ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Mob Psycho 100,’ Volume #3

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Mob Psycho 100 Volume 3

From ONE, the creator of One-Punch Man!, Mob Pyscho 100  tells the story of Shigeo Kageyama, aka Mob. At first glance, Mob looks like your average middle school boy, and although it seems like there’s nothing special about him, he is a powerful esper with a massive amount of psychic power. To help keep control of his skills, he committed to go through life under an emotional shackle. To help learn how to control his abilities, Mob works a part-time job as an assistant to Reigen Arataka, a self-proclaimed psychic and con-man. Mob wants to live a normal life like the people around him, but due to some unfortunate events, he gets further away from his goal. When his suppressed feelings and emotions continue to grow inside of him, Mob’s powers slowly start to break through its limits.

Mob Psycho 100 Volume #3, published by Dark Horse Comics, brings the battle between Black Vinegar Middle Schools shadow gang leader, Teru, and Mob to a close.  Teru is also an esper with immense power and he pressures Mob into fighting to see who is more powerful. However, Mob sticks to his promise to be non-violent and refuses to use his skills on people. When Mob gets knocked out and the fight seems over, something then awakens in him and takes control.

Overall most of the manga’s artwork is pretty rough and simple. I would say it has a more unorthodox style compared to other manga. However, I feel that is done intentionally to reflect the tone of the series. So the simplistic character designs, while they may appear crude in some standards also allows more opportunity for the artist to distort characters and surroundings in certain scenes. For example, they can contort the character’s features for more dramatic emotions, displays of power, or for a quick gag. One well-done example of this is when Mob loses control of his powers in his fight with Teru. The artist alters Mob’s appearance and the surroundings to convey the exaggerated shift in Mob and to display how immense his powers are.

Mob Psycho 100 Volume 3

Another thing I liked about Mob Psycho 100 Volume #3 was that it touched on how Mob’s inner-struggles with his powers cause him stress and affect him emotionally. When it comes to manga, in general, it is not uncommon for a lot of the protagonist to be a young person with unique abilities or massive power. Because there’s so much focus on how skilled and or strong these character types are, I think it is very easy to forget that they are still children. Children that are still growing up, not just physically but emotionally too. And with that, they are learning how to process and vent their feelings.

When it comes to Mob, he’s aware of how strong his powers are, but whenever his emotions, usually because of stress or fear,  reach their capacity something powerful awakens and takes control of him. Early on in the series Mob lost control of his powers when he and his little brother, Ritsu, were being bullied by older kids.

When he saw Ritsu get hurt, something inside of him snapped, and he lost control of his powers. When he became conscious again, he sees the amount of damage his powers caused, and from that point on, he started suppressing his feelings in hopes of controlling his powers better. So when his fight with Teru is over and he becomes conscious, he sees that he failed to control his emotions and powers again. This causes him to breakdown and cry. In this scene, the reader sees just how much his struggle with his powers affects him.

Another thing I enjoyed in this volume was seeing Reigen be a good and supportive mentor to Mob. While it looks like Reigen, being the fake psychic that he truly is, only keeps Mob round so he can exploit his psychic powers to stay in business. However, he does genuinely care about Mob’s wellbeing and is a good mentor to him when he needs it. For example, following the events of his fight with Teru, Mob is feeling down and feels like his powers cause nothing but problems for the people around him. Even going so far as to wish he didn’t have them anymore.

Mob Psycho 100 Volume 3

Reigen tells Mob that his powers are useful to him and encourages him not to feel ashamed of his abilities, but instead, he should learn to control them better. Reigen also recognizes that Mob needs guidance because, without it, his powers and the stress of them would be too much for the boy to handle. And while Mob seems to be pretty aware of the fact that Reigen uses him for his powers, he still respects and trusts most of the advice he gives him. I think the reason for this is because Reigen was one of the first people, besides his little brother, that appreciated his powers and accepted him.

Lastly, I enjoyed seeing more Mob’s brother, Ritsu’s true feelings revealed. Compared to his older brother, Mob, Ritsu is the complete opposite in nearly way. He’s popular, easy to socialize with, good at sports and he’s a model student. However, Ritsu considers himself to be lacking and desires something that Mob has – his powers. Ritsu thinks Mob’s powers are incredible and would like nothing more than to be like his brother, but it seems he doesn’t have any powers at all. This causes him to feel conflicted because in his eyes no matter how popular he is, he still isn’t as good as his older brother, and that makes him start to have some resentment towards him.

Overall, I recommend checking Mob Psycho 100 Volume #3 out. While at first glance, the art may not grab your attention, it does have its place in the story. And while the overall tone of the manga is humor, it does have some deeper touching moments that make you appreciate the characters a bit more. I also recommend this if you are looking for a new refreshing manga to read that’s a little different too.

Mob Psycho 100 Volume 3
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TL;DR

I recommend checking Mob Psycho 100 Volume #3 out. While at first glance, the art may not grab your attention, it does have its place in the story. And while the overall tone of the manga is humor, it does have some deeper touching moments that make you appreciate the characters a bit more.