OP: 「Girigiri Ride it out」 (ギリギリ Ride it out) by (FANTASTICS from EXILE TRIBE)
「不適合クラスの新学期」 (Futekigou kurasu no shin gakki)
“The Misfit Class’s New Term”
Suppertime on Saturdays is big-time shounen time this season with Boku no Hero Academia and Mairimashita! Iruma-kun bookending the dinner hour. It’s novel for the truly massive HeroAca to be as overlooked as it is this season, but it’s nothing new for Iruma-kun. This series almost never gets mentioned when the commercial titans of shounen are discussed, but it’s extremely successful. This is the third season for the TV anime, and the manga (a very big seller itself) has spawned a spinoff that’s doing very well.
I get it. Mairimashita Iruma-kun isn’t especially flashy as shounen fantasies go. It trades more on its charm and likability than its big-ticket set pieces – but because of that, when it does go big it has a huge impact. I kind of slept on the first season myself, but once I realized how wrong I’d been I was fully on-board. The second season easily made by Top 10 list and I certainly expect the third to be a strong contender in 2023 (at this point having no real idea how deep an anime year it will be).
Unlike with most of this season’s true sequels (split cours like Spy X Fam don’t count) there’s really no change or implied uncertainty with Iruma-kun. Studio and key staff are unchanged, and the routine of about a year between seasons is as well. That means the only change will be the material, and while I’m nowhere near current with the manga I don’t see any reason to expect problems there. If anything the series has tended to get a bit more serious as it’s progressed, but in doing so has never disconnected from the relentless positivity and comedy-driven style that are its calling cards.
S3 opens with the misfit class having achieved high-pitched campus celebrity following their exploits at Walter Park. Kerori will be used to that of course (thanks to her alter ego) but it’s foreign to the rest of them. And of course for Iruma it represents further erosion of his plan to avoid being eaten be not standing out (which, truth be told, has pretty much been punted since late in the first season). Ameri is especially bummed by this, as more people adoring her beloved Babyls babs is the last thing her neurotic psyche needs.
As implied at the end of S2, the misfit class has been set a formidable challenge – the lot of them must level up to Dalet rank by the end of the school year or they won’t be allowed to move up. And not only that they have to surrender the Royal One – and having gotten used to the high life, they have no interest in moving back to the wrong side of the tracks. In order to help facilitate this Kallego-sensei has arranged for special tutors to help them. Some (like Balam-sensei) we now, but some are new faces. Iruma and Lied-kun are assigned to work with the hapless Robin – but it seems the one he’s recruited to help him will be the real power center here, Barbatos Bachiko (played by the irrepressible Takeuchi Junko).
In Mairimashita Iruma-kun terms, this was actually a fairly low-key premiere. Lots of chuckles bot not many elaborate gags, and small or no roles for a good number of beloved cast members. But this is a series that tends to be a slow build so that fits, and Bachiko is enough of a live wire to promise some serious hijinks in the training (she already has Iruma and Lied in frilly maid cosplay by the end of the episode). This series is a rare and delightful combo of sasuga and surprise – it always manages to deliver what you expect, but it – and its characters – always evolve and grow in subtle ways that take them to unexpected places. The promise of two more cours fills me with joy (even at only 21 episodes), as does the expectation that it’s going to be part of the anime landscape long after they finish.
ED: 「Nabebugyou」 (鍋奉行) by (WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA (水曜日のカンパネラ))