A lot of people fantasize about what they’d do if they ever obtained ultimate power or immortality. Some people might try to reshape the world in their own image, while others would go after every worldly delight they can think of. One of the wiser arguments I’ve heard, though, is that with that much power, you can just chill. It’s not something I’ve seen too much in fiction, but one anime that pulls it off in the funniest way possible is The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Kusuo Saiki is an ordinary-seeming teenager who goes to an ordinary Japanese high school. The only problem is he’s also the world’s most powerful psychic. He has a wide array of powers, ranging from telepathy to astral projection to teleportation to pyrokinesis, and in fact is so strong that he must wear inhibitors, or his powers would go out of control and cause global catastrophes. So, what does he do with this ultimate power? He just wants to live a quiet, unassuming life of being left alone, playing video games before the stray thoughts of other kids spoil their plots for him, and eating coffee jellies. To this end, he works to maintain merely average grades and tries to stand out as little as possible in any field. The problem is, his classmates are continually trying to draw him into their various webs of intrigue, friendship, and romance, and Kusuo is forced to use his formidable abilities to solve their problems without them knowing so he doesn’t find himself more immersed in their lives than he has to be.
Kusuo’s classmates are all ridiculous and over the top parodies of common anime archetypes, from the perfect beautiful girl who is so beloved that even the gods themselves smile on her, to the boy who thinks he’s living in a shonen fantasy story, to the big kid who’s so stupid that even Kusuo can’t read his mind. But as ridiculous as all the characters are, and as much as Kusuo is annoyed by them, the story isn’t out to make them look bad. In a lesser story, Kusuo would use his powers to hurt or belittle the other characters, but instead he helps them, even if it’s out of his own selfish desire not to have to hear about their problems more. It’s to the story’s benefit, since it’s fun to see the crazy lengths and grand uses of power Saiki goes through to ensure his life stays quiet and he gets to enjoy his tiny creature comforts.
While it might be difficult to identify with the most powerful person in the world, it’s easy to relate to Kusuo’s desire to get away from the annoyances and trivialities that other people can bring into our lives. The fact that he can use his power to just chill makes his abilities all the more appealing.