This establishing episode shows you what has changed and what hasn’t. For the most part, little has changed. Arataka is still taking advantage of Mob. When Ichi tries to make our hero more popular so that he can eventually take over the Psycho Helmet Cult, he bombs his campaign speech pretty badly. The kid literally says nothing for five whole minutes in front of the entire school. Nevertheless, a girl by the name of Emi slips a love letter into his shoe locker, but after hanging out with her for a week, she eventually comes clean. She only asked him out on a dare. She also cuts right through the BS and calls him out for always doing what other people tell him to do. He needs to learn to listen to his heart, which is nothing we haven’t already learned after the first season. Oh dear, will Mob ever emerge from his cocoon of awkwardness? Will Tsubomi ever care about him as much as he cares about her? Speaking of which, will we ever learn what she’s really about?
Some people are surprised that I won’t be giving this show a dedicated post every week, so I guess I should talk about that a bit. I liked the first season even though I never covered it (I’m pretty sure it aired during one of my many hiatuses from blogging), and judging by the first episode of the second season, there’s no reason for me to stop liking the series. It’s just not a show that lends itself to my blogging style. The animation is great (Bones doing work again as we all expected), but I can’t speak at length about that. I’m sad to say that this just isn’t my area of expertise. The action — what little that we get in the cold opening — is also as good as expected, but again, there aren’t paragraphs that I can dig up to talk about the action. The humor isn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s amusing enough to keep my attention from wandering off. All in all, Mob Psycho 100 is a well-crafted series. The only thing is that the character development is very slow and steady — at the moment, anyways — so there isn’t much for me to talk about.
When a bunch of mean girls tear up Emi’s novel, the girl is too scared to say how she really feels. As a result, Mob steps up despite having just been “dumped” a few minutes ago. It’s one of those sensitive anime moments where the bullies aren’t exactly put in their place, but our hero still makes a grand enough gesture to warm the cockles of our hearts. Mob painstakingly starts collecting the torn up scraps of the novel one-by-one. When the girls ask him why he would waste his time with trash, his reply sounds cool but his eyes are welling up with tears. Honestly, I like the contrast. The kid can’t just flip a switch and become awesome. But at the same time, he’s earnestness shines through; he genuinely feels sad that the girls tore up Emi’s novel. His gesture touches Emi enough that she even manages to stand up to her friends just a little. So y’know, Mob’s making progress, but it’s a slow burn. You don’t tune into Mob Psycho 100 to see the guy go from 0 to 100 within a season or two. He won’t be winning any popularity contests anytime soon.
When the wind scatters the scraps again, our hero is forced to reveal to Emi that he’s an esper in order to save the day. Off to the side, Tsubomi is impressed. What’s that all about? Is she just at the right place at the right time or is she actually keeping an eye on a guy she barely speaks to? It’s weird how she has a regular presence in the series despite the fact that, well, Mob practically never interacts with her. He keeps telling us that they’re childhood friends, but I really wonder if this statement is even true. Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll get an answer to these questions anytime soon. I also doubt that Emi is going to play much of a role going forward. I would love to be proven wrong, though. In any case, Mob might have learned to consider his feelings a bit more, but I suspect that we’ll still see him suffer through awkward social moments on a regular basis. That’s kind of his gimmick, after all. This is fine for binge-watching a series, but my gut feeling is that the show is not something I would want to commit to blogging on a weekly basis. But who knows, maybe the next episode will spur me to write another post.