I was speaking with a coworker about a Netflix show he had seen a few episodes of. It was Mob Psycho 100. I found book one and thought “Why not? I only have a couple thousand other books, what is one more to read?” Beside it was something I had never heard of and it sounded interesting. Plus, I have wanted to read more manga.
I can boil down this review to three words: One unique story.
Yet, another way to describe this book is the style of art and text is pure Japanese manga. The book does reference the version I read was the English language version. This would account for the slightly awkward flow to the text at times. The translation is excellent in the sense I was able to read the story with no issues, just the flow felt like English might not be the first language of the author. And of course, as it is manga, you read with the spine in your right hand and the reading is: top right panel first; top left panel second; bottom right third; the middle of that panel fourth and the fifth is farthest left. Yet, it is not always broken up in four/five panels and you might jump to the wrong part. That is, if you are unfamiliar with manga; or as is the case with me, familiar but not used to it.
I am not sure who the author is. Other than I found a listing that says they are the creator of One-Punch Man and Goodreads says ONE is the author. They are also the illustrator. Possible then, this is a group of people or one person going under a pseudonym.
The story itself has multiple layers. Our hero is Shigeo (also known as Mob). Or he is a hero in the sense he is at least more of a hero than his mentor, a medium who is a first-class fraud. Mob has psychic powers. He needs to control them or some really “bad stuff” could happen. In the corner of a few pages there is a countdown of the percentage of emotion Mob has going. This raises as people try to use him, use his powers or create cults that make people always smile and laugh (regardless if they are happy or not). He is trying to deal with school, school clubs, his mentor/work, being grossly underpaid and fighting ghosts and demons. There are multiple characters introduced (all are important, but due to similar names and looks to the characters, keep a score card). As this is a series, looks like the main people are all eventually introduced.
A bonus story at the end shows more about the quirky humor of the story and Mob’s powers vs. his boss/mentor’s abilities. If you are new to manga, this might not be a bad place to start. For ages 14 to adult,