Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle – 1st Episode Review
Synopsis: Syalis is a princess. A really cute one. When she gets kidnapped by the Demon King as a hostage, she’s stuck in a castle full of demons, waiting to be rescued by her knight in shining armor. So what does she do? What any of us would. Take a nap—on a pillow she fashioned from her Teddy Demon guards. Duh. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle’s primary appeal is its adorably designed titular princess. This is clear from how near every other aspect to the story feels contrived, so as to ensure our cute princess Syalis can engage in all manners of ‘adventures’ while remaining ‘captive’ in the demon king’s castle. For example, the princess’ accommodations are shown to be decently luxurious, with fancy well-balanced meals yet when it comes to the sleeping arrangements the Demon King inexplicably skips on the bill. Why? To ensure Syalis has reason to explore the castle for better accommodations. It’s a small issue, yes, but nonetheless an early example of how things are framed as needed for the sake of the comedy rather than existing in harmony with everything else in Sleepy Princess’ world.
Tom: There’s definitely a lack of internal logic to the way the Demon King treats the princess. Why feed her well if you’re going to have her sleep like a prisoner? It’s not like he can’t, as Syalis finds everything she needs to improve her sleep within the Demon Castle itself! We can’t seem to generate comedy without making the Demon King, and his army of goons, contradictory in their approach to keeping our Princess as a prisoner. Sure, sometimes you need that for comedy’s sake, but when it’s this apparent this early on, it makes Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle feel pretty lazy and low effort. It’s a potentially easy fix too; just have the Demon King offer sub-par accommodations all around. Because it’s so easy to find this particular logical inconsistency, it then feels like thought hasn’t really been put into the setting or its characters.
Linny: The entire show is pure sugar, with everything being colourful and bright in appearance and nothing truly tragic or serious ever happening onscreen, despite the show’s insistence that this kidnapping is a most serious matter. All the demons are clumsy or cute and kowtow to the princess quite easily, despite her being a hostage and far smaller than most of them. She is able to do whatever she wants, including using the horns on a much larger demon to somehow sand down the edges of a coffin or destroy a shield in clear view because it’s all just supposed to be cute and funny.
Tom: Ultimately my biggest issue isn’t with the lack of internal logic, but rather just how low energy the whole show is. It’s definitely way more a straight Slice of Life series than anything else. So much of the show’s comedy is mild, if not outright dull at times, with the series only really revving up in the episode’s final minutes. It doesn’t help matters that while the show isn’t nearly as one note as some anime comedies can be, it’s surprisingly repetitive still, wearing down a number of already lukewarm ongoing jokes in this episode alone. The show isn’t bad, let me make that clear, but it’s just as lethargic as its main character, and my money is on this being something exclusively for slice of life fans rather than audiences seeking Fall’s next stellar comedy.
Linny: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is clearly aimed at those who love low key stories that feature cute designs and characters and really toned down humour. The princess herself constantly talks like she could fall asleep at the drop of a hat any moment and that vibe extends to the show itself. If you’re searching for something to zen out to, something that has a very simple and sometimes even contrived concept that’s filled with all manners of harmless antics and a cute cast, then Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is definitely a must try. On the other hand, anyone seeking an energetic comedy or more eventful slice of life beyond a princess’ quest for more sleep can easily give this a miss.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is available for streaming via Funimation.com