12 Days of Otaku Christmas, Day 6: Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan

You wish you had psychic powers? Well, don't wish for it too hard.
All anime beverages are orange, but you knew that already.

As I noted previously, high schooler Saiki Kusuo has it rough. Not only do his psychic abilities make it nearly impossible to enjoy most ordinary activities, but he daily finds himself in situations involving his family and “friends” that require his intervention. How can Kusuo get a moment’s peace and rest, which is what he wants more than anything else, when he can see through everyone’s clothes and skin, and hear everyone’s innermost thoughts?

So imagine his disappointment in episode 7 when, even on Christmas night, his hopes for some quiet moments with his parents cannot come to fruition. He returns home to find that his worst friend Nendou Riki (who is crazy about Kusuo and calls him aibou, “buddy” or “pal”) has showed up at his house. Kusuo figures things couldn’t possibly get worse, when his father returns home wearing a Santa outfit. Riki, whom no one would accuse of being terribly smart, thinks at first that Santa himself has shown up at the Christmas dinner. When it turns out that Riki doesn’t remember ever getting a present from Santa, Kusuo’s father takes it upon himself to address this problem.

Nendou Riki isn’t the brightest bulb on the tree, so to speak.

To add insult to injury, Kusuo’s father (cosplaying Santa) gives Riki the present that he and his wife had been planning to give to Kusuo. Delighted that Kusuo has a friend (allegedly), Kusuo’s parents then invite Riki to spend the evening celebrating Christmas with them. It appears that, as usual, Kusuo’s hopes for a quiet evening have slipped away. Oh well, at least there’s still New Year’s Day.

Poor Kusuo-kun. He never stood a chance.

When Kusuo and his parents make their traditional visit to the temple to pray for the new year, he little suspects the forces arraying to scuttle his chances yet again at having some quiet time alone with his family. Not only does Nendou Riki happen to appear at the temple, but three other least favorite school friends of his show up one by one as well. They include Kaidou Shun, who suffers from chuunibyou or “middle-schooler syndrome,” Hairo Kineshi, the always enthusiastic musclehead, and Teruhashi Kokomi, the self-described perfect bishoujo. To make matters worse, Kokomi has developed a crush on Kusuo, who is just about the only boy in school who doesn’t want her.

“Farewell, my quiet New Year’s celebration.”

Overjoyed at the discovery that Kusuo has not one but four friends, including not just a girl but a beautiful girl, Kusuo’s parents don’t hesitate to invite all four of them back to their house to celebrate New Year’s with traditional Japanese food. Poor Kusuo. At least it couldn’t possibly get any worse, right?

Sure enough, tired as he is, Kusuo will have to use his psychic powers to get out of this one.

And so we end the episode where we end every episode, which is also where we begin every episode: a longsuffering Kusuo hoping in vain to enjoy his favorite coffee gelatin snack in peace. And I’m not sure about anyone else, but I for one will continue to look forward to each episode, and relish along with Kusuo-kun every precious second of quiet and rest that he can manage to find. For if Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan has taught me one thing, it is this: While every one of us has on occasion wished for superhuman powers, they almost certainly wouldn’t be all we hoped for even if we could have them.

Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for the year 2017!

R86 is a chemistry professor, which is the sort of job that probably made you stop reading already. He teaches organic chemistry at Texas A&M University. In his spare time, he enjoys music (flute/saxophone/clarinet and MIDI/Vocaloid synthesis), watching anime, and travelling to Japan as cheaply as possible.
One Comment on this post.

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  • Medieval Otaku
    3 January 2017 at 7:24 am

    It’s always fun to watch an introvert forced to widen his circle. Usually, anime or RPGs treat this in a more serious fashion. (I have Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII in mind as a particular example.) Watching a more lighthearted look at the theme might be enjoyable.

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