This week’s episode is pretty much just a build-up for the Teru-Mob brawl — which I’m so hyped about ever since episode 2 — yet they kept up the momentum in a fast-paced albeit subdued manner which actually worked better than I expected.
Episode 4 somewhat lacks the quirky and spasmic nature we came to be acquainted with when it comes to Mob Psycho 100 displaying a wide array of its creative arsenal. However, that is not to say that this episode is inferior to its previous ones. In a way, I find the toned-down use of psychedelic art a breath of fresh air, and it actually is a great way to hype and excite us for next week’s encounter (and at the same time a way to save resources and budget). Kinda like the calm before the storm — you get what I mean. Regardless, the presence of smart cut-transitions, composition, and other important visual elements are still prominent as I’ve watched which is all thanks to Tachikawa and his crew’s talent. Additionally, there’s a hubbub going around the sakuga community about a solo key animator, Sara Moriyuki, for this episode who looks to be having a lot of fun with her technique of rough and sketchy display. It worked really well, given that it stood out from the rest of the episode’s static cuts, and allowed the pay-off of a punchline to have more impact behind it.
One great way MP100 set the tone of its high-paced progression early on is during Onigawara and Teru’s introduction. Initially, we see Onigawara’s confusion of who this Teru dude is. Next moment, we immediately cut into Onigawara who appears to have been pummeled to defeat contrasted by a cracked wall behind him. This scene is probably my favorite this episode, as it served a lot of purpose:
- It set the high paced momentum from the start and managed to be consistent till the end.
- It’s as if the director is telling us that Teru can beat anyone in a blink of an eye and
- It also says a lot about Teru’s personality — that he doesn’t want to waste time with mundane stuff such as cleaning his underlings’ mess.
Efficient and effective.
That aside, there were also a lot of character exposure for the recurring cast, and it’s not only Onigawara and Teru who hogged the camera. I’m surprised MP100 was practically able to cover everyone from the list of characters. From Reigen (who continues to be cool), the boys at the Body Improvement Club (these dudes are fking awesome — no kidding), to Mezato and Kageyama who, even appearing only for a short amount of time, managed to tell us a lot about themselves. That’s not to say we didn’t have enough Mob this week. I kinda feel bad for him, actually. He… seems to have a great deal of luck to be getting caught up with unfortunate events. Given that he only wanted to grow himself some muscles and impress someone, I can see why all these idiotic detours would piss him off. And of course pissing Mob off isn’t the best of ideas you want to consider.
Last thing I want to talk about are the punchlines or the comedic aspect of this episode. Honestly, I found myself laughing this week than any other MP100 episodes. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of surreal aspects, as the episode had more toned-down/minimalistic approach with the gags. In MP100, selling a joke can either mean taking advantage of a character’s surreal expressions, or simply by depicting them through exaggerated reactions — either of which always composes of smart directing. I’m not saying that the punchlines didn’t have a hint of surrealism to them — what I mean is that it’s clearly toned done in comparison to the previous episodes, though of course there’s still the presence of Moriyuki’s rough sketches. I feel like there’s a difference between seeing a character react in a surreal fashion, and a character reacting in a standard exaggerated display. More often than not, I find the over the top surreal reactions from MP100 packing a weaker punch than the latter. I believe it has something to do with its effect rather than the nature of joke per se. The more over the top and surreal it is, the more I tend to focus on the other elements of the punchline rather than the punchline itself. To make it easier to understand where I’m getting at, think of a clown making a funny face at you. Instead of laughing to your heart’s content, you can’t help but wonder why there’s a Hello Kitty sticker dangling from his pompadour.
- Mezato is starting to be a very interesting character. I thought she’d be on the neutral-good side but apparently, it seems like she’s neutral-bad!
- Kageyama for that matter. Funny thing is, I always thought Mob is the younger out of the two. Dude’s actually kinda scary.
- Sorry for the late post, folks! I had to tape my modem on to the ceiling yesterday to get some signal.
Should be evident enough that I’m totally excited for next week. Seems like Teru is a rather popular character to those who’ve read the web manga, second only to Reigen. Oh, and Reigen continues to be cool, by the way. See you next episode!