Psychic Kusuo film review: a disastrous adaptation of manga The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Director Yuichi Fukuda fails miserably in his follow-up to the box office hit Gintama – overacting and some alienating Hong Kong in-jokes will have audiences looking to the exits long before the final credits
Adapted from the popular manga The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Psychic Kusuo shows that not all comics could – or should – be made into live action films. Director Yuichi Fukuda’s last attempt, Gintama , was a box office hit despite its exhausting nature. But this one fails so horrendously that it’s hard to say which one is more disastrous: Saiki’s life or the film.
Pink-haired high school student Kusuo Saiki (Kento Yamazaki) is born with such strong superpowers that he needs to wear a headset – shaped like two lollipops sticking out of his head – to limit them. Otherwise, when he trips, he may trigger an earthquake that would destroy a city.
As the cultural festival at school nears, Saiki, desperately wanting to be left alone, tries to solve crises – mostly caused by his eccentric classmates – and evade the pursuit of his not-so-secret admirer, Kokomi Teruhashi (Kanna Hashimoto).
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The manga and its anime version, now in its second season, are both hilarious because of the weird characters and Saiki’s contemptuous inner monologue. But the film disappoints with its poor pacing, and the cast’s overacting is just painful to watch.
It may be funny for the first time, and maybe the second, that the sweet 19-year-old actress Hashimoto imitates the exaggerated facial expressions of her anime character; but when it happens for the 10th time, it becomes quite boring, if not irritating.
The Cantonese-dubbed version showing in selected Hong Kong cinemas has added slang and local pop culture references, but they only feel forced, and most are in-jokes that only audiences familiar with both the anime world and Hong Kong culture would know.
I might have had a few good laughs throughout the 98 minutes but, most of the time, I was merely waiting for it to end.
Psychic Kusuo opens on March 22
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