「栄えある表彰／人間の処遇」 (Haearu hyoushou/ ningen no shoguu)
“Glorious Award/Treatment of Humans”
There have been a few series I’ve dropped and regretted it over the years. Probably atop that list for me is Sanzoku no Musume Ronja, the Ghibli/Polygon take on the Swedish children’s classic. It ended up being far more compelling than I expected when I stopped blogging it, but by the time I’d really come around it just seemed like too much time had ticked by. I’d also put Nekogami Yaoyorozu high on that list. There are even a couple of cased where I dropped a series, then picked it back up – Tsurune being the most recent example.
That brings us roundabout fashion to Mairmashita Iruma-kun. I’m not picking it back up in the sense of weekly blogging, because I only covered a couple of episodes and we’re already up to Episode 20 (of 23). But I just wanted to sort of shout out to the world that this show is out there, and I really like it. A lot. And yes, I do regret not covering it, in hindsight. I expected it to be quite pleasant and fun – and it has been – and a lightweight diversion (which it hasn’t). It may be very much a genre piece, but it’s an exceptionally good one.
The arc which ended with Episode 19 featured an outstanding against-type performance from Osaka Ryouta, a seiyuu I really like who too often gets typecast. It also ended with the best episode of the series, a rousing affair featuring another musical number for the delightful Valac family. But that sort of quality has been the exception rather than the rule. This series is smarter and subtler than you expect it to be. Most of all, it has heart to spare – it’s way more positive and less cynical than almost any other example of its kind. It looks great too, especially by anime comedy standards. And it has maybe the best OP/ED combo of any series airing.
The current arc, which I assume will close out the series’ run, shapes up to be Iruma-kun facing a choice about whether to return to the human world. Ameri’s father, who works for akuma border patrol, has sussed out the truth about how Iruma ended up as Sullivan’s ward. But because he’s much different than what we initially expect (which is a very Mairimashita Iruma-kun thing) he’s not looking to lock up or devour Iruma – rather, he assumes the worst and wants to protect him.
The issue, of course, is whether Iruma needs or wants protection. His life in the human world was miserable, thanks to his parents – here, he has friends, a guardian who loves him, and plenty to eat (not to mention a harem full of potential love interests). Sure, theoretically he’s in danger of being eaten if his true nature is discovered – but the deeper we wade into this story the more obvious it is that the hilariously savage Babyls school song is just empty words. Demons are people too – and at this point, I don’t think most of them would even care if they found out Iruma was a human (once the initial shock had worn off).
Maybe by writing this piece I might nudge one or two folks into giving this series a chance – I certainly hope so. It’s a show that grows on you over time, as you come to realize that it’s serious about its positive message and skillfully-presented enough to sell you on it. Not every anime has to reinvent the wheel in order to be worthwhile – sometimes it’s enough simply to be good. I’m sorry I didn’t blog Mairimashita Iruma-kun but I’m sure happy I watched it.