It’s nice to have both of this (and last) season’s Shounen Saturday double-bill firing on all cylinders again. When a show is as inherently good as Mairimashita! Iruma-kun, you know it’s only a matter of time before any lulls blow through and all is right with the world. Few long-running series are as consistent as this one, and few are as structurally sound. The foundations of this series’ success are so rock solid that it always seems to right itself quickly from any rare stumbles.
Ultimately this story is about the bonds within the Misfit Class in the larger sense, and Azz, Clara, and Iruma especially. Perhaps one reason why the early part of the Harvest Festival arc wasn’t up to Iruma-kun’s usual standard is that it strayed from those themes, quite far in fact. But to be fair, it did have a rationale behind that, as these closing eps bear out. In order for those bonds to be reaffirmed, they had to be tested. And that test is still ongoing, I think, though obviously as far as the big three are concerned there was never really any doubt.
This war between Keroli and Camui (and really it’s Keroli) and Agares and Goemon is the apex of that test. Elizabetta with her “sexy” attack is just the latest salvo, but this really isn’t the kind of behavior the Misfits should be exhibiting. One way or another Iruma was going to put his foot down here, but events moved too quickly for him to have to make that decision. Once it was established that it wasn’t the real Elizabetta who crushed Lead’s heart like a grape, Naphula spills the beans about who was responsible (but only after Camui steps in to interpret – I thought Iruma had figured out their speech?). And Elizabetta realized that Clara’s lone jaunt into the woods could not have come at a worse time.
As for the villain of the piece, in a classic Iruma-kun twist it isn’t Orobas Coco at all but his Wormtongue, Ocho (Shin Yuuki). Orobas is pissed at the Misfit Class for always pushing him into second place – which spurs rumors that he’s a devotee of the “Second Faith” (I’m not sure if that was foreshadowing or a gag). But in truth he went into the festival planning to win it fair and square, and it’s Ocho who put some kind of enchantment on him to make him use his “Trauma” bloodline ability on them. Just who is Ocho, and why is he doing this? Well – maybe he really is in the Wormtongue role, and doing this on someone’s behalf.
Puppet or not, Orobas’ ability has put Clara in a real pinch. This scene was legit painful to watch, because Clara is such a sweet and simple child. It was bad enough seeing Iruma put through the wringer, but Clara isn’t Iruma – she pretty much implodes as soon as “Iruma” starts exploiting her worst fears about herself and how others see her. Iruma is able to ride in as her knight in shining armor because Keroli lends him her magical beast as a steed – though she tells Camui it’s because now Iruma and Lead owe her. I must confess she’s coming off as pretty damn unlikeable in this arc, and even if her assault on Agares is temporarily on hold, that certainly doesn’t change here.
We don’t see pissed-off Iruma too often, but making Clara cry certainly does the trick. I love it when this show unleashes its martial spirit in this rousing fashion – it’s pretty inspiring when Iruma falls back on Bachiko’s words and unleashes the flaming arrow of friendship to wreak justice and save Clara. Clara is of course heartbreakingly grateful, though I hope she isn’t a little scarred by this experience. As for Orobas, Ocho whips him into a writhing fury at being foiled (again) by Iruma, and whatever he’s about to unleash doesn’t look pleasant.
I guess, in the end, Iruma making that broadcast wasn’t such a bad thing after all, because it certainly led Azz to him. And in the nick of time, too – Azz is not to be outdone for loyalty to his best friends (and yes, that does include Clara too). He’s just as pissed to see Iruma under thread as Iruma was Clara, and he makes his displeasure felt quite clearly. As the narrator hints at it does seem like that was a disqualifying act – but then Orobas has certainly pushed the envelope with what defines an “attack” on a fellow student. I don’t think he’s getting the points for the Vase of Endings anyway though – something tells me he was hoist by his own illusionary petard on that score (pun intended).