REVIEW: ‘Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle,’ Episode 9 – “The Princess and Hostage Training Week”

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Princess Syalis looks on in shock as she tries to figure out her current situation.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is one of many Fall 2020 anime adaptations beefing up the roster this year. Billed as a slice of life, high fantasy comedy, Sleepy Princess continues to subvert the tropes of its genres with a healthy dollop of humor and solid animation. Thankfully,  Sleepy Princess episode 9 continues to build on all of that comedic goodness, making for one of the funniest episodes.

Sleepy Princess episode 9 opens on what is probably the most comical moment yet: Princess Syalis watching a Home Shopping network channel on the Demon Castle’s communal TV. Of course, it’s hilariously a segment about beds: perfect for the resident sleepless sleepy princess. Naturally, Syalis sees the bed of her dreams, a waterbed, perfect for a cool night’s rest. Of course, she has to have it, no matter what. With no hesitation, Princess Syalis picks up the castle’s fantasy landline phone and gets ready to eagerly order herself a brand new waterbed bed. All on Demon King Twilight’s dime, naturally. Things seem great until she learns that the Demon Castle is outside of the shopping network’s delivery range. There’s a pause, and then Syalis promptly smashes the crystal phone, shattering it in her rage.

Cut to the ever so charming Demon King Twilight, who’s just about had enough with Syalis, her bad moods, and her constantly killing of his demonic staff. Syalis has a not so shocking total of fourteen counts of vandalism, twenty-two counts of theft, and multiple charges against the castle’s denizens and general structure. Both he and the Council of Ten Elders feel it’s time for our good princess to have some rules imposed on her. Twilight’s plan of choice? A hostage training week to show the princess how to be a real captive in the Demon Castle! It’s got all the makings of a hilarious episode, especially when paired with the Princess’s new desire for a waterbed.

Almost immediately, Princess Syalis sets off on her quest of the day. Quickly, she heads past loads of demonic denizens only to get the cold shoulder. In fact, the demons are quick to turn away from her as she passes by, leaving her a clear path to the next room. Unbeknownst to the princess, the castle’s demons are supposed to ignore her as part of Princess Syalis’ training. However, they’re so used to Princess Syalis wandering the castle that they can’t help but notice her.  After all, she’s their charge, and they care about her quite a lot. But, orders are orders. Demon King Twilight said to ignore her, so ignore her every demon will.

Honestly, this really hits home as to why Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is so funny. The push and pull between Syalis, Twilight, and the Ten Elders is constantly enjoyable. Even more, so they’re all so earnest in their desire to be bad, yet Syalis has warmed their hearts enough that any attempt almost instantly gets foiled, largely by their own hands.  No matter how well they plan, she’s either a step ahead or will make a path on her own.

Sleepy Princess episode 9’s second third continues the Hostage Training Week plan. Only this time, Demon King Twilight and the Ten Elders are absolutely determined to finally teach Syalis how to be a proper royal hostage.  This, of course, means that they need a new plan. Ignoring her didn’t do much. In fact, it was an incredibly risky choice that leaves Twilight in a lurch. So, he reaches out to Former Demon King Hades, who quickly points out that Syalis has too much free time on her hands and might need a bit more work. Without any further hesitation, they assign Princess Syalis a tower of work, due one month from today.

However, Syalis isn’t afraid of some hard work. She’s done it before, and she’ll do it again, especially if it means she can get to sleep! Without any hesitation, she changes into a brand new uniform, heads to the mess hall, and sets to work, ready to tackle all of the “work” set before her.

Princess Syalis chases a few demons around the castle with her trademark scissors.

This is a truly shocking change for the demons. Seeing her in full-on Work Mode is a huge shock. Seeing her actually working is even more shocking! After all, Syalis has been quite the pampered princess thus far. Yet she seems rather determined to tear through the work handed to her in a single day, all for the sake of her precious sleep.

Comically, Princess Syalis’ work resembles summer homework, much more than actual paperwork. In fact, it closely resembles the homework given to elementary students in Japan during their month-long break. While some of the references might not be recognizable to a non-Japanese audience, the entire sequence of watching Syalis complete various tasks is so funny that it almost doesn’t matter if viewers understand the references. In fact, homework is homework!

Soon, however, the demons start to pity Syalis in an almost parental way. They’re quick to offer to step in and help her complete her “work” so that she can get some rest. However, it’s quickly revealed that the sleepy princess has some pretty grim tasks to handle. Instead of sculpting or doing math homework, Princess Syalis has been assigned a research project on the demon hides. Naturally, this leads to her chasing some of the demonic residents around with her trademark scissors. Thankfully, running around—and completing all of her assignments—is enough to tire Princess Syalis out so she can get her precious sleep. Honestly, it’s a nice change of pace from Syalis. Thus far, she’s been a pretty lazy character…unless she’s slaying demons for their item drops. Seeing her worth so hard -and knowing that she’s actually a pretty hard worker, when it comes down to it- is actually quite refreshing. It’s depth that we haven’t gotten thus far. It’s nice to get it, even near the end of this cour.

The final third of Sleepy Princess episode 9 puts a bookend of the Hostage Training Week plot. With two failures under his belt, Demon King Twilight feels less than stellar, especially since Syalis seems to keep outsmarting him at every turn. Despite her sleepy nature, the Princess continues to be one step ahead. Thankfully, Twilight sees his chance when some bandits invade the Demon Castle’s territory. The writing is on the wall: this is Twilight’s last chance to change Princess Syalis. So, purely out of desperation, Twilight decides to capture them and show the Princess how real hostages get treated. 

Things instantly kick into high gear when Princess Syalis decides to go all in and finally attempt to be a proper hostage. Syalis doesn’t hold back either. In fact, she gives the demons exactly what they asked for and acts genuinely scared. Naturally, the demons are quite upset. Seeing their Princess afraid—even though they asked for it—still stings quite a bit. The comedic twist to this entire scenario is that poor Princess Syalis really was trying to prove her merits as the castle’s Most Important Prisoner. It just so happened that she was a bit too good at the role.

Nine episodes in, and the gags are still working for Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle. In fact, they’re even more funny now that Twilight and the Ten Elders are being featured more. It’s nice to see Syalis’ life at the castle fill up with lots of enjoyable characters. It’s easy to see why she loves her residency in the castle.

Sadly there are only three more episodes left of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle. It’s hard to imagine how it will end. However, things are looking up for the final few episodes, especially if they’re as funny as Sleepy Princess episode 9 was. It’s hard to see this series ending with a “bad” episode, especially since the humor remains incredibly funny.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is streaming now on Funimation.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, Episode 9 - “The Princess and Hostage Training Week”
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    Rating - 10/10
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TL;DR

Nine episodes in and the gags are still working for Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle. In fact, they’re even more funny now that Twilight and the Ten Elders are being featured more. It’s nice to see Syalis’ life at the castle fill up with lots of enjoyable characters. It’s easy to see why she loves her residency in the castle… It’s hard to see this series ending with a “bad” episode, especially since the humor remains incredibly funny.