Manga / The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
aka: Chounouryokusha Saiki Kusuo No Sai Nan
Does Common Sense also count as a psychic power?
Kusuo Saiki is an Ordinary High-School Student... Or at least he tries to be one.

He's actually a boy with Psychic Powers. An incredibly powerful boy with every imaginable psychic ability. If he wanted to do so, he could wipe out humanity in only three days.

It sounds like he is perfect and has everything, right? Wrong!. He can't shut off his powers, therefore his life is void of surprises, challenges or sense of accomplishment. He also needs to avoid social interaction, both because he wants to keep his powers secret and because he thinks of himself as too different to relate to normal people.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (斉木楠雄のΨ難 / Saiki Kusuo no PSI Nan) is a gag series by Shuuichi Asou, published by Shonen Jump since 2012. It follows Kusuo's attempts in living quietly, hiding his powers and avoiding standing out. Something that would be easier if not for his quirky parents and a number of quirky classmates who insist to be friends with him. Cue lots of inner snarkery.

The series counts with a couple of anime adaptations: a 2013 web-anime developed for the Jump LIVE app, and a TV anime for the Summer 2016 Anime season, this time produced by JC Staff and directed by Hiroaki Sakurai. The last anime adaptation is currently licensed by Funimation in the U.S. and is divided in four minutes "shorts" that are aired daily during the weekdays, and collected in twenty minutes "episodes" every Sunday.

A Live Action movie adaptation is in development for a 2017 release, starring Kento Yamazaki as Kusuo Saiki.

The character page is in the development stages.

This series features examples of:

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Saiki's parents, who act lovey-dovey all the time as if they were still teenagers... for his own misfortune.
  • Beach Episode: The series features some of them —
    • In Chapter 12, Saiki reluctantly visits the beach with Nendou and Kaidou after being threateningly persuaded by his mom to do so.
    • During the Okinawa's school trip arc, in chapter 60, Saiki's class goes to the beach as part of their Class Trip schedule. The fanservice comes from the girls in Saiki's team (Teruhashi, Chiyo, and Mera), presenting their bath suits to the rest of their classmates and usual beachgoers.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: A bunch of unnatural phenomenonsnote  suddenly became real because Kusuo brainwashed people into thinking they were natural occurrences. Most were done for his personal convenience.
    • To prevent his pink hair from standing out in a country full of black haired individuals, Saiki brainwashed the entire world into believing that "pink hair is a natural hair color". Their belief in this statement resulted in the sudden existence of other unnatural hair colors.
    • Saiki did the same with several other tropes. For example, he made it so "injuries that heal immediately are not unnatural" after arousing suspicion when he healed a kid who badly scraped his knee.
  • Class Trip: Saiki's class goes to a school trip to Okinawa. And the disasters start to happen even before they all land in Okinawa. Nonetheless, they are mostly solved by Saiki (and some were caused by his psychic powers).
  • Cloudcuckooland: Interestingly both played straight and subverted. Saiki used his power to make people believe unnatural things were natural, essentially creating all the weirdness so his own bizarre appearance blends in.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Played With. Chiyo plans to set up a romantic meeting with Saiki by carrying a bunch of books and "coincidentally" bumping into him. Saiki, aware of her plan and not interested in her scheme, uses his psychic powers to dodge her attempt.
  • Cringe Comedy: It would have far less cringe if you couldn't see the story from Saiki's point of view. Having constant telepathy and X-ray vision sucks.
  • Crossover:
    • In a one-shot chapter, Koro-sensei (from Assassination Classroom) and Saiki visit Iruma and compete over the last piece of "Irumanjuu", a local delicacy. Saiki eventually splits it in half and shares it with Koro-sensei.
    • There is a two-page Jump special where Saiki and his dad visit Soma (from Shokugeki no Soma) at the Yukihara restaurant for a bite to eat. Unfortunately, Saiki's psychic powers grant him the ability to view every mental "foodgasm" at the restaurant. He promptly loses his appetite after seeing what his father's looks like.
  • Deconstructive Parody: Each psychic ability is discussed, relentlessly torn apart, then taken to its logical and hilarious conclusion.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Of a fashion. Saiki's grandparents show up in the first opening credits, however they don't appear until long after the opening had already changed.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Kusuo thinks he's different enough to be considered a different species, the next step in the human evolution. He also thinks Nendou is below the modern man and above the neolithic one.
  • First-Person Smartass: Much of the humor of the series comes of Saiki mentally snarking at everyone else's crazyness.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Saiki's inner monologue is specifically addressed to the reader. He's aware of the existence of his series (and the pilot manga one-shots, for that matter) and often makes snide remarks about his series, his author, Shonen Jump, and TV Tokyo.
  • High School: PK Academy is a small private highschool which most of the characters attend.
  • Infectious Enthusiasm: Hairo causes this kind of situation with the rest of his classmates and Saiki plays the grumpy guy. Saiki doesn't become really infected, but ends being dragged along anyway.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Nendou creates this kind of situation sometimes, verging into the Ambiguously Bi territory.
  • It's Always Spring: No matter how long the series runs, Saiki and his friends are still going to be 2nd year high-schoolers. The reason? He uses his powers to restore Earth's life "a year behind the present", and while memories of many of those past events and seasons remain, the time spent doesn't change at all.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The physical education teacher has the students play dodgeball because basketball, kendo and volleyball are already being played somewhere.
    • Chiyo is often aware of being in a manga/anime. This isn't unusual for a comedy series, but no other character comments on it.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The manga has been steadily moving in that direction, with the introduction of many, many individuals who spice Saiki's "boring" life.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The Japanese title is romanized as "Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan". "Ψ" is the greek letter corresponding to "psi" (pronounced as "sai"), and it's related to "parapsychology"... while it also plays its part with the Pun-Based Title of the series.
  • Magic Pants: Saiki uses his powers to invoke this in-universe. Because it's much better for this trope to happen then to have the fabric between the legs tear during an action sequence, right?
  • Medium Awareness: Kusuo can read the captions with expositive text.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Since Saiki's power of telepathy cannot be shut off, he hears every thought within a 200 meter radius whether he wants to or not. Constantly listening to others' pointless, disgusting, or annoying thoughts, as well as being robbed of any sense of surprise or excitement, has turned him into a perpetual snarker. It's rather hilarious.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Takahashi and Toritsuka often get this treatment in Saiki's narratives.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Dark Reunion, the secret, ominous organization that wants to conquer humanity and steals the unfathomable power sealed within Kaidou's right arm. At least, that's what Kaidou thinks.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played for Laughs and for deconstruction purposes instead of a Deus ex Machina.
  • New Transfer Student: Many of Saiki's classmates (and new headaches) are actually PK Academy's new transfer students. People like Reita or Aren get introduced as such.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Chapter 79, Toritsuka tries (once again) to make himself popular by summoning celebrity ghosts to possess him, and got himself... John Komatsu, Blue Scorpion Jr. and Sudou Monte Carlo.
  • Only Sane Man: Kusuo Saiki, who is by far the less normal guy in Earth.
  • Pilot: The series had seven pre-serialization chapters that were later compiled as "volume zero". Saiki acknowledges the majority of its events in the first serialized chapters of the manga. Some of these were added to the anime's timeline, as well.
  • Pun-Based Title: "Sainan" ("Disaster") is written as "Ψ Nan" ("PSI Nan"). The chapter titles get the same pun treatment.
    • The English official title of the series, since the original title's pun would be Lost in Translation, was opted to be "The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.", where "Saiki K." still serves as a pun for "psychic".
  • Punny Name: Many of the characters are named after specific psychic powers.
    • Saiki Kusuo is named after "saikikku", the Japanese word for "psychic", and many of his relatives use the same pun as well with their names ("Saiki Kurumi", "Saiki Kuniharu").
  • Psychic Powers: Saiki, obviously, but it's implied that there are other PSI users in the world. In Chapter 17, he meets Reita Toritsuka, a young man who can see ghosts.
  • Shout-Out: Many, usually to other manga of Jump.
    • Chapter 5: Nendou prefers that the protagonists of Nisekoi and Pajama Na Kanojo end up with Onodera and Makura, respectively.
    • Chapter 6: The physical education teacher has the students play dodgeball because basketball, kendo and volleyball are already being played somewhere.
    • Chapter 12: Kaidou is unable to swim despite wearing a bunch of life preservers, to which Kusuo retorts, "What are you, did you eat the Devil's Fruit?"
    • Chapter 17: When Kusuo explains his psychometry powers, he sees a vision of a customer reading an issue of Shonen Jump. The issue contains the chapter of Naruto that reveals Tobi's true identity.
    • Chapter 23: The moon that young Kusuo flies past has a huge chunk of it carved out, making it look like a permanent crescent. It looks exactly like the blown up moon from the first chapter of Assassination Classroom.
    • Chapter 27: Kusuo shudders at the thought of having to share his 48 cups of coffee jello with every member of AKB48.
    • Chapter 47: The café that Kusuo goes at times (and it's the place where his classmate, Mera, works) is called "Café Mami", a reference to Esper Mami.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Kusuo's parents. That is, of course, if they aren't fighting with each other.
  • Slice of Life: A story about the everyday happenings and grievances of an insanely powerful psychic teenager.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • Nendou and Matsuzaki-sensei have similar ideas about first aid.
    • In the Crossover, both Kusuo and Koro-sensei travel to the city of Iruma to eat irumanjuu at the Sakurayama Observatory.
  • Take That!: At the time that Nisekoi, Pajama na Kanojo and Koisome Momiji were all being serialized, Kusuo monologues about as lately everything was about love and that romance wasn't an interesting matter, but clarifies he's not talking about ''Shonen Jump''. ''Twice''.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: One of the perfectly normal things that happen in this world, thanks to Saiki's powers.
  • Toon Physics: Kusuo is responsible for this trope via brainwashing the entire world down to their genetics.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Kusuo loves his coffee jello, and Nendou is always inviting his pals to eat ramen.
  • Two-Teacher School: Apparently, PK Academy only has one teacher, Matsuzaki-sensei. This becomes even more impressive during the 10k marathon, as he is monitoring the race at every 2k marker.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Some characters have unrealistic hair colors, including Saiki, who was born with pink hair. It turns out that he 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 result? Every color of the rainbow is now considered a "natural" hair color in this world.

Alternative Title(s): The Disaster Of Psi Kusuo Saiki, Psi Kusuo Saiki, Saiki Kusuo No Sainan, Psi Saiki Kusuo No Sainan, Chounouryokusha Saiki Kusuo No Sai Nan