In the deepest reaches of darkness, there lie phenomenon that defy explanation by humanity. When faced with this chaos, humans can only fall into that very same darkness, but there are those who can stand against it and bring hope against the greatest despair. They are called Psychics! Professional Psychic Anti-Despair Course A will run you about ¥2,000 and guarantees a 20% reduction in misery as caused by spirits, curses, or other supernatural phenomena. Coupons are limited to one per customer.
Have you been enjoying ONE’s works? Everything we’ve seen up until now has been stuff done in his spare time like OPM or one-offs and quick gags like Makai no Ossan and Dangan Tenshi Fan Club, but have you ever wondered what he does normally? ONE is a professional manga artist after all, and now you’ve got a chance to see how. Mob Psycho 100 is the manga ONE writes regularly and gets paid for, OPM tankoban not withstanding. It runs in Ura Sunday and stands as one of their more popular works. It tells the story of a small psychic firm run by the guy with white hair.
Arataka here is totally a psychic and not a masseuse who only wants to help you with your supernatural problems within your budget. He uses only the finest exorcism salts from Burger King and can easily identify curses on people laid on them by people they’ve never met or had any real interaction with whatsoever. If you think he’s faking, you’re totally wrong. He’s a real psychic 100% and not the main character anyway so whatever.
The actual main character is that kid on the front cover: Shigeo Kageyama who goes by the nickname “Mob.” Just your typical middle school student with ultra psychic powers who’s just looking for his place in the world and his place in the love of his school life’s heart while working for/being scammed by Arataka and going to club.
Mob Psycho 100 strikes me as though someone went up to ONE and said, “Hey, could you write a generic shonen manga?” If you describe the story in very basic terms only, a young boy with extraordinary power shunned by normal society joins up with an organization that fights demons while balancing school and club life so he can train to unlock his true potential while discovering himself and pursuing his crush, it sounds like a Shonen Jump drag-and-drop template, but this is ONE. This is guy who created a hilarious and, at times, genre defying story like OPM. This story has just as much of the same soul and effectively fucks with your expectations even if you think you know what’s coming. The fourth chapter ends by taking the generic shonen, “I’ll join this place/club so I can really change,” start and, in a second, turns it on its head in a way that got a genuine laugh out of me. Not a, “Wow, this is hilariously dumb,” laugh that shonen usually gets from me. A read deal laugh at a funny joke.
And you can’t go wrong with a story where the main character has an explosion meter. What’s going to explode? Mob? His power? His passion for Tsubomi? The story!? It’s tense in a way you don’t understand but know you just need to roll with it.
As with Makai no Ossan, I know some people are going to be turned away by the art style, and ONE’s scribble style is not drastically different from what you’ve come to expect. However, this is the comic he writes regularly for regular publication, so there is a greater level of chops on display.
And this will be an English audience’s first chance to see ONE work with a standard panel format. His sense of blocking, flow, perspective, and such is quite good. Like with Makai no Ossan and the original Wanpanman, if you can get past that the drawings rarely get past the initial rough sketch stage, the art actually gets pretty nice at times.
Mob Psycho 100 is being scanned and translated by Nerieru Scans. It’s up to the fourth chapter of Vol. 1, and you can read and keep up with it on Batoto.