Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle – 02 – Her Own Little World

As the Hero Dawner and his party brave the labyrinthing dungeons leading to the Demon Castle, the Demon King shows up to taunt them. Dawner is convinced Princess Syalis is in appalling danger and terribly frightened, but we know better that the King is just putting up a brave front. In reality, the captive Syalis is an entity entirely separate from both man and demon, concerned only with her own comfort during her captivity.

As such, once she wakes up with a bug bite and realizes her cell is open to the elements, she determines she needs a mosquito net. Since she lacks a net, she makes one out of the perfect material: the boss of the ghost shroud she turned into bedsheets, who paid her a visit to give her a piece of his mind only to fall to her giant scissors. If you’re going to confront Syalis, you’d better not be made out of something she can use to make herself cozier!

With the net made, she must reach a point high enough above her bed at which to hang it so it will be effective. Again the means of achieving this objective walk right into her cell in the form of a cat with suction shoes. She “borrows” them (but never gives them back) and climbs up a tower outside her room at the right angle. This happens to be the location of a phoenix nest with the first eggs laid in a century, but she couldn’t care less—she’s just hanging her net!

Her next quest involves locating a pharmaceutical means of improving her sleep quality. When her very blatant efforts to swipe a bottle of sleep potion in the middle of an elder demon meeting come up short, she has the teddies break her out and explores the castle, eventually finding a grove of giant mushrooms that double as fluffy mattresses. Unfortunately, they are toxic, and she dies…again! Turns out she’s died a lot, and the Cleric is working overtime to impress upon her the importance of valuing her life.

Syalis’ attempts to secure sleep potions put her over the 100-mark when it comes to Demon Castle code violations, as recorded by the rule-obsessed leader of the Red Siberian guards. After reprimanding the guard who almost gave Syalis the potion without the Demon King’s consent, he returns her to her cell for a full inspection. When he tells her the hostage (i.e. her) is supposed to be “sleepless out of fear” of the king, her look is so spacy it’s as if she was briefly transported into the cosmos.

After her cell is organized and (most) of the stuff she stole returned, he proceeds to deliver a lecture on the Demon King and his castle. His droning cadence eventually lulls Syalis into acute fatigue, and when she realizes the Siberian’s mane is soft and fluffy, she falls right to sleep, utterly ignoring his pleas for her to be more afraid. It sure seems like a losing proposition, especially since much of the rest of the castle has given up. It’s Syalis’ world, and they’re just living in it!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

K: Return of Kings – 01 (Quick Glance)

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K: Return of Kings is an extremely stylish magical fighter where people drop trailer-style sound bites at each other while sword-dancing around a beautifully 3D rendered cityscape. It’s full of visual elegance and wonderful dancey/comfort jazz riffs and it has absolutely no weight or feeling of tension.

For context, I accidentally watched K: Return of Kings without knowing it was the sequel to a show RABUJOI reviewed back in 2012.  So I am certainly missing context. However, K:RoK has some pretty straightforward problems…

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The episode opens with a fight between the 3rd King (Red) and the 4th King (Blue) and their clans. It introduces about 12 characters, what I presume are some ranks and relationships, and sets off scattering those characters around the city in lengthy one-on-one fights.

Aside from the female character, who gets several half-sexy/half-awkwardly rendered crotch and boob shots, many of the characters look the same. e.g. The blue King & Captain both wear glasses and a similar uniform and are only identifiable because the Captain has throwing knives and fights the red guy on the skateboard…Right off the bat, I don’t even know who anyone is unless they are holding a specific weapon.

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You may like it if: you want high production values production values and can turn off your brain. K:RoK isn’t Fate stay/night visual quality, but top-shelf for tv.

You may not like it if: the lengthy lightsaber duel between Anakin and Obi’won in Star Wars EPIII bored you with it’s flashing, highly polished, lengthy emotionless grind. K:RoK’s pretty flash and explosions becomes dull if there is no tension or moments of rest for the action. Likewise, a giant, highly-detailed cityscape does not immerse you in a space, if you have no idea who anyone is, or why they are acting so strange.

 

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In closing, K:RoK feels like an action packed trailer as a full length episode: all the snappiest dialog and explosions and fights are on display without any of the ‘boring’ dialog between characters that would make the world feel lived in and the relationships real. When Dialog and moments of pause do creep up, its mostly sloppy exposition and unnatural feeling character re-introduction.

It’s pretty, it has boobs and crotch jiggle, swooshy magic attacks, and is unoffensive. If you watched the original, or plan to go back and watch it first, you may even get something out of it. Just not enough here for me.

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