“Mob characters are there for a reason”
Have you ever thought about what would be like to read a sports manga without the spectators/mob characters?
The main characters will be screaming something like:
“Vanishing shoot! Now I will show you my amazing dunk that combines the power of my jump as well as my amazing ability to copy my enemies’ skills. I see your game now! I will aim for that blind spot and mark… yes I did it!”
… With a character like that, the reader will think: “He is noisy and has a big ego”. This is the easiest way to make your characters unlikable. Some characters need to be, but not for the protagonist or any other that needs to be respected. That’s when mob characters and sidekicks come in handy!
Mob characters are there to give extra information that the protagonist can’t say to the reader.
Any story needs a representation of the reader. This means a character that either; knows nothing, explains what is happening or just reacts to the unknown.
A manga about tennis can be understood by people that play it, but what about those that don’t ? How will they understand technicalities that shows up in the story? Does the reader have to play the sport too? The answer is of course not. No story should be only enjoyed by those that have previous knowledge of the topic.
Writing for a specific audience doesn’t mean that the story should only be understood by that audience.
In this case, Wakako’s story is an individual experience. She tens to be alone, without sidekicks and doesn’t interact much with her surroundings. It’s because of the mob characters’ reactions to her that the reader can understand her “uniqueness”.
In Wakako’s case, her personal enjoyment attracted the mob characters to order the same as her, proving that even though she might be “out of the norm” she was able to unknowingly change the perceptions that surround her.
Mob characters can also help understand the results of the climax.
Her personal enjoyment and the unconscious waves she makes to her surroundings it’s one of the charms of Wakako.