Princess Syalis Is a Heroine We Can All Relate To!

Princess parodies may have been all the rage throughout the 21st century, but you've never seen one quite like this. Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is an anime comedy that explores what happens to a kidnapped princess while the hero is off trying to rescue her. However, Princess Syalis couldn't care less about being rescued. All she wants to do is get the most comfortable sleep she can possibly muster in her new castle. After all, what else is there to do when you are whisked away from your royal responsibilities and left alone in a nice room with lots of friendly demons as neighbors? Though Princess Syalis may have been kidnapped, she is no damsel in distress. In fact, the innocuous demon inhabitants of her new home soon become more like servants to her than captors.

Princess Syalis taking a snooze

My favorite thing about this anime is that it rips apart the conception that kidnapped princesses are helpless victims who can't do anything but sit around and wait to be rescued. Not only does Syalis enjoy the peace and quiet of her new quarters, but she is also very good at keeping busy. Every day of her captivity, she scours the castle for softer pillows and warmer blankets to give herself more a comfortable sleep at night, even if it means ripping apart the demon king's private arsenal of powerful weapons and relics. She has very little regard for anyone in the castle unless they are of use to her getting a more comfortable sleep. As a grown-up princess fan, I relate more to her struggles now than I ever could have before. In the first episode of the show, Syalis trades in her metal crown for a comfortable fabric one and uses the fluff from the teddy demons that serve her meals to give herself a softer pillow and obtains keys to leave her cell if she ever needs to escape. By the end of the season, she has every inhabitant of the castle wrapped around her little finger.

The comedic tone of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle reminds me of an older anime that I used to enjoy called Excel Saga. Princess Hyatt was my favorite character from that show, and I always wished she had been the protagonist instead of Excel. I finally have a show in which the low-energy purple-haired protagonist is the princess, and I could not be more pleased with it. Syalis even shares Hyatt's quirky habit of dying and coming back to life on a semi-regular basis. The sleepy princess's floor-length pastel lavender hair sectioned off with fluffy bows and her soft pink dress give her the perfect design for a glamorous and relaxing princess. The show plays into classic Japanese video game tropes such as playing victory music and unveiling an achievement banner when a quest is complete. The irony in this case is that Syalis's victories come from falling asleep on a warm comfy bed instead of defeating a powerful monster.

Princess Syalis

Syalis is an excellent example of an empowered modern heroine who doesn't have to sacrifice her femininity to have agency in her story. Instead, she uses it to her advantage time and again. Her captors treat her as an honored guest and are completely oblivious to the fact that she is taking advantage of them to help her with new sleeping techniques. They are so smitten by her cuteness and calming demeanor that all they want is to be friends with her and often forget that she is their prisoner. That doesn't necessarily make her good person, but it does show that it is possible for a princess to use her femininity as a strength instead of a weakness as Disney and other studios have been trying to enforce over the past few years.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is a light-hearted comedy for those of us who are tired of all the drama and problems in the world and just want to escape into our own happy dreamland. It is easy to relate to Syalis's desire to work hard all day so she can be comfortable and relax each night. I love how this anime flips common tropes like kidnapping princesses and dungeon-crawling heroes on their head. Though she isn't always the most generous princess, Syalis is also terrific example of how to take a seemingly bad situation and change it into something positive. I absolutely love her color scheme and design that makes her look like a soft dream of clouds and cotton candy.


PrincessContent said…
Hi there!
I just finished watching this and it was such a blast! So cute and so funny! Thank you so much for the recommendation!
At first I was worried that her quests for better sleep would grow old for me but the show kept on surprising me and bringing laugher and fun over and over again. It’s so much fun to see when someone takes such a simple premise and turns it into such a rich world.
I hope there will be a second season <3
Lisa Dawn said…
I thought the exact same thing! After one episode, I was like "Didn't they just use up all their ideas?" But they kept coming up with more surprises, such as how she knew the hero when she was a child and didn't like him, the rival demons, etc. I'd love to see another season!
PrincessContent said…
The manga is still going and there is 12 volumes and it seems they only went up to volume 6.
So hopefully we will get more <3

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