Whadya mean One can only draw one face?

A man named Reigen Arataka runs an exorcism business, taking client requests to get rid of various troublesome ghosts and monsters. For all his vanity and talk, though, Arataka himself does not seem to be particularly powerful at all, and relies almost entirely on the help of his “assistant”, the gradeschooler Shigeo Kageyama – AKA Mob. Mob’s ability is ridiculously high and he is able to defeat any spirit in an instant – although he somehow fails to notice that Reigen never does anything but takes all the credit.

After Mob ‘helps’ Reigen exercise the spirit of a man who saw a cockroach and jumped so high in fright that he hit his head and died, the two of them head to a haunted tunnel where an entire motorcycle gang lost their lives. The spirits in the tunnel are said to be unbelievably powerful and terrifying, but they’re nothing up against Mob’s power.

there was zero context given for this moment btw

Of course, I expected some similarities to One Punch Man from the start, this being mangaka One’s other big hit, but I can’t say I expected this much. Not only is Mob ridiculously overpowered and the brevity of his ‘battle’ treated as a punchline, he literally has the exact same blank face as Saitama. I assume the similarities will get less obvious later on, but it seems a bit much all too soon after One Punch Man aired itself.

The tone of the show is where the main difference is – One Punch Man was more brutal with ‘serious comedy’, but Mob Psycho 100 is a lot more surreal. The surrealism and style that the show has works heavily in its favour because honestly, without it this would just be another generic exorcism anime. It takes an awful lot of style over substance to overcome that generic barrier but in this first episode at least Mob Psycho 100 is most certainly putting up a fight. This is easily the most visually interesting show I’ve seen in this season so far.

Unlike One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100‘s art style is based off of One’s original webcomic art and not a redrawn version by a different artist, so there’s a certain crudeness to it. A lesser anime studio would have taken that as an excuse to make the animation boring and as simple and possible, but Studio Bones don’t roll that way. They’ve embraced the simplistic style and created something truly wonderful. The shakey, almost ‘scribbly’ lines give it a somewhat organic feel, while the psychadelic colours, patterns and experimental animation techniques reminded me heavily of a lot of episodes of Space Dandy I enjoyed. And that trippy opening is already a contender for Best of 2016.

If you’re a big fan of animation as an art form in general than the first episode is definitely worth at least checking out, but if you’d prefer a more original storyline you might have to wait and see with this one.

So much flashiness I can barely decide which second to screencap.

Out of 5,