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Mob Psycho 100: A Trippy Coming of Age Story (Way Too Fly Art Appreciation Series)

Updated: Dec 11, 2022

Shigeo Kageyama…otherwise known as Mob, is the subject of this classic coming of age story. A shy, seemingly ordinary middle schooler who struggles with the basic challenges of teen life, also happens to be a psychic. This anime features a unique graphical style that acts as one of its distinguishing traits. It also contains a ton of exciting action moments, funny comedies, and adorable characters.

The series' tone is nicely captured in the art, a lighthearted and entertaining show that doesn't take itself too seriously. Mob Psycho embraces its "ugly" side to the max, unlike many anime series that shy away from it. Although quite simplistic by anime standards, the character designs' simplicity also provides for freedom. Character faces might be twisted for heightened emotions or fast jokes by the animators.

Mob Psycho 100 makes up for the basic characters' little blandness with tremendously smooth and extravagant animation. The animators do this, among other things, by utilizing special effects. Mob is a real psychic who works for a fraudulent psychic Reigen. Reigen owns a fraudulent "Spiritual Consulting Office", which becomes the vehicle for most of their escapades, frequently entail running with ghosts and otherworldly creatures. The animators employ neon color special effects and a variety of patterns and textures to effectively represent these scenarios. The ultimate result is trippy, sometimes overpowering, which nicely links in with the show's psychic elements and just makes it so amazing to watch.

The Mob Psycho team, which was made up of talented amateurs and seasoned experts, was allowed freedom to explore and raise the bar of animation.

"We’re aiming for visual ideas that haven’t yet been seen in anime; Mob Psycho will ideally be like opening a box of very fun surprises." --- Director of Mob Psycho 100, Yuzuru Tachikawa

However, even though the graphical design of Mob Psycho has drawn a lot of attention and appreciation, fans who are especially accustomed to the anime genre may find it difficult to acclimate. The characters are often criticized for being ugly and boring.

Nonetheless, Mob Psycho's character design stays loyal to its inspiration. The webcomic Mob Psycho 100 was created by ONE, a "manga artist for fun" who wasn't particularly artistically skilled but had a talent for telling engaging stories. One Punch Man, a comic that went viral and was later redone and turned into an anime, was the series that ONE used to launch his manga career. When Mob Psycho was going to be transformed into an anime, studio Bones (a major Japanese animation company) decided to design the characters more how ONE initially created them, which helped establish the show's tone and create new opportunities.

Mob Psycho 100 combines a variety of media in addition to surreal effects to highlight the spirit world. One graphic that appears in the program uses the Paint-on-Glass animation technique. The fundamental idea is to move and push an oil painting that is slowly drying on a sheet of glass while snapping photos of each frame. The final result is amazing, unlike anything I've ever seen, and peculiar.

ONE ONE. Mob Psycho 100. First ed. Dark Horse Manga 2018.

ONE ONE. Mob Psycho 100. First ed. Dark Horse Manga 2018.

Additionally, there are stunning action sequences, which are a trademark of any excellent shonen program. However, Mob Psycho 100 goes above and beyond with tracking shots and unsettling camera angles that immerse you in the action. Even though they usually include psychic talents, which are obviously impractical, the conflicts feel quite real. This is due to the fact that every action seems to be significant and has an effect on the environment. As the stakes increase, the animators must devise a strategy to make each combat feel a little bit more dramatic than the previous one. By paying special attention to the details, such as including in-between frames that appear rough and pencil-drawn that assist this imagery.

Mob Psycho 100 is definitely worth a try if you're seeking for a new show to binge or you're just an anime enthusiast that wants a refreshing new take at animation styles.

Thanks for reading!

1 Comment

Jun 21, 2023

Can’t believe critics say the animation is boring

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