The following contains spoilers for Episode 6 of Mob Psycho 100 III, “Transmission 2 ~Encountering the Unknown~,” now streaming on Crunchyroll.
In the eighth episode of Mob Psycho 100 III, things get a bit dicey for Mob and his Telepathy Club group heading up to Mt. Mud Boat when they realize that they missed the turn to the route, and the car Reigen rented is rendered incapable of going any further.
They decide to walk back to the hiking trail, but their situation only gets worse as they get lost in the forest with no cellphone reception, and no viable route; not to mention tensions building within the group. Something is visibly different about this episode from the previous ones this season, and that’s particularly interesting considering that the next few episodes will be the door to the anime’s final arc.
Mob is very carsick on the way up Mt. Mud Boat, and despite trying his hardest to keep it together, he ends up vomiting in the car, which in turn disturbs Reigen while he’s driving. The car ends up unable to go any further, so the group attempts to find the hiking trail on the mountain so that they can get help.
Reigen will return for the rented car the next morning; however, the plan doesn’t go as well as they thought it would as they find themselves getting lost in the forest, not to mention tensions rising between Tome and her former friends.
With everything going wrong from square one of their outing, Tome gets frustrated with Inukawa and the rest for daring to call her out to the mountains and blame her things not going well when she had been seriously trying to connect with aliens for her entire middle school tenure without their sincere contribution to the exercise.
Now that they feel bad for her disbanding, it’s aggravating to have them tell her that they planned the whole trip for her sake when she complains about how badly it is going. Reigen reminds them that conflict is not going to get them anywhere, and that they should focus on just getting to the top of the mountain. Tome; however, is fed up with everything; with her earnest feelings being trampled on constantly by the same group of people and refuses to take any step further. When Mob tells her kindly that he’ll walk together with her, Tome is convinced to try a little harder to stick it out with the group until they make it to the peak of Mt. Mud Boat.
Arriving at the peak of the mountain in the early evening, the Telepathy Club members are confused as to what they have to do in order to get the attention of aliens. Having left the manual that Tome would constantly read in the clubroom back in the car, they weren’t too sure they knew all the steps required to setting up the right kind of telepathic beacon; however, their former club president is not to be underestimated.
Takenaka, having arrived late to the gathering earlier that morning, was thought to have not been too enthusiastic about the entire undertaking given his own unpleasant experiences of the Telepathy Club. However, he admitted to the group that he overslept because he was up late doing all kinds of research for the trip, indicating a level of investment and interest beyond what was expected of him. He promptly set up a rock formation in the shape of an 8, standing with a foot in either prong of the number and forming a certain hand pose or mudra while chanting an indecipherable spell.
He opens up about how he wanted to go all out with this so that it could work out, and how afraid he is that their outing will fail. The other Telepathy Club members agree, finally getting through to Tome who had not been taking them seriously all this time because of many times she’d been hurt by their lack of sincerity. Once everyone is set up in their own 8-shape beacon and chanting, Reigen shocks Takenaka by asking if his research over the previous night didn’t yield anything else, prompting Tome to ask Takenaka if he’s hiding anything. It turns out that the author of the book that they got most of their information from was arrested for fraud, and the contents of the book were debunked.
Despite it being based on fabrications, Reigen is able to help the group see the positive angle in their efforts, and the importance of constructing memories. The group joins hands, and with Mob unleashing his power to its limit, they transmit a sincere message to the cosmos. The activity is a big drain on Mob, and right after, he reveals that it didn’t work. Right as Tome attempts to offer her comrades consolation, a giant green flash of light appears behind her, enveloping everything in the frame. They descend. They’re here.
While the Mob Psycho 100 series has never skimped on supernatural or otherworldly events or phenomena occurring in-universe, the existence of aliens in the series presented in Mob Psycho 100 III episode 8 was surprising on some level, but also incredibly satisfying. The route the episode was headed in would have sufficed, but a manner that subverts the subverted expectation of disappointment in their endeavour to contact alien life, the Telepathy Club makes actual contact with real-life aliens, and what’s even more satisfying about the sequence is that the point of initial contact is not Mob or Takenaka as one would expect – it’s Tome.
Despite being extremely nervous in the first encounter, the aliens are gregarious enough to carry Tome through the introduction, and later, Takenaka realizes that he can communicate with them on some level using his telepathy.The group spends an indiscriminate amount of time engaging with the incredibly friendly aliens, but despite being in the best possible situation for the outing, Reigen can’t escape his adult responsibilities waiting for him back on Earth.
They teach the aliens how to play various kinds of Earth games, including handheld ones, and when the time comes for the Earthlings to head back home, the aliens present Tome with shimmering green gem-like object – a symbol of their friendship. Inukawa gets the idea to give them something in return, so each of them offer the aliens something of theirs before being dropped off back at the top of Mt. Mud Boat.
Starstruck by the highly emotional encounter, Tome declares that this is a day she will never forget – but speaking of forgetting, they realize that Inukawa didn’t quite make it off the alien spaceship. As the episode credits roll, Inukawa outlines how he travelled alongside the aliens for an indiscriminate amount of time, and even came to be known as their hero for taking care of their biggest problem – their one natural predator. A great indicator of the group’s fortune in locating a sentient alien race that is also peaceful is the fact that this alien species’ experience with having a natural predator did not lead them to the formation of weapons or forms of defense based on violence, despite being intelligent.
The eighth episode of Mob Psycho 100 III was brilliant for various reasons, particularly in its cathartic approach to concluding Tome and the Telepathy Club’s mini-arc following the intensity of the Divine Tree Arc. However, the visuals in this episode were also outstanding, even for this season which has been a visual feast from week to week. A certain cinematic or picturesque quality was applied to a liberal number of shots throughout the episode, invoking the sensation of walking through nature and seeing breathtaking views and landscapes as various beautiful pictures of scenery decorated the episode at every turn.
The contact with aliens was especially emotional as a character finally gets to experience something she’d always wanted, and her friends are genuinely happy for her. While Tome is undoubtedly the focus, the series still finds a way to relate back to the themes of ambition, adolescence and growing up to face the future in Reigen’s undoubtedly important but somewhat detached involvement in the episode’s sequence of events. Surrounded by raw youthful exuberance, Reigen can’t help but become contemplative of his own journey, but the trip was every bit as important for him as it was for Tome. Another excellent episode for Mob Psycho 100 III.