AKA: Saiki Kusuo no Sai-nan, 斉木楠雄のΨ難
Genre: Supernatural, Comedy
Studio: J.C. Staff
It might seem like my reviews have a reoccurring theme of psychics and magic but I promise it’s all just coincidence (I just have great taste). For this week’s anime review, I wanted to get into a show that I had heard lots of people talking about and finally decided to see for myself what the buzz was about. Saiki K, as I like to remember it, is the distant cousin of Mob Psycho. He’s the one that wants nothing to do with the family unless there’s food and/or money and gifts involved.
Saiki K is a supernatural comedy show about Kusuo Saiki who was born with the power of psychokinesis and teleportation. The whole show is basically him trying to avoid detection from his friends in high school and their daily shenanigans. It’s not a particularly difficult plot to follow and it’s mainly a comedic circus show each episode. And I’m HERE for it. It’s not enough that Kusuo is a mess, in a good way, but the rest of the characters are an even bigger mess. I think they all have a screw loose. In fact, Kusuo might be the sanest person in the show. I was going to say his mother but she sometimes gives crackhead energy too.
This time production comes from J.C. Staff, and if you are unfamiliar with them, it’s okay because I didn’t recognize the name at first glance either. However, once you just search them up you can realize the many gems they’ve given us; Revolutionary Girl Utena, Kare Kano, Toradora, Maid Sama, Bakuman, Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma: The Third Plate & The Fourth Plate, One Punch Man 2, The Duke of Death and his Maid, and so many more. Also, off-topic, I promise we will get to the craziness that is Food Wars but that is not the focus for today!
As I stated, Saiki K centers around Kusuo Saiki who was born with extraordinary powers even though he has normal parents. The series revolves around him trying to live a somewhat normal life while in high school but we quickly find out that that is not possible. His diverse group of “friends” (I’ll explain why I put that in quotations later), don’t make it easy for him. It’s like a game of Tetris. He’s the piece that is falling down and must be avoided or it’ll blow up. I know I mixed up several games there but you get my point! All he wants is a peaceful life where he can enjoy his love of coffee jelly, which sounds absolutely disgusting but let’s not judge. Somehow, in each episode he seemingly gains or reveals a new power that we never knew he had before.
The multitude of abilities he has makes him a legend in my eyes. Honestly, he could probably beat Goku.
I’ve also noticed just how popular Kusuo is as the main character. He’s one of my favorites because of his personality and also because it is HEAVILY implied that Kusuo is Asexual, Aroace to be specific. Also, it isn’t stated in the anime but in the manga when he was born, he was actually female first then transformed into a male when he was in his mother’s womb. So, quite literally, Kusuo is not limited to any gender or sex. I love this because, well for one there’s not much representation of asexual people anywhere really, and also because we get a quality character and show without having romance shoved down our throat. He has no forced relationships or anything like that. One of the many complaints I’ve seen from readers or viewers is having unnecessary romance. Now, granted there are some characters who do fall in love with Kusuo but it’s not necessarily reciprocated. He is not interested in love or any of those tropes and I think that makes him very refreshing as a protagonist. I mean if he doesn’t like something he can simply erase the world and try again.
One of the aspects of this show that makes it is what it is would be the character selection. It’s like powering up your latest RPG and going through the possible choices of who to start your journey with. There’s almost no stone they leave unturned. You have the vain character, the idiotic character(s), the former delinquent now reborn as a good person, the jealous sibling, the good-natured kid, the talking animal companion, etc. You get what I mean, there’s just a variety of people to love and/or hate. I do have my favorites, Kaidou (I cannot tell you how many times I’ve kept calling him Shindou for some reason). He’s my second favorite after Kusuo. I think he means well but he’s an idiot. A loveable idiot. He’s also obsessed with an organization called the Dark Reunion (which doesn’t exist) and his character is like an ode to a cheesy 90’s shonen protagonist. He even comes with his own theme song, I mean 100 points all across the board am I right?
Then we have my next favorite character, Kusuo’s grandfather. Okay, HEAR ME OUT. His grandfather is the cutest. He’s a typical tsundere in that he can’t express how he really feels outwardly and instead his inner monologues are his true feelings. He acts cold but he adores Kusuo like wants to snuggle with him to sleep and buy him anything in the world type of adore. He’s just so funny and what makes it even better is that Kusuo can read his thoughts and knows how he truly feels.
- Easy to follow plot
- Even though it’s a comedy, there’s still some prominent character development
- Has every character trope you can think of (so there’s something or someone for everyone)
- Never goes into the details of how and why he has psychic powers. He’s the only person in his family with powers and I would have loved to have gotten some backstory on that.
WATCH THIS SHOW! I mean what else did you think I would say? It’s a clear 10/10 for me. It has the comedy, the characters, the animation style the production value, I also love how they managed to reference other shows and characters. If you do nothing else for the rest of the day, give 1 episode a try. In fact, I will even post a clip below to try and convince you to watch this show.
Now I think we can all see where this rating is going: