Iruma-kun is similar to the title character itself – it tries not to stand out, but it’s actually pleasant enough under that exterior.
Iruma-kun is a pleasant situational comedy, but it’s also full of language puns. As is my usual fare, I’ll try to dissect them as much as I can – chime in with any you think I’ve missed or ones that don’t hold up.
Note: I’m writing this up as of having watched episode 2, so there’s definitely going to be more puns later. If there’s enough time to talk about more of them later, I might get around to a follow-up post.
The Japanese name of this show is Mairimashita! Iruma-kun, right? Mairu is a formal word for “to go” or “to come”, a thing known as kenjougo which you use to refer to yourself in a humble manner. Therefore, translating it literally would be I’ve Arrived [at Demon School]! Iruma-kun. However, there’s one giant caveat – it’s written 魔入りました and not 参りました (the latter of which is the kanji for the kenjougo). The former means something like “the demon entered!” (although for it to be truly accurate, it would have to change a bit to become akuma ni hairimashita!) and is read the same way. We already know “the demon entered!” is a lie of a translation from the premise, hence the English translation of Welcome to Demon School! even though translating it back to Japanese would give you 悪魔学校へようこそ！(Akuma Gakkou e Youkoso!).
The title character
Iruma’s (入間) first name appears to be an anagram of mairu, regardless of whether you’re dealing with hiragana or English. I don’t know if that’s meant to be significant just yet, but we’ll have to see. It literally translates to “enter the room”…or whatever else you can make that character for ma become, since it can mean “time interval” if you read it as aida.
His surname is about as generic as they come in Japan, which makes it easy to disguise where he comes from…in Japan. I don’t think there are too many Suzukis in hell.
The hellraiser clock from episode 2 is my favourite joke from the series so far and that’s because it gets the spirit of the joke across without being clunky (“demon tea” is a bit straightforward, I think). Y’see, the demon tea and the hellraiser clock have the same pun and it’s a very similar one to the one in the show title – the character for “demon” (魔) appears in it, suggesting they’re not just any old items – they’re demonic items. The tea is matcha (powdered green tea) while the alarm clock is mezamashidokei.
The short segment with the scribbly artstyle just before the next episode preview is known as すきま (sukima), which is a word for a gap, crevice or something similar. However, since it’s filling time in the anime, you could essentially call it “filler”…
…but wait! That fiendish kanji also appears when the sukima is announced, so it’s actually すき魔…or it should look more familiar to non-Japanese-reading eyes if it’s written with katakana so スキ魔. The subbers at Crunchyroll don’t really bother with this one, but my own stab at making an English joke that worked in its place gave me the phrase “fiendish filler”, which I think has a nice ring to it (even though I’m not particularly partial to filler myself).
Sidebar: The best filler, to me, is “filler you don’t know is filler”, or in other words “filler that you can’t detect is filler”.
Outside that, Iruma-kun shows some good reaction faces and nice eye for comedic timing (plus very rare flashes of actual insights into demonology/mythology, if the name “Asmodeus” is any indication…).
Sidebar 2: Asmodeus is the demon of lust and one of the seven demon kings of hell.
…I speculate that’s the reason why Asmodeus has pink hair in this show (and seen as “hot” in-universe). Then again, the guy could just have pink to fit in with Clara and Iruma’s colour schemes of pink and blue, respectively…who knows? I don’t.
So, did you find any other puns within the first two episodes? If not, what’s your favourite joke from the show so far?