Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun!is an isekai anime series, but its themes go much further than simple escape or fantasies of power. The story of Iruma-kun! is primarily about the strength of friendship, the importance of a new family, finding a place to call home, and even seeing past outward differences to truly understand others.

In Iruma-kun!'s third season, Iruma Suzuki befriended the unpopular, mysterious Naphula the Silent and even learned to comprehend Naphula's gibberish speech. Iruma embraced Naphula as a friend when no one else did, perhaps reminding fans of Chewbacca the Wookiee pilot in Star Wars. He, too, was initially perceived as a thuggish brute, while only Han Solo understood who he truly was.


Han Solo and Iruma Suzuki are Able to Overhear Their Friend's True Thoughts

Iruma-kun!: How Naphula the Silent Became Anime's Cutest Chewbacca_0

Naphula the Silent, a small Babyls student, initially seems to have no connection to Chewbacca. Neither does Naphula carry a bowcaster around, threaten to rip people's arms off, or carry a pilot's license. But what matters is what these characters are like on the inside, not how they appear to others. Chewbacca and most other Wookiees are pleasantly surprised any time a human or other alien can understand them, let alone respond in the guttural Wookiee language, as they are viewed as either frightening, incomprehensible brutes by most others or slave labor in the eyes of the Empire. Similar to the three monsters in the Geonosis execution arena, Chewbacca was chained up as an execution monster at an Imperial base in Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018.  Chewbacca was just a wild animal in the Empire's eyes, but Han Solo the empathetic rogue hero literally spoke to Chewbacca on a deeper level.

Han Solo could understand and even roughly speak the famously indecipherable Wookiee language, and that immediately forged a friendship between the two of them. Ever since then, Han has been one of the galaxy's few people to understand and accept Chewbacca for who he was, all while Imperial officers called him a "thing" aboard the Death Star. Even Princess Leia mocked Chewbacca when they first met. It must have been lonely for Chewbacca, never being appreciated or even understood in his words or intent, but Han Solo changed all that.

The same thing is currently happening to Naphula the Silent, a peculiar student even by Babyl's standards. Due to their offensive odor and incomprehensible, grunting speech, Naphula was extremely unpopular and alone until they met Iruma and decided to collaborate. To access the Seed of Beginnings, the two of them even impersonated a shojo manga story for Toto the genie. When Orobas Coco duped Iruma with ominous illusions, a furious Naphula attempted to strike Orobas in Iruma's defense. Most importantly, a post-credits scene showed Iruma actually comprehending Naphula's peculiar speech, which was a significant development for both of them. 


When Genuine Comprehension Leads to Friendship and Found Families

Iruma-kun!: How Naphula the Silent Became Anime's Cutest Chewbacca_1

Iruma's newfound understanding of Naphula's speech forges a clear connection between those characters and the Han Solo/Chewbacca duo, but it also connects Naphula to other anime characters. Recent anime series, more than ever, emphasize the bonds of family, adopted families and friendship, all of which make these anime characters happier and stronger. Spy x Family is similar, with the canine Bond, a gifted Great Pyrenees who can see into the future. Bond was mistreated by Ostanian terrorists as an unthinking brute and a tool, but Anya recognized him as an intelligent, needy creature long overdue for a new home. Bond's true feelings and abilities were unknown to Yor and Loid until Anya spoke up for him. 

Even the gory Chainsaw Man anime, to a lesser extent, does this, with Denji and Power understanding each other as half-other antiheroes who don't truly belong in either the devil or human worlds. They didn't get along at first, but as rejects and devoted pet owners, Denji and Power came to understand and relate to each other, and they began to speak each other's language. Tolerance, empathy, and community tend to triumph over hatred and violence in today's anime world, and if Western anime fans can connect that to more familiar material like Star Wars, all the better. After all, these universal themes transcend fantasy, sci-fi, anime, and cinema.