Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle ?
If ever a show was going to make me like a Christmas episode (which I generally dislike with a passion), it was going to be this one. Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle brings its anime adaptation to an end with a version of the chapter where Syalis, Demon Cleric, and Twilight make a brief trip back to the land of Goodereste so that the princess can retrieve her woolly unmentionables. (You may remember that we already had an episode about woolen underwear. Don't worry, the show remembers, even if the two guys don't.) That this happens at all is entirely due to Sya's only slightly underhanded method of writing a letter to Santa about how she wants to go home, which the demons completely misinterpret as her being homesick. It says a lot about how much they both like having her around and need her as a hostage that this totally freaks them out, especially since if they think back to their last trip to the human realm, they might recall that she showed exactly zero inclination towards staying with the humans.
Of course, that was just a random town and this is not only her house (castle), but her bedroom. We all know how much she loves beds, so if anything is going to make her change her mind about returning with the demons, it's probably going to be her big, cushy princess bed. That's why Demon Cleric brings along a special secret backup plan in the form of Cubey – when all else fails, he basically jettisons the succubus under the bus and hopes for the best. And of course it's Syalis' fault that things come to that point; she's thrilled to be back in her room not because she wants to stay there, but because she wants to show her new besties her photo album and her favorite dresses, and both of the guys are quite frankly too fond of the princess and curious about her to refuse, even though Twilight puts up a noble front.
That the anime planned to end here makes sense in a few ways. It is one of the funnier chapters, especially with the guys and Syalis trying to hide by all occupying the same suit of armor with the implication that Demon Cleric and Twilight are each maybe hopping a leg forward each while Sya mans the head from their shoulders. (Good thing she's tiny.) But it's also a chance for the princess to show how much she likes living with the demons and for her mother to show that, despite mistaking Cubey for Sya (although she may have realized what was happening all along based on her last words), she knows that her daughter is happy and having fun, and that as a mother, that's what she really wants for her. Which of course raises the possibility that she sent Dawner out to rescue Syalis because of his semi-incompetence rather than in spite of it. She clearly sees through the princess' Twilight “disguise” and nevertheless doesn't try to stop her, and since the demons recognize that Sya's clearly talking about them while the humans all look kind of blank when she starts singing the praises of her people, there's a good chance that her mom knows too. After all, wouldn't she know the kind of relationship Syalis has with her subjects and recognize that her kind words aren't about them?
Not that there's likely to be any serious or deep meaning here. At the end of the day, this is a comedy series above all else, and that it manages to get some more serious points in there as well is just a sign of how well its world-building works. Syalis really is happy in her new life as a captive (or “captive”) princess, she's made great new friends, and if Twilight and the Demon Cleric make it through her stay with their sanity intact, it will be a miracle. Plus now the teddy demons all have adorable and cozy wool undies!
So in the end, it looks like maybe Twilight did kidnap the right princess after all.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is currently streaming on Funimation. Save on Anime Streaming Subscriptions with Funimation.
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