OP: 「青春は残酷じゃない」 (Seishun wa Zankoku ja nai) by Hanae Natsuki
「超能力者のΨ難(前編)」 (Chounouryokusha no Ψ-nan (Zenpen))
“The Disastrous Life of a Psychic (Part 1)
I’ve been waiting for Saiki Kusuo to get an anime for four long years – finally the time has come! I don’t follow all the titles of Weekly Shonen Jump like I used to a few years ago – mainly because the magazine is entering a new era and while there are some that I keep up to date with and look forward to, there’s still plenty that don’t appeal to me anymore – but Saiki Kusuo was always one I wish I could read weekly. It’s a wordy, obscure gag manga that gets little attention compared to the other flashy action and sports series, but it’s probably the funniest comedy I’ve ever read from Jump. It’s taken much longer for it to receive a proper TV anime like the rest of the magazine usually does, but we’re here now, and it’s just as I envisioned.
One noteworthy detail, however, is that you have the option of watching this as a short-form or long-form anime, as they are releasing 4-5 minute shorts every weekday before compiling them into an ‘episode’ that is released on Sundays. I couldn’t wait for a whole week, so I caved in and watched the first three parts of this episode as they aired, but from here on out I think I’m going to wait until the proper episodes come out. Part of that is because watching anime daily might feel more like a chore than a hobby, and I think this episode showed that it can be enjoyed greatly as one longer watch. If memory serves me correctly, each of these parts were single chapters in the manga, and they’ve either blitzed or condensed them into easy to digest skits. It works well in this form, and I think it’s good that viewers have the option to watch the series how they like. No matter what, I say watch it the way that makes you laugh the most.
The story of Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan is a simple one: it follows the life of Saiki Kusuo (Kamiya Hiroshi), a boy with an abundance of supernatural abilities which all make his daily life a misery. No matter what the circumstance, his overpowered abilities always seem to get in the way or simple ruin whatever fun he could have. He’s always two steps ahead of everyone else, can read their minds, and doesn’t ever speak aloud – he’s basically the anime version of Dumbo. His inner monologues are the only times he gets to speak honestly, and every time it manages to make me smile. It was good in the manga, but Kamiya Hiroshi’s acting is perfect for the character and brings it to that other level.
There’s also Saiki’s family and classmates who are all ridiculous and supernatural in their own way; he may be the only one with the strange powers, but he’s easily the most normal of them all. Among them we meet his mother and father who used to be lovey dovey but now fight and argue with each other all the time, except they actually still love each other but can’t express it any more! Then there’s his harmless aniki, Nendou Riki (Ono Daisuke) who looks a thug but is as gentle as a butterfly and simple as a rock. Kaidou “Jet Black Wing” Shun (Shimazaki Nobunaga) is a full-fledged chuunibyou who thinks he has special powers and chants the most ridiculous lines, yet blushes when things don’t go as he plans. And let’s not forget the potential heroine, Teruhashi Kokomi (Kayano Ai), who is convinced she’s a kind, perfect girl, but clearly thinks herself cute enough to control whoever she meets. These three are all equally bizarre and their introductions were just as funny as I remembered.
It sure does help when this adaptations has such stellar voice actors – they make the most of these jokes and if this episode is any indication I think I’m going to be laughing plenty. Of course, comedy is subjective and I’ve noticed that some people aren’t liking it quite as much. That’s fine, but it sucks that there’s another comedy esper show airing this season that just so happens to have a level of creative ambition that Saiki Kusuo lacks. But then again, I don’t think this needs that level of flash and bang. The art in the manga was never its strong point, and I think J.C Staff have done a good job adapting it by sticking with the original style. It pairs well with the jokes and the wacky manner in which they’re delivered. It’s a solid package, and if you’re looking for a weird and unpredictable gag anime that can be watched either daily or weekly, then this is something I recommend adding to your watch list. However, since comedies are strange things to blog, it’s unlikely this will be picked up for weekly coverage. But I will definitely keep watching, and I hope you do too!
ED: 「Ψ desu I LIKE YOU」 by Dempagumi.inc