The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (Japanese: 斉木楠雄のΨ難, Hepburn: Saiki Kusuo no Sai-nan) is a Japanese gag manga series written and illustrated by Shūichi Asō. The series began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 2012. An anime television series adaptation aired from July 4, 2016 to December 28, 2018. A live-action film directed by Yuichi Fukuda and starring Kento Yamazaki at Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan) and Asmik Ace was released on October 21, 2017. A six-episode sequel anime series entitled The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened, premiered on Netflix on December 30, 2019.
Why It's Anything But Disastrous
- Great animation.
- Great voice acting from both the Japanese dub and the Funimation English dub.
- A very interesting and original concept, where a person who is the most powerful being that could easily take over the world secretly wants a quiet and normal life eating coffee jelly and other sweets.
- Lots of fourth wall breaking humor that make fun of itself and tropes in anime just like Gintama.
- The first opening and endings of Season 2 especially parodies Shounen and Shoujo. The opening is straight out of a battle shounen, casting Saiki and friends as superpowered individuals (of course, it's later revealed to be a daydream of Kaidou's). The ending would not be out of place in a shoujo romance, and is about Teruhashi trying and failing to win Saiki's affections.
- The universe is purposely made up of cliché characters as means to parody recurring anime and manga tropes. This is especially seen with Saiki's main friends.
- Riki Nendou is a parody of the Dumb Is Good Bumbling Sidekick type whose positive demeanor won't shine through The Stoic main character.
- Shun Kaidou's appearance and the set-up of the Jet Black Wing is a deliberate cliché straight from the Battle Shounen genre.
- Aren Kuboyasu is a parody of delinquent characters from the manga/anime, having the notable features such as a pompadour and mullet hairstyle prior to his redemption.
- Kokomi Teruhashi parodies the archetype of the sweet beautiful girl who causes the boys to be Distracted by the Sexy, as well as the "hot girl seeks a mysterious loner" type.
- Chiyo Yumehara is a parody of a typical lovesick Shojo protagonist.
- Kineshi Hairo is parody of hot-blooded, sports manga protagonists.
- Chisato Mera parodies poor gluttonous anime/manga characters.
- Despite not being a major character, Yuuta Iridatsu also fits as a parody of the standard Tag Along Kid rooting for the hero in a Saturday Morning Cartoon who usually just comes across as annoying.
- Metori Saiko is a parody of fabulously rich jerks.
- Mikoto Aiura is a parody of a gyaru with tanned skin, dyed blonde hair, and stylish outfits.
- Reita Toritsuka is a parody of a perverting monk trope that almost every girl dislikes.
- The show also deconstructs certain tropes.
- Yuuta is a deconstruction of the Tag Along Kid obsessed with the Saturday Morning Cartoon, as he filters his experiences through his Cyborg Ciderman show that is also an obvious ad telling him to drink an unhealthy beverage.
- The comparison between Saiki himself and Kaidou is a deconstruction of Chuunibyou tendencies; Saiki's amazing powers, how he uses them for everyday life, his aloofness, and even his internal monologues about why he can't use them all the time sound remarkably like chuuni daydreaming on paper— everything Kaidou already thinks he does. It's even telling that his closest acquaintances are part of the "losers" bracket. The key difference is that Saiki keeps his mouth shut so nobody figures out while Kaidou blurts his delusions out for everyone to hear and shrinks when he has to back them up.
- Great intro and outro to fit the mood and tone of the series.
- A lot of funny jokes and mishaps like when Saiki accidentally turns Nendou into stone and has to pass it off as a statue of him for the school festival.
- Hilarious moments, such as Saiki's fourth wall breaks and references from other series from Weekly Shonen Jump, as well as the introduction of his useless powers (including the ability to change people's voices into his voice actor Hiroshi Kamiya, who is best known for voicing Ranpo Edogawa from Bungo Stray Dogs and Levi Ackerman from Attack on Titan) from "Reawakened", Kaidou's chuunibyou acts with his own theme music "Judgement Knights of Thunder", Nendou's general stupidity, Kuboyasu's delinquent triggers, and Toritsuka's perverting antics.
- It gives its own in world explanation as to why everyone has different colored hair, which is a first in anime. It turns out that Saiki brainwashed the entire world into thinking that "pink is not an unnatural hair color" in an attempt to not stand out from his naturally black haired peers. The mentality caused a genetic mutation that causes hair of every color of the rainbow to now be a "naturally grown" hair color in this world.
- It also explained why the world is repeating one year back annually several times before Saiki and his classmates move on to their third year of PK Academy, due to his prediction that a volcano that will erupt and destroy Japan. The final chapters show that Saiki successfully prevent the eruption but then a few days later, a meteorite will collide with the planet.
- Its 6-episode sequel series, containing the leftover chapters from the manga, is enjoyable to watch.
- Memorable and iconic running gags, but not limited to:
- Saiki saying "good grief" in almost every episode.
- Nendou wanting to get some ramen with Saiki.
- Kaidou believing that Dark Reunion is real.
- Teruhashi's attempts to make Saiki say "Oh wow" in reality.
- Kuboyasu having a habit to throw down with other punks.
- Sometimes, the jokes miss their mark.
- Despite that most of the characters are meant to be the cliché jokes, they can be taken really seriously at times; however, that might have been the point that they are bothersome yet friendly to Saiki.
- Setting their humor aside, there are unlikable characters present:
- Saiko Metori is a bossy rich teen who gets in his way by bribing people with money and let them suffer awful consequences if they don't obey him otherwise.
- The Teruhashi siblings are rather annoying to deal with, deep down.
- Beneath her so-called "nice-girl" image, Kokomi, while hilariously well-written, is a narcissistic Mary Sue who manipulates those who adore her, so she can have Saiki for herself, of all people.
- Makoto is a terrible pervert (and partially similar to Toritsuka) with a sister-complex with Kokomi, as he is rude to anyone (even Saiki despite that he doesn't have a crush on her) who he assumed try to get closer with her.
- Saiki Kumagoro is a selfish tsundere grandpa (although unique for his age) who creepily loves his grandsons (which is incestuous and pedophillic at the same time) and has constant animosity with his son-in-law Kuniharu for no valid reason.
- Season 2 and two special episodes (labeled as Season 3 on Netflix) never got an English dub despite Reawakened getting one.
- What makes matters worse is that the English dub cast for "Reawakened" from Netflix replaces the English voice actors from Funimation, which was completely unnecessary and sounded different compared to the latter's version.
- After finishing the anime with the six-episode sequel, it didn't adapt the rest of the leftover chapters that have yet animated, such as the 134th chapter of the manga.
- The animation in Season 1, although great, can be stiff in some parts.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. received generally positive reviews and holds an 8.3 on IMDB.