Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun (Season 3)
To retain the Royal One (the classrooms of the former Demon King), Iruma and the Misfit Class must all reach at least the rank of Dalet. This season of the show mainly deals with their efforts to improve their status during the Harvest Festival (a kind of biological treasure hunt), after they are assigned to various Bablys instructors to receive specialized instruction.
In one of my reviews of an earlier season of this show, I mentioned that its rather large cast offered opportunities for stories built around each individual member of Iruma's class. Season Three of the show very much proceeds in this direction, for good or bad; you might be pleased when one of your favorite Misfit Class members gets a story arc of their own, while you might feel it a waste of time when an arc is devoted to a character you don't particularly care for. And if you're just here for Iruma's storyline, and don't care about the exploits of ANY of the rest of the cast, you might feel particularly frustrated; Iruma has some hilarious, AND some magnificent, moments this season, but they're just part of a surprisingly complex narrative; I was pretty impressed with the ability of the mangaka to not only create all the show's colorful detail and personalities, but to tie all this together as well as it has been.
As noted in the synopsis, the Misfit Class members are assigned to particular instructors before the Festival, where they develop specializations. (For example, Jazz and Allocer are assigned to an instructor who emphasizes deception and cheating.) Iruma's instructor is a pink imp named Bachiko, who finally (reluctantly) teaches him magical archery. Bachiko had been disappointed with her students before, but Iruma is a little different of course, though it won't be until near the end of the season that she finds out just HOW different. (Bachiko, by the way, was my favorite new character this season, both for her character design AND for her somewhat over-the-top manner with Iruma- though she's completely different (i.e., deferential) with Grandpa Sullivan.)
Another new character, named Nephula (or Naphula) is small, robed, and smelly. We learn very little about this character (who also communicates in an incomprehensible way), though I gather, from Crunchy commenters, that the character's actual appearance may be very different from what we've seen so far.
Iruma, during the Harvest Festival, is paired with Shax Lead, who's not been one of my favorite characters, even though his particular "bloodline ability" does finally prove useful. As for Iruma himself, he manages to win a treasure away from its guardian by what we will call a magnificent performance, and he does get a couple of chances to practice his new archery skills, even though he, and Lead, do commit a few painful blunders along the way.
There did seem to me to be one completely unnecessary arc, which also raised an interesting possible contradiction: a couple of our Misfits create a castle, while some of our other Misfits devote considerable effort to storming same. Here's the problem- aside from the seeming pointlessness of establishing a fixed sanctuary when you're supposed to be spending your time collecting flora and fauna: the Rules of the Harvest Festival say that one student can't attack another. But a student named Orobas has been conducting psychological attacks against the Misfits; his bloodline ability, called Trauma, creates illusions based on their greatest fears. This seems to get excused on the grounds that they're psychological, not physical, assaults. OK, fine, BUT what about the "storming the castle" stuff? Those are certainly "physical" attacks on the castle defenders. I can only guess that THIS is excused on the grounds that they're proxy attacks (using beasts) rather than mano y mano direct student-on-student fights, but honestly the extreme flexibility in these "rules" uncomfortably reminded me of the similarly loose ones in Disboard (No Game, No Life). Well, I guess they ARE demons, after all. (In fact, later the instructors themselves seem to encourage "ganging up" on poor Iruma, when it becomes obvious that Iruma might actually win this thing.)
Of the rest of the cast, I'll note that Keroli becomes an "idol star" for a completely new sort of audience (and this new position rather suits her ego, come to think of it); Asmodeus performs some exemplary service defending his friends; we finally find out why Picero Agares wears a mask (and floats on his "cloud"); and it turns out that with all this, there's still a Misfit Class member that's somehow been forgotten.
I can't help myself; I'm going to end this review with a critique of the weakness of men, offered by a demon named Dosanko, who's surprisingly feminine for a creature that looks like a one-eyed bowling pin:
"Women are the sea,
And men are boats, powerless against the waves.
You're all powerless.
There's an incredible amount of "stuff" going on this season, and while much of it seems silly, or pointless, or illogical, there's much virtue in Iruma's acts; and much cleverness, at least, in the actions of his friends. The mangaka is obviously having a ball with his little alternative universe, and if the creators of something are enjoying themselves, it tends to create a similar feeling in their audience. The show remains as colorful (and weird) as its previous seasons, and I was "powerless" to find much at fault here. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Psychological trauma and some violence. Elizabetta X DOES make a barely-unzipped jumpsuit about as provocative as, well, a barely-unzipped jumpsuit CAN be, so we'll throw in mild fanservice too.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (21/21)
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun (Season 3) © 2023 Osamu Nishi/Akitashoten/NHK, NEP
|© 1996-2015 THEM Anime Reviews. All rights reserved.