The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan

 

Related: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. 2 (TBR)

Similar: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

Gintama

Daily Lives of High School Boys

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Supernatural Comedy

Length: 120 episodes, 5 min. each grouped into 24 episodes on disc

 

Positives:

  • Bloody hilarious!
  • Saiki is perfect.
  • The most absurd world rules.
  • Excellent acting.

Negatives:

  • Room for escalation.
  • Budget art and animation.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Saiki is such a powerful psychic that it has made life tedious. Nothing surprises one who can hear thoughts from hundreds of metres away. Going to the cinema is an exercise in futility when everyone spoils the twist in their minds. The only person on Earth that can surprise him is his “best friend” with a mind so moronic that it’s blank. Life has devolved into doing everything in his immense, yet seemingly still insufficient power to avoid his peers at all costs.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is one hilarious anime. I didn’t expect as much when looking at the cover art, particularly with Saiki’s goofy design of pink hair with alien antennae. However, his character design is perfect once you hear the explanation for it. Because pink hair would look weird, – yes, one of few anime to question it – he used his power to alter reality and made coloured hair perfectly common. Finally an explanation for anime hair! The meta humour is my favourite part of Disastrous Life. I lost it when Saiki explains that the reason your crotch always retains a piece of “strategic censorship” cloth in action scenes is thanks to his will. Karate chops knock people out in one hit? Thank Saiki. I love it!

From meta humour to visual gags to witty comments, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. packs so many jokes in each of its mini 120 episodes. Saiki himself is a non-stop joke machine. Not by his intent, mind you. His inner monologue and telepathic speech provide a constant stream of humour as he reacts in monotone to all the bothersome people around him. His face rarely changes from the blank stare.

At first, I thought this would grow old – each episode would have a monotone Saiki with a blank face foiling some plan by a classmate to hang out with him. Disastrous Life is the opposite, always trying the same types of jokes in a different way, building upon a gag from several episodes ago, and it never drags. The decision to go with 5-minute episodes was spot on. It makes this so consumable and, oddly enough, had me watching more episodes at a time because “It’s just five more minutes for another.” That another soon turned into several, which in turn became hours. Furthermore, he isn’t a cool or arrogant character, as you would expect of the premise. He’s just some overpowered guy that does his best to solve problems of daily life.

The show owes much of this engagement to the side cast, an odd and varied group including the moronic “best friend”, a guy who believes he’s a superhero, Saiki’s nutty parents (his mother cooks his father a shoe for dinner when mad), and many more. My favourite has to be the Kokomi, the prettiest and most popular girl in school. She hits on him, but he ignores her, which she takes as a mark of his shyness and in her magnanimity, she keeps flirting with him. Again. And again. It is so generous, so benevolent of the hottest girl in school to flirt with the shy dork, after all. You know, because she’s so nice and giving. I chuckle recalling their scenes.

There are too many great characters and great jokes to cover them all in a mere review. Needless to say, this anime entertained me to the end.

However, room for improvement exists in escalation, as the locations and scenarios play it a little safe at times. There is the possibility that such material is for the second season. Even so, many existing scenarios could have gone up a level. They could have made more use of Saiki’s reality altering powers to take his classmates to crazy places, for instance. Here’s hoping season two pushes matters further.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is such an entertaining easy anime to watch that you have no reason not to try it.

Art – Medium

Great visual and character design redeem this otherwise low budget production. There is little animation or detail here.

Sound – Very High

This sharp script packed with witty humour works in either Japanese or English. I applaud the translator for making every joke work. You can go with either language and receive the full experience.

Story – High

A teenager of immense psychic power does his utmost to avoid his fangirl, his moronic best friend, a wannabe superhero classmate, his parents, and everyone in general really. Always hilarious and full of memorable characters, Saiki’s disastrous life could only get better by escalating further into crazier scenarios.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Watch it. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is hilarious and its bite-sized structure makes it easy to pick up and watch at any time.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

HilariousStellar Voice Acting

Negative: None

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