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No, It's Not A Gangster Story – Mob Psycho 100 Manga Review

Recommended soundtrack:
Nine Inch Nails (Especially the song 'Last' @21:04 oh yeah that's my jam)

Story summary:
The protagonist is Mob (real name: Shigeo) who is our socially inept, unpopular guy from middle school working part time at a psychic services company managed solely by a twenty-something year old man named Reigen. 

Mob is a legit esper (and an extremely powerful one to boot, don't judge him by his gentle demeanour and deadpan character) while Reigen is, to put it bluntly, a conman and self-labelled psychic with excellent masseur skills. Yes, he uses massages to 'cure' his clients. It's hilarious. But of course, this only works on simple cases of aching shoulders where there are no actual ghosts involved; the rest of the time Mob comes into the picture to settle the big stuff.

The beginning of the story starts off lukewarm. It's basically a slice of life comedy, Mob seems bland and a pushover (not extremely likeable) and Reigen is a conniving smartass (you either love him or hate him at first sight). The art is also like a slap in the face because it's so different. In the beginning, it might be very easy to be put off about the whole thing and give up reading it.

DON'T do that. This is one of those mangas (well technically, this is a webcomic but for simplicity's sake, I'm just gonna call it a manga) that seriously gets better the longer it runs, and has had the chance to expand its plot. Whether this is intentional or not though is hard to say.

The best character development takes place in Mob, who, on the surface, seems like a completely emotionless guy. 

Yep. It's the same person.

In the initial chapters, it's suggested that he's incapable of having feelings and is not able to form normal social relationships with people. This slowly changes (thank god) as the story progresses to reveal other aspects of his personality: his stubbornness, his love for his family, his insecurities, his dreams, his compassion. 

A major running theme of Mob Psycho 100 (and the inspiration behind the comic title) is Mob's discovery of different emotions within himself. In various situations, he is pushed to his emotional limit of 100%, upon which he goes into berserk psychic mode and trashes whatever enemy that provoked him. And it's always awesome.

On a side note, I really love the relationship Mob and his brother, Ritsu, have. It's freaking adorable. All they have is love and respect for each other. They're always doing nice things and looking out for one another. Best sibling duo ever?

"Ritsu, do not spoil your brother like that" (':

Fuck him up Ritsu


Look at his pure, childlike expression. He just wants his brother to have some nice juice and candy.

Let's talk about the art. As we all know, One is also the author and original artist of Onepunch-Man, which has recently obtained mega popularity status and already has an anime adaption in the works (hell yeah for animated Genos!! *swoon* Sorry, bimbo moment). If you've read the old version of OPM, you'll know what to expect, but if not, you'll probably have some rather strong opinions on the drawings. 

Love this page

Love that creepy face

Purposely bad? So bad that it's good? Or just effing downright ugly? Who knows. Personally, I was skeptical about its, er, attractiveness (for lack of a better word) on first glance, and now, after reading 80+ chapters, I absolutely love it. It has the same minimalist and uncomplicated outline style of Gokusen, but more gnarly facial expressions. Yes, I still say gnarly, don't hit me. 

Also, the art doesn't look so silly anymore after awhile and you'll start to realise that it suits the story well. It's not bad art per se, it's just unique and different from the styles that most current mangas adopt. Plus, it highlights the distinctive humour of the mangaka. (Which brings us on to the next aspect)

I want to try that omu rice


Can you imagine if Murata Yuusuke redrew Ritsu? Damn son

"Shouldn't we give him a break and bring him some water?" Omg Mob please

Wtf Reigen

The Body Improvement Club might actually be the best thing ever

The comedy is mostly satirical and very dry. And One carries it off with perfect finesse, making the humourous situations seem effortless.

Overall, the premise and flow of the story is deceivingly uncomplicated, an impression that is largely influenced by the art. You get the feeling that the author has no idea what he's doing. And that's what makes it so genius. One is a smart guy, and Mob Psycho 100 is a smart manga. It takes weird art and a weird plot with weird characters and actually makes it all work. 

It also doesn't do the whole suspense building shebang and try to gradually build up the anticipation; it just throws you curveballs one after another. There are no fillers or unnecessary panels and dialogue. The character interactions, emotional patterns, art style, just everything, is so unorthodox and executed so brilliantly. There are plot twists that will catch you off guard. Long story short, this is an interesting manga. 

I was reading one of the chapters on Kissmanga (I highly recommend this site for manga reading btw, as the entire chapter loads on one page and it's super fast! Mangafox and other 'bigger' sites are getting way slower now because of all the adverts and links) and one of the comments really struck me. Basically, he/she said that the chapter was able to bring out so many emotions in a short span of time; from feeling sad, to happy and relieved, and even shocked and excited. And I think that summarises the charm of Mob Psycho 100 perfectly.

To sum it up ...

Plot: 10/10  - Lighthearted, funny, bizarre, sometimes creepy and occasionally poignant. But always enjoyable and never boring.

Art: 10/10  -  What can i say, I love One's art. 

Characters: 10/10  -  There are a LOT of characters in this story. Obviously, many end up becoming one-dimensional but that's ok since A) they're always fun to watch and B) the mains kick butt. 

Personal enjoyment: 10/10  -  Loved it. Literally could not stop reading. 

Overall Rating: 10/10  -  If I could use only one word to describe Mob Psycho 100, it would be 'badass'. No other description needed.

There isn't any anime in the works (yet) for this, but you can check out these animated shorts!

Written by Faelan

Note: This review was written at the time when 82.2 chapters had been released. 

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2 comments to ''No, It's Not A Gangster Story – Mob Psycho 100 Manga Review"

  1. Fantastic review, I love this manga. Super excited about the Anime release!

    1. Thanks! Glad to see another MP100 fan (: and I can't wait either, saw the PV and it's awesome they stuck with the original drawing style