Lesson learned: Don’t. Piss. Mob. Off.
Actually, it’s a bad idea to piss anyone off.
Now, I feel like I’m starting to grow indifferent towards unbeatable/invincible main protags given that the Gary Stu trope has saturated the market during these past years. As such, having a character like Mob — and Saitama for that matter — is certainly a breath of fresh air. Needless to say, based on what I am seeing thus far, Mob is starting to become one of my favorite main hero there is.
The above verdict has got something to do with the build-up of the climax and how they intertwined Mob with it. For the sake of discussion, I’ll take the liberty to use OPM as a comparison. With OPM, most of the meat/fun comes from staging the antagonist and making him look strong in preparation for his fight with Saitama. The more the villain is depicted to be powerful, the more we go gaga over his fight with Cape Baldy. The same observation can be made with almost all shounen titles there are. Dragon Ball Z, in particular, uses the same pattern of building confrontation. It’s a repetitive formula, and basically can become banal by the time the author runs out of names for new awesome moves and killer techniques.
Going back to OPM. Saitama is just too strong that it’s a actually a let-down if he ends his fights immediately. In which case, one way to make a one-sided battle interesting is to make the villain struggle and dish out a supposedly finishing move, and then rinse and repeat. Saitama’s punch is simply the cherry on top of everything. Then again, how does this differ from MP100? Mob is as relatively powerful as Luffy or Cape Baldy. Where does the fun come from when practically all Mob’s fights ended in less than 2 minutes?
While Mob is certainly a god-like powerhouse in MP100‘s world, what I love about how they built the climax in contrast to the examples above is how they incorporate Mob’s confrontations with MP100‘s theme. Meaning to say, Mob isn’t entirely invincible despite the fact that he’s a super powerful esper — he’s a human kid first and foremost. There are cracks found inside his adolescent ego that the opposing party uses to drill deep inside his weakness — the more Mob is subjected to emotional stress, the more the build-up is. And, once his limiter reaches 100%, that’s where we get the cherry on top.
The build-up of MP100 doesn’t entirely revolve around its supernatural element. The “superpower” part is simply the twist of the narrative. MP100‘s main core is centered towards Mob’s circumstances, and not on how powerful he is. No, the show doesn’t rub it in our face that he’s OP. It’s his personal battle against puberty that has become the meat (or the build-up) of MP100 during these first 3 episodes, and seeing him go Super Saiyan against Dimple-sama in the end was well worth the wait. In this regard, MP100 doesn’t waste its time dragging the show characterizing a strong villain. What it did, instead, made use of Mob’s insecurities as a gateway to build the climax and his character. Suffice to say, everything has been about Mob. No exposition of how strong the new enemy is. No explanation of what psychic power is… the rest simply builds his character even more, and also allows us to meet and take a glimpse at the supporting characters. It’s a pretty linear and simple progression if you think about it, but that’s exactly why it worked so well.
- I want to refrain on talking about the visuals of MP100 because… it’s redundant and NNc is obviously not a sakuga blog. Plus, there are a lot of things we can miss from the narrative if we only look at the drawings and shit.
- Mob’s VA is starting to grow on me. The monotonous voice matches everything about his personality.
- Reigen continues to be an interesting figure. Seriously, he’s smarter than he looks despite his silly antics.
- Hmm. That OST played during the final battle sounds like Madoka Magika. I’ll have to look this up.
- The blonde esper appearing next episode looks friggin cool. Oh god the hype!
- It is just me who’s finding Ichi attractive? Okay, yes. Just me. I may have a thing for girls with short-bob haircuts.
- Hmm. I think we can spot a couple of OPM cameos/references this episode.
All in all, MP100 continues to impress me not only visually, but also with how it weaves its aspects and elements together. ONE sure has one heck of an imagination. I’ll see you guys next week!