「悪魔学校の入間くん」 (Akuma gakkō no iruma kun)
“Iruma-kun from Demon School”

It’s always a little scary to have two sleepers premiere on the same day, but on balance I’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen today. Mairimashita! Iruma-kun is rather the opposite of Chuubyou Gekihatsu Boy in that I know exactly why I had the feeling this series might surprise – the manga is well-regarded and I like what little I’ve read, and the cast here is very experienced and solid. But they’re very much alike in that I expect the both of them to be almost totally ignored by the Western audience.

Mairimashita! Iruma-kun is the story of 14 year-old Suzuki Iruma (Murase Ayumu), whose parents are pretty awful even by animanga standards. Not only have they been exploiting him his entire life and forcing him to work, they pop the cherry on top by selling his soul to a demon. Given that the demon seems a rather affable old coot, Sullivan (Kuroda Takaya), who wants to adopt Iruma and send him to school – which his parents never did – it’s tempting to see this as the first favor they ever did him. But I’d say the jury is still out on that one.

I think it should be understood early on that Iruma-kun is intended to be a kid-friendly series – it airs at 5:30 on Saturdays. Admittedly that doesn’t always mean much when you consider what gets broadcast at that time and on Sunday mornings in Japan, but the mindset of the series is a little less mean-spirited and puerile than one might otherwise expect. Iruma-kun is an unlucky boy to be sure and the cast is full of (youkai) teenaged girls, but comedy is really at the forefront here. All that is another nail in its coffin as far as the international audience goes, but the rewards of good all-ages anime are not to be dismissed so easily.

Mind you, the jury is still out on whether Mairimashita is a good one, but I liked the first episode. Iruma comes off as likeable rather than pathetic, which is a necessary bar to clear. And he has some interesting quirks to him – like his total inability to say no (which actually saves him from being eaten when he agrees to Sullivan’s request that he become his grandson) or his superhuman ability to dodge attacks as a result of dodging the shit his parents have cast upon him since he was a baby.

Just why Sullivan decided to have a human boy be his grandson isn’t made clear yet, but he tells Iruma he’s going to send him to the local demon school. He also happens to be the director of that school, and pretty much checks every box as far as ruining Iruma’s school life on the first day. Yet Iruma (who’ll be eaten if it’s discovered he’s human, as the hilarious school song reminds us) miraculously comes out of it as folk hero and the de facto school boss – especially after besting the reigning one, Asmodeus Alice (the always-stellar Kimura Ryouhei) in a “fight”.

We’ll see if Mairimashita! Iruma-kun has enough tonal variety to succeed as more than a kids’ show. It has two cours to show off the charms of the manga, which while a great thing also raises the bar a little on that score. So far so good – I like the cast, I like the premise, and the humor generally clicks in a broad sort of way. I wouldn’t say I’m confident yet, but I certainly don’t see any reason to be less hopeful than I was going in.


    1. Ultra Instinct? Nah, he’s just Piccolo’s star pupil.

      On another subject, German suplexes sure are popular this season. Fall 2019 has officially the Onizuka seal of approval.

  1. Sounds like a mashup of Hayate Combat Butler and Rosario x Vampire. Poor boy with superhuman ability due to parents who exploited him (aka Hayate) as human hiding in a youkai high school (Rosario).

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. The whole thing screamed R+V overall, but the beginning setting with the part-time jobs, ridiculous honed survival skills, and by sold by evil parents really screamed Hayate. Of course, Iruma isn’t Hayate–he’s a tsukkomi, not a boke like Hayate.

      I still have yet to finish the R+V manga… I have a bunch of older manga I need to go back and finish.

  2. @Guardian Enzo :: harsh!
    I thought it was one of the better comedy premiers so far (Shinchou Yuusha:
    Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru
    being good as well).
    Not everything needs adult undertones or toilet humour to be funny.

    I’ve yet to watch Rosario Vampire, but thoroughly enjoyed Hayate, but I
    can imagine this being a mashup of the two.

    My big gripe is that shows that deserve two cours don’t usually get them
    leaving me wanting because they turned out more entertaining that originally
    thought (I’m looking at you, Maou-Sama, Retry!). Hopefully, there’s
    enough diversity in this source material to keep me laughing for 2 cours —
    looking forward to the challenge!

  3. As someone who has read the manga, I like what they’ve done here. They’ve hinted at the appearances of future members of the cast, like Amelie (best girl) and the rest of the Student Council, who didn’t appear until much later in the manga.

    Indeed, more than “additions”, I should say the anime “expanded” on what was already there in the source material. Like the school song. It was a single panel in the manga that didn’t amount to much, but the anime turned it to eleven.

    1. Good to hear. I had a feeling that this was the type of anime that I’d like more than the manga. Ironic since I hated the Rosario+Vampire anime. Well, a major difference is that one’s a weekly and one’s a monthly manga, and monthly manga tend to have better art…

      1. Well, the issue with Rosario+Vampire is that, while the manga kept getting prettier, darker and better, the anime didn’t. To the point the second season of the anime had nothing to do with the manga.

  4. Made for kids have bad connotations. But I want to think there are good ways to do it. I mean My Little Pony isn’t deep, yet a lot of adults liked it.

    On this premiere I can at least echo an observation I read. Since this anime is for children it doesn’t have dumb things for adults and grownups like the fan service, or angst, or commentary (yet). I think at moments need some solace of those things.


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