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Manga / The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

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Does common sense also count as a psychic power?note 

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.

Unfortunately, life has other ideas.

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. It's something that would be easier if not for his quirky parents and a number of quirky classmates who insist on being friends with him. Cue lots of inner snarkery.

The series concluded in 2018, followed by a short series of Yonkoma and then two final chapters published in Jump Giga. It has a couple of anime adaptations: a 2013 web-anime developed for the Jump LIVE app, and a TV anime for the summer of 2016, this time produced by J.C. Staff and directed by Hiroaki Sakurai. A second season of the anime premiered on January 17, 2018. The last anime adaptation is currently licensed by Funimation in the U.S. and is divided in four minute "shorts" that are aired daily during the weekdays, and collected in twenty minutes "episodes" every Sunday. This anime wrapped up with a special covering the last few chapters of the manga, released in 2019. The last anime series, titled The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Reawakened was produced by Netflix and adapts chapters not covered by the first three seasons, as well as the epilogue.

A live-action movie adaptation was released in October 2017, starring Kento Yamazaki as Kusuo Saiki.

This series features examples of:

  • Abandoned Pet in a Box: Finding a cute puppy in a box is discussed as a cliche method of humanizing Japanese Delinquent-type characters when the truth about Kuboyasu's past comes to light.
  • Affectionate Parody:
    • Saiki's main friends are all a parody of a recurring anime and manga trope.
      • Nendou is a parody of the Dumb Is Good Bumbling Sidekick type whose positive demeanor won't shine through The Stoic main character.
      • Kaidou's appearance and the set-up of the Jet Black Wing is is a deliberate cliché straight from the Battle Shounen genre.
      • 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.
      • Yumehara is a parody of a typical lovesick Shojo protagonist.
      • Hairo's a parody of hot-blooded, sports manga protagonists.
      • Despite not being a major character, Yuuta 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.
      • Saiko is a parody of fabulously rich jerks.
    • The first opening and endings of Season 2 parody 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.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Saiki's parents, who act lovey-dovey all the time as if they were still teenagers... for his own misfortune.
  • Amusing Injuries: In full effect, thanks to Saiki brainwashing the entire world into seeing nothing wrong with injuries healing instantaneously. This is one of his changes which has the most dramatic impact on the world - thanks to the entire population essentially gaining a Healing Factor, doctors are almost obsolete.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The last regular chapter closed on Saiki and friends entering their third year together, and from the looks of things the wackiness isn't over yet.
  • Arc Number: Parodied. Saiki starts seeing and hearing the number 100 everywhere. It turns out to be because it's the manga's 100th chapter.
  • Art Evolution: Compared to the first season, the second season of the anime features more fluid animation and smoother and less harsh outlines of textures, while using more detailed designs of characters and objects.
  • Back for the Finale: To a ridiculous degree in the second season finale. Many minor and oneshot characters (such as the baseball team, Kaidou's mother and siblings, the kid who lost his prized signed baseball, etc.) show up throughout the episode (including characters whose stories weren't adapted). Saiki hangs a lampshade on it.
  • 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, Yumehara and Mera), presenting their bathing suits to the rest of their classmates and usual beachgoers.
  • Betty and Veronica: In a parody of this trope, Teruhashi and Mikoto would be this respectively to Saiki's Archie, except that Saiki is not interested in being an Archie AT ALL. Teruhashi is the World's Most Beautiful Woman that plays up a sweet and supposedly relatable side that makes people fawn over her, while the haughty Mikoto is a more traditional Ms. Fanservice with her revealing getup and voluptuous figure, while also sporting actual psychic powers she uses for her own ends. That said, in terms of social status the two invert this as Teruhashi is wealthy while Mikoto is from an average family, and also because Teruhashi is popular and a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing while Aiura is a Nice Girl. This is parodied in the second credits music video from season 2 where Teruhashi and Aiura try to flirt with Saiki in their different ways, Aiura appealing to her psychic powers and Teruhashi to her innocence. Saiki doesn't care.
  • Birthday Episode: The first season finale. Saiki's friends plan a surprise party for him — but not only does Saiki sniff them out immediately, they get the date wrong — it's actually Saiki's father's birthday.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: At the time that Nisekoi, Pajama na Kanojo and Koisome Momiji were all being serialized, Saiki monologues about how lately everything has been about love and that romance isn't an interesting matter, but clarifies he's not talking about Shonen Jump. Twice.
  • Blatant Lies: When Hairo, Saiki, Nendou, Kaidou shaved their heads Hairo claimed they just wanted to change their look when reminded that they didnít have to.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The three most major female students: Yumehara is the blonde, Teruhashi is the "brunette" (she has dark blue hair), while Mera is the redhead.
  • Book Ends: Saiki's first and last lines (from the pilot and the final epilogue chapter, respectively) are the same description:
    Saiki: My name is Saiki Kusuo, and I am an Esper.
  • Casting Gag: Jerry Jewell getting cast as Kusuo in the dub is a Funimation inside joke, since he usually excels in roles where he doesn't have to match lip flaps (most infamously his role as Happiness Bunny).
  • Chain of Deals: A variant. When Saiki realizes that he doesn't have cash to pay for a snack he ordered, he uses his Apport powernote  multiple times to eventually exchange his socks for a thousand-yen bill (ruining his friends' and father's day in the process). He even namedrops Straw Millionaire.
  • Christmas Episode: Multiple, due to Comic-Book Time, and usually followed by a New Years' Episode. One focuses on Nendou spending Christmas with Saiki's family, another follows Saiki dressing up as Santa for the neighborhood, and yet another has the cast visiting him.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe:
    • A bunch of unnatural phenomenanote  suddenly became real because Saiki 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).
  • Cliché Storm: In-Universe, Saiki discusses the fact that PK Academy's baseball team is a hodgepodge of Sports Story cliches — from charactersnote  to plot detailsnote . Nendou and Kuboyasu joining the team derail the cliche plot, forcing Saiki to step in. Saiki also argues that Tropes Are Not Bad, since even the most cliche baseball drama contains plenty of inspiration and character growth.
  • Cloudcuckooland: Played with. Saiki used his power to make people believe unnatural things were natural, essentially creating all the weirdness so his own bizarre appearance blends in.
  • Comic-Book Time: Bizarrely, justified. 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 time reversal ability to restore Earth's life "a year behind the present" to prevent a catastrophic volcanic eruption that can destroy the entirety of Japan and keeps repeating the process every year until his powers are strong enough to fully neutralize the disaster. Then, he brainwashes the populace into thinking it is still the same year. As a result, even though memories of many of those past events and seasons remain, the time spent doesn't change at all.
  • 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.
  • Creator Cameo: Shuuichi Asou has a habit of showing up wherever:
    • In the last segment of Episode 20 (which is an adaptation of the 100th chapter), Shuuichi Asou voiced his author avatar god persona telling Saiki that itís the 100th segment and is airing on its 100th week, only for Saiki to correct him stating that itís the 20th week.
    • He does it again in the Season 2 finale, which is the adaptation of chapter 275. He tells Saiki that itís the season finale, but that it will be renewed for an anime conclusion special and later continue as a Netflix series.
    • He manages this again in the live action movie adaptation, but this time as a student of PK Academy.
  • 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 Food Wars!) 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.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Once Kuboyasu and Kaidou found out exactly why Saiko wasnít eating they wrestled him to the ground and force feed him.
    Kuboyasu: If youíre going to keep being stubborn, THEN WEíLL HAVE TO BE STUBBORN ABOUT MAKING YOU EAT!!
  • Cruise Episode: "The Saiko Conglomerate's Luxurious Cruise" episode starts with Saiko inviting Saiki's friends to an extravagant cruise, but the ship gets wrecked and they all find themselves on a Deserted Island.
  • Crying Wolf: In the April Fools' Day episode, Kaidou tells a bunch of lies that are quickly proven false, so nobody believes him when Saiki carelessly uses his psychic powers to make a book float in front of him and later to move a falling camera away from him.
  • Debut Queue: The major characters are all added to the story in this way, with a segment introducing them and discussing their initial relationships with Saiki.
  • Deconstructive Parody:
    • Each psychic ability is discussed, relentlessly torn apart, then taken to its logical and hilarious conclusion.
    • Iridatsu 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.
    • Hell, 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Soul Shout (the musician having trouble selling his CDs) appears in the anime in a nonspeaking cameo so Saiki can identify him as the musician who was only in the manga.
    • Teruhashi in the Reawakened episodes has a notably reduced role, having less screen time than she did in the first two seasons.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The anime's first season's first opening "Seishun wa Zankoku Janai" and second ending "Kokoro" are both sung by Natsuki Hanae, who voices Toritsuka.
    • Later lampshaded when Toritsuka's band performs a parody of it about peeking in the girls' bath and the band comments that he sounds just like Hanae.
    • The second season's first opening is sung by Nobunaga Shimazaki, in character as Kaidou. Hiroshi Kamiya also has spoken lines as Saiki (though no sung vocals), and Daisuke Ono contributes some musical "Oh!" sound effects as Nendou.
    • The second season's second ending is also sung by Eri Kitamura and Ai Kayano, in character as Aiura and Teruhashi respectively. Like the second season's first opening, Kamiya again has spoken lines as Saiki, but this time Saiki also has "sung" lines in character, though they are actually provided by Yoffy, vocalist of Japanese rock duo Psychic Lover.
  • Eagleland: In one episode, Saiki is cleaning out a filthy apartment when he panics and teleports himself away because he saw a cockroach. He ends up in El Paso, Texas, which is depicted as a wildly anachronistic, stereotypical Wild West town.
  • Don't Try This at Home: When Nendou gets distracted and starts reading a manga while Kaidou is explaining to him how to play a certain card game, Kaidou gets mad and proceeds to hit Nendou with the stack of cards, then Saiki emerges from the background to say this.
    Kaidou: There's another rule. When someone isn't listening, you can stab him hard in the eyeballs!
    Saiki: Don't try this at home.
    Kaidou: [stabs Nendou from behind] Listen!
  • 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.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: In Saiki's first appearance as Kusuko/Kuriko, he still used his male voice while speaking to the audience. Subsequent appearances of Kusuko/Kuriko would give her an actual female voice.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: Played with in that it's not actual bedwetting, but Saiki having issues with Power Incontinence when he was asleep until fourth grade. To Saiki's annoyance, however, his parents describe it very much like bedwetting, describing occurrences as "accidents" they had to clean up after, and going so far as to call it "onecho", a Portmanteau of onesho (bedwetting) and chonoryoku (psychic powers).
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Saiki turns in a blank paper during art class, when he was supposed to be drawing a portrait of Teruhashi. However, the rest of the class interprets the blank page as having some sort of deeper meaning about her blinding, radiant beauty.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Saiki 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.
  • Exact Words: Class 3 bet that if they lost to Class 2 in the school festival they would all become Buddhist Monks and shave their heads. Though they lost the last event they still had more points then class 2. Unfortunately in all the excitement Hairo, Nendou, Saiki and Kaidou forgot that and ended up shaving their heads anyway.
  • Faceless Masses: When Saiki puts the Germanium ring on and cancels his powers, everyone turns into a Nendou clone. He even goes on to call them "Nendou #[X]" when he refers to a person in his monologue.
  • Family Theme Naming: All of Saiki's family members have the name Saikinote , and a first name that starts with "Ku".
  • Fan Community Nicknames: In-Universe, members of Teruhashi's fanclub call themselves "Kokomins", and members of her brother Makoto's fanclub call themselves "Mugamians" (after his stage name, Toru Mugami).
  • The Fat Episode:
    • Chiyo becomes fat one episode because of eating so much sweets. She manages to lose the weight she gained all in one day when Saiki tells her that her crush Kaidou may become disinterested in her.
    • Chisato gains sudden weight once after taking a suspicious pill given to her by some doctors then going overboard on dinner.
  • First-Person Smartass: Much of the humor of the series comes of Saiki mentally snarking at everyone else's craziness.
  • Follow the Leader: Invoked. Saiki's dad is a manga editor and when hearing a pitch from an author of a realistic sports drama, he tells the author to just "bring me something like Naruto".
  • Food End: Discussed Trope as a common aftermath of Sports Story games. As part of the In-Universe Cliché Storm about the baseball team, they all go out to eat yakiniku, and Saiki not only emphasizes that it's a cliche ending, he also points out numerous other cliches used with this trope (eg. the server turning into an Angry Chef, the aloof character refusing to socialize, running into another team, etc.).
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Saiki prevents an explosion at a gas station just by kicking away a pebble. He explains that a girl tripping on this pebble could have caused a truck driver to crash the truck into the station and points out that had certain circumstances not all converged at the same time, the explosion wouldn't have happened. Said pebble later kickstarts a chain of events that almost causes an explosion at school, which Saiki stops at the last minute.
    • The butterfly effect is mentioned when Saiki accidentally travels back in time, modifies his parents' first meeting slightly, and winds up in a Bad Future where his brother's invention inadvertently started World War III.
    • When trying to prevent Akechi's past self from suspecting he has psychic powers, Saiki keeps changing small things in the past. The futures he jumps back to range from other post-apocalyptic Bad Futures to Close Enough Timelines (eg. Akechi now wears glasses and has Shonen Hair, the other students hang out at his house every day).
  • Foreshadowing: The school song lyrics that everyone sings at the graduation ceremony in season 2 episode 3, contain lyrics like "Our everlasting school" and "Our everlasting youth" foreshadowing the ending of the series.
  • 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.
  • Gag Series: The series relies on parodying many shounen and slice-of-life tropes or playing them for laughs.
  • Gift of the Magi Plot: Saiki's parents have consecutive birthdays; his father gets a giant bear so his mother can use her sewing and craft supplies on it; his mother gets a display case for his father's action figures. It turns out that his mother got rid of the sewing supplies to make space for the display case and his father sold his action figures to pay for the bear.
    Saiki: I guess it really is the thought that counts.
  • Golden Snitch: Played for laughs in the trash pickup competition. Each team earns points based on the amount and kind of trash they pick up - cigarette butts at 10 points each, bulk trash is 5 points per kg, etc. However, a tsuchinoko corpse is worth 900 million points.
  • Halloween Episode: Has one; Kaidou invites the guys to his house for a small costume party.
  • Hero Stage Show: In the anime episode "Summer Break! A Date With Teruhashi", Yuki Teruhashi invited Kusuo Saiki to the fair grounds for a date. To keep it from becoming that, Saiki brings along Yuuta, his neighbour's son, so they can watch the live performance of Cider-man Ramune going on there. The actor playing the monster L. Ginger kidnaps Teruhashi and brings her on-stage, but can't bring himself to attack her after she uses her charms to stop him. When the actor playing Cider-man Ramune beats him, L. Ginger gets angry at looking weak in front of her and kicks him away. Saiki is ultimately forced to become Cyborg Cider-man No. 2 (because that's who Yuuta thinks he really is) and go up onstage to beat L. Ginger, much to his chagrin.
  • High School: PK Academy is a small private high school which most of the characters attend.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The "hero" who acts as a guest lecturer at the school accuses Saiki's friend group of lacking specific heroic qualities. While that sounds accurate, he is completely wrong about which qualities they lack: saying that Kaidou lacks courage, Nendo lacks kindness, and Kuboyasu lacks strength.
  • 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.
  • 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, at least until Season 2 in the anime where it seems everyone is on their fictional status, but still can't grasp that they're in a gag series where Saiki is the main character.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Kokomi Teruhashi and Mikoto Aiura fill these roles respectively.
    • Both are beautiful women with an interest in Saiki, with Teruhashi acting like a sweet and idealized perfect girl that would never be vain while Mikoto is rather blunt, shows off her skills (and legs and cleavage in a violation of the school uniform), and has a "gal" personality.
    • A title card in Season 2 of the anime reflects this with Teruhashi dressed in a frilly white bikini with a shy expression while Mikoto boasts a more revealing black string bikini with a confident smirk and wink.
    • The second credits music video of season 2 has Teruhashi and Aiura wear a white and dark angel costume respectively. Aiura's lyrics are done via Hip-Hop where she makes light of her psychic nature while Teruhashi uses a ballad and makes light of her innocent nature.
  • 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 than to have the fabric between the legs tear during an action sequence, right?
  • Medium Awareness
    • Aside from his frequent Fourth Wall breaking, Saiki can read the captions with expository text.
    • Surprisingly, Yumehara of all characters breaks the fourth wall more than anybody but Saiki.
      • One episode has her lamenting about how Teruhashi and even Mera get close-up shots on their swimsuit reveals, and she doesn't.
      • Once she asks Saiki if she can get more screen time.
  • 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.
  • Motor Mouth: Characters in the anime will sometimes speak a mile a minute, with Saiki's internal monologue often overlapping.
  • Mutually Unequal Relationship: This drives much of the relationship humor in the series. Some of the other students all insist on befriending Saiki because their relationships with Saiki are something else entirely to what they actually are. Saiki himself initially just sees them as school acquaintances and just wants to be left alone, although he evidently does start caring about them.
    • Nendou thinks Saiki is his best friend.
    • Kaidou thinks Saiki is his Bumbling Sidekick in the (completely imaginary) fight against the "Dark Reunion". In Kaidou's daydreams, Saiki is drawn with softer features and has a higher voice to emphasize this.
    • Teruhashi is in denial that Saiki is immune to her beauty and charms, and is convinced that he's secretly in love with her like all other men. Similar to Kaidou, in Teruhashi's daydreams, Saiki is drawn as a ditzy, bumbling love interest.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    • Takahashi and Toritsuka often get this treatment in Saiki's narratives.
    • As for Saiki's group, Kaidou and Nendou are the runoff, since nobody wants to be near them because of their looks (Nendou) or personality (Kaidou).
  • 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. Saiki always has the requisite power needed to solve the situation at hand, but it always tends to fall apart immediately after due to the circumstances.
  • 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.
  • New Year Has Come:
    • One New Year's Episode has Nendou, Kaidou, Teruhashi, and Hairo meet Saiki at a shrine; they all wind up invited to Saiki's home.
    • Another has Saiki attempt to buy a new television with his New Year's money. The characters later relate their new year stories.
    • Saiki notices that his friends and family are showing up on television in another New Year's episode.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: A caveat on Saiki's time travel powers (the other being avoiding the butterfly effect). His attempts fail if someone notices there are two of him, including his own past self.
  • 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.
  • No Fourth Wall: By season 2, it's clear that practically everyone is aware they are in a manga/anime. Even background characters lament their status and are able to notice things like speech bubbles. However, everyone is Wrong Genre Savvy and thinks they are in anything but a gag series.
  • Only Sane Man: Kusuo Saiki, who is by far the less normal guy in Earth.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the final chapter, Saiki actually speaks, instead of communicating telepathically with those square captions. More importantly, he does this right after all his friends act especially uncharacteristically in various ways (Nendou talking like a girl, etc.). He was in an alternate timeline, practicing revealing his powers to them before doing it for real.
  • Overly-Long Gag: The manga's hundredth chapter is just one long string of sentences involving the number 100. Even Saiki thinks they're all forcing it too much.
  • Painful Persona: Downplayed and zigzagged in regards to Teruhashi. Being the World's Most Beautiful Woman, she always pretends to be a perfect lovable maiden when outside, when in truth she's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Attention Whore. That being said, she does take pride in her "perfect girl" persona and will go to great lengths to do what she feels is necessary to maintain it such as going to a poor, greasy noodle shop with her classmates, or forcing herself to memorize every single detail about all of her fans at school, regardless of how she actually feels about it. Ironically enough, it's actually this part of her personality alongside her later developed Jerk with a Heart of Gold tendencies that actually help earn her the respect of the titular psychic Saiki who, due to Power Incontinence, both knows her true personality and can't even perceive her beauty, who she just so happens to be in love with.
  • Popularity Food Chain: Teruhashi and Hairo are at the top, and Nendou and Kaidou are near the bottom. Saiki is aware of said food chain and has a power that tells him where he currently stands on it; he consciously makes an effort to stay somewhere in the middle (too popular and he'll start to stand out, too unpopular and people will mistreat him).
  • Poverty for Comedy: Mera's family's Perpetual Poverty is often Played for Laughs. She's portrayed as a Big Eater who is always eating grass or ice because she can't afford food, and when she comes into money, she loses it right away.
  • Product as Superhero: Cyborg Cider-Man, the mascot of a line of soda drinks.
  • 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.
  • Product Placement: One for the series' Nintendo DS game, but they don't outright say it is, since it's about The Disastrous Life of Saiko X. And Saiki most definitely doesn't ask the reader to play it after the chapter ends.
  • 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.
  • Reality Warper: It's revealed that many of the outlandish anime and manga tropes that happen in this setting are actually the result of Saiki's powers warping the world around him to suit what were originally supposed to be mundane acts of power. When he was younger, he tried using Mind Control to make it so that his bright pink hair wouldn't attract attention, this having the unintended effect of making bright, unrealistic hair color commonplace. When he used his powers to heal another kid's skimmed knee, this resulted in Toon Physics that allow people to shrug off things that would normally debilitate them (like a baseball to the face). Other effects include people thinking at an unrealistically fast pace, easy Clothing Damage while the crotch remains censored (as well as clothes becoming un-torn between shots), Muscles Are Meaningless and knocking someone out with a neck-chop.
  • Recursive Fiction: Saiki has volumes of his own manga on his shelf. No, not some series that looks like his, his actual out-of-universe series.
  • Robinsonade: Played for Laughs. Saiki and friends go on a cruise on Saiko's cruise ship. Teruhashi takes out Saiki's Power Limiter while he is out with seasickness, so Saiki accidentally sinks the ship and brings them all to a deserted island off the coast of South America. An unimpressed Saiki teleports back and forth from Japan with supplies and figures out a way to bring them back to Japan using his powers with them being none the wiser.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Averted when the group was stranded on a deserted island. They were all to scared to question the miraculous things Saiki was doing to keep them all alive. However once they gained a slimmer of hope at escaping and started to think more rationally their decisions prevented Saiki from getting them home while still keeping his abilities hidden.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: The newspaper club is featured in the latter half of Season 2 Episode 7. They are not above telling fake stories; after failing to get pictures of Teruhashi pooping while Saiki and co. were stranded on an island, they aimed to make such a photo themselves. Saiki foils them, however.
  • Ship Tease: Despite Saiki having no interest in Teruhashi, the story deliberately tries to make her the main heroine of his life. Even considering all that, there are a few moments where there is genuine teasing of the ship; for example, the very last thought Saiki hears before returning to his daily grind after getting his powers back in the final epilogue chapter is hearing Teruhashi regret her inability to make Saiki charmed by her.
  • 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.
  • Spoon Bending: Saiki bends spoons to prove to Aiura and Akechi, on separate occasions that he does have psychic powers.
  • Shirtless Scene: Played for Laughs more often than not. Hairo's shirtless scenes tend to be just a bit too detailed (to the point that his body looks out of place), while Kuboyasu's emphasize his buff, scarred ex-delinquent body for comedy.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Saiki gets pollen allergies in one episode, and his sneezes causes random objects in his line of sight to explode.
  • Silence is Golden : This happens in Chapter 226 along with its anime adaptation in Season 2 Episode 20 until the end.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • For the most part, the characters' situations don't change all that much despite the shenanigans that go on. Teruhashi will continue to attempt to win Saiki's heart, Mera will always be poor, Nendou will always be an unpopular idiot, etcetera. Lampshaded in the finale of season 2.
    Saiki: This is a gag manga. No matter how much [the characters] change, they'll change back after one day.
    • Despite having his psychic powers permanently removed by the end of the series, it is implied his still recovers them at the end. This gets worse in the epilogue one-shot where his symptoms as worsening to the point he tries to deny them, but ultimately succumbs to it as they were needed to save a sudden impending meteor that could wipe out Japan. It is confirmed they are fully recovered in the Netflix-original season, and he resumes his everyday life still with his friends being unaware he is a psychic.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike:
    • Nendou and Matsuzaki-sensei have similar ideas about first aid.
    • In the Crossover, both Saiki and Koro-sensei travel to the city of Iruma to eat irumanjuu at the Sakurayama Observatory.
    • During the Halloween Episode, both Hairo and Kuboyasu bring a squash to Kaidou's house for entirely different reasons.
    • During the shipwreck arc, Kuboyasu, Kaidou, Teruhashi, and Yumehara all leave the same cabbage snack out for Saiko with the intent of luring him back, and pat themselves on the back for it.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Played with. Saiki already has a voice, but it's internal. He never speaks onscreen, and whatever he wants to say is represented by a narration box. The first time he speaks for real is the final chapter. The anime has him speak in Episode 5, but no attention is drawn to it since everyone talked at the same time.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: One of the perfectly normal things that happen in this world, thanks to Saiki's powers.
  • Tap on the Head: Saiki invoked the "karate chop to the neck instantly knocking someone out" variant of the trope as a child by brainwashing everyone into believing it could be done.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: The epilogue chapter does this. Not long after Saiki gets rid of his powers seemingly for good, he gets presented with all kinds of situations where they would be handy, which is only exasperated by the powers slowly leaking back. When the world is in danger of an asteroid (again), Saiki decides to go back to his usual.
  • Theme Naming: By way of Punny Name. The major characters have names that pun on certain Psychic Powers note ; "Saiki K" itself is a pun on "psychic".
  • There Was a Door: During a fire drill, a shutter blocks off the nearest exit because it passes by the room that's "on fire". Hairo concludes that the obstacle was placed there to test their teamwork, so instead of turning around and walking out the front door, everybody spends 30 minutes tearing down the shutter to get outside. The P.E. coach chews them all out for being complete morons and because he had just installed that shutter last week.
  • Toon Physics: Saiki is responsible for this trope via brainwashing the entire world down to their genetics.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Saiki loves his coffee jello, and Nendou is always inviting his pals to eat ramen.
  • Tsundere: Done to the extreme by Saiki's grandfather, of all people. He acts cold, stern, indifferent, and even annoyed towards his family when they visit, then shows the audience how completely overjoyed he is just to have them nearby after he leaves the room, in a way that's obviously meant to parody your typical anime's young girl tsundere. It's (thankfully) completely non-romantic, but that doesn't stop him from squealing like a schoolgirl at simply brushing past his grandson.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: When Saiki's Power Limiter breaks, he accidentally kicks a piece of it skyward so hard it twinkles out of existence, which he then lampshades.
  • Two-Teacher School: Downplayed. PK Academy does have other teachers, but the only one who is shown doing any teaching is the PE teacher, Matsuzaki-sensei. This becomes even more impressive during the 10k marathon, as he is monitoring the race at every 2k marker.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: It's revealed that Saiki has kept the world resetting as otherwise a volcano will erupt that will destroy Japan. The final chapters has Saiki successfully prevent the eruption but then a few days later, a meteorite will collide with the planet.
  • World of Ham: There's something seriously wrong when Saiki — a pink-haired boy with Reality Warper-level psychic abilities — comes across as normal compared to his family and classmates. Almost every main character is a Genre Refugee who's completely stupid, partially crazy, has the emotional stability of a sandcastle, the attention span of a wet-cracker or some combination of the four. The fact that Saiki's abilities enforce Cosmic Retcons onto the world on a constant basis probably doesn't help in that regard.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Some characters have unrealistic hair colors, including Saiki, who was born with pink hair. Justified Trope: 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? 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. In the present, many of the supporting characters have unnatural hair colors. Kaido and Teruhashi have blue hair, Hairo and Mera have scarlet hair, Kuboyatsu and Toritsuka have purple hair, and so on.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • It seems that almost all characters believe they are the heroes in a different genre (and demographic, in Teruhashi's case), while they're actually side characters in a comic Deconstructive Parody. Teruhashi thinks she is in a shoujo romance and goes through all the trappings (pretending to be the perfect woman is just the tip of the iceberg), but it turns out that the man she thinks might be her Love Interest is not interested at all. Kaidou wishes he was the chosen one in a Urban Fantasy battle manga, and Hairo thinks he is in a Hot-Blooded sports manga. Yuuta thinks he's either in a Saturday-Morning Cartoon or a promotional CoroCoro Comic manga. The only one who acts like the gag manga character he is, unsurprisingly, is Nendou.
    • This trope is taken to another level once it becomes clear throughout the series that Saiki is not the only one that can break the fourth wall. Thus, Saiki's friends are quite literally this trope, knowing they are fictional, but incorrectly guessing the genre.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: While it's unclear why Saiki's hair is pink, everybody else has technicolor hair because of Saiki's mass brainwashing; because everybody thinks pink is a natural hair color, they started to mutate hair colors in similar varieties.


Video Example(s):

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, The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K


Saiki's Pink Hair is Normal

Saiki explains to the viewer that in an effort to not stand out for his pink hair, he altered the world to make colorful hair normal.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / WorldOfTechnicolorHair

Media sources: