Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun Volume 8: End of Terminus



What keeps me coming back to this series, and is present in Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun volume 8, is undoubtedly the messages that Osamu Nishi is able to so effectively instill in this work. In a world where the temptation of possibility allows series to run rampant and off the rails in the realm of creativity, Nishi continues to wield the reins of Iruma-Kun with a great deal of care. Sure, going to school in the underworld might be pretty far away from reality, but Nishi’s sensibilities always stick close to home. Just look at the focus of this volume- the importance of teachers in a student’s life.

To that end, I really enjoy how Nishi always adds a new character to execute on those messages. It gives the narrative a clean slate to work off of, and allows readers to associate that message with the character. If you have too many aspects associated with a single character, their development can end up muddy. Because of that, the new teacher Shichiro Balam enters the fray as a foil for positive teacher-student relationships. It’s simple and effective, tackling several issues at once. The most relatable, in my case, is the struggle of studying. Iruma’s incompatibility with the more standard modal of studying is a large piece of his relationship with Balam. It helps expose Balam’s history to Iruma, creating a deeper bond between the pair, and Balam’s personal interests directly help Iruma with studying- in the form of picture books, in this case. It’s a great conversation about the individuality of both teacher and student, and the constant struggle to be understood. Nishi actually sneakily adds another piece to that with how students view Balam- closer to imposing figure of absolute rule (that loves petting students). In reality, it’s his appearance as a teacher and his own shortcomings that lend themselves to that sort of interpretation. Learning is not a one-way street, and just as much as Balam helped Iruma, the inverse was also true in this volume.

Though, Nishi isn’t as shallow a writer as to bring in a new character with Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun volume 8 and just leave them hanging. Right away Nishi establishes Balam as an old friend of Kalego (and Opera’s), brings them closer to the Royal One students, and has stepping stones set up for the character to follow for the foreseeable future. It’s a very strong base like this that allows Iruma-Kun so much creativity. It’s a towering structure- not a monolith, but something more like an ever sprawling vertical landscape, changing constantly. For example, remember Kirio from the Magical Apparatus Battler? Well, due to various (well-planned) circumstances, they reappear in this volume to drive the plot forward- yet again being the driving antagonist of this story. This happens, of course, in entirely different circumstances and outside of school jurisdiction this time. That latter point being surprisingly important as it really drives home Kirio’s presence as a series antagonist rather than one relegated to an arc.

Let’s continue on with Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun volume 8 though, and chat about another fun piece- staging! When you have a cast with such… strong personalities, it can be easy to lose some of them in the comings and goings of the series. Even further, it can be hard to create interactions between select characters- sometimes just because of existing dynamics, even. That said, this volume does two things to remedy that- both of which are quite fun. The first is to begin more strongly establishing cliques within the class. You see this with characters like Jazz, Lied, and (oftentimes) Kaim being grouped together. In this volume though, it’s more about the formation of a girls group between Valac, Elizabetta, Kerori, and Ameri. It’s a nice piece to take out in the volume that gives the girls a bit of a stronger voice, and like we see towards the end, allows them to find some more space from the usual pairings in the story. Conversely, though, Nishi also uses the lack of presence really effectively. After all, Allocer Schneider (the lion-faced boy) isn’t present for the theme park trip. It’s a really simple thing, but it adds a lot to the social dynamic of such a tightly-knit group.

The real star of the (next) volume though is Agares Picero, the fourth member of the Iruma group at the theme park. It’s a sentence that all but screams character development for the always asleep boy. After all, look at how Iruma has influenced fellow group members Sabnock and Asmodeus when they’ve been able to get time together. It’s really great work that see Nishi maximize the narrative potential of something so benign, despite following a pre-established convention within Iruma-Kun as a series. Seriously, there’s a meaningful foundation to each of these events that sees Iruma… encourage development for these characters through what can only be described as an ability to change fate. It’s strong enough that during the home visits made in this volume, Kalego specifically praises for Iruma for that sort of tenacity…. while also dropping some warnings for what will undoubtedly matter in the next volume.

Either way, I could prattle on about all the god that Welcome To Demon School! Iruma-Kun volume 8 provides, but any more would just be rehashing conversations from previous reviews (like this one of volume 7). Even as a re-hashing of everything I’ve watched in the anime, this manga remains a treat to read. Its earnest nature- coupled with Nishi’s great sense of humor- just never wears thin with me. It doesn’t go too crazy, digging a hole to the center of the earth in search of more detail, but neither does it rest on its laurels and force readers to meet it where it rests. It’s an incredibly easy to digest series that thrives when aiming for common ground- of course, with a devilish touch of creativity. Without that, we wouldn’t have near as much to look forward to in volume 9, would we?

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