Mob Psycho 100 is a strange anime. Its predecessor, One Punch Man, is all about bombastic battles and bizarre humor; it satirizes shounen tropes left and right, with its more serious elements almost always taking a backseat to gags. But this series does pretty much the exact opposite in every respect. It’s about an emotionally fragile boy whose biggest enemy is his own enormous psychic power, and while there are certainly some amazing action sequences (animated with love by legendary studio Bones), the heart of the story comes from the small human interactions that gradually change Mob’s life for the better. So, even though it seems strange for a shounen anime, Mob Psycho 100’s final season is actually a rather subdued affair. Let’s see how that pans out in our review of Mob Psycho 100 III!
Your Greatest Enemy is Yourself
On the outside, Seasoning City seems pretty peaceful these days. Claw has been defeated, Mob and Reigen have more or less made up, and the only thing out of place is that giant broccoli in the center of town (referred to as “the Divine Tree”). However, tensions are just ramping up within Mob’s mind. He’s feeling left behind by his peers, who all seem to know what they want to do in the future, and yet he can’t even confess his love to Tsubomi. So, when Dimple decides to disguise himself as Mob and use the Divine Tree to brainwash everyone into worshipping him, Mob is left completely alone. Even his closest companions have rejected him in favor of an image that represents his uncontrollable psychic abilities.
This is just the first in a line of gut punches that tears Mob’s self-esteem to shreds. Despite all of the growing up he’s done over the past two seasons, he’s never been able to make peace with his own self-doubt and continues to repress his emotions so that he doesn’t hurt anyone with his powers. This internal pressure cooker has just kept building and building over the entire series, and it finally explodes when he’s knocked unconscious in a car accident... and his ???% side takes over.
A Quiet Conclusion
Okay, so the ???% “fight” isn’t exactly quiet, since Mob’s psychic energy is kicking up a tornado in its wake that’s devastating the town, but it’s not the kind of clash that feels like a traditional final battle, either. All of Mob’s friends, freed from Dimple’s influence by Mob’s prior kindness, try one by one to reason with him. Teru, Ritsu, the Body Improvement Club, and even the former leader of Claw all fail to stop his rampage. But Mob isn’t really fighting back – he’s just walking toward where he was supposed to meet Tsubomi, clutching a bouquet and repelling anyone who attempts to stop him. Meanwhile, inside of his own mind, Mob is unsuccessfully trying to reign in his alternate self as ???% slowly steals parts of his body in order to take over his psyche for good.
We think that this is the perfect conclusion to Mob’s journey. With all external threats taken care of, the only battlefield left is in the center of the mind. The people who have helped Mob and whom he has helped along the way all come together to give him the emotional strength he needs to defeat his own demons. The animation, voice acting, and music are spot-on as always (particularly the reprise of the first opening coinciding with Reigen’s big entrance at the end), all coming together to support a resolution unlike any other we’ve seen in a shounen anime. It’s a victory won not with fists, but by baring your soul and accepting the parts of yourself that you used to be afraid of. It’s the only way Mob Psycho 100 could’ve ended.
Mob Psycho 100 really is something special. It took the contrarian nature of One Punch Man and channeled that into becoming the shounen that’s perfect because it’s nothing like other shounen. We hope that ONE continues to make new projects, because we don’t want this final season to be the last we see of his work.
What did you think of our review? Did you feel satisfied by Mob Psycho 100 III’s ending? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!