HomeAnimeANIME REVIEW | "Princess" Threatened With Good Time "Torture"

ANIME REVIEW | "Princess" Threatened With Good Time "Torture"

ANIME REVIEW | "Princess" Threatened With Good Time "Torture"

When one seeks information from an enemy, the best possible means is via making someone break. This can involve a heaping of pain, heavy threats, and even the occasional use of water. But sometimes, it’s not the things that cause anguish that’d make someone talk; in fact, it can also be the opposite. ‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess, the latest anime from Pine Jam (Do It Yourself!!, Just Because!), takes that approach and brings it to the extreme!

Our poor victim in this anime is the Princess (Haruka Shiraishi), the leader of the Imperial Army. The Hell-hordes have taken her and her talking sword Excalibur (Chikahiro Kobayashi) prisoner, with their aim to find ways to defeat her kingdom. Leading this operation is Torture Tortura (Shizuka Ito), who seeks to use the most nefarious ways to make the Princess talk. And those ways…oh boy, are they quite deliciously evil!

And by “delicious,” I mean that in the most literal of senses, especially taste! It starts off small, with some buttered toast freshly baked. At first, the Princess is iron-jawed, not willing to break. But then, the more she sees how scrumptious this toast is, she begins to crack, until she can’t take it anymore! That’s when she gives off secrets, which will then be delivered to the Hell-Lord (Tessho Genda), who takes the info and, erm, really does nothing with it. The reason: every piece of info conflicts with important duties, such as training soldiers and **checks notes** watching Sunday anime.

Thus the process repeats, with more tasty things being offered like takoyaki, freshly-poured beer, and melted cheese. Other things such as playing video games, visiting a local theme park, and playing with cute fuzzy animals are also thrusted upon the unexpected Princess. Poor Excalibur, who must watch her wielder break every time, also must be subjected to these horrible trials, as he’s given a sharpening and sanding towards an inappropriate amount of pleasure. And then, there’s the Hell-Lord’s daughter Mao-Mao (Rina Hidaka), whose form of torture is just too horrific to even mention in this review!

Where ‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess shines is in its ways with the one-note joke. The premise for just about every bit is the same. Torture comes in, entices Princess, and proceeds to get info. However, it’s the punchlines of these bits that differ, bringing forth one unexpected gag after another. Whether it’s in the Princess’s mind over the tastiness of food or her face as she experiences warm cuddles from adorable animals, the jokes are laugh-out-loud funny. Perhaps even funnier is the Hell-Lord himself, whose reasons behind the info being useless being both stupid and side-achingly hilarious!

The biggest surprise is the sweetness showcased in this anime. Despite Princess being their prisoner, it’s clear that the Hell-hordes love having her around. Even Princess, with ball-and-chain on her ankle, is comfy making friends with the people her kingdom has declared an enemy. It brings to mind the mentality of Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle, a show whose heroine also delighted in her captive situation. (Methinks a crossover would be a hoot to watch unfold!)

Even as her kingdom tries to help Princess escape, she finds herself rather staying put. Of course, it doesn’t help that the knight they keep sending — one Louch Brittan (Daisuke Ono) — is a butt-faced uggo whose means of escape are rife with perverted undertones. So naturally, the Princess sends Louch off unceremoniously, with nary a Hell-horde or even Excalibur knowing he was ever present. It’s a repeated bit that keeps getting funnier the more raunchy the escape technique gets.

All of these moments of comedic goodness are captured strongly by Pine Jam. The visuals match well with manga illustrator Hirakei’s original pictures, down to even the giant drool drop that hangs below Princess’s mouth when something tasty arrives. It often takes a rubbery approach to the characters’ movements and expressions, feeling in spirit of a Saturday morning cartoon rather than your average Shonen Jump anime. However, there are frame movements that come off slightly jagged at times, leaving some scenes to feel like they were frantically animated.

Thankfully, the voice cast does a great job of hiding some of the animated bits’ more flawed parts. Shiraishi is a hoot as Princess, who goes from staunch leader into a cheery pool of silly in a blink of an eye. The same goes for Kobayashi’s Excalibur, who showcases a staunch difference in personality between heroic weapon and a defeated piece of steel whenever her wielder caves. Ito’s over-the-top Torture teeters between evil and good-natured, as her voice suits whatever mood the situation calls for. But it’s Genda’s Hell-Lord that often steals the show, as he delivers silly lines and dotes on his daughter with pure wickedness.

Composer Masaru Yokoyama (Tomo-chan is a Girl!, Joshiraku) brings a delightful score to the comedic moments, even throwing in a couple of cute sounds whenever the show aims to be endearing. Shallm’s “Massakasa Magic!”opening theme is a fun pop rock song that fits with the happy-go-lucky tone of the anime. Meanwhile, Leevelles’s “Ashita wa Ashita no Kaze ga Fuku” ends each episode with a bit of warmth and whimsy. (The visuals, which look like something out of a child’s picture diary, are equally just as sweet.)

‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess is the right amount of silly and feel-good. The setup for each episode may be similar, but it’s how they’re executed that makes the situation all the more surprising each time. Its appeal is fully appreciated, and there’s no amount of torture that can make this review change his mind over why ‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess is one of this season’s best watches. (Well, maybe a three-star Michelin steak dinner would make me whistle a different tune…)

Voice Acting:
Final Grade (not an average):

‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess can be viewed on Crunchyroll, and has been licensed by Crunchyroll. Episodes 1-8 were observed for review. Promotional consideration provided by Crunchyroll.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)