Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle ?
If you ask my father, all dentists are “cursed.” He and Princess Syalis have a lot in common on that front, albeit for different reasons, because Her Highness in no way wants to go see the Demon Castle's Cursed Dentist to deal with her cavity. And if she has to see him, couldn't he just treat her cavity without looking in her mouth? The whole sequence is utterly ridiculous and stands out even more because it forms the middle segment of an episode otherwise devoted to Dawner and his misadventures in interacting with and trying to rescue the princess. Also it confirms what many of us probably believed as kids – that cavities are caused by mean little fairies. You just can't trust the fey.
In some ways the Cursed Dentist story is a return to the basic format Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle used to take – a short, self-contained slice of weird life in the castle. But it also fits the trend that we really started to see last week when Hades re-kidnapped Syalis and the rest of the demons freaked out: despite her being their prisoner, the demons have all really come to care for the princess. Goblin and Quilladillo holding her hands when she was in pain is kind of adorable, as is all of the castle's inhabitants crowding the operating theater when they hear that the princess is deathly ill. (We also get our glimpse of Cubey, Syalis' doppelganger. Whether or not her plotlines will come in remains to be seen.) Even the Cursed Dentist is concerned about Syalis – she's really made herself a part of life in the Demon Castle.
Of course, to at least one demon, she's become something…more. Demon Cleric was definitely showing signs of becoming just a little more interested in Syalis than he perhaps ought to be last week, and that's basically confirmed in this episode. The moment when he puts two and two together and realizes that the princess' childhood friend/fiancé D-whatsis and Dawner the Hero are one and the same – well, if Dawner were more psychically perceptive, he'd be grateful that it was Fire Venom Dragon who came out to fight and not the Demon Cleric. That Fire Venom Dragon made it back at all from his battle is actually pretty impressive, what with most of the other bigwigs princess-proofing his gear (and thus rendering it useless in a fight) and, more importantly, Demon Cleric casually tossing a heavy-duty bomb in to take care of any pesky rivals who may be on the field of battle. It's always the mild-mannered ones who have to watch out for…
Though the funniest part of this episode hands down is the first section, where Syalis recounts her nightmare. The whole mess comes about because of the world's dinkiest portal spell (did they really think they could haul the princess through that thing?) and Dawner reaching through to poke her repeatedly in the head, which apparently stirred up some terrible memories, memories of a boy whose name was…was…was…uh…D-whatsis? Something like that. In all honesty, he seems like he was a pretty typical moderately dumb kid, but Syalis found him both evil and exhausting. How dare he bring her flowers! Or take her on a picnic! The audacity! Sure, he wasn't good at doing any of those things, but still. By the end of her recitation, it's clear who the real monster is, and despite the gravitas and horror with which she recites her tale of woe to the demons (who just want to drink their celebratory tea and are definitely feeling a little sorry for D-whatsis), it sure isn't her. (Speaking of voices, while Inori Minase is doing a wonderful job as low-energy-yet-menacing Syalis, I'm also really enjoying Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Twilight. No one can make weird squeaking sounds like him, and it really adds to the character.) It's clear that Syalis was always a better fit for the Demon Castle than the human world, and this is one show where her very nature as a destructive force makes it easy to see why the demons like her so much – not only does she fit right in, she's more demonic than the actual demons.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is currently streaming on Funimation.
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