Bad Boy Iruma is Best Boy!
What’s the Story?
Iruma is the sweetest kid you’ll ever meet and, right now, he’s living his best life. He’s got a Grandfather that adores him, friends that cherish him and even a couple of ladies with their eye on him. For a kid whose no-good parents sold him to a demon and is now living in the netherworld, he’s doing pretty good for himself. Of course that doesn’t stop life from presenting challenges, from personality switches to a prison break at a theme park, life in the netherworld is never dull for long and Iruma’s going to need more than a winning smile and good vibes to survive this. The demon king’s throne has been empty for a while now, but for how much longer?
Sequels are hard. It’s one of the unwritten rules of life that, the majority of the time, sequels are never quite as good as their original. I can think of a fair few exceptions to this rule off the top of my head, Terminator 2 and a chunk of the MCU films immediately spring to mind, but on the whole we all subconsciously agree that sequels are to be feared. It’s weird when you think about it, surely if you’ve worked out the magic formula to make the original a success then all you need to do is repeat the process for the sequel, but it rarely works that way. To be a good sequel, at least to me, you have to perfect the balancing act of not only recapturing the magic of the first one, but also adding in something new and continuing the story in a natural way.
I adored the first season of Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, (you can read my review of it HERE) it surprised and charmed me until I was well and truly in love. So when the second season finally started airing I was a volatile mix of excited and scared. Would this new season stand up to the now high standards I have for this series? Would the characters still be the charming goof balls I remember? Will Clara still be Best Girl forever and ever? The answer’s yes to all of the above, though Clara does get some stiff competition from Ameri this season, but we’ll talk more about that in a minute. Season 2 gave me everything that I wanted from a sequel plus a whole bunch of stuff I never knew I needed. More of Clara and her family singing? Check. More of these characters and this world? Check. Iruma turning into a bad boy? Okay, this one I had no idea how much I would enjoy it, but it’s now my favourite arc.
This second season perfectly gets that balancing act that I was talking about before. It knows it’s audience and it knows what types of jokes and scenes worked last time, so it gives you more of that, but it also takes the time to expand and grow its cast and world. We see more of the netherworld, we spend some time in the Student Council offices, in our character’s homes and while they’re on summer vacation we get to see a couple of theme parks. All the while we’re getting details added to the lore and history. Then there’s the characters and while I still can’t remember the names of Iruma’s classmates, I can now at least tell you their special abilities, which is progress. Congratulations guys, you’ve stepped up from background characters to secondary characters, and some pretty fun ones at that.
Speaking of characters though, we need to talk about Iruma for a second. There’s no real major change to his character, well outside of a certain arc I’m going to talk about in a minute, but there’s a definite sense of progress. Iruma is and always will be an eternal ball of gentle sunshine, but he’s gradually developing into the Demon King we all know he’s going to be by the time this series ends. He’s steadily becoming more adept at magic, but more than that he’s slowly forming his own ideology. In the first season he discovered that working towards a goal was fun and rewarding, and that’s why he started trying to raise his rank. This season he’s realised that he’s having a ton of fun with all his new friends and he wants to protect that, he wants everyone to be happy. Unfortunately not everyone else thinks that way and Iruma is going to have to get stronger to protect what he wants. It’s added a personal reason on to his goal and, yeah, that demon throne is beckoning.
Couple of last things to talk about, let’s start with that arc I keep hyping. Now the end of the first season teased us with this ‘edgy’ bad boy Iruma, but I had no idea he was going to be so much fun. I just want to hug regular Iruma, but I’d march into an impossible battle for bad boy Iruma. What makes it so fascinating is that Iruma’s personality doesn’t really change all that drastically, he’s still the same kind-hearted, supportive best boy, it’s just that his confidence has been dialled up to eleven, without giving him an ego to match.
Finally let’s discus the Clara/Ameri situation because the ships they are a sailing. I’d never thought about Clara and Iruma in a romantic way, but I can see why someone would ship them and this season certainly gives plenty of fodder in that regard. For my money though, I’m shipping Iruma and Ameri, I mean they actually go on a date together (which was hilarious) and Ameri has made it her goal to be with Iruma now. It’s always fun to see the ever-cool and badass Ameri flustered and panicking with the best of them. Also the jokes with her dad always have me laughing, the one referencing the Ring might be my favourite.
In the end, Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun season 2 does what all good sequels should. It keeps a hold of what made the first season so endearing and funny, while also allowing the story to progress and the characters to grow. We get to know more of the characters, explore new locations and settings and there’s a definite sense that this is all heading somewhere. Season 3 has already been announced and I’m very excited by that tease they showed at the end of this one. I can’t wait for more!
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.