A lot of shounen anime have the self improvement and growth scene, but Mob Psycho 100 does it best…to the point of being motivational to the viewer.
Summary of plot
A psychic boy with great abilities works for a non psychic man in a psychic shop. The psychic boy (Mob) is in school and has a crush on one of his classmates, so he tries to change himself and improve his non-psychic skills while simultaneously learning to control his emotions, so he doesn’t snap and hurt people with his psychic abilities.
Why does Mob-psycho 100 do a better job of showing the self improvement theme than other shounen animes?
The simplest reason is how realistic the characters are (even though they have psychic powers lol), thus making it easier for us as the audience to relate to theur struggles. Particularly, Mob and Reigen have the most relatable characters who have made great improvements to themselves.
Mob, the epitome of self improvement. This boy started out as an everyday plain Jane but with psychic powers. He wasn’t as sociable, he didn’t have hobbies and preferred to stay on the sidelines. In addition, Mob’s only “friend” at the time was his boss Reigen.
However, Mob decided he would improve himself and ended up joining the body improvement club and making friends with telepathy club members. He went from passing out from running, to actually managing to keep up with his club members and not run too far behind. He made friends with other psychics and inspired them to not just rely on their powers, and instead work on themselves completely.
It’s obvious that Mob went from being a side character with no ambitions (aside from wanting to impress his crush) or hobbies to an inspiring character, even though he is not the strongest in the body improvement club or the most popular. The reason for his inspiring many characters is Mob’s pushing himself and perseverance.
Reigen starts out as a guy who lied about having psychic abilities so he can get Mob to work for him and get his business booming. We learn that Reigen was someone who quit his job because he was tired of it, and impulsively bought his office. Reigen was also not very successful in his emotional connections and at some point we see that no one wishes him a happy birthday. (ಥ﹏ಥ)
While this isn’t an improvement, we can see that Reigen is a hustler. While he may not have psychic abilities, he is still able to get work done through photoshopping ghosts out of pictures or giving his customers a relaxing massage that helps them feel all light and less “haunted”.
Reigen’s main issue was his lying to Mob, and his loneliness. He ends up in a fight with Mob and is finally honest with him ( or rather Mob knew all along). He also realizes how much Mob actually means to him and learns that to keep his connection with Mob, he would have to let him enjoy life and be honest. Reigen simply looks less miserable with Mob and other human connection and he learns that throughout the series.