By: Thea Srinivasan
To anyone who thinks princesses are always spoiled, you’re not entirely wrong. Most of the modern world’s princesses are relatively unknown and they live peaceful lives. While we occasionally hear the story about a regular woman becoming a princess, we’re lucky enough to never hear about how princesses are kidnapped by other people. But when a princess ends up killing half of an enemy’s guard for her selfish needs, members on the kidnapping side would begin to think about her underlying motives.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle is about a princess who lives in an alternative universe and was captured by a demon king. While most princesses would be crying and pouting, this princess ends up feeling bored and decides to fall asleep while waiting for the kingdom’s main knight to rescue her. Although she’s bored, she has a difficult time trying to sleep. With her ingenious mind, she manipulates the servants in the castle in order to create the perfect apparatus for sleeping.
Personally, I find the princess to be quite manipulative and as she goes around the castle finding parts to make the perfect bed, she ends up interacting with several servants and finds ways to use them to make her perfect bed. She is not a kickass warrior, but rather is an apathetic, lazy person who gets what she wants. She is certainly not a brat, but she won’t care about the consequences she causes. But just like a video game, there are glimpses of her “leveling up” and taking on different roles similar to fantasy video games. Most of the demon servants have different forms that are similar to everyday objects such as teddy bears, cloth, etc. to animals and even to a human form. Each servant has their own personality and their reactions to the princess are hilarious to watch as her apathy and manipulative nature cause them to react in different ways. While the reactions are comedic at first, I find them boring by the time she faces the 9th or 10th new demon type.
The story itself is not bad, but I find myself bored after the first half of the volume and this isn’t something I would want to sit through. The only thing that makes me sit through the first volume is seeing the different types of demons that exist in this world. Unfortunately, the magic in the world bores me and the demon king himself is too overdramatic for my test. I find seeing the personality clashes of the demon king and the princess to be really funny as they’re exact opposites of one another, but that can’t be the only thing that keeps the story going. I’m someone who likes an interesting story regardless of how complex a plot is. But this tale leaves me wanting more from the creator because the plot and characters are too simplistic. Had the creator placed more focus on the setting, plot or even the character development for the tale, I wouldn’t have tossed the manga away after the first 50 pages. There is no balance within all of the elements needed to create a story and readers end up getting an instruction manual for a story instead of an actual journey.
There are hidden symbols that give references to several fantasy video games. I won’t list all of them, but there are nods to Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, etc. They’re worth looking for and add a sense of whimsy throughout the story. Plus, this gives a lot of people a chance to feel nostalgia as they travel back to their childhoods.
This tale is not worth reading as it drags on about how a princess can’t get enough sleep and how everyone else reacts to her decisions. The fantasy tropes are overused and the magic within the realm is pathetic. I’d rather spend my time just talking to the servants and getting to know them rather than even seeing the princess herself. Overall, this story is for the person who enjoys monotony and would rather see someone chuck some corn.