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Welcome everyone, to this weeks (late) episode of Mob Psycho 100! I’m not going to apologize for this one, it aired on Thanksgiving and I just got home, you should have expected this. I will say however that I was looking forward to this the entire trip, and I’m glad to be back to watch it. So without further ado, lets dive into the episode!

Starting off, we have to talk about the animation. This episode was storyboarded and directed by the absolute phenom that is Hakuyu Go, so right away you know it’s going to be beautiful. But instead of his usual explosive action set pieces, here we get to see his hand at character acting. And like kVin of Sakugablog fame says, it’s absolutely beautiful. The disorienting direction while lost in the forest, their unified individuality after finding the trail, the outrageous full-body character work present all throughout. And none of that even comes close to the trip and a half that is the ending sequence with Inukawa. While it wasn’t the kind of expressive explosion I was expecting from Hakuyu Go, it was certainly still one of the best and most visually memorable episodes of the season.

Getting into the episode itself, I wasn’t expecting aliens to actually show up. More than that, I wasn’t expecting them to look like that. It’s actually kind of funny to me that, for all their design weirdness, their defining feature is Moe eyes. Like… The aliens are just regular anime characters, as compared to Mob Psycho’s own rather loose designs. Combine that with their lankiness and skirts and you have an actually kind of off-putting look, at least in Mob Psycho’s world. It’s kind of interesting, because based on the ending their designs actually lend themselves well to Hakuyu’s style. The long limbs make it very hard to notice when they go off model, while the horizontal lines help us keep track of how they move as a whole.

What I liked most about the aliens though was just how similar they were to our main group. These guys were basically a carbon copy of the Telepathy Club, complete with snacks, games and just relaxing around their spaceship. It was an amusing sequence as they all just had a good, fun time, despite not really being able to communicate that well. Only reinforcing the main idea of the episode, that of having fun and making memories despite their fleeting nature. Sure, they didn’t have any of the action some people might have wanted, but for me the true strength of Mob Psycho has always been the emotional connection it’s able to weave into the fights. That’s part of why the finale for Season 2 fell so short for me, because it failed to achieve that connection, at least with the lead villain.

Moving on, Tome. She was cute! And she got some of the best character acting of the entire episode, what with that PoV shot of Mob holding out his hand for her. It was endearing seeing her come around and realize just how much of this was done for her. How the telepathy and aliens really weren’t what mattered, but enjoying her time with friends and doing something together, regardless of its success. Match that with Takenaka coming to a similar realization, and Mob’s sincerity about the whole thing, and you have an incredibly heartwarming sequence. Which is what makes what comes after all the weirder.

There’s no better way to say this, so I’m just going to come out with it: Did Inukawa get kidnapped and date raped by aliens? Because that’s what it looks like to me! I know it’s about making memories, the transient nature of the experiences, how he learned so much, came to understand them and come home, etc. But I can’t get over the “I ate something, don’t remember what happened, and woke up covered in lipstick” part. Like sure, the bits after that were probably consensual, but this is still a middle schooler and that’s still date rape! It’s easily the most “What the fuck” moment of the episode. Not in a bad way necessarily, it looked beautiful. But it certainly made me pause and ask what the hell was happening and rewatch it a few times to make sure.

Finally we have to talk about what is left to come: The final arc. It looks to me to be pretty clear what is about to happen. Tsubomi is going to transfer, Mob is going to confess, get shot down, and then go ballistic. It’s what he’s been building up to all this time and it’s what the trailer for the final arc hints at what happens. I don’t know how he recovers, how the fight goes, how it all goes down, but Mob being the final boss of Mob Psycho seems to fit perfectly to me. So long as it can nail that emotion, make sure to portray Mob as hurt rather than upset or entitled, then I think it will be fantastic. It’s a fine line to walk though, as if it turns Mob into an asshole I can see it souring some people.

So yeah, all in all another fantastic episode of Mob Psycho. This continues to be my favorite series of the season by a country mile, and I don’t just say that because I’m not a big fan of Chainsaw Man. I just think that Mob Psycho is consistently the best with its emotional portrayals and bombastic action, even if we haven’t gotten all that much of the latter. If it can nail this final arc, close out the series in a fantastic way, then I will have no problem naming Mob Psycho my anime of the year. And since I don’t yet know how many of our authors are going to participate in Anime of the Year this year, that might just mean its my list to control. Who knows.

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