Is Reigen Arataka really a bad guy?

What's up everybody, I am again here with a new story but this time we will be talking about the self proclaimed greatest psychic of the 21st century,the manipulative, lying and generally shady anime character "Reigen Arataka" from "Mob Psycho 100".

When we first met Reigen, he was a sort of mentor of our hero "Mob" a 14 year old boy with amazing telekinetic powers but we quickly learned that Reigen is actually a con man. Someone with no psychic or spiritual abilities whatsoever and yet someone who also happens to run a supernatural consulting agency. He basically takes money from people based on completely fraudulent claims that he has amazing psychic powers and is an expert on supernatural phenomena. In reality Reigen has no powers and whenever he needs to deal with a real supernatural problems such as exorcising an evil spirit he has to rely on his assistant Mob. We see Reigen manipulating everyone around him on a regular basis including his clients and the media.Reigen also does take Mob for granted at times for example calling him to work on a very short notice and messing up all of Mob's plans in the process.

So let's face it,

At first glance Reigen seems like a pretty terrible person someone who lies, manipulates and scams gullible people out of their money and with all of these things in mind we might expect him to be the villain of the series, someone who Mob needs to kick to the curb in order to become a better and more independent person and yet Reigen is not a villain. In fact he is a beloved character and many fans of Mob psycho consider Reigen to be their favorite character in the entire series. The thing is Reigen is so popular that he even got his own manga but how is this possible !! Why would anyone think that this sweaty, lying conman is someone we should actually like, support and root for. The reason is this - Reigen is not a one dimensional character, he is a nuanced and complex person and the fact that he is a conman is only one aspect of his character. If you hate Reigen because he is shady conman and that is the entire extent of your take on the character, you are only scratching the surface of who Reigen really is.

So who Reigen Arataka really is ?

At first he was basically a masseuse. He massaged his clients as a part of what he calls a spiritual cleansing and with many clients this procedure actually helped them feel better. This is because in many cases the clients that came to Reigen weren't really dealing with evil spirits or curses and Reigen's spiritual cleansing was a placebo. The clients thinking that the evil spirit or curse had been removed started to feel better even though there were no spirits or the curses in the first place.Reigen left his job as a regular salary man to start supernatural consulting agency even though he had no psychic power of his own.

So does that makes Reigen Arataka a bad guy?

Despite his obvious shadiness Reigen is driven by the desire to make a difference and change the world for better. This has been his desire ever since he was a student. By starting his own business he wanted to do more good than he could as a regular salary man but he quickly realized that he was just a glorified masseuse and he was about to abandon his agency until "Mob" came to ask for help. Mob heard about the agency and came to Reigen because Mob was struggling to come to terms with his own psychic abilities and believing that Reigen also had the same type of power and Mob was hoping that Reigen could help him control better.

At first Reigen thinks that Mob is just a troubled kid with an overactive imagination but he still feels bad for him. however Reigen soon realizes that Mob really has psychic powers and so instead of abandoning the agency Reigen decides to use Mobs incredible powers to deal with real spirits and with other supernatural threats. Despite the fact that he started off as a con artist Reigen isi't just a conman. Paradoxically even though he is a fraud,

  • he is also a man of principles.

  • he has a strong sense of right and wrong

  • and a desire to do good & help others while using Mob to deal with all the real psychic threats.

  • Reigen also helps his clients by giving them advice on life and helping them avoid getting tricked by other frauds like fortune tellers.

  • On multiple occasion of the story we also see that at his core Reigen is a good person like, when he cancels an assignment to exorcise a family of harmless ghosts who just want to live together in peace or when he refuse to accept his payment in cases where he feels that it would be inappropriate to take the money.

  • Reigen also makes Mob to promise him not to use his powers against other people or to use his power with murderous intent and he does this because he knows that if Mob begins using his powers for dubious ends, Mob would no longer be the kind and good person he is now and his powers would corrupt him.

It is clear that Reigen genuinely cares about Mob and his feelings. In episode 11 of season 1 we see Reigen take a major risk when he ventures into the headquarters of the Esper terrorist organisation known as "Claw" because he was concerned for Mob's well being.

But Just to be honest, Reigen does have a tendency to take mob for granted and this type of behavior leads Mob into thinking that Reigen might just be using him for his power resulting in a falling out between the two of them. After they drift apart Reigen ends up being humiliated on national television for being a fraud by the media. When Mob sees Reigen being humiliated at a press conference he decides to help him and uses his powers to make it look like Reigen is indeed an Esper. After this Reigen and Mob reconnect and this proves that Reigen did indeed have a positive impact on Mob. Mob even says that he's always known what Reigen really was from the start and what Reigen really is: a genuinely good person even though he is far from a perfect mentor and even though he sometime takes Mob for granted Reigen wasn't just using the Mob. The two of them became friends along the way and established a real connection. Reigen is truly an interesting and complex character. On the one hand he most definitely is a sweaty conman who manipulates people around him but has some positive traits also like being intelligent, having a working knowledge of martial arts and being a pretty hilarious guy in general and most of all a good heart.

Is that all?

Naah! We are just going Philosophical.

There is also a deeper aspect to his character whichever way you look at it. Reigen is far from the perfect mentor and far from the perfect Hero. He is nowhere close to the ideal role model for Mob or for anyone else happens to be watching the anime but we love Reigen precisely because he is far from perfect. He is not a traditional anime mentor figure that we can look up-to. Reigen is not a role model, he is not an inspirational underdog but he is "real". Reigen is just a deeply flawed guy in the suit who makes lots of mistakes but who nevertheless has important redeeming qualities.

As human beings who are not fictional characters we are all far from perfect, we all have our flaws, but we would also like to think that we have our redeeming qualities. we would like to think that despite our imperfections, our insecurities in our mediocrity, we could still grow and develop into better people.

Are you gonna conclude it or not?

Just a few more lines fellas. I am such in love with this character that it became difficult to bring this article to an end! Ok Ok last two paras and its gonna end. God promise!

This is Reigen's story. He starts out as a regular salary man who dreams of doing something more with his life. He turns into a conman but he is about to give up that job until he meets Mob and feels a real sympathy for the young boy. Together with Mob he is able to deal with real supernatural threats and really help people even though he doesn't have any powers himself. Nevertheless Reigen still makes mistakes: he lies a lot about being the greatest psychic in the universe and he tends to manipulate the people around him. But even as he makes these mistakes Reigen shows redeeming qualities such as he is caring about Mob's feelings, worrying about his safety, genuinely wanting to help others and recognizing that certain things are far more important than money and Mob sees this too and even he believes that Reigen is a genuinely good person.

Yes! Reigen is a funny guy. Yes! his schemes are entertaining and Yes his obnoxious confidence as a psychic despite the fact that he has nothing to be confident about is hilarious to watch. At his core Reigen is just like us imperfect and flawed but also kind, caring and determined to make a difference in the world and if this sweaty lying conman can learn to become a better person in spite of all his faults then so can the rest of us and that is why we all love Reigen

Pheww!! It ended.

Ok! Ok! here is some random Mob Psycho 100 AMV for your rejuvenation.

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Ok Bye!

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