What’s the Story?
A good night’s sleep is really important. So when the princess of the human realm, Sya, is kidnapped by the Demon King of course her top priority is sorting out her sleeping arrangements! Whether it’s raiding the castle’s treasure chests for special items or literally cutting down demons for materials, she’ll do whatever it takes to have the perfect night’s rest! The demons really have no idea what they’ve let themselves in for, honestly, I feel sorry for them.
Sometimes I see a comedy anime and my immediate thought is, well, that joke is going to wear itself out in no time. I mean, a show about a princess trying to get a good nights rest in a demon castle? How many jokes can you really make out of a premise like that? Turns out quite a lot actually, twelve episodes worth at the very least. I initially skipped this series when it first started airing, but a couple weeks later I started hearing good things about it and so I decided to check it out. I haven’t looked back since. I love this show, it had me laughing each and every week and was one of the shows I looked forward to most during Autumn 2020 when it first aired (and there were a lot of good shows in that season). Whether it was bopping my head along to the series’ opening or sitting in anticipation of the princess’ next crazy quest, this show is an absolute blast from start to finish.
Really this is a comedy of misunderstandings, featuring an eclectic cast of people each of whom all think in their own unique ways. The demons at least get a pass on this front because, well, they’re demons, there’s nothing that says they should think along the same lines as a human. So when they get confused by human behaviour or customs I get it, they have their own quirks and tendencies that make them all lovably odd. The character that worries the me the most is the princess because, well, her thought process is so bizarre at times. I’ll state it again for the record, the central premise of this show is that the princess has been kidnapped by demons and her first concern is for her to get a better quality pillow?!
Maybe it’s her sheltered upbringing, maybe it’s the fact that most of the other human characters we meet down the line are also pretty odd, but sometimes I just don’t get this princess. And that’s what makes her so funny! It’s a two fold punch really, you’ve got the strange way that the princess twists logic followed up by her sheer resourcefulness to get stuff done. Take for example her pillow, any normal person coming across a haunted shroud would at least be hesitant, not the princess, no. She immediately identifies it as a necessary material for her upgraded pillow and proceeds to chop up them up for parts! This princess’ handicraft skills are next level, she can make anything out of anything, demon quills, teddy bear fluff, demonic tree stumps you name it!
What makes this even funnier is all the reactions of the demons trying to cope with a princess who not only doesn’t follow the rules, but doesn’t even know they exist! That’s what I mean when I say this is a comedy of misunderstandings. You’ve got the princess misunderstanding her situation, and basic logic, and the demons misunderstanding human nature and culture. They just compound one another until hilarity ensues. Now none of this would really prevent the comedy from growing stale over time, and maybe for some people it does, but what saves it for me is that it knows when to change things up. The series keeps introducing new demons and new locations, whether we’re exploring different parts of the castle, other castles or even back in the human world every once in a world. It gives us new situations to play with and with new demons added to the roster we get new personalities thrown into the mix.
The final cherry on top for me is just how loveable these characters are. Yes the princess is an oblivious force of nature and can be quite the terror to the demons around her, but she’s never mean about it. She’s just doing what she wants to do and doesn’t think things through. The demons likewise are all adorable dorks in their own way, the Demon King especially. You can really feel the bond that forms between them and the princess and they do actually manage to have some fairly deep moments later on. I just love all these characters and I would quite happily spend the rest of my days with them, how about a spinoff? ‘Sleepy Reviewer in the Demon Castle’ anyone?
In the end, Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, is a show that’s a lot of fun from beginning to end. With a loveable cast and one crazy misreading of a situation after another it’s packed full of laughs and people I could spend all day with. The constant editions to the cast and the changing location help to keep things feelings fresh and made this one of the surprise hits of Autumn 2020 for me. So, if you’re not feeling too sleepy yourself why not check this show out? As for me I think it’s a good time for a nap, now, where did those demon teddy bears go?
Chris Joynson, aka the Infallible Fish, is a writer, blogger and lover of animation living in Sheffield. The blog updates every Friday or you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisGJoynson.