Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun Season 2
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 16 of
Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun (TV 2) ?
It's official: Kalego really thought that having his students fight off a dangerous magic beast was an excellent teachable moment. If you aren't familiar with that phrase, that's when something outside your lesson plan happens (usually a comment a student makes, in my experience) and you can jump on that to make a point or teach something you weren't planning for that day – or ever, occasionally. It makes sense that I've never had a giant monster appear during class, but it's a little more surprising that Kalego doesn't appear to have – which of course in no way stops him from using that beast to spring a graded assignment on Jazz, Goemon, Lead, and Camui. I daresay he's pretty happy with the results too; maybe they didn't completely take out the renamed beast (last week it was Mountain Blue and this week it's Mountain Bull), but their plan was a good use of everyone's special bloodline skills and the one weapon Jazz forgot he even had. And after all, they're just teenagers; they can't be expected to fully destroy a monster that has most of the adults around them panicking. And hey, they finally got Kalego to have fun!
His lesson about using what you've got is a solid one, once again suggesting that he's a much better teacher than he appears. In fact, we see what he was trying to teach the boys play out among the other two Babylis groups at Walter Park as they face off against the panther rat and carmine dragon. It's most obvious with the Balam group, mostly because they've got Agares, whose power is the manipulation of surfaces. Unlike the Kalego group guys, Agares' power is perfectly suited for the situation at hand; not in terms of fighting the dragon, but rather in that he can save survivors before they become victims. Iruma may be the motivating force and his face might be the one the rescued children see, but without Agares, I'm not sure that his determination alone would have been able to save the day. It is, however, the catalyst for the rest of his group to act; as Balam pointed out before, demons are more likely to be concerned about themselves than anyone else, and we saw all of the adults ignoring the crying, hysterical child begging for their help last week. Iruma, who remembers being in that little boy's position all too well, can't stand it, and he's not about to fall victim to the bystander effect. (Whether or not human psychological theory applies to demons isn't entirely clear; let's just go with it for the moment.) More importantly, his determination moves his companions. It's as if his humanity is rubbing off on them, and while we could've foreseen Azz following Iruma no matter what – and maybe even Sabnock because of his competitiveness – Balam and Agares are more of a surprise. Agares gives the excuse about getting rid of the noise, but Balam just quietly decides to follow Iruma's lead. Is it his fascination with humans that drives him? Or is Iruma reshaping the netherworld one demon at a time?
It's an interesting question, especially when we switch over to Opera's group. Opera was always going to fight, if only because they take their employer's orders very seriously, and Opera's sharp enough to know that protecting Iruma's friends is going to keep Iruma safe as well because he won't go haring off to save them. But Keroli's and Ameri's actions speak more to Iruma's influence on them. Keroli, looking around at the panic and hysteria in the emergency shelter, realizes that she has the ability to calm everyone down so that the rest of the gang can do what they have to, and she puts on her Kuromu persona. It's an unselfish moment – she's not becoming Kuromu to make money or anything like that, instead using her fame to keep everyone safe in the shelter while also assuaging their fears. Her song even gives Ameri the courage to take over and fight the panther rat when she and Opera realize that Clara hasn't sheltered with Keroli and Elizabetta. It's not that Ameri couldn't have done it before, or even that she wouldn't have; it's more that Kuromu's song about the power of a girl in love resonates with Ameri because she wants to keep the world safe for Iruma.
All of that aside, it's undeniably awesome to see Ameri and Opera cut loose as they fight, and Ameri slowly realizing that working with Opera would mean living in Iruma's house is a pretty great moment. Her power is also one that seems well-suited for expressing her feelings for someone else, because she's got the motivation to want to cast it and deal with the pain that comes after. I don't know if she'll get Iruma in the end or if she'll convince her dad to let her take Opera up on his offer, but it's another sign that while the netherworld has given Iruma back his childhood and self-confidence, he's giving something back to his adopted homeland. The Six Fingers may need to rethink their plans.
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