Mob had his coolest explosion yet, so now's a good time to take a look back on all of his past explosions
Episode 5 of Mob Psycho 100 II recently provided fans with Shigeo Kageyama, aka Mob's most bombastic and spectactular psychic explosion yet. Between an emotionally fulfilling development for our main hero and otherworldly animation to back it up, it's hard to see how any other moment in the show, or even in this anime season could top it. As the dust settles from within the mindscape and Mob returns to his normal antics as a psychic middle schooler, now might be a good time for a quick recap on Mob's previous explosions to better understand his growing strength and perhaps even prepare ourselves for his next event.
Mob is a gifted esper in his own right, possessing strong telekinetic abilities and the power to interact with and exorcise spirits. Normally, he keeps his emotions in check so that he remains in control of his powers. Because of this, he has trouble in expressing himself on a daily basis.
But as his internal stress level inches closer to 100%, his feelings come pouring out in a literal explosion of immense psychic energy. Interestingly enough, his explosions manifest in different ways, depending on whatever emotion overwhelms at that moment. In a way, these explosions act as Mob's form of expression. With that in mind, we'll take a look back at each of Mob's explosions, the emotions that triggered them, and the kind of effect they had on the world around him.
Explosion #1- Rage (S1E3)
In facing off against a cult leader possessed by a high-level malevolent spirit, Mob's capacity for emotions was called into question. The spirit mocked Mob, suggesting that his apparent lack of emotion prevents him from creating any meaningful connection with other people. With his insecurities laid bare, Mob was consumed by rage, which resulted in the first explosion we witness.
This explosion gave Mob the power to defeat a spirit that otherwise might have beaten him. He easily dispatched the spirit's brainwashed underlings and literally sharpened his psychic energy enough to dismember his ghoulish opponent and withstand all of his attacks while barely moving. As his first on-screen display of full power, Mob proved himself to be a formidible esper with untold potential.
The fight also introduced us to who would become our favorite little spirit fart, Dimple.
Explosion #2- Sadness (S1E5)
In facing off against fellow esper Teruki "Teru" Hanazawa, Mob refused to retaliate with his psychokinesis. He was taught by his self-proclaimed master Reigen Arataka not to use his powers against other people, and an accident in his childhood involving a psychic outburst made him vow to not rely on his powers for everything in his life. He was determined to find his inner potential as a regular human, not an esper.
Teru, on the other hand, used his powers regularly to increase his social standing and thrived on the self-appointed superiority it gave him. His lifestyle conflicted greatly with Mob's principles and forced him to confront the reality that he might be nothing without his psychic ability. Teru's subsequent anger caused him to choke Mob out, despite Mob's attempts to beat him without his psychic powers and change from the person he was. In his unconscious state, Mob reached "???%" for the first time, using his immense strength to defeat Teru and destroy his own school in the process.
But as he came to, Mob realized how he let his powers run wild once more and was haunted by the fact that he hadn't yet conquered himself or changed as a person. The sadness he felt pushed him toward 100%, but his powers were unleashed in a very different way. In an effort to redeem himself, he used the power to reverse the massive damage done to the school and return it to normal.
Mob's second explosion was unique in that it displayed how multifaceted his powers are. As aforementioned, his psychic ability is tied to his emotions, and that means all of them. It's here where we learn that Mob's explosions aren't always going to take the form of literal explosions or fighting strength, but they instead translate into various forms of expression and are capable of reversing his environment from one form to another.
Explosion #3- Animosity (S1E8)
Shortly after Mob's brother, Ritsu, began flexing his newfound psychic abilities, he was spotted by an evil esper named Cadre Koyama. Koyama was on a mission to collect strong espers, mistaking Ritsu for Mob as he tried to capture him. As he witnessed his brother being brutalized, Mob's stress level raised drastically. Koyama used his own considerable psychic ability and nearly overwhelmed Mob, but as he continued to take jabs at his brother, Mob slid into 100% in record time.
Mob's explosion of animosity was unleashed in a variety of ways. In this state, his psychic barriers were sturdier and his physical strength was augmented to the point where he could restrain Koyama, a man several times his size and build, with minimal effort. He also became so absurdly fast that he was able to slam Koyama into the ground with the force of a meteor hurdling toward the earth. In the end, Koyama was forced to use a special spray to knock Mob out and make off with Ritsu, realizing that he'd never be able to defeat Mob in a battle of espers.
His animosity might be similar to his rage, but this was our first instance in which Mob exploded because of an external force, and not necessarily his inner demons. Up until now, Mob's stress level would have gradually increased throughout the course of a few episodes before the next burst. His brother being harmed ended up being a potent catalyst, as Mob went from single digits to 100 in mere minutes. This lines up perfectly with a traumatic event in his past, where his brother being bullied set him off in an outburst that hurt everyone around him.
Even as emotionally illiterate as he is, Mob doesn't mess around when it comes to his family.
Explosion #4- Gratitude (S1E12)
In a climactic battle against Claw, a criminal organization of espers bent on world domination, Mob, Ritsu, and Teru fought back against formidable psychics. Their only hope of winning quickly became Mob's imminent explosion, which was very nearly fueled by murderous intent. An explosion powered by that kind of emotion might have had disastrous consequences, but Reigen stepped in just in time.
Mob's con-artist master usually advised him not to use his powers on other people, but this time, he bade him from using it maliciously and prevented him from doing something he might regret. He insisted that it was alright for him to run away, and Mob took that to heart. As shady as he might be, Mob was suddenly grateful that Reigen was willing to help him shoulder the responsibility of all his power. As he peaked at 100%, Mob's explosion manifested not in himself, but in Reigen.
In his explosion, Mob gave all of his energy to Reigen for him to use. In what likely translates to a proportionate transfer to someone with no psychic powers to begin with, Mob's 100% energy became a 1000% increase in Reigen's spiritual awareness. Reigen unwittingly used this energy to laughably overpower every evil psychic in the room and bring them to their knees. He even went so far as to shake some of them down from their delusions of grandeur and convinced them to change their ways. Though Mob's power eventually returned to its source, Reigen retained some residual effects, which really only meant he can see Dimple clearly.
Mob's explosions always display some uniqueness each time he reaches 100%, and this particular psychic event continued the trend. Not only did it prove that Mob is capable of something as miraculous as temporarily turning a human into an esper, but he granted Reigen all of the psychic energy he could muster up and turned him into an unstoppable force. Mob already houses a boundless reservoir of spiritual power, and being able to hand out that power to others for a time speaks to some rather interesting applications if he's ever in a pinch.
Explosion #5- Courage (S2E5)
It's only natural that Mob's inspiring and cathartic swell of confidence led to his most spectacular explosion yet. In season 2, Mob came face to face with his toughest challenge yet in Keiji Mogami: an exceptionally powerful former psychic turned evil spirit possessing a young girl. Mob was forced to enter the girl's mind to exorcise the spirit from within, but Mogami trapped him in an alternate reality as part of a twisted experiment.
Taking Mob's psychic powers out of the equation, Mob became a regular human and suffered for six months from bullies, loneliness, and emotional torment that he might otherwise be able to resolve as an esper. Mogami had him endure this in the hopes that Mob would've become the same tortured soul that he was and unleash his powers on a cruel and thoughtless world. As Dimple broke into the mindscape and knocked Mob back to his senses, Mob learned that the world is indeed cruel, but that he was lucky enough to have friends and family who help him live in it.
Having become resolute in the his beliefs and people's ability to change, Mob became brave enough to take on Mogami again with a newfound confidence. Within this mindscape, Mob and Mogami were able to go all out with their psychic arsenal, resulting in an intense and gorgeously animated fight that spanned the entire fake city. After a while, Mob was nearly conquered by the negative emotions of the evil spirits Mogami stored within him, but the will to save someone was all he needed to push him to 100%.
Brimming with courage and purpose, this explosion turned the blank-faced Mob into a bishonen-looking action hero. This overflow of positive emotions gave Mob the power to weaken Mogami and take on the thousands of evil spirits that populated the mindscape. Just as he was about to be crushed by evil, Mob went even further beyond.
Mob almost consciously went into his ???% state and seemingly exorcised every evil spirit in an instant. We also received a glimpse into the vast amount of power that Mob holds within him, illustrated as a universe of boundless potential. Needless to say, Mob successfully exorcised every spirit from the girl.
The aftermath of this explosion is currently having quite the effect on Mob. He learned definitively that even the worst people can change their ways, so he'll be able to do the same one day. This was apparent in the events after his fight with Mogami, where Mob began thinking for himself and knowing what he wants. He felt comfortable enough around his friends to want to spend time with them and even called out Reigen for taking advantage of him interrupting the social life that he's working so hard to establish. Who knows how much further Mob will be able to take this change?
With every explosion, Mob understands himself a little more. At first, he was afraid of the havoc he might wreak if he let his feelings control his actions. Then he started to grow and learn from the friends he's gathered, and began to realize that his capacity for emotions can be a wonderful thing. Before he realized it, Mob finally started to change as a person, being less afraid of his powers and more expressive with his own heart.
Mob the esper is constantly being pushed toward 100%, but after all these explosions, Mob the person is finally receiving its own percentage.
Which explosion of Mob's is your favorite? Are you looking forward to the next one? Comment below and let us know!
Carlos is a freelance features writer for Crunchyroll. Their favorite genres range from magical girls to over-the-top robot action, yet their favorite characters are always the obscure ones. Check out some of their satirical work on The Hard Times.
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