Reviewed by Alicia Glass
After a very long war and a hard-won treaty of peace between the human kingdom and Ozmargo, the kingdom of beasts and demons, the 99th annual human sacrifice given in tribute to the beast kingdom is allowed to live and given the chance to become the royal consort, a human Queen for the beast kingdom.
A true Beauty and the Beast style romance, the show is gentle and firm, often giving us lovely pastels and light colors for the humans and their interactions, with stronger, more passionate colors besides black for the beasts and demons.
So, the King of Ozmargo, long may he reign in strength and virility, served with loyalty by the denizens of his kingdom (yeah right), has a Kaiju-sized secret – he is of mixed parentage, both beast and human, and cursed to suffer transformations to man-shape, and back to beast-king again. By no mere coincidence, the night of contemplation where the King goes into seclusion to hide his shape-change, is the same night the human sacrifice is given to him, ostensibly to perhaps eat or enjoy in some other way, indulging his bestial nature to the fullest. What isn’t spoken about, what almost none of the demon kingdom know, is that the unnamed King is of a far more tender nature than one might expect, and for years has been setting the human sacrifices free. (Which, given the poisonous miasma of Ozmargo and the general dislike of humans by the beasts of the Kingdom, may be a bit of a moot point – where could they escape to? Nevermind them, on with the romance!) All of that changed when the 99th sacrifice, the pretty little albino-looking human girl, Sariphi, was given to the King.
Sariphi is a shining example of what humanity could be given half the chance, loving and kind, loyal and humble, compassionate almost to a fault, and her ability to stay calm in the face of impending disaster only increases her value in the eyes of the bestial kingdom. None moreso than the King himself, especially when, after seeing him at his lowest in human form, and at his most enraged as the King of Beasts, Sariphi still loyally, stupidly, fully with all her heart, loves him. Hell, she loved the King of Ozmargo enough to give him a Name – Leonhart. And anyone who watches fantasy anime knows, giving a creature a Name is a big deal, especially if he happens to be royalty.
The rest of the Court harbors suspicions and old hatreds for humans, and now that Sariphi has been named as Leonhart’s acting-Consort-soon-to-be-Queen, the various beasts are taking it upon themselves to do whatever they can to convince the King otherwise. The King’s Chancellor Anubis especially seems to have it out for Sariphi, believing her most unworthy of the King’s affections, much less her own throne next to his. Anubis sets several challenges for Sariphi to complete to be worthy of even consideration for the Acting Consort title – hosting a very curmudgeonly Duke, rites of blessing for the unruly Princess of another kingdom, even forging peace talks between the neighboring human kingdom and Ozmargo, and goads her every step of the way with disparaging remarks and whispered poison in the Kings ear. After awhile, Anubis’ distrust gives way to a grudging respect for the tiny human girl who just won’t give in, and her apparent real, genuine love for the King.
Other friends and odd allies are made in Ozmargo by those who come into contact with Sariphi the most often – the tiny ball monsters Cy and Clops who were with her from pretty much the start; the fallen former Princess Amit of the lizardfolk who tends to Sariphi as her handmaiden and kind friend; the outcast hyena Lanteveldt who, far from being reviled for his beast subspecies by Sariphi, is instead made the Captain of her Royal Guard; and Captain of the Kings own Guard Jormungand, another lizardfolk whom Amit has a swooning after, who takes to Sariphi and her love for the King very well, for it mirrors his own.
The Kingdom of Ozmargo is proud and full of life, the beasts living within it just want to exist in peace and prosperity. Unfortunately the Kingdom is subject to troubles very similar to what humans experience far too often, but when a coup is attempted on Ozmargo and the denizens are being separated by subspecies – as in, a Bunny mother and an Amphibian father, and their fluffy green hybrid offspring are forcibly separated physically and by imposed old-fashioned caste system, the racism that runs rampant threatens to tear apart what’s left of Ozmargo unless Leonhart and his beloved Sariphi can stop it!
Full of love and hope in the face of potentially impossible adversity, Sacrificial Princess and the King of Beasts is an absolute wonder, and can be devoured with relish on Crunchyroll now!