Nobunaga ShimazakiShowtaro MorikuboKenji NojimaMitsuo Iwata
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. 2
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: D
Also known as: Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Hiroaki Sakurai
Writer: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Shuichi Aso
Actor: Hiroshi Kamiya, Ai Kayano, Daisuke Ono, Haruka Tomatsu, Kenji Nojima, Maaya Uchida, Masaya Matsukaze, Mitsuo Iwata, Natsuki Hanae, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Rikako Aikawa, Satoshi Hino, Showtaro Morikubo, Taro Yamaguchi, Tomoaki Maeno, Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yukari Tamura
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 120 mini-episodes, compiled into 24 normal-length ones (plus two OVAs)
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 22 September 2020
saiki sainan
It's one of the strongest short-form anime comedies I know and it got a live-action movie in 2017. It's very funny. It regularly made me laugh... but it took me almost a year to get through the episodes.
The premise, as with Season 1, is that Saiki Kusuo has a negative attitude and extreme hostility to social interaction because he has pretty much every superpower imaginable. He can basically do anything that's convenient for a gag and he needs to wear limiters to keep his powers under control. His powers include astral projection, changing his gender, clairvoyance, empathy, equivalent exchange, growing and shrinking, hypnosis, invisibility, making clones of himself, memory editing, mind control, precognition, psychic photography, psychometry, pyrokinesis, radar, seeing the dead, shapeshifting, superspeed, superstrength, talking to animals, telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, time travel, turning back time for the entire world, turning people to stone if his glasses fall off and weather control.
He's asexual because his X-ray vision means he can't see outer beauty. He has a great line in sardonic put-downs, although he only says them in his head. Naturally, he's surrounded by nuts, narcissists and idiots. He has a low opinion (rightly) of them and only ever wants to ditch them and be on his own.
All this is great stuff... theoretically. The problem is that this is a four-minute gag anime collected into compilation episodes. In other words, it's bitty and nothing matters. Saiki can do anything. No story makes any difference to anything and nothing will ever affect him. Theoretically there are exceptions to this rule, but in practice... no, we know the score. It's a gag anime. We're not here for the plot, because there isn't one. There are a few multi-part stories, but we're talking about 4-minute segments, not compiled 24-minute episodes.
That said, though, you'd watch those segments if they came on TV. They're funny. The cast is high-energy and provides lots of comedy. There's Teruhashi (my favourite), the self-obsessed school queen who apologises for being perfect and is nearly Saiki's equal in her ability to manipulate her classmates. Nendou is an idiot. (This is a familiar character type, to put it mildly, but Nendou's crudeness and obliviousness can be genuinely funny.) Kaidou is a chuunibyou. Saiki's grandad is a tsundere. The show is also fond of introducing new regular cast members, so the cast by the end is a good couple of dozen strong, almost all distinctive and memorable.
There's also good theme music, which is better in the season's first half than the second.
Four minutes of this show would be great. 24 minutes probably isn't quite as effective. 26 of those compiled episodes took me months and months to plough through. The show was usually last on my watch list in the morning, even when some of my other shows were rubbish. Wild horses couldn't make me watch the 2017 live-action movie.