Mob Psycho 100 II (Winter 2019) – How to Escape from Despair

A sequel is hard to do. You always see how most studios and staff always squeeze the original anime. When the original is great, there will be many studios that will make the sequel or whatever. Take an example like “Your Name”. There is a rumor Hollywood wants to make it into live-action. The same is true with “Cowboy Bebop” where Netflix wants to make it into live-action as well. And back again, Netflix again made a live-action of “Mob Psycho 100“. I hear many people say that it sucks. Probably because of the material and how they ruin the jokes of the original show. Translate anime to live-action is hard honestly especially when it comes to shounen, superpower, or action.

The sequel is very hard to do but if the director has a passion, it’s easy to sympathize. Take a look at “Blade Runner 2049“. At first, I thought is ridiculous to make the sequel of “Blade Runner“. It was an impossible thing. Ridley Scott even also said it himself. But, it’s one of the best films of the year. The director, Denis Villeneuve, has what we always called a passion, not just because you are a fan. Another good example of a sequel is “Mob Psycho 100 II”. While the original show might be one of the best of the season, it also applies to the sequel. It takes its concept to the highest level again. In this season, Mob has to deal with self-identity and struggle to fight. He also learns to be the kindest guy you have ever met.

The second season still tells about the adventure of the duo. They are Mob as the OP innocent esper kid and Reigen as the con. The plot is the same as the original show where they both accept the client to eradicate the ghost. Their work as the Ghostbuster doesn’t turn twice. Until then, Mob learned a lot about humans, ghosts and the world. He must strengthen his body so that he can express his feelings to the person he loves. In essence, the plot only walks in place, following the same pattern as the first season. But, what distinguishes the original and the second season is the quality. It’s exactly so much better than the first season.

The first season is noticeable because of its distinctive style. If you just look at the screenshots, you recognize that it’s “Mob Psycho 100”. The action sequence and choreography are just intense and beautiful at the same time. “Mob Psycho 100 II” is more likely a character study, especially Mob and Reigen. We know that Reigen is manipulative but he gives satisfaction to his client as much as possible. We also know that Mob is just an innocent guy. He seems very easily deceived by many people including his enemies. And from this anime, it changed completely. It’s not about the plot, not about the action, but it’s about how the protagonist develops a lot of complexity.

One scene when Mob has to face between killing a ghost family is emphasizing the protagonist’s development. This is where Mob almost totally changes. Yet, you still watch shounen anime. But, how do you just feel bad for the ghosts in this anime is very human. Mob is different from people in general because he sees the world more than humans in general. No one understands his feelings maybe except Reigen alone. The show pushed Mob into a character. You don’t see it as part of the protagonist. But, the show polished Mob if he understood how he became a different person. Just because he is different doesn’t mean he can conquer the world. But, it’s about how everyone connects.

Mob isn’t only the center of the character but even you also don’t only see him because of his power. Slowly, you understand it as a character with such a poignant and realistic. This is what it comes to our next protagonist, Reigen. The chemistry between Reigen and Mob doesn’t only revolve around the relationship between teacher and student. You can see it in the arc where Reigen is the center of the story. The season also tells more about who Reigen is and what’s the real reason he became Ghostbuster. He has to deal with his main enemy, himself and how he can become better without or over Mob. When he is in a narrow place, he could only depend on Mob. However, he realized that Mob changes himself.

This is what it comes to in the Reigen final arc. Mob says the most wholesome quotes to Reigen. And that’s the final moment, my friend, let me tell you. It’s very hard to forget. It’s too emotional to look at. Almost all the characters give a full push to our protagonist. Even a comic relief is also a benchmark for the development of Mob. And that’s what comes next is our first antagonist, Mogami. Mogami is a perfect representation opposite of Mob. While Mob lives in the encouragement of his friends, Mogami lives because of hatred and revenge. I don’t see his character from another perspective. Yet, I hope that I would prefer to see him in the manga again.

Speaking about the antagonist, “Mob Psycho 100 II” feels lost if we don’t talk about the animation and visuals. I talk a lot about sequels. But, one important thing why the sequel failed because of a lack of connection. Adjustments are the key to a great sequel. And I’m happy that Bones are still in control of the original until the second season. You can also take examples such as “Date A Live III” and “One Punch Man 2”. Both anime is a failure because of its lack of direction and connection. Both anime also changes their studio. “Mob Psycho 100 II” is different from the two anime.

The artwork, still, has its distinctive style as well as the original show. Yeah, some people might still call out this anime because of the visuals. Well, you missed a psychedelic trip without drugs. The animation did its job well. There is so much going on, especially the fight in Mogami’s arc and the ending. It’s not just Mob who uses its power in the anime. There are many supporting characters. The antagonist also has various kinds of power. There is the Jumper guy, the Poison Ivy guy, the Todoroki guy, the Hackerman, and so on. Still, the direction is strong with this one.

There is not enough space to develop the villains. They are just villains like in shounen anime in general. They just come and go. After the protagonists defeat them, they learn that the things they have done are wrong. They also learn about how to look at the world from a different perspective. It’s just too cliche and overbearing with the kinds of “dominate the world” motivate. Yet, there are many, I mean, so many characters in this show. Telling them one by one was impossible. But, at the end of the day, who knows what their destiny would be. The music is brilliant especially the visual representation of the opening theme song is so aesthetic. The score during the action sequence fits with the hype.

“Mob Psycho 100 II” is one of the best sequels and an example of how to do a good sequel. This show also teaches that shounen isn’t just a world-building, action, power, or anything. We learn about this show that just because shounen doesn’t mean you can only play it safe. This show isn’t just shounen but is a character study with so much retrospective to look at. The animation still holds a noticeable distinctive style thanks to Bones. The music is tight, tight, tight, and there is so much going on when it comes to action.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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