Clara for Best Girl Forever!
What’s the Story?
Iruma has a problem. He’s so kind-hearted that he absolutely can’t say no to anyone or anything, something his parents abuse the hell out of, literally. They get him to do every dirty and dangerous job they can think of, from cleaning the house to working on a fishing trawler, right up until their parenting reaches peak dumpster fire and they sell him off to a demon! You know what though? Going to the netherworld may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him! Yeah, sure, Iruma now attends a school were the school’s song talks about how all humans are food and he’s surrounded by literal demons, but he now has a doting grandfather and actual friends! Will Iruma’s human origins be discovered? Will Grandpa Sullivan ever convince Iruma to ride in his carriage to school ever again? Will Clara ever stop being the best character in the show? To find out you must watch the show! (Though obviously the answer to that last point is no, Clara will always be best and I will fight anyone who says otherwise).
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, the show that has absolutely no right to be as good as it ended up being. I’ll admitted I enjoyed this series from the very first episode, but just like its characters it continued to develop and evolve until we’re now at the point where I’ll proudly proclaim this one of my favourite anime of the past few seasons! I’ve become invested in the lives and adventures of this kooky cast of demons. I live to see Iruma give that heart-melting smile, to see how Clara is going to drive Azz crazy this time and please, for the love of everything please, give me another musical number from Clara and her family! I know that the show doesn’t look like much at first glance, between the bright, contrasting colours and its often fairly cheap-looking animation (though there are a few moments where the animators obviously spent most of the budget, they can take a while to turn up), you’d be forgiven for thinking this show was just a bit of demon-themed fluff meant to only be watched early on a Saturday morning. The only real clue to how special this show is, is in the sheer amount of energy put into the performances and jokes. This show is ridiculous. It’s world is loud and completely over-the-top without ever breaking the series’ internal logic, which is a feat I just find fascinating.
The world of Iruma-kun is actually a good example of the series on the whole. On the surface it’s your fairly typical parody of Japanese schools, taking everyday facets of life and applying a Halloweenesque paint job to them. Japanese schools have clubs that students can be pressured into joining, well the Demon school has the Battlers, where senior students will straight up kidnap their juniors to force them to join! It’s ridiculous and yet makes perfect sense in the world that the series has set up. Iruma-kun doesn’t stop there though, no it likes to go a level deeper. Take dodgeball fro example, the students often settle things with dodgeball matches, but the show can’t just leave it at that, no it has to add in a bit of history where dodgeball is just a natural evolution from a game where demons would throw chain chomps at one another and even that was a result of trying to stop the endless fighting amongst demons. It’s completely unnecessary to the joke they’re setting up, but it adds a bit of flesh and believability to the world the cast inhabit and the series never looses that. No matter how absurd or insane things get, you believe that every single thing could happen in this world that has been created.
That brings me on to the characters and while Clara is obviously the best character ever, she’s such a chaotic bundle of energy that the loveable little gremlin instantly improves every scene she’s in (the majority of the best jokes belong to her stupid one-lines or crazy antics), but let’s talk about our lead Iruma. I know the exact moment I stopped thinking of this show as just fun and endearing and as something that I genuinely loved, it was the end of dodgeball match where Iruma was trying to rank up. There were plenty of good jokes leading up to the finale, with Iruma training to catch the ball and the match itself, but then the ending comes. It’s the moment were Azz looks Iruma in the eye and realises that all this time he’s been trying to think of a way to help Iruma win, when in fact he should have been giving this match his all. Iruma is trying his hardest and so should he! Suddenly the show is taking things seriously and that moment when Iruma not only catches the ball, but throws it back at Azz is epic and worthy of any shonen series. The series is peppered with epic and touching moments like this, yet it never loses its sense of humour or energy, it knows how to keep everything in perfect balance.
The greatest strength of this series though, has to be how it lets its character grow and develop. Iruma starts out the series terrified of all those around him, his only goal being to hide and make as little impact as possible. As he gets to know the demons around him though and make friends, he begins to change. He starts looking for goals of his own and puts effort into doing things that he wants to do. His determination is put to the test again and again and he rises to meet each challenge, and all those demons he befriends begin to change as well. It warms the heart this series and trying to compare the characters from the beginning of this series to the end is like night and day. Bring on Season 2!
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun is a show that doesn’t look like much, but if you’re willing to spend the time with it, you’ll be rewarded with a well-written, energetic comedy that will have you laughing and cheering to no end. The characters are all extremely lively and endearing and watching them grow and develop across the series is an utter joy. I can’t wait for Season 2 I had so much fun with this series, definitely the best comedy I’ve watched in a while. So what are you waiting for? Get your soul sold to a demon and come join us in the netherworld! Fun is a guaranteed!
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday.