The live action series Mob Psycho 100, based on a manga by ONE, held a special event celebrating the series on 15 January 2018 with attending guests Tatsuomi Hamada (as Shigeo ‘Mob’ Kageyama), Kazuki Namioka (as Arataka Reigen), Yuuki Yoda from Nogizaka46 (as Tsubomi), Akio Otsuka (as the voice of Ekubo/Dimple), and director Koichi Sakamoto.
Hamada said about his character, ‘Mob is a very suspicious person, but I talked with director Sakamoto to make this part of him seem rather cute. I had to try a lot while acting it out, some things more successfully than others. I tried my best to make him seem like a small, harmless animal.’ Namioka said about his acting, ‘In the manga and the anime, Reigen is a very charming character and very cool. I didn’t try to create an “Arataka Reigen that is my own”. I wanted to challenge a Reigen that is faithful to the original version. There won’t be a part where the viewer says “This Reigen is a bit different!” If anything, I did make it so close to the original that people might say “That’s also just like the manga!”‘
Dimple will be voiced by Akio Otsuka, just like in the anime. For the series, they recorded the mouth movements of Otsuka while he did his lines and later used them to animate the character. There is one scene where Otsuka’s character enters Mob’s body and starts running. He said, ‘There is a moment where Mob is exhausted and falls to the floor and the way he falls is just like in the anime, I was so surprised! Fans of the anime will definitely enjoy this, too!’
They were asked what the charm of the original manga is, to which Hamada replied, ‘The serious parts are extremely serious, but when there is a scene to make you laugh it will definitely make you laugh. In general, the mix of a fast and slow pace is interesting. I have watched the anime and read the manga so much because of Reigen. It was like a single “Arataka Reigen obsession”. Normally, he is really useless, but occasionally he says good things. You would be surprised and say, “Wow, he can say something cool like that!” I also really like proverbs.’ In the end, he got all heated up talking about Reigen.
Following this, Otsuka said about his impression of the live action series, ‘It has youth, it has action, it has comedy. With all these elements, it still manages to advance the story at a good tempo. I was able to feel the charm of Mob Psycho 100 again after seeing real people play the characters and realizing how many elements there are in the story.’
Director Sakamoto said in addition, ‘When I first read the manga, the gap between the story and the art surprised me. Even though the story is very serious, the art felt weak. But the characters were fascinating and dragged me into their world. Not only the main characters of the story, but also the members of the Awakening Lab and the Claw are impressive, so I tried to keep the atmosphere of each character as much as possible without changing it to keep this interesting part of it in the live action series.”
Lastly, they talked about Yoda’s natural connection to the character. ‘From the moment I came on set, I was always told “Looks so natural!” and “So much like Tsubomi-chan!” However, I can’t think of a specific example…,’ she said a bit flustered. Hamada saved her with an example that left her smiling in embarrassment, ‘One time, the catering served out the dinner and I thought it was strange that Yoda, who held her food, didn’t move. When I looked at her face, she had her eyes closed. I thought, “Wow, on her way to get food, she fell asleep!” (laugh)’
The live action series of Mob Psycho 100 will be available via Netflix and TV Tokyo. It uses a lot of visual effects and wire action to show the paranormal abilities and action scenes. Also, most of the middle school students are cast with actors that are 30 years old or older.