deep cuts, it’s a fun gimmick for fans, although the absence of big names like Kuzan and Jinbei are noticeable. Some cameos fall on the side of groan inducing-ly forced, shoehorning a requisite Zoro fight, or overtly shouting to audiences “Remember them?!” Having no effect on the story, these cameos are clunky and break narrative immersion.

Far from the worst of One Piece’s wildly varied films, Stampede is what it needs to be. It lacks the creative spirit of One Piece’s heights and is dampened by its inconsistent cameo execution, but it’s a fine anniversary celebration for one of manga and anime’s, if not the world’s, best works of fiction. For the uninitiated, it’ll be like an avant-garde acid trip, but for those clued-into Luffy’s antics, it’s a barrage of ballistic glee!

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