The Disastrous Life of Saiki K: Season Two
Cheerful lunkhead Riki Nendo, ineffectual fabulist Shun Kaido, and all the other (unwelcome) hangers-on of Kusuo Saiki return- and there are a few NEW annoyances in his life as well. They all present quite a challenge, even to someone with godlike powers.
I was a bit concerned that this show wouldn't be able to maintain its freshness for another 24-episode run, but it does a credible job of it, all the while maintaining its traditional format of Saiki's rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness narration combined with endless Byzantine plot complications.
One way the show keeps our interest is by giving Saiki some problems that may be intractable even for HIM. We see this especially toward the series end, in Saiki's attempts to deal with two disasters threatening to blow up on him, one natural, the other human. Sure, he can travel through time, but changing things to get exactly what you want, with no undesired side effects, is tricky; there's always that "Butterfly Effect."
Of course, we also have the more "normal" crises for this show, typically involving a malfunction of Saiki's powers causing something weird to happen to his classmates, and his having to try to fix things while (1) trying to keep his powers from being exposed, and (2) dealing with random acts by those classmates that threaten to derail his efforts. My favorite example this season is when Saiki's seasickness (which his pride refused to admit, by the way) caused him, and his classmates, to wind up shipwrecked on one of the remotest islands on Earth. Perpetual-walking-appetite character Chisato Mera steals the show here, in her most over-the-top manner.
This season also keeps it fresh with some new faces. One is Imu Rifuta, a cute blonde who aspires to be the school idol, but Kokomi Teruhashi is hardly willing to give up that exalted position. (Teruhashi's thoughts, directed at Rifuta: "The world doesn't revolve around you, it revolves around ME!"). There's a marvelous little bit where a psychic character sees Teruhashi's aura as possessing angel wings- but notices there are some black feathers in among the white ones. It's hard for Rifuta to compete against power like THIS, of course, and so Rifuta is only good for a few scenarios, alas.
The show gets considerably more mileage out of another new character, Mikoto Aiura, a gyaru ("Gal"), whose blonde hair, dark complexion, big breasts, and raucous demeanor make her an excellent counterpoint to Teruhashi; you could say she possesses a very "earthy" sort of beauty in contrast to Teruhashi's refined (and, it turns out, somewhat studied) "ethereal" sort. Aiura becomes a "rival" with Teruhashi for Saiki. Of course, Saiki doesn't want EITHER girl, but he does end up having to work with Aiura at times- for Aiura is a psychic too, though with a MUCH more limited set of powers (precognition, mainly), so she and Saiki sometimes have to team up for such tasks as saving someone with a death mark. (They can both see these.)
We also get some more unwelcome visits from Saiki's evil-genius older brother Kusuke, who is, as always, smarmy on the outside, scheming on the inside. (Think Leave It To Beaver's Eddie Haskell, but with a genius IQ.) He may be able to fool some people (in particular their mom's parents), but he knows he can't fool his psychic brother- so he now always wears a device on his head to block our hero's telepathy.
Even MORE unwelcome (to the viewer as much as to Saiki) is Touma Akechi; the LAST thing this show needed was someone who talks even faster than Saiki does. Akechi is a particularly dangerous acquaintance for Saiki, because (1) he knew him as a child; (2) he's irrepressibly inquisitive; (3) he has a photographic memory, and (4) HE CAN'T KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT. EVER. We've another particularly troublesome character in Manako Jouten, of the Newspaper Club, who specializes in genuinely Fake News- she seems to be aspiring to write for tabloids rather than mainstream journalism. When she turns her distorting spotlight on Saiki and his personal acquaintances, he has to put her in her place. A returning pain-in-the-neck is Reita Toritsuka, a spirit-sensitive who only wants to use that gift to attract women. The arrival of Aiura has him feeling no longer special, but Saiki assures him, "Don't worry, you can still be special as a trashy pervert."
I was delighted that there is one segment devoted to the relationship (such as it is) between Shun Kaido and Chiyo Yumehara. (Shun is unaware any relationship exists.) We are told at one point this season that there's "only 2% compatibility" between the two, but I'd really like to see them get together, if for no other reason than that they're both hapless ingenues at heart. Things go in myriad wrong directions here (as they always do in this show), but maybe there's a LITTLE more movement toward them becoming a couple. Maybe. A little. I think.
The episode where Saiki has to find the right person among his "friends" to take in a homeless hamster was also delightful.
Yes, I admit I have trouble myself keeping up with the show's pace, and I'm sure I missed some good gags- but I CAUGHT a lot of them, too. It's all manic insanity perpetrated by some memorably eccentric characters, and the scenarios are varied enough- and I was especially pleased to discover that there are some situations even a virtual god has trouble handling. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Some vulgarity; I didn't notice any female nudity (and there's certainly no sex.) School bully violence. Netflix rates TV-14.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Netflix
Review Status: Full (24/24)
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K: Season Two © 2018 J.C. Staff/Egg Firm
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