Dropped: Mob Psycho 100 + Handa-Kun

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As we enter the first week of September, I’m going to officially drop both Handa-kun and Mob Psycho 100. We’re more than half way through the season and both shows have hit their stride… but that stride has rarely earned more than a watchable 7.

On the surface, Handa-kun is a less fundamentally flawed show. Sure, it is generic and shares no meaningful connection with the series it prequels, but Handa’s brand of safe silly high school humor is relatively harmless. However, Handa himself lacks what the protagonists of similar shows have: likable traits and/or narrative stakes. In short, since we know what Handa will become, there is no drama to be had with his classmates… none of them will be in his life later so nothing they do will matter.

Mob is a similarly challenged protagonist. He is likable, but his objective (a love interest) isn’t what the show is about. Rather, he’s pulled randomly into other characters’ worlds and, rarely, has an emotional freakout about it that results in crudely drawn over-the-top explosions. In this, he shares too much spotlight with other, often unlikable characters — too many characters overall for any of their stories to feel fleshed out.

If you’re still following either of these shows, what’s kept you hooked? Let me know in the comments below.

14 thoughts on “Dropped: Mob Psycho 100 + Handa-Kun”

    1. Hey, any season we get a full show out of Franklin is a good season.

      In any case, he only took on Handa-kun and Mob because nobody else (i.e. me) had the time or the interest to devote to them.

      Thanks for going as far as you did with these. Will you still be watching and not reviewing, or dropping them entirely?

      1. part of the reason I’m dropping them is because watching them was becoming a chore. I basically fast-forwarded through the last Handa-kun just to review it. I may catch them if I see them in my cue but neither is very high on my priorities list.

    2. I want to finish Days and AtI. AtI is actually a good show. Days is completely watchable formula and it has vibrant colors. If days weren’t so generic, the aesthetic would probably bump it regularly into the 8 range. Handa feels 90s retro by comparison. Mob is unique looking but not in a way i find aesthetically appealing…

  1. I get the drop for handa kun…as for mob psycho 100…eehhhh not so much. For me, this show is firing on all cylinders. It’s interesting that you find this show ugly when it is actually very well animated and well composited. There are a lot of moving frames, good use of shading, framing, and lighting and the animation is very expressive.

    Mob psycho 100 uses good visual storytelling, taking notes from flcl (some even call it “the mini flcl of 2016”)..not to mention story elements within each ep in very careful and meticulous ways. We learn about characters without everything having to be explained to the viewers. From both a writing, directing, and visual standpoint, mob psycho is easily top 3 anime this season. But different strokes for different folks i guess.

    P.S. Amaama to inazuma IS a good show…ironically for similar reasons to mob psycho 100: good use of visuals (although they falter from time to time) to illustrate the narrative, character fleshing/development through visuals and character dialogue, not blatant exposition, endearing characters, good pacing, etc.

    1. Your points on Mob are well taken. I for one am glad to hear opposing views: you saying it’s a Top 3, and Franklin saying it’s become a chore and isn’t his aesthetic cup of tea.

      I honestly haven’t watched a lick of it yet, so I’m not sure which camp I’d land in if I ever do.

      1. I don’t even know where to begin with this statement…

        FLCL is an extremely energetic, tightly written, punchy action comedy that experimented with multiple visual styles. It contained a giant cast and universe that it flawlessly introduced, developed, and gave purpose within 6 short episodes. It had masterful sound design tied directly into its visuals, and visual humor that fundamentally played with timing, sound, and visual allusion. It contains hundreds of extremely unique moments that stick in your mind — the clink of the chain on Haruko’s wrist, the charcoal lighter monk head dress, the messages written on cigarettes, the steam from the iron punctuating everything, the baseball, the bats, manga vision, school friends with jobs, love interests and girls he’s not really interested in, swirling around a younger brother who’s trying to figure out what it means to be an adult — it’s a massive, and still unmatched convergence of high art and pop in anime form.

        MP100 is a lethargic show where the protagonist is moved from set piece to set piece with conventional timing, average sound design, and a large cast that is more interesting than the protagonist. It repeatedly uses the same type of humor, half of which is soft ‘cringe’ and the other pleasant sight gags. Overall, it utilizes an intentionally crude organic-line art style, muddy colors and smudge shading. Rarely, it uses a digital version of ‘live paint’ (wet painting live on the cell). It is certainly unusual compared to main stream Anime but it is not broadly experimental. It is certainly not as tight or memorable either. It is not even that original in its own context, because the style of humor, character and timing so closely matches One Punch Man. (without the charming cast or cohesive plot structure)

        There is just no way to seriously compare this 7.5 to the only flawless 10 anime ever produced.

      2. Whoa, hey, as I said, I’ve never seen Mob, so I can’t compare anything. The OP only mentioned Mob “took notes” from FLCL, not that they were in any way on the same level.

        One could also say, for instance, that Macross Delta “took notes” from Voices of a Distant Star (for the record, it doesn’t…at all), without it meaning Macross is anywhere near as good.

      3. Just for shits and giggles: MAL only rates FLCL at 8.06/10 (scored by 175K users), while IMDB has it at 8.3/10 (~10k users). Rotten Tomatoes is closest to your perfect score, with a “96% liked it” score (~3k users).

        Only 22k users on MAL have chimed in on Mob so far, and it has an 8.03, not really not that far off from FLCL among the…er…mob.

        I’m NOT trying to use Stats® to contest your assertion that FLCL is The Best Ever, Period (I trust your critical chops, plus I tend to agree) but just to illustrate that it is not, by any means, a universal consensus.

      4. better or not, there isn’t a comparison of style or structure or goals. There is no ‘taking notes from’ because the shows have nothing structurally in common. (as given in my examples)

    2. The positives of this week’s episode are a decent illustration of what frustrates me about Mob Psycho 100. It was actually a good episode, with over the top action, world building, plot advancement that connected with previous plot threads AND character development.

      None of the previous episodes managed to achieve these points because none of the previous episodes contained stakes for Mob. Even here, being pushed to his fighting limit isn’t what made it interesting: it was his relationship with Ritsu, which showed tremendous range on both their parts, and the plot-device that separates them at the point of their mutual relationship growth gives Mob a purpose. He needs to get back his brother, who he loves and now understands he hadn’t fully understood, and to do that he has to go on adventure.

      Note, even with all that good, which makes the previous 8 episodes feel lethargic and directionless, Episode 9 still manages to waste 3 minutes on a throw away segment about Regen being a con man that has nothing to do with anything else in the story. It’s the same joke each time, it’s not an interesting joke to start with, and it doesn’t advance any character or narrative developments.\\

      Maddening

      1. flcl being the only flawless 10 anime ever made?…nah i disagree, there are other 10’s out there that outshine flcl but that’s not to say flcl is not a 9 or 10 (flcl is in my top 10 list after all). Anywho, i never clearly stated that mob psycho was on par with flcl, but that it does take notes from that show. There are plenty of meticulous details in mp 100 world, which is why im surprised you havent picked up on that but i guess it comes down to interest and those details just dont interest you enough. Reigen being shown doing his usual gag, while for the most part just, it’s just a tweek of his usual schtick, either leads to revealing something about mob or saying something about Reigen’s character. This week’s piece especially showed that while reigen is a con man, he cares about the psychology of his clients. He makes it his prerogative to actually make them feel better. He was genuinely upset about the previous guy the lady went to not helping her in way whatsoever but still taking her money; that wasnt just some joke to highlight his hypocrisy, but to enlighten the viewer on his ethics. Stuff like that along with the world view of many of these characters and this overarching theme of changing oneself and accepting your place in this world are all executed wonderful with (as i mentioned before) cool visual storytelling that takes notes from flcl and actually executes those notes efficiently. Mob psycho doesnt have to execute things in the same fashion as flcl to be a good series; that’s not the point of the comparison. The point of the comparison was to bring attention to the fact that mob psycho uses it’s frenetic visual storytelling in the same fashion flcl did to tell a poignant story about growing up. And mob psycho 100 has weak sound design??? What???….I dont even…I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one

      2. Plus your “explanation” of why flcl is better than mob psycho 100 (which i think it is because come on, it’s flcl) doesnt explain why the what the show structurally does better. All you did was give a laundry list as to the “memorable” (a term which admittedly you use loosely) things contained in flcl. MP 100 does take notes from flcl in that 1, both are coming of age stories (although their a bunch of them) stylied as an action comedy that use their wacky visuals to push forward the narrative. Both experiment with their animations. You talked about the live paint technique (used in ep 1 to great affect when mob defeats that ghost underneath the crossway). But there’s also the use of glass on paint to draw key animations and the beautiful ways that is integrated within certain scenes in the show to illustrate horror or dread, etc. MP 100 is an ambient show (seeing that its centered around ghosts) and so the sound design along with the musically pieces fit very nicely with each scene and facilitates the events taking place. The “crude organic-line art style, muddy colors and smudge shading” is handled with such polish and skill, projecting itself nicely on the screen in animation. Calling the drawings crude and smudgy doesnt inherently make the series’ art ugly. Scenes in mob are frenetic and usual presented in a surreal fashion, punctuating the characters emotions and motivations within each frame as they are animated with crisp direction. I disagree with the notion of the fact that the plot keeps hoping from place to place without any direction when each ep has clearly built upon it’s core themes. Scenes seem stitched together to create the sense that multiple things are occurring but the director (and ONE) handle it in a way that they all usually share one underlying current and those are the themes that are prominently on display with each ep. Yea, i still dont quite get your position but i understand that you dont connect with the show so as stated before: different strokes for different folks

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