By Cecilia D'Anastasio
From the creator of viral manga/anime One-Punch Man, the anime adaption of Mob Psycho 100 is slated for release on July 11th. And it’s shaping up to be just as visually stunning and hilarious as its predecessor.
With an all-star cast of artists, including Death Parade director Yuzuru Tachikawa and Ghost in the Shell composer Kenji Kawai, Mob Psycho 100 follows the story of Mob, a stony-eyed teenager with no defining features whatsoever, except his ESP. Generally stoic and detached, Mob literally explodes when he gets too emotional. The rest of the time, he’s just another dull middle-schooler.
Like One-Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100’s plot seems secondary. Creator ONE managed to pen 11 volumes about an average dude who kills everything with one punch, and they sold over 2.5 million copies. His sense of humour thrives at the union of mundanity and exaggerated superpower: in Mob Psycho 100’s manga, a professional psychic exorcises a porn-inspired curse with a massage. Later on, Mob’s spirit guide Dimple asks whether Mob can’t mind-bend a spoon because he’s embarrassed about farting.
Hopefully, these ironic moments will translate as well into an anime as One-Punch Man’s. I’m thinking specifically about scenes where shōnen manga intensity meets the banal moments of modern life, like how the secret to protagonist Saitama’s extraordinary punching strength is an underwhelming workout routine (one hundred sit-ups, one-hundred squats….). Or that time cyborg sidekick Genos explains his traumatic character background while the camera pans out to a dripping water tap.
Also like One-Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 began as a humble webcomic. Shonen Sunday Web Comics began publishing the volumes in April of 2012 and, in 2014, Shogakukan’s MangaOne app picked it up. For the anime, animation studio BONES cleaned up ONE’s characteristically unrefined art style, polishing the manga’s fight scenes and backgrounds.
Check out Mob Psycho 100's newest promotional video and mark your calendars for July 11th. An advance screening will be held on Saturday.