Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun Season 2
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 9 of
Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun (TV 2) ?
We all have things we're not good at. It's just too bad Iruma's turns out to be studying. That seems like a very late-breaking revelation for a show whose title involves the world “school,” but if you think about it, we haven't actually spent much time with Iruma in classes. Or at least, not in those classes that heavily involve lectures and book-learning; we've certainly seen him participate in more hands-on subjects. Honestly, that didn't really stand out to me until this episode pointed it out, because even I, a teacher whose subject is lecture-and-book based, have to admit that that kind of thing isn't great fodder for humor most of the time. But now finals are approaching at Babylis, which means that Iruma's got to face those subjects the show's largely been brushing past: the ones that he's really, really bad at.
Again, it makes a lot of sense that he wouldn't be great at subjects like “Demon World History” and other similar areas of study. Hell, it makes sense that he wouldn't be all that familiar with the whole concept of “studying”, because his terrible parents basically made it so that before Sullivan purchased him to be his grandson, Iruma didn't even really get a chance to go to school. He's essentially undergoing his first real, full school year at Babylis, which means that no one ever taught him how to study in the first place. Book-learning, therefore, has become his kryptonite.
There is one subject he seems to be fine with, though: mythological zoology (so if all else fails he can become a folklorist or something), mostly because he is the mythical creature being described in the subject: a human. At first this seems like a major win for Iruma (and his classmates are certainly impressed), but then at the end of the episode we meet the teacher for the subject, and suddenly it doesn't seem like such a great triumph, because Balam appears to be…unhinged. I mean, I'm sure we've all had that one teacher who seemed in danger of sprouting tentacular vines and accosting students, but for most of us that was (hopefully) just a terrible metaphor – with Balam it's a very real thing that he does. If that guy finds out that Iruma is the myth he studies made flesh…yeah, I don't see that going very well for Iruma.
But then, nothing really goes very well for Iruma. That whole evil cycle thing seems to have had some major repercussions as far as Azz-Azz and Clara are concerned. They went along with Evil Iruma because he's Iruma and they love him, but now that Evil Iruma is gone, they're able to show us just how totally freaked out they were by the whole thing; even Connor and Murf are in on the action, chomping down on Iruma as Clara does her strangler vine impression. It's one of the few times we've seen Iruma be a little annoyed with his friends, or at least visibly uncomfortable with their actions, although honestly I'd call Clara's case of turnabout fair play; after that pulling her onto his lap stunt, wrapping herself around him like one of Balam's vines is perhaps all he deserves. (Although Clara's not doing it out of any romantic or sexual intent; she's just afraid to lose her regular Iruma again.) Both Clara and Asmodeus are at their best in this episode, especially Azz as he takes it upon himself to try to make studying fun and productive for someone who consistently scores lower than Clara on quizzes.
So clearly the last thing that Iruma needs right now is for Ameri to throw a troublesome student into his battler, which of course she does. I wonder if that's why we see him reading to someone else in the ending theme? Probably not, but Iruma's definitely regretting his conditioned response to the word “please” when Schenell shows up. In fact, it's hard to decide which thing this week makes him more uncomfortable: Schenell, studying, or everyone else in the Misfit Class acting like he, Asmodeus, and Clara are in a poly relationship. (I wonder if they're including Connor and Murf in that equation?) In any event, there's never a dull day (or episode!) where Iruma's concerned. That may be hard on him, but it's pretty lucky for us as we wait to see what these new developments and characters will bring to the story.
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