I Now Live for the Internet Thirsting After Shirtless Reigen in ‘Mob Psycho 100’
Who is the best man candy of the packed fall 2022 anime season? Is it Chainsaw Man‘s Aki Hayakawa, with his studious pour-over coffee morning ritual and gravity-defying ponytail? Is it Spy x Family‘s Loid Forger, a classic spy archetype who oozes sex appeal? Or is it Mob Psycho 100‘s Reigen Arataka, the charismatic, takoyaki-loving conman/shisho? Friends, it is obviously the latter. And the thirst has reached new heights.
Reigen has always been Mob Psycho 100′s secondary protagonist, since he’s Mob’s shisho (rough translation to “master,” but think of it as a kind of level-up on sensei that implies the student is also getting philosophical input from the teacher). Reigen also happens to be one of my favorite anime characters of all time. Because he’s just a guy. Surrounded by people with ridiculous powers, in a genre that’s typically about someone Becoming The Best, Reigen’s just a ridiculous, semi-silver-tongued guy trying to get by and make a living, using whatever means he can. And as I’ve said before, while previewing Mob‘s current season, the way Reigen’s projected confidence is fighting his internal insecurity is relatable as shit. Mob Psycho is largely a show that grapples with what really makes people unique and “special.” And because is he just a guy, Reigen is special as hell.
But Reigen just being an excellent character is not enough. In the manga, Reigen is actively not hot (I would say). But the anime. The anime is a different story. Because, let’s face it—a very hearty portion of the fan base, including your humble writer, has A Thing for Reigen. And this thirst for Reigen is nothing new. It’s a well known, only-partial-joke within the fandom that Bones, Mob‘s production studio, fan services Reigen. Ass shots galore. Sexy turns everywhere. Bones is thirsty for Reigen. Fans poke fun at Bones’ thirst while also being thirsty themselves. Everyone is thirsty for Reigen.
No, seriously. This is a thing. Yoshimichi Kameda, who is the Character Designer for Mob Psycho 100, once said on Twitter that (as translated by katyatalks) “I like to draw Reigen as if i’m running my tongue from his peachy butt to his waist to his back.” Kameda actively emphasizes Reigen’s butt while drawing him.
So now you know the history of the thirst. And you can now appreciate how it broke out all across social media after episode 8 of season 3, “Transmission 2 ~Encountering the Unknown~.” Without giving away spoilers, there’s a scene in which Reigen takes off his shirt in order to gift the pajamas he had on underneath to someone else. And, in return, he gives fans the greatest gift of all. Even one of the other characters points out that, yes, Reigen is stripping. Just topsies, but that was enough for even the official Mob Psycho 100 Twitter account to officially jump on the Reigen Thirst phenomenon for the first time (at least in my memory).
And the replies. Oh, the replies. The replies fluctuate between mockery and horniness, sometimes with a very blurry line between the two, which is incredibly typical for this subset of the Mob fandom. In any case, the replies (and re-tweets) are a beautiful, beautiful thing.
There’s also a sub-genre of Tweet congratulating Reigen on his top surgery. The way Bones drew the scene, you can, indeed, infer the scars. There was a lot of this kind of Tweet. No news on what happened to Reigen’s nipples, though. Perhaps Bones figured nipples, though anatomically correct, were too thirsty? Hopefully, Reigen’s nipples are wherever Mario’s are and doing fine.
To me, this scene was even better because, immediately preceding this, Reigen said he couldn’t enjoy what was going on because he was too worried about the fees on his rental car. Relatable. Adult. Shit. Sexy shit? No. In retrospect, was it maybe kind of of sexy precisely because it’s not sexy? Yes. Welcome to the paradox of Reigen. Have a seat.
So congratulations, Reigen community. It’s getting towards the end of the final season, and we not only got Reigen taking off his shirt, but we got the official Mob Psycho account ogling, as well. Well done, everyone.
(featured image: Bones)
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