Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun (Season 1)
Sold by his parents to a demon named Sullivan, Iruma Suzuki's future seems bleak, but Sullivan really wanted Iruma so he could indulge a desire to be a doting grandfather- AND Sullivan's rich. There's still a problem, though: Sullivan enrolls Iruma in a demon school (called Bablys), and Iruma must somehow pass AS a demon to survive there.
I'd note at the beginning that this show is not always terribly original; it borrows concepts from several other sources. Of course, the treatment of Iruma by his parents is reminiscent of Hayate's treatment by HIS (Hayate the Combat Butler), though maybe somewhat worse; Hayate's parents, as I recall, just used their son as collateral for a debt (and then skipped town), which is maybe marginally less evil than pro-actively selling a demon one's offspring- and apparently Iruma's parents had been exploiting Iruma for quite some time before finally selling him off.
Iruma has some other traits that will seem familiar from other shows. He can't say no to a request (see Komori-san Can't Decline), AND he has Hayate's ability to literally dodge everything thrown at him. (He's also aided in "passing" as a demon by a streak of pure luck a mile wide, and by being given a little demon magical ability through a ring that Sullivan gives him.) But it isn't just some of Iruma's traits that seem awfully familiar; the "Demon School Bablys" bears a startling resemblance to a certain famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For example, it has courses on spellcasting (!), and botany (called "diabotany" here.) In fairness, I have to note that the botany (OK, "diabotany") instructor here hews much closer to certain anime tropes than to Hogwart's Professor Sprout. The show does, in fact, try to put its own little spin on the stuff it steals; for example, in appearance AND demeanor (especially toward the show's hero) Kalego Naberius might be Severus Snape's long-lost twin brother, but the show does give him a peculiar connection to Iruma (which Kalego is not a BIT happy about.)
I'll note here that despite the reputation of demons (and even the Bablys school song, with its line "humans are our food"), the demon world in Iruma-kun is nevertheless strangely insular. Interactions between demons and humans seem largely legally restricted (or prohibited), and some of the Bablys students even think the very existence of humans is a myth, school song or no.
Iruma gets two steadfast friends among his demon classmates. Alice Asmodeus (male, despite the name) develops a worshipful attitude toward Iruma, despite the fact that Iruma, in reality, is neither demon, nor magical, himself. (It's that weird luck of Iruma's, and as mentioned Sullivan's magic ring, that enable him to fool almost everyone.) Asmodeus, on the other hand, is quite a powerful demon, though usually quite a stickler for rules and decorum. This makes him the "straight man" in comical opposition (or at least it's intended to be comical) to Iruma's other close friend, Clara Valac.
Clara's supposed to be a teenager, but she ACTS like a rambunctious kindergarten child- a rambunctiousness augmented by demon magic. Her immaturity also means she's not one bit sexy- a point the show ITSELF explicitly makes. She's pure Id, and is usually used for physical comedy and general chaos-creation, some of which worked for me, and some didn't. She's got other business going on as well: she has pockets on her skirt that serve as cornucopias, and her family is musical, kind of like The Sound of Music's von Trapps - IF the von Trapps only knew one tune. (The Valacs get more mileage out of that one tune by changing the lyrics to suit the current situation.) I do have to admit that I found the plant Clara grew in Diabotany class to be a genuinely hilarious reflection of her nature.
Then there's Ameri Azazel. She's head of the Student Council, an amazon who's strict about enforcing rules; really, I thought she and Asmodeus should have gotten together, but she sets her sights on Iruma, at first for a very specific reason: she realizes Iruma's human (none of Iruma's other classmates, including Asmodeus and Clara, know this), but she doesn't turn him in because he can read human language, and so can read her collection of human "sacred texts" (shoujo manga) to her. Ameri, and Sullivan's non-gender-specific aide Opera, were my personal favorites in the show.
There are several other classmates of Iruma's who are given names and some particular characteristics: Keroli Crocell, an apparently timid glasses-girl who leads a double life; Sabro Sabnock, a hulking braggart who thinks his aggressiveness should make him a shoo-in to become the next Demon King; Kamui Caim, an owllike demon (not all the demons look human) who's always trying to score with the ladies (and always failing), among several others. Presumably the large cast is intended to provide fodder for more stories (and a Second Season of the show is indeed planned.)
I HATED the hip-hoppy opening song (and didn't particularly like the closing song, either.)
As is customary the show does have a villain to create some suspense in the later episodes. Of that person, we'll only say that they learned exactly the wrong lesson from a personal tragedy. The show's villain is intended to be pathetic rather than contemptible, and the resolution of this plotline I found kind of anticlimactic.
It's a pleasant show, and occasionally its comedy works well enough, but it didn't really engage my interest much of the time. Asmodeus and Clara after a while seemed one-note sorts of sidekicks, and Clara's random antics were a mixed bag humor-wise. It's a "cute" show, but I found it neither profound, nor moving, nor even screamingly funny- with the exception of Clara's plant, that is! — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Mild violence, mature situations. I don't recall any nudity (even in succubus class!) We'll say PG-13
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (23/23)
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun (Season 1) © 2019 Bandai Namco Pictures.
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