Mob Psycho 100: Live Action
Final Thoughts (+links to episode reactions)
Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12
Oh jeeze, where to start, where to start. I guess I should say some of the things I found good in it?
DA GOOD STUFF
I legitimately liked Tome. I thought her actress was absolutely perfect at playing her as weird and funny as she needed to be. There were a few lines that came across as mean to me, especially with Mob joining the Body Improvement Club, but that could have been the writers or the translation. I was also fine with her being involved in more of the plots, since I do like her character in general. She didn’t need to be present in the final events, but I didn’t mind her being there.
Bro moments. They took the liberty of adding a few more significant moments between Mob and Ritsu, and I found that sweet. It at least showed how Ritsu truly wanted to keep Mob safe prior to the Student Council arc. Speaking of relationships, they took some liberties of adding some focus on Onigawara becoming friends with and joining the Body Improvement Club, as well as having Ritsu actually view the other kids from the lab as his friends, so that was nice.
A small handful of Reigen’s added exorcisms felt really in-character, like giving one guy a makeover so he can find a girlfriend and just throwing salt at another so he can grab his phone and turn off the tracker. Unfortunately “small handful” is the key term here, because I really didn’t care for the rest of the added scenes. – – More on that later.
DA BAD STUFF
There were a number of problems with the character representation of our main cast in this. We’ll start with Mob. I am…okay with the actor that played him. I think he looked fine for the part, and the few scenes he had to show genuine emotion were pretty good. The problem is when he didn’t have to show emotion. Mob’s character personality is primarily stoic. He doesn’t react very much, so that when he does react, it’s very obvious. In fact, a number of characters misunderstand this and think that he has no emotions at all. Unfortunately, he spends 90% of his screen time looking awkward and nervous in this. And while Mob certainly has his nervous moments since he’s a timid kid, he doesn’t look like that 24/7. – – It may have been more the director’s fault than the actor’s, but still. Didn’t work very well.
On to Reigen.
Oh man. Oh man oh man, Reigen. Part of me doesn’t even want to call him Reigen. I’m gonna start by saying no, I don’t blame the actor for these problems. I checked and he’s been in a LOT of stuff, and he’s probably very good in some of those roles, but I really don’t think he plays a good Reigen. Reigen’s character can go from very stoic and straight-faced to very over- reactive and cartoony. When you try to reproduce some of those cartoony reactions in live action, it comes out very awkward (Unless you’re Jim Carrey or something). As such, he wasn’t very funny, which is a big part of his likability in the original. Then, of course, there’s the pervy moments. Uuuuuuuuuuugh. I know it’s Japan. I know they do this a lot, but good LORD is it ever stupid. To my knowledge, Reigen has never shown any, and I mean ANY sort of perverted tendencies within the original manga or show. In fact, ONE is very good at avoiding that kind of fan-servicey nonsense in general. The only main character that makes even a slightly lewd comment in the show is Dimple, and it’s one time. And in this version, they play it up like it’s a major aspect of Reigen’s character! >>>:C It’s extremely frustrating, and makes me (and other viewers I’m sure) dislike his character. If you don’t like Reigen’s character, it’s very hard to appreciate the moments that show the goodness in him. Add that to the not-being-very-funny thing and there’s nothing that works for him in this.
My complaints about Ritsu are relatively minor, but they’re still there. I still found him likable in this, but he really wasn’t…Ritsu. His personality felt very generic. Ritsu is an almost rudely quiet kid with very strong opinions on things that he (usually) keeps to himself. He also has something of a phobia regarding Mob’s powers in the first part of the story. He still wants them himself, but he’s also seen those powers at their worst and never really got over that. In spite of that, he’s still a very good kid and doesn’t want to hurt people who don’t deserve it, seen through his guilt at the beginning of the Student Council plot. He also loves Mob dearly (though I think he forgets that for a bit when he goes power-crazy). That is not the Ritsu that I saw in this show, and that depresses me.
Plot problems. I was very confused about the villains in this show. They gave us all these clips of the Claw guys beating kids up and then the lab where they kept forcing the kids to use their powers over and over again. I get wanting to establish a threat at the beginning of the show, but why the heck did they portray the Lab as being sinister when it’s not?! Why waste our time like that? And the takoyaki guy being the masked leader…eh. It wasn’t very surprising, it didn’t do anything for me. I’m just sad that they took one of the few likable characters and made him evil for no reason.
I mentioned in my reactions that I didn’t mind them getting Ritsu involved in some of the earlier esper plotlines, and I don’t. Unfortunately, they threw him into dangerous situations and then changed nothing else about the situation. Mob didn’t act any differently. The dialogue and reactions were basically the same. It’s like it didn’t matter that Ritsu was there, they just used him as a background plot. It feels very wrong to me to see Mob not react any differently while knowing that his baby brother is that close to danger. :c
Then there’s the Tsubomi stuff. Sigh. I was okay with her being around a little more, but she was thrown in everywhere. And there wasn’t a point to it. There was no development in her character. There was no development between her and Mob. She ended up spending a bunch of time with Ritsu for some stupid reason. The fact that she’s ignored Mob for this long when they’re neighbors in this is pretty mean actually. The constant jokes of her saying things incorrectly weren’t funny. Just…AUGH. She’s just there to be cutesy and a motivator for Mob. Which, I mean, is what she was originally, but they didn’t need to throw her in everywhere.
The special effects were…eh. They were probably fine for the show’s budget. Dimple was definitely the worst part of it. His big, monster form was fine, but his blob form just stuck out like a sore thumb in every scene. Ugh. On the plus side, this may have given me more appreciation for 2D animated Dimple.
I ran into quite a few soundtrack problems, but the main one was the fact that they never cut the dramatic music out when there was a joke. It’s a little detail, but it makes it much more obvious when a certain line is supposed to be funny. Without it, the audience might just see it as a weird thing to say instead of the joke it’s supposed to be.
The M rating. Any chance of the show doing well on Netflix was squashed by this stupid decision. I’m not even blaming the people in charge of giving the ratings, I’m blaming the people in charge of the stupid subtitles. With how many f-bombs they put in place of Japanese cursing, it was like a freaking fansub. It would have been so easy just to make them lighter curse words and rate it for teens but no, now everyone thinks there’s a bunch of super adult stuff in it when there isn’t. The pervy stuff doesn’t count, that’s in like every anime.
There are, of course, a lot of other things that I took issue with, but if I wrote them all out, we’d be here all day. If you’re very, very curious as to what Mob Psycho 100 would look like in live action, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as it could have been. If the source material didn’t exist, it’d probably be an okay show about psychic kids. As it is, the source material does exist and is worlds better than this, so if you haven’t seen the show and are curious, please PLEASE go watch the anime first. It’s so fantastic.
Right now, all I want to do is rewatch the anime and try and forget this happened.