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Anime Review: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K

Okay, here's the plan. With your superpowers, you're going to play a prank on your friends. As soon as your George comes in the classroom, you drop the bucket of flour that has been floating in the air for a while now, smothering the unlucky friend with white dust. You guffaw and clutch your sides at the sight of your friend's exasperated expression and mark off another successful day of pranking George!

Oh, did I mention superpowers? Of course! You have superpowers none other could have! Not only do you have telekinesis, but also mind-reading, inhuman strength and so on. With your superpowers, you've been living your daily life with constant excitement, flying high into the sky before freefalling, igniting the bad guys on fire and also using mind-read to score on all your recent exams! 

Of course, 'tis only but a figment of your imagination. You don't have telekinesis, nor do you have the ability to fly. You can only think of the countless things you could do if you ever had superpowers.

However, having superpowers is not what you might think it would be! Having to control your strength to not crush your spoon as you lift it to feed yourself, waking up every morning and hearing everyone's thoughts and also trying hard to not accidentally burn the whole world into a crisp! Suddenly, having superpowers seems more like a burden than a blessing!

Saiki and his group of friends

Such are the thoughts of Saiki K, an ordinary high-school student in Japan, except that he has all the aforementioned superpowers. In this anime review, Saiki-san is going to show to the ambitious you, that superpowers are nothing but a hindrance to him. 

The anime revolves around a high-school student who has been gifted with superpowers ever since he was born. He could talk just 14 days after being born, walk at the age of one, the list goes on. As you can probably tell, he's the subject of envy of all ambitious teenagers in the world. 

However, Saiki seems to beg to differ. His prowess has brought naught but inconvenience to his daily life. Having to constantly keep track of all your powers while also trying to keep a low profile proves to be a hard task for Saiki as he faces many challenges, usually brought by his group of friends that also deserve a top spot for being eccentrics!

Speaking of eccentrics, let's talk about Saiki himself. Including the traits mentioned above, he can be seen as an introvert, a severe case of one, in fact, as throughout the anime, Saiki rarely speaks to any of the other characters. Most of the time, he uses soliloquy to convey his thoughts, even when reacting to his friend's antics. In a way, he seems similar to Sakamoto where his deadpan expression has become a norm for others.

Saiki Kusou

While physically quiet, Saiki is surprisingly loud in his emotions. In the beginning, when Saiki was seen as an introvert to me, my assumptions were that he was a cold and unmoving MC. It wasn't long before my guesses were broken though. Due to his superpowers, Saiki is afraid of causing detrimental and irreparable changes to the world. As such, he taxes himself by making sure that his superpowers stays controlled and helping to solve problems along the way. Think of him as Superman, just that this Superman is extremely quiet and wishes to be left alone.

As always, actions speak louder than words when Saiki used his clairvoyance ability to prevent an accident at the gas station. A rock could've tripped a girl passing by, causing her to trip and kick the rock towards a truck driver. In turn, the truck driver would have lost consciousness and drive the car into the gas station. Seeing the future, Saiki could've ignored it and went on his way but chose to intervene instead by removing the cause of the accident in advance. 

Saiki removing the cause of the accident

Moving on, we have the happy-go-lucky Nendou Riki. Portrayed as a close friend of Saiki, and as such, he's also a quirky individual. His concerning lack of intelligence plus his scary face often pegs him as a bad guy by the others while in actuality, Nendou is just a carefree and kind student misunderstood.

Nendou Riki

In fact, his kindness and compassion can be seen in the anime many times. Once, he mustered up his courage and confessed to a girl at the beach, only to get turned down harsh by her. Later on, the girl could be seen drowning and Nendou immediately rushed to her aid. Upon coming ashore, albeit only with Saiki's help, he did not act all high and mighty in front of her and instead amicably responded to her gratitude. I think Saiki would definitely agree when I say that Nendou has a heart of gold, but his brain is filled with muscles.

Nendou receives the gratitude of the girl he saved

Next on the list is a narcissistic high-school girl with perfect proportions and killer looks. Teruhashi Kokomi is the very definition of Aphrodite, but her heart is much like Medusa. She is shown to be very conceited and a manipulator. This was at the start of the show, though. Over time, you begin to realise that she changes as she interacts more with everyone around her, such as Saiki and his group, rather than using everyone to her benefit.

Teruhashi Kokomi

In fact, the more she hangs out with Saiki, the more she realizes that she's beginning to fall for him. What began from trying to make him fall for her in order to feed her superiority complex, turned to her falling for him. Teruhashi also begins to show different sides of herself in front of Saiki which is something I appreciate. I always prefer character development rather than a stagnant character throughout the series, which some animes tend to do.

Now that we've gone through some characters, let's talk about the anime itself. As stated, the story revolves around Saiki and his daily life, in which he has to deal with ordinary folk while hiding is superpowers. In the anime, there is no specific core or goal as the anime consists of different "arcs" or "segments" that gets crammed into one episode. While this might seem too much for you, I actually think they nailed it. As previously mentioned, this is a comedy anime. As such, having speedy mini-episodes with multiple jokes in between is a diverse way to make sure that their audience stays laughing throughout the series.

The characters are well thought out as well. There's no generic character and there is frequent character development, if not always. I found myself liking it when Nendou and the others get sections to themself, as I get to understand more about them, and in turn, relate to them more. I probably mentioned this in my other anime reviews, but character development is essential to any anime.

However, I did get disappointed in some areas of the anime. One such category is the art. While I understand that this anime was released in 2016, I couldn't help but expect more. That being said, I wouldn't say the art style is absolutely horrible. It just gets the job done. Hence, if you are okay with an art style that is old, you definitely would be able to enjoy the show without minding the art.

An example of the show's art; one tone of colours

All in all, I would say that anyone that wants a laugh and nothing else should try this anime. There is no complex or underlying plot that one should be aware of. The characters were diverse and unique with character development. Fitting for a comedy show, the anime has a plethora of jokes that kept it from becoming too stale or repetitive, which is something I appreciate it kept me hooked to the anime. 

So, should you watch it? If you're looking for a pure comedy show, then I definitely recommend it. If you just want fresh air from the other animes, then this would definitely clear your mind. 

In conclusion, I enjoyed watching this anime and it would definitely lift your spirits up at the least if you give it a try.

Written by Kai Yuichi

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