Mob Psycho 100 takes us on a journey through adolescence with the added complication of having overpowering psychic powers. The title character Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is an eighth-grader and has all the normal problems of a middle schooler and then some. He has powerful psychic powers tied to his emotional state and needs to maintain control of them or else someone might get hurt. The creative team behind Mob’s complex adolescent journey took time to speak with Honey’s Anime and other members of the press at Crunchyroll Expo to explain their love for Mob, his friends, and his enemies in this successful series.
Setsuo Ito, Yuzuru Tachikawa, and Yoshimichi Kameda
Honey's Anime Exclusive Interview with Setsuo Ito, Yuzuru Tachikawa, and Yoshimichi Kameda
Mob must keep his emotions under control or bad things can happen. Do you identify with Mobs need to keep in control in any way?
Yoshimichi Kameda: I often express what I’m feeling right away. I don’t really keep my feelings pent up and accumulating stress as Mob does.
Do you have any interesting moments from the production of the anime that you’d like to share?
Yuzuru Tachikawa: We kind of had a rush doing the second seasons 13th episode. We had to do a last-minute recording for some of the lines. We had to come up with a script on the fly and schedule a recording session.
Kameda-san you’ve worked on a lot of titles like One Punch Man and Kill la Kill both with very different animation styles. What is a key aspect you’ve learned and influenced your designs for Mob Psycho 100?
Yoshimichi Kameda: Because I worked on One Punch Man I got used to One-sensei’s (Creator of One Punch Man and Mob Psycho) style of art and because I got used to that I was able to carry that experience into working on Mob Psycho. I think especially the design of the characters faces are very similar to the designs in One Punch Man.
Was was the driving force behind putting Tsubomi Takane’s character in more scenes?
Yuzuru Tachikawa: I initially didn’t intend to have her character as fleshed out as she was. She did, however, end up as a good way to flesh out Mob's character. We see physical changes in Mob when they are together, so we get to understand Mob a lot more due to that interaction.
Did you get much direction from One-sensei in the creative process?
Yuzuru Tachikawa: During the initial production especially for the first season we had a meeting ahead of time with One-sensei on what the designs should look like and what we should focus on moving forward. When it came to the second season we didn't have his consultation on a day to day basis. He just did a final check to make sure everything was up to par. If we came up with something significantly different than the original outline, we would check it with One-sensei. Also, One-sensei is very kind and understanding of the production process.
What do you find intriguing about Mob as a character?
Yoshimichi Kameda: I see a lot of similar characteristics in my personality. He doesn’t express himself out loud. He keeps a lot of that emotion pent up. I think a big part of that is because he doesn’t have a lot of confidence and he is just trying to figure out what his place is.
Yusuru Tachikawa: Mob has a very strong power within him. The power isn't something he doesn’t really need or something he thinks is necessary. He is like a lot odd boys in middle school. He wants to be popular with the girls and I felt the same way. So, for me, he is a character that wants to balance a normal life with being popular.
Setsuo Ito: For me, Mobs growth of the series isn’t sudden. His growth is rather slow. The fact that his growth takes place with some visual changes over time is even more like real life. He joins the bodybuilding club and you can see the results from the effort he put in. I think it’s a good metaphor for how he changes over time on the inside.
You played the character of Mob on stage for the live production. What did it feel like literally bringing this character to center stage?
Setsou Ito: I was literally playing the same character so the emotions that were expressed were very similar in both mediums. The biggest change was that most of the cast was different from the anime. The atmosphere from being onstage and being in front of a lot of people and for me, if I were to be in Mob’s shoes, would be a very unique circumstance.
What was the most rewarding part of working on Mob Psycho?
Yoshimichi Kameda: I got to do the key animation for the promotional video for the first season. I did it by myself which let me determine the movement styles of the characters. The best part was that when we showed it to people they told me that this is the visual style they expected from Mob Psycho 100. Those comments gave me the confidence to carry that style over into the full series. It was very rewarding defining the artistic style of the series.
The art style has become a unique style in anime as a director did you intentionally give the artist free rein to try something new?
Yuzuru Tachikawa: We always had open communications in the production staff especially with the animation director to ensure great quality. I encourage a free creative style. It is my job is to personally check the visuals to make sure everything is aligned with the overall image we have going for the show. I’d say at the end Mob Psycho is an accumulation of everyone’s creative input.