What They Say:
In a world full of spirits and the supernatural, the only ones who can deal with them are those with powers known as psychics. Self-proclaimed psychic Reigen Arataka operates as an exorcist for a living but in reality, possesses no powers at all. His apprentice Kageyama Shigeo, otherwise known as “Mob” on the other hand, is an incredibly talented psychic, but has difficulty controlling his powers. Together the two of them battle against the supernatural while Mob remains none the wiser to the fact that his master is a fraud.
Content (warning as portions of this review may contain spoilers):
Well that went…differently than I expected. Looks like Mob Psycho managed to pull a fast one this week, as it took a pretty bizarre turn with the previous cliffhanger and one I certainly didn’t see coming. It’s definitely a turn for the better though as it not only makes for the funniest episode the show’s had to offer, but also manages to reintroduce a certain character back into the show in a pretty big way, as everything’s now set up for next week’s finale.
So let’s address the elephant in the room right off the bat. Last week’s episode ended with a teaser hinting at the possibility of Reigen somehow being the leader of Claw. Obviously that doesn’t make any kind of sense, and I figured it was probably just a look alike or something, but it seems it really was the man himself…kinda. Turns out that he went looking for Mob and happened to stumble upon Claw’s base in the process. The underlings were understandably hostile at seeing someone they don’t recognize, but Reigen played things off with his usual nonchalant attitude and since he seems to know all about espers, they quickly ended up mistaking them for their leader. His attitude’s so convincing that he gets nearly all of them to realize that it’s maybe not the best idea to be working for kidnappers, and it doesn’t take long for him to reunite with Mob and the others.
Speaking of Mob, earlier in the episode he finds himself reunited with Ritsu and Teru when the three of them end up stuck in a room designed to block out their powers. As they try to think of a way to escape, Mob remarks that Ritsu’s their best shot at escaping since unlike him, he actually has other worthwhile qualities besides psychic powers. Of course we’ve seen Mob say something to that effect before, and it was pretty much lost on Ritsu thanks to his obsession with emulating Mob’s powers, but having found himself in the same helpless situation as his brother despite having the same abilities he finally sees the point Mob was trying to make, and the two of them are able to reconcile. This scene makes for a solid climax to the conflict between the brothers, albeit quieter than I expected, and it’s pretty great on it’s own, but surprisingly it’s Reigen who actually provides the best material here.
When Reigen arrives to spring Mob and co, it doesn’t take long for the higher ups from Claw to arrive and reveal his little con, and when they decide to take the four of them out, Mob prepares to respond in turn. However Reigen refuses to let Mob fight, instead being angry that Mob’s resorted to using his powers for violence despite his warnings. Reigen decides to take on the espers himself in hilarious fashion, but while he hopes his usual antics will catch them off guard enough that he can get them to listen to reason, it doesn’t take him long to realize that he’s dealing with man-children, and sees that these guys are so deluded that any attempt at talking them down will just make things worse. This leaves Teru and Ritsu with no choice but to take on the espers themselves, but Mob finds himself torn between the situation at hand, and listening to Reigen. Mob eventually decides that there’s no other choice but to come at them full force in order to protect everyone, but Reigen talks him out of it just in time to get attacked from behind.
I have to say that up till now I’ve been kind of mixed on Reigen. While he has show himself to be a bit more insightful than he lets on, his overall shtick is kind of hit or miss, and it’s pretty clear how much he’s taking advantage of Mob. This time around though, he practically steals the show, as his early scenes in the episode deliver on some of the best gags the show’s had to offer and he actually manages to stay entertaining throughout the entire ordeal. More importantly though, he manages to demonstrate that in many respects he embodies the core ideals of the show as much as Mob himself if not more so. He’s the one character of the main cast who lacks any powers whatsoever, but unlike a lot of the others he understands that talent unto itself isn’t enough to make it in life, and that it’s more the smaller things such as simply being a nice person, that people should be striving for, something of which he told Mob when they first met. Again, it’s not a terribly complicated philosophy but it’s clear that it’s something the original author, ONE feels pretty strongly about, and it looks like those ideals are about to be put to the test as we’re left with the question of how Mob’s going to retaliate now that Reigen’s been hurt. There’s been a few ups and downs with this arc, but this was definitely it’s best episode yet, and with everything that went down here, I’m excited to see how this all wraps up.
Mob Psycho throws a pretty big curveball regarding the supposed “twist” with Reigen, and it turns out to be a hilarious one, as it makes for the single funniest scenario the show’s thrown at us so far. In addition to the unexpected laughs though, it also turns out to be one of the show’s most insightful episodes as Reigen’s antics here, speak at large for the ideals of the series as a whole when it comes to what makes people “special”. It’s an effective combination and one that not only makes for the strongest episode out of this little story arc, but also provides a pretty good set up for the finale next week. It’s a full on return to form for Mob Psycho, and while it feels weird to have Reigen of all characters to thank for that, his presence here was very much appreciated.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll