REVIEW: ‘Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle,’ Episode 1 – “Sleepless Princess in the Castle”

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Sleepy Princess

Kumanomata Kagiji’s Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle (hereafter Sleepy Princess) is one of many Fall 2020 anime adaptations beefing up the roster this year. However, unlike the more action-oriented fantasy titles this season, Sleepy Princess is here for folks who like a good dose of comedy mixed in with RPG-esque elements. Additionally, it’s also here for fans of the ongoing manga, which is currently being localized by VIZ Media.

Production is being handled by Doga Kobo, a studio known for 2018’s Anima Yell!, 2020’s Sing “Yesterday” for Me, and 2016’s New Game and New Game!!. Staff for the anime includes Yamazaki Mitsue (How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift?) as series Director, Nakamura Yoshiko (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) on Series Composition, Kikuchi Ai (Engaged to the Unidentified) on Character Design, and Nakamura Chieko as the Art Director.  Additionally, Hashimoto Yukari (Yurikuma Arashi) is composing the music for this series, with Shiraishi Yuika (Harukana Receive, Noragami) handling Sound Effects. Altogether, the staff is quite the team, providing a solid foundation for a well-handled adaptation of an on-going manga.

Sleepy Princess Episode 1, “Sleepless Princess in the Castle” is, for all intents and purposes, exactly what’s on the tin: Princess Syalis is restless, unable to catch a single wink in the Demon Lord’s castle. Moreso, she’s determined to get some rest, no matter what.

The story begins with the capture of Princess Syalis by Twilight the Demon King. It comes as a harsh blow to the United Nation of Gooderest, a kind that knew only longevity and happiness. Now, humans and demons can no longer live together. Peace can’t exist anymore. However, if the people of Gooderest want to see their precious princess returned, they must do one simple thing: surrender the entire kingdom to Twilight and his mighty forces. 

But…that’s not this story. 

Sleepy Princess

This is the story of a hilarious terror of a Princess who just wants a good night’s rest, no matter who she has to take down. No, this is the story of Princess Syalis and her quest for sleep. This is the story of a princess who’s honestly, kind of a terror. Until she gets to take a nap for once.

This episode of the anime has two distinct parts. In the first half of episode 1, viewers watched Syalis quest for a proper pillow. In the back half of episode 1, she searches for a nice, high thread-count sheet as the Demon King’s castle is a bit lacking in the bedding department. Filled with determination, Syalis sets off on a mad dash around the castle with hopes of getting a solid eight hours of sleep on softer sheets.

Sleepy Princess episode 1 is pure comedy, from start to finish, and honestly? that’s one of the best thing in a year like 2020. Sleepy Princess is the perfect antidote to everything occurring outside in the world at large. By and large, it’s a well-timed comedy that subverts tropes and playfully pokes fun at RPGs too. Moreover, the show successfully upends the “damsel-in-distress” narrative in favor of a princess who can handle things on her own. Even better, she easily outwits the demonic staff that make up the Demon King’s ranks at every turn.

Syalis is brutal too: when she’s determined, she can’t be stopped. When she needs to knit fluff, she doesn’t hesitate to steal some knitting “needles” a “quilladillo” demon. When the princess needs scissors, she bargains for a pair. She’s a ruthless ruler with a one-track mind that can’t be stopped by the Demon King himself. Truly, Syalis is a Princess for the ages.

In short, Sleepy Princess Episode 1 is a solid premiere episode for what seems like a genuinely hilarious series. Syalis is instantly likable, as are the denizens of the Demon King’s castle. If there’s space on your watchlist this season, consider Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle an anime that you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s perfect for fans who want a guaranteed twenty-four minutes of laughter each week.

New episodes of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle stream on Funimation every Tuesday.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, Episode 1 - “Sleepless Princess in the Castle”
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    Rating - 9/10
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TL;DR

In short, Sleepy Princess Episode 1 is a solid premiere episode for what seems like a genuinely hilarious series. Syalis is instantly likable, as are the denizens of the Demon King’s castle. If there’s space on your watchlist this season, consider Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle an anime that you shouldn’t miss out on. It’s perfect for fans who want a guaranteed twenty-four minutes of laughter each week.