Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun Volume 7: Irumean



Hearing only praise constantly can wear compliments and value thin, but I really do have to say that with each volume of this series I can’t help but find myself grinning the whole time, and Iruma-Kun volume 7 is no different. It really just feels like Nishi knows exactly what they want to do at each twist and turn, and they do such a good job of conveying that to its target audience. The best example of that is probably with the resolution to Ameri’s personality problem. Well, it was already resolved from the perspective of Ameri, but the culprit gets caught in this volume and spouts all sorts of stuff about how he wanted to experience his ideal version of Ameri…. which obviously doesn’t go over well.

Though it’s hardly that event alone that’s the “moral of the story” in this case. As much as Nishi provides the fact that it’s wrong to force your ideals and interests on another, it’s also equally a look at how you should value another person as well as yourself. Ameri herself feels those doubts at her core, as Alikred hints at before Ameri confirms. However, it’s when Ameri finds herself doubling back and worrying about her self image that the words of Iruma come to her and remove any such doubt. It’s a really great, but really simple conclusion to that whole arc about self image and self confidence.

In the same breath as praising Nishi’s narrative work from a position of positive reinforcement and encouragement, it’s also really easy to just enjoy the inherently silly nature of the story. It’s certainly comedic, but it never feels like it’s trying. I mean, Iruma goes through his evil cycle in this volume, we get a great deal of foreshadowing and symbolism, and still it finds countless moments to pepper in humor and jokes. Of course, I can’t just mention foreshadowing or symbolism without talking about it, so I’ll tip readers off to the biggest piece – Irumean and The Royal One. How did Iruma know about the Royal One, and so much of its history? The simple answer here is Alikred. Alikred is the one that created his evil cycle, and ultimately was the one that propelled Iruma towards the Royal One. Nishi is subtly smart about it with a pair of pages that allude to Alikred’s guidance, but then is pretty resolute in ensuring that readers understand the charm of Irumean and the success of Alikred’s plan was all Iruma himself. Really, that’s the typical one-two punch of Osamu Nishi through it all that’s least to Iruma-Kun volume 7. They start with background, like a toddler cobbling together a tower of Legos with the utmost focus behind their parents’ backs. Then once the tower is complete… they proudly announce its existence with a thousand-watt smile. Though, Nishi is no toddler nor is Iruma-Kun a tower of Legos, but I think you get the point.

Pointless anecdotes aside, Iruma-Kun volume 7 is a much needed departure from the contents of the prior volume, thanks to Irumean here. Having the confidence to speak Iruma’s mind, and the charm to make it work, Irumean lets Nishi explore the other characters and finally give them room to breathe in this star-studded cast. There’s lots of subtle pieces like exposing the bloodline abilities of characters like Agares, Lied, and Azz, but it also takes character development into consideration with cast members like Sabnock. It’s a real montage of a volume, but after the intense focus held by the prior, it’s a very welcome experience. After all, we knew that Iruma and Azz-kun were worth the Royal One, but we didn’t quite grasp how the other misfits fit into place.

Nishi seems to be very aware of the reader in that sense. Not that any author isn’t, but more so in terms of the more base reactions and feelings that a reader may have. “Oh, I’m starting to get a little tired of this”, “Oh, I’m curious about such and such character”, these are the sorts of thoughts that Nishi seems to be able to pick up on really well, and it’s quite the amicable nature to hold. Not that an author should always bend to the interests of the reader, but Nishi is very aware of those interests and is able to work around them without harming the story- evidently.

After all, just as quickly as Nishi goes through the Royal One opening, they’re equally quick to further Iruma’s image as the Demon King. The last thing that readers want in a lighter story like this is to be paraded from big arc to big arc, and Nishi respects that while still preserving their desire for the series. I don’t think that it makes Nishi an incredible mangaka by any means, but I think that there’s a great deal of unique work that Nishi is able to produce here that doesn’t quite find an equal in the rest of (popular) manga.

Add on top then all of what I’ve said previously, and then you can finally stack at the very top of the mountain Nishi’s art. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it as many times as needed- the flexibility of Nishi’s art is a lot of fun. Iruma-Kun volume 7 does a great job of illustrating that with Irumean, for example. Of course, Irumean looks different than regular Iruma (as he should), but the more interesting part is in an interaction with Kerori. One thing leads to another and, surprise, Iruma (in the form of Irumean) is a knight in shining armour that reaffirms Kerori’s choice to separate her personalities, and not be forced to show one over the other. Here, Iruma is clearly shown from Kerori’s perspective where his visage noticeably changes. The volume at large is full of pieces like this as well, whether they’re used for more key moments such as here, or for just simply playing up the humor of the volume.

Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun volume 7, much like the rest of this series, is a treat to read, and there’s a lot of reasons as to why. At the end of the day though, the biggest appeal of Iruma-Kun (and Nishi’s work) isn’t the pieces that comprise it, but rather the final product. It’s how everything fits into place and creates a manga that you can absolutely breeze through, appreciating everything it has to offer.

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