Mairimashita! Iruma-kun 3rd Season - 21 (End) and Series Review
You know by now that my philosophy is to never bury the (Shax?) Lead. No, we didn't get an announcement. I certainly wasn't hoping to title this post the way I did. Normally that wouldn't worry me so much with a series as popular as Mairimashita! Iruma-kun - especially when the anime has contributed so mightily to that popularity. But the fact that we did get one with the Season 2 finale, along with that flashback montage at the end, has me just a bit concerned. On the other hand this entire episode was as much a tease of future events as a denouement, and this franchise has become one of the dozen or so most commercially successful in shounen. I'd still say the odds are strongly in our favor, though with no announcement we may be looking at a longer wait.
The foreshadowing and the retrospection were intertwined quite deeply to be sure. We start not with Iruma's party at Azz' but with Bachiko invited to one by Sullivan. Ostensibly it's to thank her for her work in training up Iruma-kun. Since Bachiko is most definitely on team Sullivan this means a lot to her, but the real reason becomes clear when the Chairdemon extends the cone of silence. As was teased last week, there are demons going missing - important ones. And Sullivan expresses certainty that the Musashino Crew (Six Fingers), a group we know very well, is behind it.
The headline moment here, for sure, is Sully telling Bachiko that Iruma is human. His information about who knows is (critically) not up to date, but he believes she'll be only the fourth to know. He does give her the option to have her memory of that fact wiped if she's unwilling to stand by Iruma anyway, but there's never any chance she's taking that deal. There has to be some precedent here, I would think, or the demons who find out would be even more shocked than they are. In any event it's clear that the ones who are good at their core are willing to look past it in the name of loyalty.
The spotlight then shifts to the kids, and this is where it really starts to take on the air of a final episode. Azz has invited Iruma and Clara to a tea party at his house - which is every bit as ostentatious as Sullivan's. Clara is predictably too hyped to be at such an exciting new place, but Azz declares that it's water off a duck's back to him because the antics of a mere Gimel aren't enough to upset him. This sets off a rather hilarious skirmish between the two of them, which makes Iruma a bit uncomfortable. Not as uncomfortable, however, as the giant Iruma shrine in Azz' bedroom (which is a bit disturbing for more than just Iruma).
A big splash is made by Azz' mom, Amaryllis (Kakazu Yumi). We've seen her briefly a couple of times - enough to know that Azz is profoundly embarrassed by her - but this is by far her meatiest episode so far. She comes upon Iruma in hallway just as he's contemplating spilling the beans about his secret. It's understandable - Clara and Azz mean everything to Iruma, he loves them beyond all measure, yet he's keeping something of profound importance from them. It's a reminder than this is always hanging over Iruma's head, easy to forget because he's always so upbeat and cheerful.
Amaryllis is quite a live wire, up to and including dressing Iruma up in Azz' extremely embarrassing swaddling clothes. But I think the advice she gives the lad is sound. It's okay to have secrets - just because we love someone doesn't mean they have to know everything about us. She also tells him that if sharing his secret is so worrying for him, his friends wouldn't want him to do it anyway. The time will come when Iruma does have to come clean to these two, and not just these two - but I don't think that time is now. Rather, just telling them how much they mean to him is something that will make all three of them happy.
At this point the mixed messages really set in. We get a montage of the first three seasons that gets a bit emotional, and feels very final. But then we get a shit-ton of teasing. There's the next big arc, the Music Festival, which will be critical in getting the stragglers leveled up to Dalet. And there's a reminder that one of those stragglers is Purson Soi, who appeared in the very first episode (and possibly not since) but as far as I remember has not uttered a line of dialogue in the entire series. It all wraps up with the narrator's "we'll tell you that story another time" - which is pretty cheeky even from one of the cheekiest series around.
As I said, I think the odds are pretty good that story will be told in anime form. And I sure hope so, because Mairimashita! Iruma-kun is a series I hold in great affection. On balance this season wasn't quite on the level of the really marvelous S2, and the Harvest Festival arc was not among the show's best. But those are high bars by which to measure, and the season ended with a run of really outstanding episodes. The secret is really out now, and Iruma-kun isn't such a shounen stealth bomber any longer - it's starting to be grouped with the giants of the demographic, as well it should. A more likeable and versatile shounen is hard to find, and this adaptation has really elevated the material in a wonderful way. Here's hoping we get much more of it, and sooner rather than later.