|Mairimashita! Iruma-kun Season Two
|NHK, Bandai Namco Pictures
|Original Air Date
|April 17, 2021
|Isekai, Slice of Life, School Life
The overwhelming popularity of Mairimashita! Iruma-kun comes as no surprise, as it continues its creative trend as one of the most charming and intriguing shounen manga out there. A smashup of isekai and school life with a willingness to include themes and elements from other genres, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun remains uncommonly entertaining. The first season of the anime mostly captures the same magic that makes the manga so widely captivating, yet it has its flaws, too. An over-dependence on current shounen anime trends compromises the distinctiveness the manga possesses while at times also overly amping up the intended moods to grating levels. Despite these drawbacks, the first season is largely a successful adaptation. But now that we’re past Iruma’s introduction to the demon world, we see his adventures become more intertwined with the world and people around him. So let’s see how well Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two does in adapting these moments in Iruma’s demon school life.
For those unfamiliar, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun, or Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, chronicles the amiably turbulent adventures of Suzuki Iruma, a 14-year-old human boy who finds himself living the life of a doted over grandson in the Netherworld. And as any good grandparent does, Iruma is loved, pampered, and also soon enrolled into Bablys, the best demon school around. A far cry from his former life as a neglected, exploited adolescent in the human world, Iruma will make new demon friends and learn the nuances of both demon school and the Netherworld as he becomes accustomed to his new life. And whether it be his friends, the staff, or a product of the fantastical world he is now part of, he will often and unwillingly be dragged into mostly jovial mischievousness, with touches of genuine threat and terror thrown in.
Now that Iruma and his supporting cast have been introduced and established, along with their preliminary school life struggles and the first seeds of antagonism sown, the proceeding story arcs place Iruma in more familiar scenarios for a typical high schooler. And, of course, nothing is actually familiar nor predictable for the wide-eyed Iruma given his misfit teenage demon classmates and the various Netherworld peculiarities. A flamboyant student council election with a mystery behind it, a petition for the misfits to move from their rickety old classroom to one built for a king, a trip to a demon amusement park, and Iruma’s first ever date. Iruma, wishing to avoid drawing attention to himself being the only human amongst demons, fails miserably as he once again takes the spotlight throughout these events that become nothing short of full-on escapades.
Simply put, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two is a fun watch. The high-level of the manga through its corresponding chapters, I feel, are adapted well, holding as true to its source material compared to the efforts of season one. While there are again, liberties taken depicting the storylines that at times trend a bit too close to shounen clichés, the allures of the stories and its characters throughout these arcs remain wholly intact in the anime. Perhaps it’s because these arcs possess numerous more flamboyant, jovial, and battle-stricken moments to begin with that I found the more energetic scenes feeling less forced into the production. Also, I feel the anime does a fantastic job of adapting all of the humorous moments throughout these arcs. The lightheartedness and humor that comes with these scenes of character interaction and personal development remain impressive in the adaptation, and are an absolute pleasure to watch. I believe this is the greatest strength of Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two; these moments of pure whimsy, whether it be individual characters working through their emotions, or the close-knit interactions among two or three of them that lead to adorable chaos.
Unfortunately, there are missteps along the way, the main culprits of which are some of the extra scenes not found in the original manga. Many serve the purpose of better tying together personal story arcs or better transitioning from one major arc to the next, and for that, I applaud the effort. However many are completely unnecessary, failing to add anything genuine to the episode. Examples include extra battle scenes throughout the season like the one during Iruma’s and Asmodeus’s visit to Clara’s home. Not in the manga and only loosely tying to a personal struggle Asmodeus is working through, this scene is entirely shoe-horned in and the tiny bit regarding Asmodeus could have been addressed elsewhere, even being held off until later chapters are adapted and when it becomes relevant again.
Another example are the extra bits and elongated scenes throughout the episode with Iruma’s and Amelie’s date. The misstep that stands out for me here is the moment between the two in which Amelie bashfully requests Iruma to carry her. In the manga, it’s a short, sweet moment as he agrees and steps up by simply saying a spell that lets him carry her, making for a perfect lovey-dovey moment. In the anime however, the emphasis is more on the spell casting, as it depicts Iruma glowing and charging up for a time before finally lifting her. Forced and obnoxious, choosing to emphasize the powering up shifts the focus completely away from the relationship building, utterly ruining the mood and moment. A last example is Iruma’s exposition that he spouts a few scenes previously in the same episode. The handling of the scene in the manga is concise and moves the interaction along, but in the anime, it drags to the point where I’m left wondering why this kid is just standing around and one-sidedly droning on. Overall, while not a common enough occurrence to mar the season as a whole, the use of extras, those that trend towards shounen clichés, and particularly the extras and elongations in this date episode that negatively alter mood and tone, hurt just enough to leave an impression.
Moving on to aesthetics, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two’s adaptation of the manga’s visuals is satisfactory. The animation sees improvement over season one, with a smoother effort throughout. My small complaint with season one was a just-noticeable occurrence of unintentional janky animations that looked like low frame count animated .gifs, but this season, I never once noticed any issues of the kind. I also applaud the effort that went into the action sequences. The manga’s action scenes were plenty throughout the corresponding chapters and thus the animators had opportunity to go all out, which they expectedly did. The end result, when appropriate and called for, were remarkable. I could have done without the exaggeration when inappropriate, as they, again, altered the moods of scenes that had no business being tampered with.
As for the adaptation of the manga’s art style, it’s a mostly strong effort. The Netherworld and all of its locales look vivid and imaginative, staying true to the source material. The characters are once again depicted with similar style to the manga, maintaining their outstanding uniqueness and favorably contributing to their personas. My one wish, though, would have been to see more detail when it comes to the more emotionally driven scenes. More vividness in expressions, such as detail depicting facial features and body language, in those close-up, personal moments, would have raised the art production from great to amazing.
Regarding for the audio, I’ll start with the Japanese voice acting, which remains unchanged in its quality compared to season one. The voicing of Iruma, Sullivan, and a number of the side characters is as strong and as fitting to their personalities as ever. Some new characters, such as Balam-sensai, have been cast with equal care, as his creepy, yet caring demeanor shines through his voicing. The voicing of Ronove is particularly outstanding, as his over-the-top energy and pure self-absorption are only raises to new heights through the impressive voice work. Altogether, the casting choices that I feel can be called successes further contribute to the personalities, interactions, and humor on-screen. However, my previous complaints regarding certain voice acting choices remains too, though at this point, I suppose it’s now a simple matter of me needing to become accustomed to these castings.
As for the music, the background music featured throughout the season is fitting, matching the higher energy and joviality of the scenes they’re paired with. Each track also possesses that element of minor tonality that matches well with the Netherworld setting. The few musical numbers featured are as ridiculous as ever, though they don’t offend as much as last season. Perhaps that’s only because this time around I was prepared for them to steal the show. The music helps set the mood when not in the spotlight, and when meant to drive a scene, does so notably without feeling overly forced or foreign this season.
Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two is an impressive adaptation, mostly succeeding in maintaining the high level of quality of its source chapters. The humor, character growth, and all of the wonderful interactions and emotions seen throughout the corresponding manga chapters are well reproduced here. However, similar to season one, the production will get in its own way at times, with extra or elongated scenes that don’t quite flow, and missteps that diminish or outright alter the intended tones and moods of the source material. The artistry continues to earnestly recreate the imaginative qualities of the manga, as well as continue to respectably bring its characters to life. The audio, both the voicing and music, remains satisfactory, as the audio efforts never truly take anything away from the overall production, while its pros contribute admirably. In its entirety, Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two is fun and entertaining, and an easy recommendation for any Iruma-kun fan.
Mairimashita! Iruma-kun season two is available on Crunchyroll