The Sacrificial Princess and The King of Beasts: Episodes 1 to 3

In the fantastical world of The Sacrificial Princess, humans exist alongside fearsome humanoid beasts with equal sentience. The humans and beasts were at war with each other for a long time. However, about a hundred years ago, the previous Beast King made peace with the humans. They agreed to stay divided in separate countries. As a condition for peace, the humans were required to send a sacrifice to the beasts once every year. The ruler of the beasts would devour the sacrifice. Time passed, a new Beast King came to power, and the tradition continued. It is now time for the 99th sacrifice.

Episode 1: The Sacrifice and The Night of The Ritual

Sariphi is a scrawny girl who was raised by her parents as a substitute to protect their real daughter from ever being chosen as a sacrifice. When they heard the 99th sacrifice would be taken from their town, Sariphi’s parents gave her up freely. Sariphi discovered the truth about her upbringing on a stormy when she was a young child. This experience made her into a highly unusual girl. When presented to the Beast King, Sariphi showed no fear. In fact, she was quite impudent and carefree. To her, nothing was scarier than her parents’ cold stares on that stormy night. The King of Beasts? Not scary at all.

The bemused Beast King allowed Sariphi to wander the palace freely in the few days leading up to the ritual. He even took her outside of the palace with him on a few occasions. When the stormy weather upset Sariphi with memories of the past, the King comforted her. On the night of the sacrifice ritual, Sariphi was prepared to die by the King’s hand. But a lizard-like assassin from a rebellious faction snuck into the ritual chamber to kill both the girl and the Beast King. The lizard tried to stab Sariphi, but a mysterious man with horns took the blow through his own hand to defend her. Knowing that he failed, the assassin fled.

Turning to the man, Sariphi immediately knew he was the Beast King. Reluctantly, the King admitted that he was half human, and that he always turned into a human whether he wanted to or not on the night of the ritual. He never actually ate any of the human sacrifices. Instead, he would let them go through a secret passage. Then he would cut himself, scatter his own blood on the ground, and convince the royal retainers that he had done the ritual properly.

When Sariphi discovered all this, she lovingly told the King that he was brave and strong. The King embraced the girl and decided to change the world of the beasts forever. He told the court the next day that he was making Sariphi the new Queen. And after that day, the King called himself Leonhart, the name given to him by Sariphi.

I enjoyed this pilot episode quite a bit. The visuals are nothing fancy, but I still like the colors and character designs. The voice-acting is good, especially given that Sariphi is voiced by the popular veteran seiyuu Kana Hanazawa. I absolutely loved the intro song. Furthermore, the abundance of lighthearted moments made me smile. As for story, my main complaint is that first episode was a bit too rushed. What will the rest of the series be about? I suppose I’ll keep watching to find out.

Episode 2: Carpenter Bees and a Court Banquet

Anubis the Chancellor, along with all the royal senators, are opposed to the idea of a human Queen. They convince the King to hold a court banquet with many important political attendees. Hopefully, the backlash of negative opinions at the banquet will prompt the King to change his mind about the human girl. Sariphi is keenly aware that nobody approves of her and that the King must face constant criticism because of her. She wants to do something to help him, but can’t do much more than stay in the royal chambers and craft fabric flowers for decoration.

A few days later, at the banquet, Sariphi disobeys Anubis and the King, taking independent action. She helps serve the food to all the guests. For a short time, this changes the mood at the banquet to a begrudgingly positive one. However, a senator from the Reptilian State purposefully trips Sariphi with his tail, making her spill wine all over herself and the King. The atmosphere turns negative again. Enraged, the Beast King grabs the lizard senator and declares him disloyal to the crown. Just before the King’s giant claws slice the old reptile to shreds, Sariphi pulls on his arm to stop him. The King releases the lizard and the banquet awkwardly continues.

Once the banquet is done, Sariphi gloomily wonders if she’s nothing but a burden. But the Beast King finds her and takes her on a romantic flight on the back of his royal dragon. They fly to a cliff with a beautiful view overlooking the kingdom’s gigantic central tree. There, the King reassures Sariphi that he needs and values her. The human girl feels much better as the big beast holds her. She kisses his snout lovingly, and that’s the end for now.

This second episode succeeded in holding my attention and giving me a good dose of furry-esque romantic sweetness. It’s so damn cute! I loved the bonding of Sariphi and Leonheart. I also liked seeing all the different beasts at the banquet. I’m definitely going to keep watching this anime through to the end. Although it’s not the kind of show that explores detailed character psychology or profound themes, Sacrificial Princess is highly enjoyable as a light fantasy romance. I’m also watching darker shows like Hell’s Paradise and Heavenly Delusion, so this cute shoujo anime is a nice change of pace.

Episode 3: Beasts and a Human Town

Wearing disguises to avoid being recognized, the King and Sariphi spend a day in a bustling beast city market. They have a lot of fun until Sariphi accidentally trips up and reveals herself to be a human. The beast people become alarmed and aggressive. Some of them throw rocks at Sariphi, but the King whisks her away to safety.

Back at the palace, Sariphi shares her observations about how humans and beasts are not so different. But then she suddenly loses consciousness and becomes ill. The beast doctor who examines her says that the cause is the miasma of the beast kingdom. The magical mist is poisonous to humans who stay in it for long periods of time. Eventually, it will ruin Sariphi’s health and kill her.

When Sariphi wakes up, she’s in a human town close to the border. She has a letter from the King, but she can’t yet read the language. Sariphi assumes that she’s been abandoned, but tries to make the best of things. While the humans treat her miasma poisoning, she helps out at their clinic. However, before long, a rumor spreads that Sariphi is the runaway sacrifice. The people of the town then reject her, fearing the wrath of the Beast King. They force Sariphi out of the town.

Just when she has finally begun to despair, Sariphi is found and rescued by the King in human form. (He reverts to human form when outside of the magic miasma for extended periods.) The King explains that he planned to come back for Sariphi as soon as he found a solution to the miasma poisoning. The solution is a magical ring that purifies the miasma for humans when worn. After giving Sariphi the ring, the King takes her back to the beast kingdom. Sariphi is overjoyed.

This third episode was similar to the pilot – but worse – in that it felt way too rushed. The story could have handled comfortably in a two or three episode mini-arc. Instead, everything went too fast and there was insufficient time to become invested or interested in the events. We might have had some interesting character development for Sariphi if things had been slowed down. Another complaint I had was the visual quality. None of the first three episodes feature astounding art or animation; it’s fairly mediocre. Even so, the third episode seemed like a slight quality drop compared to the previous installments.

Despite some complaints about the narrative style and the lower visual quality, I’m certainly still enjoying Sacrificial Princess, and will continue watching. I recommend picking up this anime if any of the following statements apply to you. 1) You like “furry” artwork and anthropomorphic animals. 2) You enjoy lighthearted shoujo anime. 3) You need a break from dark anime and appreciate sappy romance. That’s all for today, so thanks for stopping by Anime Rants.

Thank you for reading~

3 thoughts on “The Sacrificial Princess and The King of Beasts: Episodes 1 to 3

  1. Yay! I’m so glad to find someone else that’s enjoying this series! It’s a really sweet shojo isn’t it? Sariphi is so precocious and I love her little monster escorts Cy and Clops. Super cute! I’m surprised more bloggers aren’t posting about this anime. You’re the first blogger I’ve found that has reviewed it! Reading your post made me really happy!

    Liked by 2 people

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