Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.
Maou-jou de Oyasumi (魔王城でおやすみ, Sweet Dreams in the Demon Castle – Sleeping Princess) by Kumanomata Kagiji (熊之股鍵次) is kind of amazing. Basic descriptions and a few of the pages I’d seen misled me heavily into thinking this was a purely cute manga about a demon princess finding places to nap. Instead it’s–
Actually, scratch that. It’s still about a demonic princess finding places to nap, there’s just so many more ways “demonic” applies than I was expecting.
Maou-jou de Oyasumi is basically a comedy manga that takes place in a kind of standard fantasy world. The main draw of the series is probably how beautiful and cute the protagonist, a human princess who’s been captured, is. She has an eye-catching and extremely pretty design with literal stars in her eyes, and most of the time I saw pages from this manga they were pages of her just being cute. Little did I know she’s actually quite horrifying. The true “appeal” of this series, and the main source of humor, is how this callous and genocidal princess tramples all over her captors in the single-minded pursuit of comfort and rest. It’s amazing how none of that is me exaggerating.
The manga begins with Princess Aurora Suya Rhys Kaimin (オーロラ・栖夜・リース・カイミーン, which has various references to sleeping, such as Aurora being “Sleeping Beauty”) having been kidnapped from the human kingdom and brought into captivity in the demon kingdom. The humans are distraught, the Hero starts a quest, and the Princess…the Princess could not possibly care less.
And so, she determines to become the best at sleeping there is.
At any cost.
After obtaining the keys to her own cell through nefarious means, most chapters of Maou-jou de Oyasumi feature the Princess roaming the castle, deceiving its guards, and using demons’ bodies (or body parts) as materials or tools to gather materials so that she may fashion together things like pillows, sheets, bedding, and a variety of other comfort-objects and devices. Or she’ll obliterate an entire race for some face-care products. She is violent, murderous, and terribly frightening.
She’s usually not expressive throughout these acts, also. She’s not emotionless, really, she’s just typically unconcerned with how much damage she does to the people and things around her, up to and including the taking of life. To be fair, though, everyone and thing that she kills is capable of being revived, including herself.
So that makes it a little better…I guess.
Honestly I just kind of stared in awe as I read most of this manga. The Princess is capable of some stunningly cruel acts without even flinching. It’s pretty hilarious, all told; just seeing such a small and pretty girl commit atrocities. It’s also funny should she ever get caught in or after an act and scolded.
While this isn’t exactly one of the funniest manga I’ve read, I have to give this series my high recommendation simply for the sheer depths of depravity to which its protagonist will sink. She doesn’t care about being saved. She doesn’t care about her royalty. See that cloth crown she wears? She has it since she casually abandoned her real one as it was uncomfortable. She doesn’t recall the names of heroes (in fact, she delays their progress several times, and the Demon King does more to help the incoming hero than she’d ever do). She seems to not care about others unless its for the explicit reason of self-benefit. She is described once as a “villainous princess”. Accurate.
It’s also hard to not admire how skilled and in some cases powerful she truly is. As I said, this series is kind of amazing.
Cute, cunning, cruel, and horrifying: that’s the Princess of Maou-jou de Oyasumi. Good manga!
Tomorrow I’m reviewing something completely different. Thanks for reading. Until then~