「アクドルくろむちゃん！」 (Akdol Kuromo-chan!)
“Demon Idol Kuromu-chan!”
As a viewer who hasn’t read the manga, it seems like kind of an odd choice for Mairimashita-Iruma-kun to start an arc like this with only three episodes to go. It hardly seems climactic in any way, and we’re talking about a character who”s been basically invisible for 20 eps (that’s exactly the point, in fact). Perhaps it will finish next week, leaving the final two outings for a more traditional finale (though who knows what that might look like, as a second season isn’t totally out of the question).
Thing is, though, that the level of charm with this series is such that it pretty much can’t not be charming. So this all works just fine, even if this doesn’t rank with the series’ best material. The focus here is on the “akudol” Kuromu – better known to us (and Iruma) as Kurokeru Kerori (Touyama Nao). Kerori has indeed been around since the very beginning, though up to now she’s made absolutely no impression – which again, is exactly the point.
Some very familiar Iruma-kun elements are at work here – all kinds of clever wordplay (the translator here has a hell of a job), and some surprisingly subtle world-building elements. It’s interesting to hear Azz-Azz describe the role akudols play in relieving the stress of akuma, who go through a period where their natural inclination to be evil would take over if they didn’t have a way to vent it. A couple of things stand out to me, the first being that a natural question is “why would that be a problem?”. But I suppose when you think about it, if you’re trying to create a stable society you can’t have citizens randomly frying and eating each other. The second is – in this mythology, demonism is basically adolescence.
The gist of this is that Kerori was constantly overshadowed magically by her siblings, but discovered she had a power she could wield to manipulate others – cuteness. While it’s dramatized for effect it’s pretty easy to see the point mangaka Nishi Osamu is making here. And Kerori glorifies her ego through the adulation she receives as Kuromu, even as she maintains the fiction that Kuromu and Kerori are different people. Kerori seethes at being ignored every day, and meanwhile Iruma tries desperately not to stand out, and can’t help doing so no matter what happens. Oh, the irony.
It comes as no surprise that Iruma isn’t fooled. His powers of observation are probably a defense mechanism developed in response to his twisted childhood, like his freakish powers of evasion (and he’s immune to Kerori’s glasses to boot). Kerori is a pretty shallow person but I suspect she’ll learn something from all this, and maybe even wind up outing herself to her classmates. But even if Iruma knows her secret (and I imagine would keep it if she asked), it would cause quite a potential problem if Kerori were to find out his.