It’s readily apparent that Welcome to the Demon High School! Iruma-kun is geared towards young children. Despite the plot centering around a young boy who gets adopted by a demon and sent to demon high school at the risk of getting eaten, the show is at its heart a pretty lighthearted comedy. All the demons have colorful designs and wouldn’t look all that terrifying to an adult. Jokes have very identifiable punchlines to them. There’s a narrator that helps you digest the story. All the hallmarks of a show designed for kids are there. And sure enough, it’s airing on NHK Educational in Japan on Saturday mornings no less.
Being kid-friendly is fine. Most of my favorite TV shows are made for kids. And yet, I did find myself not terribly interested in Iruma-kun. I think the issue is that it feels too familiar. The plot of the young everyman in a very strange school is actually a pretty common one, especially in Western cartoons. Perhaps involving demons is a little unique but that’s really about it as far as differentiation goes. Since this is a comedy first and foremost, I doubt the show will do anything clever or mind blowing with its story. And speaking of comedy, I already mentioned that the jokes are obvious but it stands. It’s a whole lot of Iruma (Ayumu Murase) walking into a potential landmine and somehow still coming out okay by sheer luck or coincidence. The enthusiasm, absurdity, and timing is all there and I do like how each gag leads into its successor but they’re all gags I’ve seen before.
What might interest me is that there is some continuity going on here. Sullivan (Takaya Kuroda) acts as a doting grandfather to Iruma but he must have a reason for adopting a human child as his heir. His servant, Opera (Mitsuki Saiga), certainly suspects something. Meanwhile, Iruma has the overarching goal of not getting eaten by demons and while Sullivan aids him a bit there, the primary solution is getting all the big names to like him. You see the beginnings of this when Iruma beats top student Asmodeus Alice (Ryouhei Kimura) in a duel. The poor boy wasn’t even trying but his victory is bound to ensure a long lasting effect to his survival. I’ll admit, I’m a little curious to see who else Iruma befriends during his time in school.
Perhaps I just need a little more time for this show to hook me in. It’s treading on a lot of familiar ground but the execution is there so it’s not like I disliked what I saw. But if this show doesn’t stick with me, I don’t think I’ll be missing out here.
Thanks for reading!