Serizawa week 2023
Day 3. Combat/ Ability
While I was growing up, everything seemed to indicate that I would never catch up with the rest of the people. They all seemed to know what they were doing and with scraped knees, I longed to belong. When I started watching Mob psycho , their message about been never too late was something that made me think. It is never too late, neither to learn, to acquire a skill
But above all, it is never too late to give and receive love
I adore the fact that in so many other stories, Mob Psycho would’ve concluded with the World Domination Arc. After all, it has the big, climatic battle with the ensemble cast versus the overarching villain. They win, and everyone goes home, all’s well that ends well, right?
Except the story doesn’t end there. Because Mob has yet to reckon with this internal, antagonist force that has haunted the narrative since the very beginning: Himself.
When Mob comes face-to-face with ???% at long last, he says: I am Kageyama Shigeo.
This isn’t a conflict with a villain, or another esper, or even a separate entity that resides inside Mob’s body. It is something far more personal, and far more relatable.
???% is the culmination of everything Mob’s held back. Not just emotions like anger or fear. Even his desires, like his crush on Tsubomi. All muted by his efforts not to hurt anybody with his powers. Mob has come such a long way, but he’s still restraining his feelings so tightly that the moment his control wavered, ???% took over.
But the conflict isn’t the destruction ???% is wreaking just by walking through the city. The conflict is Mob refusing to accept this part of himself he’s suppressed for so long.
And ???% is right! Every attempt to stop him thus far has failed. Because he isn’t meant to be stopped. Mob has to reconcile with the parts of himself that he won’t acknowledge.
And it’s the most difficult thing Mob has ever had to do! This is the part of himself that hurt his brother; that hurt his friends and decimated so much of the city. Reconciling with it means accepting that Mob hurt those people, whether he wanted to or not. It means accepting all facets of himself, even ones he’s not proud of or wishes he could change but cannot.
Mob has grown so much in this latest season alone, he hasn’t had any explosions, and he felt confident enough in his own abilities to actually ask Tsubomi out, which was something the Mob of two seasons ago could never imagine.
But what about the advice Reigen gave him for his confession to Tsubomi?
His true self, in its totality. This is what Mob has struggled with the entire story. This is why his confession to Tsubomi is the culmination of his character arc. Expressing his feelings means exposing his true self to someone else, even with the fear of rejection.
And while we’re on that subject. Let’s talk about Reigen. Right after he gives this advice to Mob, he says this about himself:
It is the height of irony (and tragedy) that Mob and Reigen admire each other’s strengths so much, yet have no idea they struggle with the same exact fear: that if the people they cared for found out who they truly were, they would reject them. It is why Reigen relies on lies and why Mob suppresses himself.
It is also why Reigen has never actually witnessed ???% until now. It is why Mob has never heard Reigen admit the truth about himself out loud.
And that’s why the final arc feels like such a gut-punch in the best of ways. What is harder than accepting who you are, and hoping for others to accept you as you are? Even at your most deceitful, or your most destructive? Mob Psycho ends with the Confession Arc because that’s the very heart of the story.