Mob Psycho 100 II is one of the most popular anime of the Winter 2019 season. It is a highly-anticipated sequel due to its successful first season back in 2016. Despite being halfway through its 13-episode run, Mob Psycho 100 II already surpasses the high expectations set by its predecessor.
One of the most intriguing aspects of season 2 is Mob’s character development. The first few episodes of season 2 put Mob through introspective trials which motivate him to be better. While season 1 also portrayed Mob going through some soul-searching moments, Mob Psycho 100 II shows the results of his efforts. The latest episode, #6 “Poor, Lonely, and Whitey,” display these changes most poignantly.
This article features spoilers of the series up until episode 6. If you have not caught up with Mob Psycho 100 II yet, a SPOILER WARNING is in effect.
What Mob Psycho 100 II Establishes Right Away
In season 1, Mob displays an awareness of how his lack of emotion makes him off-putting to other people. He understands that aside from his psychic abilities, he does not have any other unique qualities. This is why he shows so much admiration for his younger brother, Ritsu, who demonstrates capability in all fields. Throughout season 1, Mob attempts to perform different tasks to help his sociability like joining a club. While we do see some improvement, generally, he remains the same unsociable boy from the beginning of the series. Season 2, however, pushes Mob’s efforts to new heights as viewers actually see the results of his hard work.
Mob is Expressing Himself More
The first episode of Mob Psycho 100 II (review here) quickly expresses Mob’s desire to change how people perceive him. He tries to run for student body president to appear more dependable. This is something Mob from season 1 would never do. (I know he does it to impress his crush and ends up losing, but he deserves an “A” for effort.)
In the same episode, Mob displays the drive to express his emotions. This is contrary to season 1’s Mob who attempted to control his emotions to deter his powers from running amok. The episode cements that he no longer wishes to run away from his desires or fear of his powers as he did before.
Mob’s Efforts To Become Stronger Are Paying Off
In season 1, Mob joins the Body Improvement Club to gain an athletic build to impress his crush, Tsubomi. Throughout the first season, Mob’s lack of physical endurance was a comedic gag. Viewers never saw any positive results of Mob’s efforts as he failed to keep up with his physically-superior upperclassmen. However, Mob Psycho 100 II displays a small, but significant, change in Mob’s athletic abilities.
Viewers observe as Mob sets new records in his exercise routines. While he still struggles, his upperclassmen acknowledge Mob is slowly but surely closing the gap between them. Mob still has a long way to go, but he is never the less gaining confidence in himself as he continues training. For Mob, gaining confidence within himself is in of itself a huge win.
Mob Gains A Social Life
Season 1 of Mob Psycho 100 displayed Mob’s lack of a social life or friends. Outside of school, all Mob did was work part-time for Reigen, who mostly used Mob to push his own agenda. Now, as the season progressed, Mob did meet upperclassmen and joined a club. However, season 2 emphasizes just how much
Episode 5 of Mob Psycho 100 II put Mob through trials which tested his resolve to not hurt others with his powers. During an exorcism job with Reigen, Mob comes face-to-face with the evil spirit of a once powerful psychic named Keiji Mogami. Mob fought Mogami within the body of a young girl he possessed. While inside, Mogami trapped Mob in an alternate reality where he had no psychic powers. Mob spent what felt like six months inside that world, being bullied and ostracized by society. He almost snaps and uses his powers for evil, but he manages to bring himself back to reality thanks to Dimple’s help.
Once Mob defeats Mogami, he saves the girl and acknowledges how good his life is at the moment. He has family and friends who care about him (something he did not have in that alternate reality). Plus, he realizes that people can change for the better which is what he wishes to do himself.
After the events of episode 5, Mob takes the time to enjoy his personal life outside school and work. He surrounds himself with his friends, and the loneliness he endured in season 1 slowly dissipates. However, it is while Mob is enjoying himself that he realizes a major reason behind his formerly non-existent social life.
The Dynamic Of Mob And Reigen
Reigen is an important figure in Mob’s life. He is his psychic teacher despite Reigen not being a real psychic. Mob sees Reigen as his idol and takes everything he says to heart. Throughout Mob Psycho 100, Mob holds Reigen in high regard, becoming his disciple to learn how to control his powers. Unknown to Mob, Reigen is a con artist who uses him to maintain his exorcism business.
Despite his initial intentions, Reigen does develop feelings of concern for Mob. He often provides Mob with life advice which he uses to improve himself. Reigen sees how much Mob takes everything to heart and how he worries about his abilities. Unfortunately, Reigen’s concern often gets pushed aside as he seeks fame and fortune through Mob. Reigen is a master manipulator who knows how to spin a story to stay in Mob’s favor. This is a technique he uses successfully throughout season 1. But, surprisingly, in Mob Psycho 100 II, Reigen’s tricks begin to wear out.
A Rift Forms In Mob Psycho 100 II
In episode 6 of season 2, Reigen calls Mob last minute for an exorcism job, which he does all the time to Mob’s inconvenience. Usually, this is a running gag throughout season 1 as Mob voices his displeasure which Reigen ignores. However, in this episode, Mob asserts his annoyance with Reigen’s constant inconsideration of his personal life.
For the first time in a long time, Mob gets invited to hang out with his classmates. He expresses how much fun he is having, but it is quickly cut short by Reigen. Despite Mob’s pleas to stay, Reigen insists on him coming, which he inevitably does. After the exorcism job, Mob expresses his frustration to Reigen, asking him to consider his life outside of school and work.
Being the manipulator that he is, Reigen attempts to twist Mob’s perspective. He tells him that his friends are using him and that they are getting in the way of his “training”. This angers Mob as he had just gone through a torturous experience with Mogami where he had no friends. In retaliation, Mob puts Reigen in check. He tells him that his comments were out of line and that he no longer takes everything he says seriously.
This is the biggest form of development within Mob as his trust for Reigen shapes his entire persona. Mob considers Reigen his hero as he always gives him advice whenever he needs it. However, this latest episode looks to mature Mob. Similarly to how a child eventually sees their parents’ imperfections, Mob considers Reigen fallible now. This means he must rethink everything he’s learned from him, something season 1’s Mob would never do.
Where Mob Psycho 100 II Goes From Here…
With these latest developments in Mob Psycho 100 II, I am excited to see where Mob goes from here. While the series often goes through dark turns only to return to comedy, I genuinely hope it continues maturing Mob. His newfound abilities in voicing his displeasure, making his own decisions, and expressing his emotions are all key signs of his progress. Regressing this development in order to fall back onto comedy would be detrimental to the series.
Mob’s transition from gullible middle schooler to maturing adolescent is such a relatable and interesting arc. He is the “everyman” of the anime. Mob represents that awkward and unconfident child in all of us. His progress showcases to viewers that with a little hard work, self-improvement is possible. Mishandling this storyline just for the sake of a few laughs would align with shoddy writing at best. If anything, I hope Mob Psycho 100 II continues to validate Mob’s development and finds a way to balance both his progress and the series’ comedy separately.