A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mob Psycho 100 is a Japanese show about a timid eighth-grade boy with an overachieving brother, an unrequited crush, and psychic powers. Adapted from an anime of the same name, this live-action show has a very cartoonish feel and ricochets from dark action to childish comedy to more mature drama and romance, making it hard to pinpoint exactly what age it's most appropriate for. Teens may enjoy the romance and action but be turned off by the comedy, which aims much younger. Anime fans will find it an interesting experiment.
What's the story?
In MOB PSYCHO 100, Mob is a young Japanese teen -- unpopular with girls, not good at sports or academics, and living in the shadow of his brother, who excels in all three. The one thing that Mob has going for him is that he's an "esper" or a person with a psychic ability. He works part-time for a phony ghost exorcist but gets to use his powers occasionally when they encounter actual ghosts. While Mob struggles to become popular and win the attention of his crush, an evil organization is recruiting espers for nefarious purposes.
Is it any good?
An odd mixture of sad-sack romance, slapstick comedy, and X-men-style action, Mob Psycho 100 is tonally all over the place. Our hero, Mob, is such a passive and self-doubting nebbish it’s hard to get behind him. His crush object is dismissive and aloof, but the audience is expected to support Mob in his pursuit of her. The exorcist is a con man and played for broad laughs. He’s clearly taking advantage of Mob, yet he’s also positioned as a caring father figure.
Overall, it’s hard to tell exactly who this show is for. The romance angle is tame, the villain’s plot is very dark, and the comedy is pretty childish. You could look at Mob Psycho 100 as having something for everyone in the family, but when the elements are so far removed from each other, it’s more alienating than unifying.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about cultural differences. Mob Psycho 100 deals with universal themes like young love, sibling rivalry, and being yourself but is still very much a product of Japanese culture. How do you think this show would be different if it were made in America?
This show could be described as a live-action anime. What are some characteristics those genres share? Does the anime style work with real actors?
For kids who love anime
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.