「姫の迷いなき選択」 (Hime no Mayoi Naki Sentaku)
“The Princess` Unwavering Choice”
One recurring theme of the segments in this week’s Maoujou de Oyasumi is how much Demon King Twilight is involved in the Hero’s journey. In fact, this episode posits that the true threat to Twilight’s tyranny isn’t the noble Hero and his party, but the wavering wrath of Princess Syalis.
It’s cute to see that part of the Demon King’s plan is to convene with his council on ways to steer the Hero in his direction. Although fighting him was always in the cards, it shows compassion on Twlight’s end to portray him as someone who tries his hardest to get the hero closer to him by engineering items and tools the party could use to advance.
The direction that Maoujou de Oyasumi goes in to humanize the Demon King is an amusing aspect of the story as his sympathetic side is shown either when he’s distressed by the Princess’ misbehaving or when he is unable to get the Hero closer to his castle.
This effort is also shown while he’s trying to fall asleep to recover from his scissor wound. The stress of seeing his tools being dismantled gets to him enough so to give him fatigue, and it’s amplified even further when Syalis uses her off-the-cuff, ineffective sleeping remedies. It also gets him in the right mindset of wanting to be comforted by his father, who used to calm him down and help him fall asleep when he was younger. It’s a small, vague detail, but it gives some extra development to Twilight that paints a clearer picture of his character as a sensitive soul outside of the malevolent facade he presents as the Demon King.
Any of the tools that the Demon King helped spearhead might have been dismantled by Princess Syalis to clean her sheets and get her to sleep, but Twlight’s father complex also bridges the gap in allowing the story to focus on Syalis’ relationship with her mother. This episode provided Syalis with more to work with too as she reminisces about how her mother used to dote on her.
Her mom appeared earlier in a memory that gave Syalis incentive to craft underwear in secrecy as to preserve her public image and avoid the scrutiny of her peers. However, when Syalis hears Twlight calling out to his father, she remembers the times that her mother used to comfort her as she pulled her into a deep sleep. While we get a ton of hijinks on Syalis’ end, it’s nice to see her get introspective as she recalls the connection she has with her mom and how she played a positive role in her upbringing.
But outside of the development we get from Twilight and Syalis, it’s yet another episode of Maoujou de Oyasumi that is hilarious to see in action. Seeing Princess Syalis ruin everything that the council is discussing as they bring up each artifact is funny in its own rite. There were some hilarious jokes in the middle as well with the homage to Polnareff’s “underwear” hand gestures from Stardust Crusaders and every one of the demons misinterpreting her sign language as a call-to-action for an unrealistically devastating counterattack against the Demon King.
The most hilarious section to me was when Syalis arguably becomes more effective in defeating the Demon King than the Hero. Her gut instinct to stab him in the back while he’s passed out was one of those golden opportunities you would have hoped had arrived in a video game or fairy tale. And then, in her bid to help him sleep and recover, her tormenting methods of making him sleep cause the Demon King to question whether she’s the true demon and if he’d be safer if he just threw her out. It’s the kind of humor that makes Maoujou de Oyasumi a treat to watch week-in and week-out.