Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan Review


The Troublesome and Hilarious Life of a Psychic


  • Episodes : 120 (5 min. eps.)
  • Genre : Comedy, Supernatural, School, Shounen
  • Airing Date : July 4 2016 – December 26 2016
  • Studios : J.C.Staff, Egg Firm

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan has been one of 2016’s highlights as well as the show that caught us off-guard the most. Not many people expected much from Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan because, let’s be honest, nobody ever expects much from a 5 minute long anime. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan however, is the big exception to the rule. This show has so much to offer that you’ll wonder why you didn’t watch it any earlier. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan definitely has what it takes to compete and even eclipse shows like Sakamoto desu ka? and Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge, which is no minor thing. Those of you who haven’t watched Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan yet, check out our review so you can decide whether or not to watch it, although we already know you’ll like it (no, we’re not psychic, this show is just that good).

Contains Spoilers


Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan Story (Spoilers Ahead!)

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is the story of Saiki Kusuo, a teenage kid who was born with all kinds of psychic powers. Saiki’s abilities even make Shigeo Kageyama (from Mob Psycho 100) look like an amateur. We get a glimpse of Saiki’s talent and potential early on in the show when we see a 1 month old baby Saiki taking his first steps… in midair!! In kindergarten, Saiki became famous for being unbeatable at rock, paper, scissors, defeating both children and adults since he always knew what his opponents would choose, even when they cheated.

However, life with that kind of psychic powers is not as glamorous as anyone would believe. Due to his abilities to read minds for example, he cannot be surprised at a surprise party. It’s also very easy for Saiki to get whatever he wants using his abilities, which makes it impossible for him to be excited about anything at all. His X-ray vision also make it really hard for him to appreciate a girl’s beauty or a cat’s cuteness, since he sees both the outside and the inside at the same time. Saiki teaches us, in the most hilarious ways of course, how his psychic powers are more of a curse than a gift, and how he has lost something in exchange for each one of his abilities.

For this reasons, Saiki attempts to live an ordinary life hiding his powers and trying not to draw too much attention on himself. Obviously, poor Saiki won’t be able to keep a low profile so easily. An endless set of stereotyped, bizarre and unbelievably funny characters join forces to make Saiki’s life the funniest living hell. The story is good and Saiki’s powers are awesome, but what takes the prize are the performances of all those hilarious characters that surround Saiki and the ridiculous situations they put him into. Having psychic powers was never so funny.

What We Liked About Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is a ridiculously funny show. It simply has everything we are looking for in a comedy anime. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan has an interesting story with a nice development (which is rare for a 5 minute episodes show), an amazing set of characters that will make you laugh your ass off and the most original script in a very long time. The dialogues as well as Saiki’s narration and inner thoughts and the general way in which Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan manages to produce humor is absolutely original and finely developed.

However paradoxical it may be, Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is filled with stereotypes and yet it is one of the most original shows of the past year. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan parodies many of the most common stereotypes and clichés in anime. In fact, it does so to such extent that Saiki claims full responsibility for canonical features of anime like characters’ exotic hair color and characters’ ability to heal in seconds. Saiki actually explains that he used his powers to change people’s hair color and to give them the ability to heal super-fast (mocking these features present in every single anime). Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan makes fun of absolutely everything and we just love that.

Discussion Time: Should You Watch Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan?

There are several ways to decide whether or not you should watch a show. Some people listen to others’ opinions about that show, some read reviews just like this one and some prefer to check the show’s score and popularity on certain anime websites. However, the optimal way of making this decision is by analyzing risk vs reward. And when it comes to Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan, the reward is huge compared to the 5 minutes that takes you to watch an episode. You are guaranteed to have a blast watching Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan. There’s simply no excuse to not give Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan a shot. If you like comedy anime or if you’re just looking for a good laugh, then this show is definitely for you.

Why You Should Watch Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan

1. The Powers

Surely all anime lovers can agree that superpowers make shows cooler. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is obviously not the exception, even if it is a comedy anime and not mainly a shounen. We all love overpowered characters, especially when there seems to be no limit to their powers. Saiki always has a new ability up his sleeve to delight us with. Saiki can use abilities such as Telekinesis, Telepathy, Clairvoyance, Psychometry, Precognition, Rapport, Levitation, Teleportation, X-ray Vision, Pyrokinesis and Fulgurkinesis, each of them with their own particular characteristics.

For example, Rapport is used to be in sync with someone’s emotions, yet the way Saiki uses it is more like a phone app. Saiki can see how much someone likes another person on a scale from 0 to 100, and he can decide on a course of action depending on how much he wants people to like them (usually around 50, Saiki would hate to be popular). Saiki’s powers are not just awesome and a main part of the plot, they’re also the first thing that get our attention.

2. The Characters

The set of characters in Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is as vast and varied as it is brilliant. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan presents the craziest characters you’ve seen in a long time as well as some of the funniest stereotypes. We have the dumb big guy (Nendou), the passionate sports guy (Hairo), the chuunibyou (Kaidou), the popular girl everyone’s in love with (Teruhashi), the girl who’s constantly falling in love (Yumehara), a medium (Toritsuka), a magician (Chouno) and countless of other ridiculous characters who come to complicate Saiki’s life in the funniest possible ways, even if they only appear for just one episode. Shockingly enough, on Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan, it’s not the main character, Saiki, who gets the spotlight but all of the supporting characters.

Even with all of his powers, Saiki appears to be the most normal character in the show, and that is because everyone else is so crazy and ridiculous. Each of these characters will make you laugh so hard that you won’t know what to expect whenever a new character appears.

3. Breaking the Fourth Wall

This is where Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan gets interesting and super original. In general, we’re not used to anime characters addressing us as their audience, so it’s pretty funny and unexpected whenever Saiki speaks directly to us or refers to us as his “viewer friends”. If you’ve watched Deadpool (or read the comic) then you’ll have a pretty good idea of what we’re talking about. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan however, does it even better. Saiki interacts so much with the audience that you’ll feel like both you and Saiki are sitting together in your room watching the show. Most of the humor in Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan arises from Saiki’s reflections about other people’s actions and thoughts. Saiki is permanently making sharp comments about what the other characters are thinking just the way that we do when we watch any anime. Somehow you just won’t feel like you’re watching this show alone.

Why You May not Like Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan

1. Fast-paced Dialogues

If there is something that can really upset you about Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan then that is how fast you must process all of the dialogues. In general, this show has really fast-paced dialogues, which makes it a bit tricky to read all of the subtitles (not likely a problem if it’s dubbed), especially when two or more characters are speaking at the same time (maybe problematic even if dubbed). Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan has the peculiarity of having several voices overlapping each other.

For example, a character may be speaking to another while the other one is thinking and Saiki is giving us his opinion regarding that situation. Yes, suddenly we have 3 different subtitles covering the whole screen and we just have no idea where to start reading. You’ll probably have to pause or rewind this show quite a few times if you’re one of those who just can’t go on without having read every single word in the subtitles. Of course, this overload of dialogues is also part of the humor in Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan, so it’s not really a bad thing, it’s just something that may upset some people.

2. You’re just not into Comedy Anime

And the biggest reason why you may not like Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is simply because you just don’t like funny anime. It’s that simple. There’s virtually no way that you may not find Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan funny if you’re used to watching comedy anime. Everything about Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan is great; the original story, the crazy characters, the parodies, the way of making humor, the silly jokes. And it’s just 5 minutes per episode! If Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan can’t make you laugh there’s a good chance you just don’t like comedy anime at all.


Final Thoughts

Well, guys, that was our review of Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan. Clearly, it is a bit partial but no one can deny this show has been one of last year’s highlights in the comedy department. There are just so many good things about Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan that we can’t help to think it’s an underestimated show, even despite its success. Of course, we’d love to know what you think about Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan. Have you watched it already? Do you love it or hate it? Why? Share your thoughts with us! :3

Chanty

Translator/Writer

Author: Chanty

My name is Santiago and I'm an aspiring writer and full-time dreamer. I am currently studying English at college to become a teacher. I like playing Heavy Metal on my guitar as much as I like dancing to Trance music, and I love playing Basketball with my friends as much as I love staying home alone watching Anime. Opposite forces are complementary and interdependent; that is the Yin Yang.

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