「キラキラの衝撃！」 (Kirakira no shougeki)
There are two series currently airing which, for very different reasons, strike me as throwbacks. One is Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun (as I detailed in this week’s write-up). The other is this one, and this episode is a continuing illustration of why. Mairimashita! Iruma-kun feels at home in a different era of anime – one with a lot less cynicism and snark and a pretentious drive to be “edgy”. It embraces its own silliness and earnest goodwill in a way that’s decidedly uncool. Thank goodness.
Insert songs are one thing, but Iruma-kun actually gives us musical numbers (again – retro and uncool). The one thing they’ve all had in common is Clara’s involvement, though she’s literally and figuratively not at the center of this one. With Kerori out of commission (she overheats when she uses too much ice magic) Iruma – as ever – feels the urgent call to help. But it is Clara who comes up with the idea of dressing the three amigos in idol attire (which Asmodeus seems oddly familiar with), and “Irumi-chan” and his sidekicks take the stage to try and placate Kuromu’s restless mob of fans (the concert was supposed to start at 06:06:06).
Well, this is basically a goof, but it’s a good one. I especially enjoyed hearing the great Kimura Ryouhei take on the “Alice” stage persona – that and Kerori’s reaction when she saw Iruma-kun center stage and yet again commanding all the attention. Alice gets Irumi to unleash some dance moves using Iruma’s superhuman evasion skills, too. There’s a lot of satire of the idol phenomenon here – both the neediness of the performers and obsessive behavior of the fans – but it’s gently executed (this is Mairimiashita! Iruma-kun after all). We also get our first glance at Kerori’s family, with whom she clearly has a strained relationship. But they have their reasons for keeping their distance, at least, and her mother is integral in Kuromu eventually being able to take the stage.
We’re down to the last episode now, and it seems unlikely we’re going to see anything too big attempted in the finale. The Magical Apparatus arc was the last extended story of the season clearly – the anime has chosen to end with lighter material (placing the Kuromo mini-arc here still seems sort of odd to me) and with a second season a seeming longshot, I expect we’ll see a final episode that tries to tie everything together. Mairmashita! Iruma-kun is one of those shows where you end up missing it much more than you expect, but I’m glad I found a real appreciation for it while it was still airing.