Manga Review: ‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess

Details: Also known as  Hime-sama, “Goumon” no Jikan desu and 姫様“拷問”の時間です. You can read it for free at https://mangaplus.shueisha.co.jp/titles/100071

Score: 7.1/10

‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess is interesting because it masquerades under the guise of a fantasy story. In truth, this is primarily a comedy and a slice of life story that takes place in a fantasy world.

‘Tis Time for “Torture,” Princess is about a princess who gets captured by the Demon King’s army and is set to be tortured for information. Each day, a torturer (named Torture) shows up at the princess’ cell and prepares something irresistible like warm apple pie with a scoop of ice cream or freshly made tempura. The princess tries to resist this fiendish torture, but succumbs almost every time, giving up a secret in exchange for partaking in the delicious food (the torture isn’t always food). Almost all issues are structured this way and we get to enjoy the gag of the princess being “tortured” by freshly made food or a fun activity.

The first funny thing is that it takes place in a fantasy world, except that everything is mundanely modern. The princess is kept in a medieval cell in the Demon Lord’s castle, but when Torture seeks to torture with some delicious curry rice, she takes out a modern rice cooker. Another such torture involved a bicycle race while another involved a trip to an amusement park. Suffice it to say, the juxtaposition of the medieval fantasy world and the modern Japanese world is one of the funniest gags.

I also appreciate how wholesome this comic was. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the real world (coronavirus for instance) and a lot of it’s pretty bad. Reading this comic made me feel surprisingly good. The princess repeatedly proclaiming that she would not fall for the torture and then indulging immediately after is always funny. The characters themselves are all very caring and considerate, which is also funny considering they’re all monsters and demons. The Demon Lord for instance is simply a doting father who is nice to everyone, except he has a terrifying appearance and demeanor. The torturers are all fairly nice and often just offer fun “tortures” for the princess just so they can all have a good time hanging out together. Much of the time, the series is just all the characters hanging out and going bowling, bike riding, or sharing a meal. It’s all predicated under the idea of “torture,” but it’s really just a group of friends having fun.

Overall, this was a nice, feel good series with lots of jokes and characters just being nice and supportive to each other. I didn’t know what to expect from the title, but what I got was a wholesome comedy that just happens to take place in a pseudo fantasy world.

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