In most fairytales, especially their “Disney-fied” versions, it is typical for the princess to be captured by the great evil, only for her to be rescued by “Prince Charming.” However, it is only natural for the princess’s stay in the evil castle to be less than comfortable.
Based on the manga by Kagiji Kumanomata, Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle follows Princess Syalis as she ventures through the Demon Castle in search of materials to improve her bedding so she can get a good night’s sleep. Despite Twilight the Demon King’s best efforts, he and the rest of the demons in the Demon Castle are unable to prevent the princess’s hijinks for a myriad of reasons. The princess’s wanton murder of the ghost shrouds in order to use their bodies for bedding has even caused some of the demons to fear her.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle has an absolutely hilarious premise that never wears out its welcome. The increasingly mischievous adventures of the princess keep each search for a proper rest unique. The inventive designs for each demon, along with the performances of the voice actors, create some brilliant comedic moments. The art style and animation from director Mitsue Yamazaki (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) and studio Doga Kobo (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, The Helpful Fox Senko-san) give Sleepy Princess an innocent atmosphere despite the primary setting being a demon castle. The art style only becomes sinister when the princess turns to violence to achieve her goals (the poor ghost shrouds never stood a chance).
Because of the odd innocence of many of the demons residing within the castle, it is hard not to root for them at times. I almost felt bad for them because of all the trouble the princess is causing, but then I remembered that this all wouldn’t have happened if the Demon King hadn’t captured the princess in the first place.
The English dub by Sound Cadence Studios, with ADR (automated dialogue replacement) direction from Amber Lee Connors (Gleipnir) and script writing by Leah Clark (Sk8 the Infinity, Wandering Witch), fits the tone of Sleepy Princess perfectly. Kira Buckland’s voicework as Princess Syalis often makes the princess feel more demonic than the demons, with the cute, but snappy, voice perfectly matching the sweet facade the princess gives off. In comparison, most of the demons feel benevolent rather than malevolent despite them being demons, with the most obvious examples being Ben Lepley as Quilladillo, Morgan Laure as Harpy and Robbie Daymond as Hypnos. With that said, I have to give a special shout out to Howard Wang, who voiced the Bigwig Penguin, as he had some of my favorite line readings of the entire show.
However, the stars of the show are easily Alejandro Saab as the Demon King, Mike Haimoto as the Demon Cleric and J Michael Tatum as Great Red Siberian. The chemistry these three have with Buckland made me die of laughter whenever they were on screen. The entire cast did a phenomenal job with the dub, constantly bringing me to tears due to the hilarity of their performances.
If you need a cute show that will have you laughing constantly, then Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is absolutely the anime for you. I don’t think I’ve laughed quite so hard in a long time. I cannot wait for the second season later this year. You can watch the first season subbed and dubbed on Funimation.