Mob Psycho 100 vs Amaama to Inazuma

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-34-46-pm

While I certainly enjoyed Amaama to Inazuma more than Mob Psycho 100, which I stopped reviewing after the 7th episode, now that both shows are over, I must admit they both fail at greatness for remarkably similar reasons.

AtI being a slice of life gentle drama/cooking show with a small cast and MP100 being quirky action “comedy” with a huge cast, is a surprisingly small barrier to their comparison, since both focus on the dynamics of family and friendship and struggle with purpose.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-12-33-16-pm

In the case of Mob, the first 6 episodes introduce multiple characters which only move Mob from plot point to plot point, yet do not participate in the larger narrative themselves and do not significantly effect Mob himself. For example, Tsubomi-chan, Mob’s love interest, only exists as a reason for Mob to join the body improvement club, and the clubs only purpose is to connect Mob with the telepathy club president (who only exists to make him go to a park and encounter an adult psychic enemy) and to connect Mob with the delinquents (who only exist to introduce Hanazawa and to add a minor extra reason people would mistake Ritsu for his older brother).

Ultimately, these baby steps towards characters who effect the plot, through characters that do not, delays the plot from taking shape coherently until episode 7. Sprinkle in Reagen’s one-note con artist jokes, and MP100 feels like it has no purpose and is wasting your time.

And that is terribly unfortunate, because Mob and Ritsu’s relationship has a great arc in the second half of the season, and the plot “Evil esper organization trying to take over the world” is the perfect format for more One Punch Man style antics.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-1-21-25-pm

In the case of AtI, where there are really only 6 characters, a sad tragedy, and the slice of life / recipe an episode structure, things start out much more quickly. Tsumugi is carfully rendered as a believable child, from her silly dances, to the way she lightly flinches when being chastised, to the weird way she uses language, facial expressions, and emotional challenges to mundane-to-adults situations. Coupled with her father, her father’s college friend, her class mates, and Kotori and the restaurant, and the show has a sense of purpose: we are watching how these people grow and deal with tragedy.

While this works wonderfully in episodic chunks, AtI flounders at the point Mob finally became good: half way through the episodes became all the same. Kotori’s objectives are never explored or explained, Yaki and Kotori’s friend don’t have any goals, and Kouhei and Kotori’s mom only meet in the second half of the final episode — just long enough to imply a love triangle could form, and that some drama could build around that… but then roll credits. (this was so jarring I didn’t even realize I’d watched the final episode until Zane listed the show as complete in my review list!)

This is a shame because cutting 2-4 episodes out of the beginning and middle and introducing the adults, and the adult conflicts earlier would make for a fine show. And AtI proved regularly that, when it tried, the production staff were masters of human expression and nuance and charm.

Bizarrely, both shows end with hooks for future seasons and, despite their strengths, it’s hard to imagine watching either of them again. Mob clearly ends with more filler-humor and the idea of 12 episodes setting up and executing adult relationship drama around Tsumugi’s characters just sounds laborious.

What a weird season :-)

2 thoughts on “Mob Psycho 100 vs Amaama to Inazuma”

  1. Meh. Can’t really agree with the idea of anything wasting my time if I’m enjoying what’s going on. I liked that Mob was branching out, making friends, and trying to better himself. In fact, he’s a rather radical character in that he immediately sets his sight on developing as a person vs the expectations of the reader.

    To each their own. This season didn’t have much that interested me past these two shows. Re Zero lost me immediately with what I thought to be a small scope, and uninsteresting characters. Even later revelations failed to hook me, and I still think poorly of that show despite it being AOTY for many. Such is the reality of opinions.

  2. Wait. Are you complaining about the structure of the story just because that romance dosen’t go anywhere when episode 3 makes it clear that (as all the childhood crushes) will never go anywhere? I feel you couldn’t have missed the point of MP100 if you tried any harder. MP100 isn’t about a hero, a love story or a battle anime. Is a story about an awkward kid who has an emotional complex, making his best effort to better himself and to conect with people. The main focus should be emotions, as, if you didn’t notice, all Mob’s emotions at 100% make something different (anger, sadness, animosity, denial & gratitude) wich all moves the obvious subtext, “feelings and other people shape us as humans” and is honestly so obvious that I am amazed you didn’t realized about it and insted focused on “when will Mob will hook with Tsubomi?”. The answer is never, but Mob, as everyone who had a crush out of our league, will not realize it until he gets rejected eventually, but the difference is that, instead of joining the Telepathy club and waste his time as every main character in other animes, Mob will actually do something to improve the thing that hinders him from achieving his goal (be a better person and an atractive as a man).
    On the other hand. Complaining that secondary characters only exist to advance the plot is… to be honest is mindblowing. If they existed for the sake of existing I would agree, but, complaining that stuff happens because the secondary characters do stuff is moronic, to say the least, specially when your main character’s personality is to be as pasive as posible. That is the point of secondary characters, to make something that will eventually change something and ultimately affect the main character. And I don’t know what’s that about “waste of time”, when every secondary character was developed (wich means, they weren’t the same as when you saw them for the first time), except for Reigen, who if we get a 2nd season will get his development. Mob himself made the first steps to improve himself, but in this aspect, that should be a slow and steady, as is ultimately the main goal of the series.
    Overall, your “critique” or “review” feels very flat and superficial. I give it a 6. Would not recomend.

Comments are closed.