Mob Psycho 100’s Season 3 Release and OP Tease Has Fans Thrilled—Here’s What We Know
The new OP made me shed a tear, and I'm not ashamed to admit it
Mob Psycho 100 season three was announced and assured back in October 2021. But, given the fall release of the new season of My Hero Academia, I was fully expecting Mob Psycho 100 to be BONES’ big release in 2023. I am absolutely delighted to report that my prediction was utterly wrong. Not only is Mob Psycho 100 season 3’s release imminent (October 5, baby!), but I got to see the new OP at Anime Expo, earlier than everyone else. I was thrilled, and now you can share that thrill with me.
Turns out, both season three of Mob Psycho 100 and season six of My Hero Academia will release at the same time: October 2022. This is notable for a few reasons: The same studio, BONES, makes both series, and My Hero Academia‘s release date was announced way back in December 2021. Given that info, Mob Psycho 100′s announcement is a genuine surprise. It is also the best surprise. Again, I am f***ing thrilled.
Breaking down the trailer
The new trailer showcases all the facets of Mob Psycho 100 which make me love the series so deeply. Clearly, Tokyo is in some kind of serious trouble that poses a mortal threat to its millions of residents. All the while, the cult which sees Mob as some kind of saint seems to be gaining ground. But are either of these things the focal point around which our protagonist’s mind is revolving? No. The focal point is that Mob doesn’t know what he wants to do for his career.
This will certainly ring all kinds of empathy bells for Stateside viewers, as the so-called Great Resignation and its aftereffects are still fresh. Plus, we’re all navigating these high-stakes-feeling personal questions while the current socio-political landscape feels more or less like a nationwide earthquake that has set every city on fire. In other words, Mob Psycho 100‘s characteristic balancing of the personal against the existential still tracks. Hard.
Yet, that relevant emotional tie has always been why I love Mob Psycho 100 so much. For as grandiose and ridiculous as the show’s stakes and characters’ powers are, what really drives the plot are the much more “mundane” matters and emotions around navigating society and your place in it. Mob’s little empathetic, anxiety-centered chit-chat with Kamuro in season 2 was a deeply, deeply powerful moment. It stuck with me more than the season’s climactic fight. Also: Reigen. Everything about Reigen’s tenuous confidence barely edging out his insecurity. All of the show’s ridiculousness has a firm grounding in empathic emotional realities, no matter how deeply buried that may seem.
The New OP
I think few would take issue with the statement that Mob Psycho 100 has consistently given us some of the best OPs in the modern anime history. The style of Mob Psycho‘s OPs are distinct and stunning, and the Mob Choir has provided stellar music to go along with the stellar animation. The music and animation alike have a strong thread of commonality running between the OPs, too, which adds significantly to the hype for the new one. The first OP was “99,” the second was “99.9.” Many took to Twitter to guess that the new OP would be, of course, “100.” The Warner Bros. Japan representative at Anime Expo’s Mob Psycho panel gleefully informed us that no one got it right. It’s not “100.” It’s “1.”
The visuals very much live up to the previous two, and the stylistic thread evolves in a way that’s fresh while remaining true to the original two. The song is perhaps a little more “pop”-y than the previous two. “99” is one of my favorite OP songs of all time, so it’s hard for me to divorce myself from that. But I’m sure that, after a couple watches, I’ll regard “1” as a bop, too.
The important thing here, though, is the taut-as-hell evolution of the emotional thread connecting all three songs. “99” is about freeing yourself from the myth that everyone has to be special: “If everyone is not special / Maybe you can be what you want to be / Sorezore no kotae mitsukaru darou (We’ll find our own answers).” “99.9” is about trying to embrace the full extent of your emotions, and even includes the lyric, “Mada kotae o sagashite iru (We’re still looking for answers).” These two hit hard for me: they, like the show itself, embrace the fact that you’re never a finished product, and you’re always grappling with the pressures society puts on you.
I don’t have the lyrics to “1” — subtitles aren’t enabled on the YouTube video (boo). But the vibe I get was that, even though you’re not “special,” even though you don’t have to be “special,” there’s still only one of you. And that’s worth celebrating.
I will also say that the last seconds of the OP made me cry the first time I saw it. At the Anime Expo screening, a very resonant “AAAAW” echoed through the hall. Like Mob, we are all growing and changing. And our relationships, like Mob and Reigen’s, grow and changing, too. It’s a beautiful note to end on for what will likely be Mob Psycho 100‘s final season.
So, welcome back, Mob. And welcome back, Reigen. I look forward to all the Salt Splashes to come.
(featured image: BONES)
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