OP: Kaimin! Anmin! Syalist Seikatsu 「 快眠! 安眠! スヤリスト生活」 by Minase Iori
「眠れぬ城の姫」 (Nemurenu Shiro no Hime)
“Sleepless Princess of the Castle”
Episode 01 of Maoujou de Oyasumi is an adorable, funny introduction to Princess Syalis’ dilemma of trying to sleep in the Demon King Twilight’s fortress. It manages to play around with fantasy RPG conventions in a way that’s actually hilarious by not trying too hard at being subversive as Syalis takes a lackadaisical approach towards undermining Twilight’s authority for the express purpose of getting some shut-eye.
One thing that makes Maoujou de Oyasumi a worthwhile show to give a shot is how amusing it is to follow Princess Syalis. Her one-track-mindedness makes it hilarious to see how she’ll solve personal problems based on what her gut instincts tell her. Instead of being overly rebellious or overly demure, she’s ruled by her impulses, and it shows when she’ll think of off-the-cuff methods for how to get exactly what she needs for the time being.
In one moment, she’ll take a butter knife to try to murder teddy bear demons, but then settle for the easier route of combing their fur for plushy material in exchange for access to the keys out of the cell. But rather than using it to book her immediate escape, she uses her first connection merely to gather materials for a better sleeping arrangement. And with her access to the rest of the castle, she’ll fearlessly smash priceless relics, pawn off her own crown in exchange for massive Clock Tower scissors, and maim her demon guards to build herself the perfect bedroom.
The tropes borrowed from other fantasy games and novels are pleasant as well because it uses what we’re familiar with from fantasy properties and pokes fun at how they can fall apart at an instant with modern ingenuity. While Princess Syalis is unfamiliar with the hero Dawner that she learns is out to rescue her, she ends up helping him out simultaneously by smashing the trap shield that she needs to help fortify a floating bed for herself. It makes it all the more humorous to find out this information during a conversation between Twilight and some demons while they are unable to hear the sounds of Syalis destroying said shield. She even gets a piece of the action by murdering an unsuspecting cloth demon to use his pelt as a cozy sheet for her bed.
And because your standard “Hero saves Princess from Demon King” story needs to have quest markers, Princess Syalis’ goals for the episode are all fashioned to be her own quests. It makes it pretty effective in playing on the idea of what we’d imagine Princess Zelda or Princess Peach would have to contend with every time they’re held captive by Ganon and Bowser respectively. The princess’ safety in captivity is always necessary, but what pain-in-the-ass ordeals would the princesses themselves face while waiting for Link to finish sand-seal surfing in the Gerudo Town or Mario doing relay races with Il Piantissimo. In this series, it makes sense that, although she is bored out of her skull, her top objectives are to try to gain optimal sleep to kill time and get rid of any distractions that prevent her from sleeping comfortably.
The low stakes missions also make it a pleasant watch because it doesn’t frame Princess Syalis as being in constant peril. Twilight is more inconvenienced by her attempts to escape and avoid his questioning by sleeping than incensed. He never tries to punish her for escaping briefly, provides her with surprisingly good quality food, and makes sure his demons can resurrect her if she ever dies in captivity. Her plummet into lava is hilarious because of her unperturbed reaction to falling, but also the demons hashing over whether death was the sleep she was looking for before getting themselves together to send her over to the Demon Cleric to be fully healed. And even then, dying actually helped her out because it gave her access to a casket that she fashioned into a functional bed.
Maoujou de Oyasumi has the makings of a fun, hilarious fantasy anime that tackles the different goals set by a Princess so unfazed by her captors that she’ll go out of her way to defy their authority to get some proper rest. I’m eagerly anticipating what else will come from this series given how nicely Episode 01 turned out.
ED: 「Gimmme!」by Oresama