Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle ?
A few weeks ago I questioned whether or not the demons realized that Syalis was their captive. Well, this week we get an even more pressing question: does the princess realize that she's been captured and that she hasn't just moved to the Demon Castle? I suppose that's not much of a question when she flat-out says that she's “going home to the Demon Castle,” but at this point you have to wonder whether or not she's going to be willing to return if Dawner ever manages to reach her place of supposed imprisonment.
In any event, this week's episode is unusual in that it only has a single storyline: Hades, the younger brother of Poseidon, has kidnapped Syalis away from the Demon Castle and taken her to the (Former) Demon Castle. He thinks that this is the absolute perfect ploy to wrest control of all demons away from Twilight, but regretfully (for him), this supposition hinges entirely on Syalis being a much more typical damsel in distress than she actually is. Not that Hades notices that she's busy dismantling his traps to make a new bed or destroying his gaudy, tasteless wardrobe for the same purpose. Twilight may not be the world's best demon king, but he's lightyears ahead of Hades when it comes to seeing things that are happening under his nose.
The focus on a single plotline this week does give the show a little more time to play around with the particular circumstances that Syalis finds herself in. Since our girl's a sound sleeper, she completely misses the part where she's kidnapped from her kidnappers and transported to the (Former) Demon Castle, so the first thing she knows, she's waking up in a room that looks like a post-apocalyptic version of her own-, er, her cell and is back to having crummy bedding. (Hades? Ker, Ber, and Rus? Ignored.) At first it looks like we're just going to get a rehash of the opening episodes, but her new residence is far less populated than her regular one, and one of those living there is Hypnos, who describes himself as the embodiment of drowsiness. He's basically Syalis' perfect man: he sleeps twenty hours a day and is an expert in sleep science. (Sorry, Demons King and Cleric, you may have some competition.) What this means is that Syalis isn't on her own in her quest this time; she's got a helper who isn't a flying teddy bear and is an active participant in her schemes. Seriously, if this isn't true love, I don't know what is.
But as fun as all of that is, the best parts of the episode belong to the leaders of the Demon Castle. (Except Poseidon. When he found out Hades was involved he got the hell out.) From the frenzied screams as Syalis starts disrobing an unaware Hades on the demon world equivalent of a Zoom call to the sight of the Demon Cleric draped in teddy demons, the whole thing is a delight of a frenzied panic where not even the demons themselves are entirely sure why they're so frantic to get Syalis back. Because she's their captive? Because they're worried Hades won't take care of her? (Apparently he feeds her better, plus his castle is quieter.) Are they afraid she will do unspeakable things to Hades? (I mean, unspeakable things that he'd notice, so worse than stripping him.) Or maybe…they just miss her?
Funny as this episode is, it also is the one that most closely looks at what Syalis has come to be for the denizens of the Demon Castle. She's a pain in the ass, but she's now their pain in the ass, and it may well be that they're desperate to get her back simply because they miss her. The castle's too quiet and dull without her destroying things and killing people, there's no one to cuddle the teddy demons and eggplant seals, and life's just not as exciting if she's not around. Syalis may have been kidnapped, but I'd say she's found her true home among the demons – and maybe a piece of all of them recognizes that.
Or maybe they're just afraid of what will happen if she's let loose upon the world. That seems valid too.
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