Mob psycho once again contains an assortment of animation styles. They vary from literally pencil sketches to high quality, extensively detailed motion scenes. Its all over the place.
This is both cheeky and annoying. Its annoying because if it wasn’t created by the same author as One Punch Man it would be receiving more criticism. The random and varied styles are definitely an acquired taste. It resembles a more Cartoon Network After Dark type animation. I wasn’t a fan of the Kill la Kill animation either. And yes it breaks the kind of mold of what animation styles should be, but that’s not entirely positive.
Japanese animation has always had a more consistent display of anatomically correct characters compared to American/western cartoons. Yes there are many animes with different animation styles, but because anime is a widely viewed medium, not just for children, the need to be wacky and feed the ADHD isn’t a priority in anime. And I appreciate the more realistically drawn animes more because its easier to follow, plot wise and visually.
The superpowers/esper genre has been popular in the past couple seasons, with at least one per cour. Last season was Boku no Hero Academia, which had an art style in the middle of Mob Psycho and… lets go with Charlotte(the dub is out now, check it out if you haven’t, Charlotte is one swift kick to the heart).
Academia had a more outward appearance type superpowers while Charlotte had more internal, called-upon powers. This could explain the art style differences. The animes with a more odd outward appearance are more likely to be able to utilize a less realistic or logic based world. We don’t know how quirks or abilities affect the world the characters are in, either physics or element wise.
With Mob Psycho, the animation style works for the series, as sporadic as it is. With the predecessor being One punch man we were already introduced to a similar style, that is a toned down version of Mob Psychos. The basic to intense, the larger than life villains, the overeggageration and over the top animation has already been made ‘cool’ by One Punch Man. Whether than was a conscious decision or not, it was smart. If Mob Psycho had come out first, I don’t think it would’ve been received well. The story, while it isn’t the worst, is pretty basic so far. Yes Mob has psychic powers and is being used, but that isn’t original. Attempts to liken the audience to Mob have not done so well, in my opinion.
He currently has a love interest, and we see a bit of the past between them. Mob showed her his psychic abilities but she quickly became bored. So we don’t like that gold digger Tsubomi. If that was an attempt to gain sympathy for Mob for being a sucker, it didn’t really tug at those heart strings. He may be portrayed as a melancholy character, but compared to Katsuhira of Kiznaiver, you don’t get the same feeling of hopelessness. Mob doesn’t really evoke strong sympathy feelings, or positive emotions either. As a viewer, I feel neutral towards Mob.
Now Mob is pretty gullible, which will probably get annoying. He is swayed by his ‘sensei’, and by the club who is trying to force him to join. He is scolded by ghosts, and thugs and his brother. He doesn’t seem to have his own opinions, which again, makes him a very hard character to like. In other psychic animes, here’s looking at you Saiki, the main character had a personality that made him stand out from the other characters and made him the focus of the show.
With Mob, its almost as if as a main character he is creating negative space. Standard main characters are in those positions because they are bold or there is something about them that they made room for themselves. Mob seems the opposite. The lack of bold, outgoing protagonist brought him into the spotlight.
I have no doubt that Mob will continue to be used by others, and his goal of loving Tsubomi will forever falter. Similar to One Punch Man, I believe Mob will continue battling spirits and be content with himself that way. Aside from joining the Body Improvement club, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of training Mob is interested in, and thus self improvement probably wont be a theme. Mobs only motivation at this time seems to be around Tsubomi.
The episode wasn’t particularly compelling, The first episode was more entertaining, and more thematic. While we do see a bit of Tsubomi, there is still no real compelling reason to turn to the next episode.