Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun Season 2
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun (TV 2) ?
Oh, Kalego. You thought you were being so clever, acting like you assumed that “faculty” actually meant “faculty and staff.” If I didn't work in a school (and if I was less fond of arguing semantics), I would almost hand that one to you, but the sad, pedantic fact is that faculty and staff are considered two very different things at every school I've taught in: “faculty” is just for teachers, while “staff” is comprised of the non-teaching employees. Fortunately for everyone, this is a comedy, so instead of Kalego getting a long-winded and possibly stern lecture from Allocer, the staff of Babylis simply turns up with signed permission slips to thwart Kalego's very-nearly-sneaky trick, because like in the old fairy tales, if you help someone, they will come back to help you when you need it. Iruma may not have used the butter on his bread to oil a squeaky gate, but it turns out that helping the staff with their work – treating them like people, in other words – is a good thing, even if you're going through your evil cycle.
Everyone showing up to support Iruma in his quest to get the Misfit Class transferred to Royal One is more than just them taking his side over Kalego's, though, and the scene arguably functions more than just a good gag as well. What it really shows is how much people like Iruma, regular Iruma, on a day-to-day basis. It's not so much that he's nicer than everyone else, but that he's more compassionate and isn't just occupied with looking out for himself. That has nothing to do with human versus demon; it's a basic cornerstone of Iruma's personality. Evil Iruma is fun and gets things done that no one else would ever think to try, but Regular Iruma is more than that: he's a nice person who genuinely cares about others and wants to help as much as he can. That, as it turns out, is worth more than taking on the least popular teacher or plopping down on the Demon King's throne.
Incidentally, once his simulated evil cycle ends, poor Iruma is beyond mortified. He does in fact remember everything that he did (although he doesn't quite understand what Ameri could be expected to be upset about), and holy cow, is he embarrassed. For someone as sweet and self-effacing as Iruma, waking up to realize that you staged a minor revolution during the one week you weren't quite yourself has got to be the stuff of nightmares, and honestly I wouldn't be surprised if he just blocked out some of the more agonizing details, such as kabe-donning Ameri or having Clara sit on his lap. (Clara, fortunately, doesn't seem inclined to bring it up, and Ameri's too shocked by what he apologizes for to say anything…so far, anyway.) If we consider the possibility that these are all things that Iruma may want in some dark corner of his psyche, that makes his embarrassment even worse, because who wants to realize that they've been acting out the pages they can barely read in their diary?
What's more interesting, however, is how relieved everyone else is to have Regular Iruma back as well. Sure, the Misfit Class is thrilled to not be in their crummy classroom anymore, and they're more than willing to tease Iruma about how he just sat on the throne, but there's also a real sense of joy that he's done with that evil cycle nonsense and is back to being his usual self. That's most striking from Asmodeus and Clara, because Azz-Azz in particular was at least a little thrilled to have Iruma treat him like a minion. But even if he only became friends with Iruma after he was defeated by him way back in episode one of season one, the Iruma he's become best friends with is the gentler version, the guy who'd rather walk to school carrying his own bag than possibly inconvenience someone else. Evil demons are a dime a dozen in the underworld. Nice guys like Iruma stand out for their humanity – even if no one realizes how literal that humanity is.
There's one person we haven't seen react to the return of Regular Iruma, though, and that's Kalego. I can't imagine him letting this go, evil cycle or no evil cycle, and the preview for next week seems to indicate that he's going to really crack down on the Misfits under the flimsy excuse that they have to “honor” the classroom they're now using. But that may not be the most important thing to come out of this – certainly there's the whole Alicred/Derkila thing to think about, but we also finally see Purson show up in the story, right there at the very end of the episode: he's included on the right in the class picture. Since previously I haven't noticed him anywhere but the opening and ending themes, this may indicate where the story is going next.
Or I'm just noticing him because I'm looking for him now. I guess we'll find out.
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