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Manga / 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess

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The Hordes of Hell and Imperial Army are in conflict. The Hellhorde has captured the Imperial Princess, who is also captain of the Third Legion, and imprisoned her alongside her talking holy sword, Ex. The Grand Inquisitor Torture Tortura has begun to interrogate the Princess with the most inhuman "tortures" she can conceive, like... fluffy toast, video games, and... bubble wrap?

'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess (Hime-sama, "Goumon" no Jikan desu) is a weekly manga written by Robinson Haruhara, with art by Hirakei, that focuses on our brave Princess' attempts to resist the demons' attempts to get her to spill the Empire's secrets with their horrible temptations. The manga began in 2019 and is published on the Shonen Jump Plus website, with an official English translation available for free on Manga Plus.

An anime adaptation was announced in June 2023 and began airing in January 2024.


'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess contains examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Louch Brittan's first attempt to rescue the Princess goes awry when he gets caught up casting a teleportation spell that requires close proximity, and his hand creeps up and grabs the Princess's breast.
  • Actionized Adaptation: In the main manga the most action that happens is some light combat in competitions, with anything serious being an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. Episode 1 of the anime brings in Volume 1's bonus chapter, where the Princess and an entourage of soldiers face off against a monster genuinely trying to kill them, and the Princess brings it down with a single slash of Ex that leaves a legitimate mortal wound, a scenario much more intense than the main manga usually did, at least early on. It does showcase her Warrior Princess status well, though, which for a good part of the early chapters was an Informed Attribute until the beach swordfight chapter.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime heavily expands on the content of each chapter to fill out episode runtime, such as including volume extras, lengthening Ex and the Princess's explanations for her "resistance" to showcase her past badassery, expanding on the panels of the Princess experiencing Imagine Spots about how the "tortures" make her feel relaxed and happy, and even a direct appearance by the Hell-Lord himself in Episode 2 earlier than his official introduction.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Hellhorde has quite the variety of names, going from Inki and Youki to Krall and Mao-Mao, and so on.
  • Afraid of Needles: In Chapter 19, Tortura prepares to give the Princess a check-up, but the Princess is so afraid of getting stuck with a needle for a blood sample she ends up talking anyway.
  • Amnesia Episode: Chapter 100 sees the Princess stripped of her memory of her time among the Hell-Horde by a miscast spell. Tortura tries to stimulate her memory by performing the same torture from the first chapter... to which the Princess responds exactly the same way she did back then.
  • Anachronism Stew: The story overall is implied to be set in a typical medieval fantasy world, with the Princess' home playing most of those tropes straight, but the Hordes of Hell might as well live in modern Japan with all its modern conveniences. The Princess even has a cell phone. When she pulls it out to trade phone numbers, Ex rightly asks why she hasn't used it to call for help yet.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In chapter 18, it looks like Tortura is getting serious when she brandishes a hot iron... but then she uses it to melt some Raclette cheese, which is the real "torture".
    • Chapter 80 starts with Ex wondering why Tortura isn't coming, to which the Princess states she prevented it in the first place, going on to explain how she accidentally ate the prepared meal while waiting for the day's "torture". Initially this seems like it means she'd finally managed to successfully defy a "torture" for the second time... then she reveals that, in keeping with Honor Before Reason, she ended up leaving a memo with the secret for Tortura.
    • Chapter 87 begins with the Princess having already succeeded at defying the "torture" offscreen, to which Tortura outright admits defeat and gives her a Fondant au Chocolat cake to enjoy, secret-free. Then it turns out the cake was the true "torture", using the earlier failed "torture" as a way to get her guard down, tempting her with reheating the cake since hers had cooled down and solidified the inner chocolate. As usual, this "cheap, underhanded trick" got a secret out of her.
    • The original "torture" for Chapter 140 was Krall tempting the Princess with the cuteness of a hamster, only for that to fall flat because Hamongous is both utterly massive and capable of talking, weirding her out instead. Then Hamongous himself offers up his aid for the "torture", which turns out to be him being highly skilled at pepper steak, after which the Princess folds and Ex silently feels heavily confused over how the "torture" no longer has anything to do with hamsters.
    • On a meta level, the initial visual and teaser trailer for the anime both look like what you'd usually expect from a series with this title - the brave Princess defiant in the face of the Hellhorde's vicious torments. The first episode proper adds to the dramatic image with some Adaptation Expansion portraying the Princess being a serious badass whose capture by the Hellhorde is a prelude to genuine torture. Then the light-hearted truth of their "torture" drops and provides some massive Mood Whiplash, after which the real concept to the series takes the stage.
  • Bait-and-Switch Character Intro:
    • Chapter 36 introduces Vanilla Peschutz, a vampire girl who seems to be the most threatening Harm-Marshal of all... then it turns out her idea of "serious torture" is a roller coaster, which backfires when it turns out the Princess loves thrill rides.
    • Episode 3 introduces Maomao via an Imagine Spot from Tortura, where she's shrouded in darkness with glowing red eyes, the perfect image of an Enfant Terrible in the making... then it turns out she's an adorable little girl who's insecure about her "torture" skills.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening of the anime features a lot of scenes where the Princess is a badass warrior slaughtering demons interspersed with bits of comedy, giving the image of an action-comedy story with heavy focus on the action. The actual story is a generally lighthearted story heavily focused on comedy with only occasional action and rare drama.
  • Barefoot Captives: The regular attire of the Princess, from the very first chapter onwards, is a ragged oversized shirt, a chained choker, some underwear, and nothing else, with her legs and feet left completely exposed to the cold hard stone floor during "tortures". She sometimes switches to more comfortable casual attire (including shoes) when there's no "torture" going on, or the "torture" takes place away from the dungeon, but she's seen in this outfit more times than not. This actually ends up being intentionally used for the "torture" involving cats, where the thing that gets her to give up the secret is a cat adorably nuzzling against her bare toes.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 29's "torture" involves beach sword fighting, so we get to see the Princess and her captors playing around in swimsuits.
  • Benevolent Boss: The Hell-Lord is this, to nobody's surprise:
    • When Vanilla ends up unable to get information from the Princess for a second time, he notes that her failure must be dealt with and declares that...he and all of his followers should be extra supportive so that she doesn't get discouraged.
    • When the Hell-Lord gets a secret about hidden locations in the human kingdom, he tries to get Dark Ninja Nin-nin Gekkou to provide his services. However, when he hears that Gekkou wishes to quit the Hellhorde to pursue his dreams of being a picture-book author, with him having doubts that quitting and doing so at his age would work out, the Hell-Lord encourages him to try anyway and lets him go. It does ultimately work out, with Gekkou winning a new writer's prize for his picture book.
    • Played for laughs at the end of Chapter 26. The Stinger is "'Princess duty' pays overtime".
  • Big Eater: Tortura has her moments. In Chapter 187, Youki challenges the Princess to a wanko soba eating contest. They both eat 57 bowls. Tortura eats over 100.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • In Chapter 3, Tortura's lieutenants Inki and Youki get the Princess to crack by offering to let her play Super Jump Plussers (a combination of Super Smash Bros. and Shonen Jump Plusnote ) with them.
    • Chapter 8's "torture" involves "Gorilla's March" cookies, a play on the real-life cookie brand Koala's March.
    • Chapter 14 features Tortura showing off her "torture" skills with a can of Sappari beer (a pun on the real-life Japanese beer brand Sapporo).
    • The "torture" for Chapter 32 involves french fries and a chocolate pie from Ryoutsunalds (a parody of McDonalds combined with the name of the MC from Kochikame, Kankichi Ryoutsu) with the "torture" itself involving biting a hole into the pie and dipping the fries into the chocolate.
    • Chapter 61's "torture" involves the game Pop-Up Hell-Lord, a play on Pop-Up Pirate.
    • The "secret" revealed in Chapter 74 is that the Princess pre-ordered a PlainStation 5 (using her phone while in her prison cell).
    • The "torture" for Chapter 120 involves Orneos, a play on Oreos.
    • Chapter 122 revolves around merchandise for the popular video game series Dragon Fighter.
    • Chapter 154 involves Soda-Soda, a carbonated beverage with weird seasonal flavors. The bottle very closely resembles Mountain Dew.
    • Chapter 171 involves another McDonalds parody, the Mark Dragon Hamburger fast food restaurant, a.k.a. "Mark-D's", which uses a traditional capital "M" for its symbol.
    • Chapter 175 has Tortura watching bunny videos on I'mTube.
    • Chapter 186's torture involves fried chicken from FCK, a parody of KFC.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Chapter 179 sees Tortura shackling the Princess to a wall so that she can't submit before the "torture" (bacon and eggs) is ready. Of course, this is the Princess, so when she gets pent up enough she just snaps the shackles with one good pull and strides implacably towards her goal.
  • Broken Pedestal: This is how Ex feels about the Princess over time. He initially saw her as the shining representation of a strong and steadfast warrior who would never be tempted by the demonic forces' "tortures", but starting from the very first successful "torture", his belief in and admiration of her started waning, to where around 30 chapters he's stopped being surprised, and by the 60's he's started pinpointing the exact reasons why she's guaranteed to fail. It's to the point that the one time she actually succeeds at not blabbing a secret, he's both shocked and depressed, as the reason she succeeded was a result of the negative effects of her strict warrior upbringing, resulting in his pedestal for the Human Kingdom wavering.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Chapter 94 (and chapter 95, retelling its events from Tortura's perspective) see Krall present the Princess with a bunny as "torture". Interestingly, the usual Stock Animal Diet is averted, as Krall notes carrots aren't healthy for rabbits (too much sugar).
  • Cat Folk: Beast Master Krall, one of the Hell-Lord's lieutenants, has cat ears and a tail.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: During the preliminary battle royale of the martial arts tournament in Chapter 86, all four of the other contestants immediately agree to gang up on the Princess to make sure she doesn't win the prize. They completely forgot that she's still the prized Warrior Princess of the human kingdom, and get utterly floored by her, without her needing to put in any real effort to do so. The same applies to the Princess, as she admits to cheating on her math tests, so when the time comes for the math round, she utterly flunks it.
  • Cheerful Child: Played with; Mao-Mao-chan is an extremely bubbly and enthusiastic girl, but she has very low self-esteem and is afraid of being too informal around her father. The Hell-Lord, for his part, absolutely adores her and keeps trying to assure her that she doesn't have to worry.
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: After hearing that Tortura failed to get a secret because the Princess was helping Mao-Mao practice skipping for recital day and Tortura didn't want to interrupt them, the Hell-Lord decides to "punish" Tortura by having her help the preschool teachers on recital day, and bring the Princess along, with it being implied that he approved to their action, thus allowed them to attend recital day, which is usually limited to the child's parent(s).
  • Cliffhanger:
    • At the end of Chapter 81, the Princess spots a poster for an upcoming martial arts tournament. She voices a wish to attend, and Youki offers to ask for her. However, Ex sees something on the poster that the Princess overlooked. That said, he's quite confident that the Hellhorde are underestimating the Princess with this "thing". SPOILER 
    • Chapter 96 ends with a person in a fox mask battling the Hell-Lord's guards, stating their intention to assassinate the Hell-Lord.
  • The Comically Serious: The Hell-Lord has the appearance of a super-serious monstrous demon king and holds to mannerisms and vocal intonation that complements that image. This is heavily contrasted by his often humorous reasons for rejecting secrets or him happily playing around with Mao-Mao, providing major whiplash comparing his image with his actions.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Thanks to the Princess's strict upbringing, she's tempted by even the simplest pleasures, like takoyaki or video games.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The "tortures" never include anything truly harmful, and most of them include tempting the Princess with something she really wants and denying her that until she caves in (which is, virtually every time).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: For all her moronic moments we're shown, the Princess is a genuinely badass swordswoman. This is shown in the "Beach Swordfight" chapter, where she effortlessly defeats her opponents. Yeah, even the demons themselves forgot that she's this strong. Of course, she ends up having so much fun she completely forgot to escape. Chapter 86 also shows that she's practically unmatched in unarmed combat, utterly crushing the martial arts competition with a few dodges and well-placed blows supplemented by incredible speed and reflexes. She's still a moron, though, as she cheated her math tests in the past, resulting in her flunking the second math-based round.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In the isekai parody chapter, the Hell-Lord defeats the Four Horsemen, the lion-man Garyuo, the Nine Darknesses and even this other world's Big Bad the Black Monarch in the space of two hours, taking only a single chapter to do so.
    • Chapter 86 has the Princess utterly crushing the preliminary round of a martial arts tournament, pulverizing all four of the other contestants effortlessly while smiling and posing for the crowd, all before stating this much was nothing for her.
    • In Chapter 120, the sheer effectiveness of Mao-Mao's "torture" - double-cream cookies with milk - has the Princess visualising Mao-Mao curb-stomping her in various ways.
  • Dark Horse Victory: In chapter 34, the Hell-Lord's arranged it so that Mao-Mao will have to choose "someone you like" for the borrowing race, expecting her to choose him over the Princess. Mao-Mao instead chooses her mother the Queen, who hadn't appeared or been mentioned in the story before.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Despite playing it up with their Card-Carrying Villain attitude and calling their interactions with the Princess "torture", none of the demons in this story can actually be called "evil". For all they "torture" the Princess for various secrets, their methods are often ultimately harmless and they frequently allow the Princess to indulge herself beyond what's needed as her reward for talking.
    • The Hell-Lord himself best encapsulates this among the entire Hellhorde. His appearance, mannerisms, and abilities are all what one would expect from a demon lord, but he's a Benevolent Boss who greatly cares about the well-being and interests of his subordinates, he treats the Princess more like an honored guest than a prisoner, and when he ends up getting transported to another world where the realm is miserable due to the tyranny of a genuinely malevolent group, he feels morally obligated to put an end to their reign and bring peace to the land.
    • Overall, in spite of constantly using "torture" to get the Princess to give up intel, it's implied that the Hell-Lord wants this information not to raise their odds of winning the war against humans, but to increase their chances of negotiating peace, such as knowing what type of alcohol the human king would most appreciate as a peace offering.
  • Depending on the Artist: Odd, given there's only one artist, but how old Vanilla looks varies wildly between chapters, from "as old as the Princess (however old that is)" in her earliest appearances to "barely older than Mao-Mao-chan" in Chapter 91.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In Chapter 144, the Princess is getting dissatisfied with Sakura's knife-juggling "tortures" because they've become familiar enough even she can do them, so Sakura tries to think of a new "torture" that would be new to the Princess, only to run up against the fact that the Princess is better at the blade than her, so whatever she could do, the Princess could do too, which leads her to hit on the idea of performing with the Princess. As Tortura points out, though, if Sakura's performing with the Princess... who's sharing the secret?
  • Doting Parent:
    • The Hell-Lord towards his daughter Mao-Mao. When she manages to get valuable information out of the Princess, he refuses to use it because he wants to frame and display it in his room. In another instance, he watched a video about her playing in the park so much he forgot where he put the army's password book. Chapter 27 doesn't even involve the Princess at all and focuses entirely on the Hell-Lord spending a day playing with his daughter, which becomes a recurring theme in later chapters.
    • Mao-Mao's mother the Queen is equally doting, more than happy to join in with her daughter's playtime.
  • Electric Torture: Chapter 186 sees the Princess giving Ex a shock charm, allowing him to electrocute her every time it looks like she's about to give in. Naturally, he ends up having to use it the instant the "torture" starts.
  • Epic Fail: The basketball game in Chapter 50 ends with a score of 6-4. As Ex points out, baseball games have higher scores than that.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Beast Master Krall is introduced torturing the Princess by taking away a baby polar bear's toy... but Krall is such an animal lover, the Princess quickly realizes Krall feels bad for doing it.
    • In chapter 40, the Hell-Lord refuses to defile a grave, even if it means getting his hands on a powerful artifact buried there.
    • The one time Tortura proposes something resembling actual torture (withholding the Princess' breakfast to make her hungry and thus more susceptible to offerings of food later in the day) everyone involved is incredibly uncomfortable and the idea is quickly abandoned.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • Despite being the main character of the story, and hearing numerous tales of adventure and secrets from her, we have yet to learn the name of the Princess, with everybody simply calling her "princess".
    • It took one hundred chapters before the Hell-Lord (Go-chan) or his wife (Lulune) were referred to by name (over sixty chapters if going by the volume extras, as Lulune's name first comes up in the Volume 3 bonus chapter).
  • Evil Overlord: The Hell-Lord, who is the king of the demons. That said, the "evil" part is nearly nonexistent. He's an honorable guy who loves his daughter very much and regularly hosts fun events for his people. According to the characters, the Hell-horde army also has rules to ensure the members' well-being. Even the Princess, ostensibly a prisoner of war, is treated incredibly well. Even his "tortures" and imprisonment of her are only so that it will be easier to make peace with the humans.
  • Evolving Credits: The character march part of the anime ED gradually gets populated with more characters as the season goes on, though not consistently as Episodes 4 and 5 had no new additions.
  • Exact Words: The Black Monarch declares that only the long-lost Sacred Skymitar can penetrate his skin. Upon discovering that his blade magic is indeed useless against him, the Hell-Lord settles for pummeling him into submission.
  • Face of a Thug: The Hell-Lord looks about as evil as it gets, but if you ignore his constant scowling you'll see that he's a really laid back and kind guy.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Demon world watermelons have blue insides and are juicier than regular watermelons. Eating a seed causes a sprout to grow from your navel, where for regular watermelons that's just a tall tale.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The worst tortures the demons can think up seem to involve things like letting instant ramen get soggy, making cute animals cry by taking away their toys, or eating "Gorilla March" cookies without taking the time to enjoy the little pictures of gorillas on them.
  • First-Name Basis: In the beginning, the Princess always referred to Torture Tortura by her surname Tortura, since they were complete strangers at the time. Numerous chapters full of "torture" later, during which the duo grew increasingly close as "torturer" and "captive", the Princess eventually started referring to her consistently as her given name Torture.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Krall is in charge of taming ferocious monsters for the Hellhorde, but she tends to gush over them like house pets, as seen with Mad Wolf in chapter 16.
  • Food Interrogation: A common "torture" for the Princess is to show her delicious food and offer it to her in exchange for information. The first chapter shows this happening with crispy toast and beef stew. The Princess often falls for these ploys quickly because they're foods she's never had and/or has always wanted to try. The few times she doesn't fall for it right away, it's because the food is something she's already eaten plenty of times or dislikes, at which point Tortura adds some unexpected twist that makes the Princess fold. For example, making cup noodles and not opening the cup after they've been left to sit for three minutes, which threatens to make the noodles soggy and inedible.
  • Food Porn: The manga goes into rather vivid detail at times describing the delicious foods with which Tortura and her lackeys tempt the Princess, alongside the impressively drawn close-ups showcasing the detailed textures and frequent light crispness. The anime adds to this through the animation and sounds that bring to life the delicious scrumptiousness, most especially the gooey-type food, to the point the first "torture" manages to make regular buttered toast look outright heavenly when Tortura picks it up and breaks it open to expose the soft, fluffy insides.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: While the story has a decent Strictly Formula setup for most chapters, there have been enough chapters that break away from said formula to deserve its own page.
  • Fountain of Youth: Chapter 82 has all the non-humans temporarily de-aged by a magical mishap. This leads to the Princess suffering major Cuteness Overload over little Tortura. It continues into chapter 83, where the magic's worn off a little, so the non-humans are now a bit older, but not back to their normal ages, which leads to the Princess supporting the effort of a young Tortura who's inexperienced with cooking.
  • Friendless Background:
    • The Princess had such a strict upbringing, she had little interaction with others outside of sparring during weapons training. Which means she's tempted by social activities like playing video games or going to an amusement park.
    • Vanilla Peschutz is a girl from a noble vampire clan, whose pride prevented her from making any friends her age. Her attempts at "torture" often backfire on her, and she ends up being more interested in hanging out with the Princess rather than actually getting information out of her. In a somewhat-amusing take on this trope, Vanilla's parents are shown to encourage her to not let her family name prevent her from enjoying her life - the pride in question is Vanilla's own, coupled with her shyness.
  • Friendly Enemy: Despite the "tortures" she endures, the Princess quickly becomes good friends with her tormentors, especially Enki and Youki. In one instance, the Princess immediately gives up information, not because of any "torture", but because Youki had gotten sick and she wouldn't be allowed to visit until she talked. This eventually ends up lampshaded in Ch.36, as when the Princess says that while she may be enemies with the Oni cousins, they are also friends, Ex questions how both of those can be true simultaneously.
  • Funny Background Event: In chapter 34, Inki's little brother Insuke apparently ended up borrowing a car for the borrowing race, and proceeds to drive it to the finish line.
  • Gilligan Cut: A common punchline throughout this series, usually involving the Princess immediately contradicting something someone else (usually Ex) says about her.
    • Chapter 79 has the Princess declare that, even though she's never ridden a bike before, it should be easy for her. Cut to her crashing face-first into the ground. Cut to Enki and Youki teaching her how to ride a bike.
    • Chapter 96 has the Princess brag to Ex that if she gives in to the day's torture, she'll grovel before Gilga to have her sharpen and polish Ex, then sleep on her knees that night. Cut to her doing exactly that.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The demons may call it "torture", but the entire premise of this manga is the Princess playing with them. We don't even see any actual antagonistic conflict among the characters.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel:
    • Tortura gets these when contemplating how to prevent the Princess from earning her freedom by winning a beach sword fight. Only instead of having an angel and devil, she has a devil and a politician, with the devil representing emotion and the politician representing logic. Both of them tell Tortura to cheat, with the politician saying to do it using loopholes.
    • In Chapter 208, the Princess is tempted with the opportunity to sneakily eat the day's "torture", a waffle, without Tortura knowing, and her shoulder devil pops up to tempt her to eat it... without her shoulder angel. The Princess sneaks a bit of cream, and her devil calls her out on it. Then she notices that the waffle's cut into three, and thinks she won't get caught if she has a piece, before catching herself and blaming her devil for tempting her, confusing the devil, who hadn't said a word. From then on, the devil keeps trying to urge the Princess not to scarf down the waffle, but she ignores her, devouring the whole thing.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball:
    • Chapter 50 has the Princess playing basketball against a team headed by the Hell-Lord. One of the announcers of the match, Gilga, explains that basketball only recently began to catch on in Hellholm. The game results in things like dogpiling on the Princess, the Princess forming a square formation around herself to protect the ball, kicking the ball, and repeated failed shots. The only two people with any real knowledge of the game are the referee, Youki, who was in a basketball club in school but spent more time playing around than playing the game, and the second announcer Ex, a limbless sword who lampshades each and every mistake everyone makes over the chapter.
    • Chapter 76 sees the Princess, who's never bowled before, throw the bowling ball overhand so it passes above the pins. And then assume the "G" (for "gutter") that pops up means "goal".
    • Chapter 81: The Princess, challenged to a free-throw contest, makes a beautiful slam dunk... except it's a free-throw contest, so crossing the line is against the rules and the shot is disqualified.
  • Harmless Villain: As imposing as he may appear, the Hell-Lord is really a complete softy. He's usually perfectly content with the useless secrets the Princess gives up, and on the rare occasions that she gives up useful information, he'll refuse to act on it because doing so would inconvenience him in ridiculously mundane or trivial ways, or the methods of gaining or utilizing the information would be an affront to his honor.
  • Heel–Race Turn: It's heavily implied by way of comments from demons and flashbacks to the past that the Hell-Horde used to engage in genuinely villainous actions, including a flashback extra where Enki implies that Harm-Marshalls used to perform genuine torture, but at some point they collectively realized that conflict against the human kingdom wasn't helping them in any way, and thus changed to embrace their current Dark Is Not Evil image, with them only maintaining their old Card-Carrying Villain reputation because humanity likely wouldn't believe they turned a new leaf without being given concrete proof.
  • Heroic Willpower: Parodied. After getting turned into a bird by a magical accident, the Princess manages to (partially) turn back through her intense desire to have food birds can't eat.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: At one point, Ex's reaction to the Princess getting ready to offer up another secret is "Oh, sheathe me".
  • Homage: The OP has a shot homaging Queen's video for "Bohemian Rhapsody".
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • The Princess often outright helps the demons in their "torture", in the name of her chivalric code.
      • In chapter 39, Gilga tries to use a divine flaming sword to make fried rice for the Princess' "torture", but she can't control it so she asks the Princess to do it. Instead of refusing this outrageous request, the Princess is touched by Gilga "throwing away her pride" and helps her make the fried rice. Yes, she later gave in to the "torture" and spilled another secret.
      • In chapter 42, Tortura steps out to take a phone call, leaving a bowl of rice behind. Instead of just eating the rice, the Princess insists they wait until Tortura returns so the "torture" can properly commence. After learning the reason for the phone call (Tortura's cousin was about to deliver a baby), the Princess immediately tells a secret without any "tortures" so Tortura can quickly go to the hospital.
      • Chapter 80 makes it seem like the Princess finally managed to get a second win against her "torturers", specifically because she ended up mindlessly eating the food Tortura was preparing. After some build-up of her finally succeeding at not blabbing, it turns out she gave up a secret anyway (by putting it in a memo) because the food was still so good, she mentally admitted defeat.
    • The Hell-Lord himself isn't any better in this regard. At the end of chapter 42 above, he refuses to listen to the secret the Princess told, because it's not good manners to abuse the Princess' good will.
  • Horned Humanoid: Common but not universal among the Hellhorde, including the Hell-Lord, the Queen, Mao-Mao, Enki, Youki, and Tortura.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Chapter 89 has Tortura offer the Princess "emilboullet", a popular dish in the demon world... which the Princess has never heard of. Turns out that in the demon world, they don't have cows as such, but instead a type of demonic animal (described as somewhere between a goat and a boar) called emilbou.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 6's "torture" involves the Princess relaxing in a hot spring with Giant, another of the Hell-Lord's minions who throws in a big, bosomy hug for good measure.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: The Princess and Vanilla. The Princess was betrayed by a close ally, leading her to avoid having friends from then on, while Vanilla never had a friend.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters are called "tortures", aside from chapter 50, which is called Quarter 50, due to being about a basketball game.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: The ruler of the parallel world in chapter 49 originally had his name translated as "Black Emperor" before it was changed to "Black Monarch".
  • Inconvenient Itch: Chapter 188 has the Princess develop an itch in the middle of her back. After considering using Ex to scratch it (he points out that he's a sword, so the more likely result is serious injury), she immediately submits when Krall comes in and begs her to scratch it. Krall having claws, the resultant scratching does wonders.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: A common gag in the series is Ex or the Princess proudly proclaiming that she will never bow down upon such lowly temptation, only for the Princess to get tempted in the very next panel.
  • Iron Maiden: When preparing to "torture" the Princess, Datarma brings what looks like a classic iron maiden with him. Subverted when it's revealed the maiden isn't full of spikes, but shelves for carrying food, clothing, and other harmless items used for "torturing".
  • Irony:
    • Many chapters make a big point of describing the Princess's past exploits or her stern training and upbringing. However, it's often exactly because of that strict upbringing that she's tempted by the "tortures" inflicted on her, as they frequently involve offering her things she never got to try because of it, such as video games, various foods, or even just playing on the playground with Mao-Mao.
    • In chapter 37, Vanilla threatens the Princess with a massive, scary roller coaster... but the Princess likes roller coasters, so treating it as a threat instead of a reward is hopeless. As the "torturer", Vanilla is obligated to ride it as well and ends up blabbing one of her secrets because she's terrified of the ride.
    • In chapter 73, Vanilla brings the Princess to an ice rink just so they can skate together... but the Princess assumes it's a "torture" session and resists temptation, and Vanilla is too proud to admit she just wanted to play together. And then it turns out Vanilla has never skated before, and it's much harder than she assumed.
    • In Chapter 7, the Princess mentions that she has felt betrayed by a friend before, with the scene of said friend striking her in the back. 90 chapters later, said "friend" reveals that the reason the Princess survived the attempt at all was because she grew to geuninely consider her a friend and hesitated on the killing blow as a result.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Chapter 31's "torture' involves having the Princess play with two cats, one who likes to sit on laps and the other who likes to nuzzle. Just from their mere presence the Princess almost instantly reveals a secret before being stopped by Ex, and when it comes to the actual "torture", the lap-lover stays there until her legs fall asleep, and the nuzzler rubs against her bare toes, which causes her to go into Cuteness Overload and spill her secret.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A semi-recurring character is the knight Louch Brittan, who's doing his best to rescue the Princess. He... doesn't really live up to the image, being rather below-average in terms of looks. He does indeed mean well, though, and he only really fails because each "rescue" is performed in a way that makes the Princess not want to be saved by him.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Chapter 192, which features the announcement for the anime, sees the Hell-Lord celebrating because his favorite manga's getting an anime, and Tortura singing a song that marks the occasion.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: In this case, inexplicably zap the Hell-Lord, the Princess and Ex into another world for the isekai parody chapter.
  • Literal Split Personality: In Chapter 189, Tortura gets split into Light and Dark forms. Light Tortura is offscreen looking for a way to restore them to normal, leaving Dark to handle the "torture". In keeping with the series' general attitude, Dark isn't all that dark; while she says there are no rules and she does what she wants, in practice it means she's not really concerned about getting a secret from the Princess, and just wants to share the day's "torture", eclairs, with her.
  • Meaningful Name: Several of the characters have names relating to something about them, from the obvious (Giant the giant, Torture Tortura the "torturer"), to the subtle (Beast Master Krall, who deals with things that "crawl"), to the somewhat obscure (Louch Brittan, a sorta-princely knight, being a reference to Lelouch Britannia, a sorta-knightly prince).
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: The Princess is given a truly amazing amount of autonomy despite technically being a prisoner of the Hell-Horde. Chapter 134 reveals they don't even lock her cell door. She's allowed to do more or less anything she wants, so long as she doesn't leave the premises without an escort.
  • Minion with an F in Evil:
    • Granted, calling the demons in this story "evil" is a major stretch, but every time Mao-Mao has tried her hand at "torturing" the Princess, she's completely failed to get anything out of her due to being too harmless, not even damaging in the emotional sense. The only reason she managed to get anything out of the Princess at all was because of how endearingly cute she is.
    • Another case is Vanilla Peschutz, who also does a terrible job getting secrets out of the Princess. However, unlike with Mao-Mao, whose failures come about from being too harmless, Vanilla is actually pretty good at coming up with "tortures", she just has terrible luck making them work on the Princess, such as her first "torture" involving a roller coaster failing because the Princess loves thrill rides, and her second "torture" involving a homemade cake failing because she's so strongly moved by how the Princess fully understood and appreciated the effort she made in baking the cake, despite her terrible job decorating it, that she lets the Princess have it without giving up a secret.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: One chapter sees Krall try to make the Princess talk by offering to let her play with Squeakums, a dolphin with human legs. The Princess is more confused and unnerved than anything else.
  • Modest Royalty: While the Hell-Lord looks every part a demon lord, he and his family live much like every other demon, with none of the trappings of royalty.
  • Mundane Luxury: Pretty much the entire reason all of the "tortures" the Princess goes through work without fail. Every one of them may just involve letting her enjoy normal everyday life things such as food, entertainment, and friendship, but the fact the Princess was raised her entire life deprived of anything that could be considered "normal" makes her heavily susceptible to those "tortures".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Many of the chapters have the Princess experience Imagine Spots that take completely ordinary foods and other things and amplify their appeal due to them all being a Mundane Luxury for her, with it especially coming into play when going into vivid Food Porn descriptions and depictions. The anime heavily boosts the exaggeration through the highly-detailed art and animation whenever the temptation is getting to the Princess, such as the reveal of the late-night ramen "torture" having a holy light representing the glow of the broth and heavy wind representing the lovely aroma, washing over the Princess so strongly she experiences a "fade-to-white death" scenario as she's immediately captivated by the ramen.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Chapter 39 sees the Princess and Gilga the blacksmith use a powerful Flaming Sword to... make fried rice.
    • Chapter 41 sees the Hell-Lord use fire magic to... soften butter for his daughter's cookie-making.
    • In Chapter 171, the Hell-Lord uses his Super-Speed for a round-trip to a Mark-D's so he can make it in time to give a speech.
  • Naked on Arrival: In chapter 20, Louch Brittan makes another attempt to rescue the Princess with a new teleportation spell, but this one can't send living and non-living matter at the same time. When the Princess realizes this would lead to her ending up naked in front of who knows how many of her subjects, she panics and chickens out.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • In one chapter the demons decide to interrogate Ex instead of the Princess. They do so by having their blacksmith perform maintenance on him such as sharpening. Just as he's really starting to enjoy it, she pretends to give up and mentions that it's a shame he won't cave otherwise she could give him the full treatment. He caves.
    • Tortura has her moments of this. Chapter 16 sees her respond to Krall's inviting the Princess to her house with "Will there be bunnies?" (There are.)
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: While the Princess really is something of a dim bulb, Chapter 118 has her playing it up while heading to a cafe with Vanilla. When Vanilla is lost, the Princess deliberately steps on her shoelace, then has Vanilla stop so she can tie it... right in front of a map of the city.
  • Once More, with Clarity:
    • The Stinger of Episode 1 reprises the opening scene, where the Princess takes down a monster single-handedly with her troops looking on, from her perspective, revealing she was thinking about going home early and playing video games while taking the monster down.
    • Just before her introduction in Episode 2, Beastmaster Krall is shown to have set a farm on fire with the help of her beasts. The end of her first "torture" segment then comes back to this and reveals it was her engaging in demolition work on an old and dilapidated farm to make way for construction of a new one.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: In Chapter 203, a demon overhears the Hell-Lord saying he can't let the city go up in flames, and not unreasonably gets concerned it's going to become a battleground. In reality, the Hell-Lord wants to avoid spent fireworks that haven't been put out properly starting a large fire.
  • Poke the Poodle:
    • The various "tortures" inflicted on the Princess consist of offering her tasty foods, playing video games with her, or showing her cute animals. The primary gag of the series is that these seemingly silly "tortures" regularly work, as the Princess succumbs to eat that food, play games with her new friends, or cuddle with cute critters.
    • The secondary gag of the series is the Hell-Lord usually dismissing the secrets gained by this, no matter how big or small, often for petty reasons such as because taking advantage of the secret would involve missing his Sunday morning anime as they're broadcast and he doesn't like to watch them later.
  • The Power of Friendship: In a rare instance of this being exploited by the bad guys, Enki and Youki exploit the Princess's Friendless Background by offering her the chance to hang out with them and have fun.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Due to how most of the story is an episodic Strictly Formula sort, it leaves things open for the anime to pick and choose chapters based on how well they fit or altering content to tie them together, such as moving Chapter 11 to cap off Episode 1 (which otherwise adapted Chapters 1 & 2 in order) or omitting Chapters 4 and 7 from Episode 2 (moving them to Episode 3) while including a post-bath-with Giant scene where Torture sees Gorilla's March cookies in a vending machine to lead into the next "torture".
  • Punny Name: During chapter 48's "torture", the Princess reveals that if one is thinking of ending the world, they could try bringing together the three legendary holy blades Ex, Deus, and Machina.
  • Rank Scales with Asskicking: The Princess and the Hell-Lord are close to the highest examples of authority for the humans and demons, respectively, and both of them have been shown to completely outmatch every other person around them, with every fight they've been in becoming a Curb-Stomp Battle on whoever challenged them. However, since this isn't an action story, it only comes up comedically, such as the Princess crushing the other demons in beach swordfighting, or the Hell-Lord dealing with the malevolent demons of a different world by way of Offscreen Moment of Awesome.
  • Recursive Canon: The secret the Princess reveals at the end of chapter 48 is that the Jump Comics editing department is on the fourth floor.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Even though the Princess is a prisoner dressed in rags, she still wears a small crown.
  • Repetitive Name: Torture Tortura.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: In Chapter 140, Krall brings along a talking hamster called Hamongous, who happens to be a good head taller than Krall and the Princess.
  • Scare Quotes: In nearly all instances, up to and including the manga's title, the word "Torture" is depicted in quotation marks. This is because the "tortures" used to force the Princess to talk would be cases of Poke the Poodle if they didn't regularly work and make the Princess give up a secret. Such "tortures" include delicious food the Princess has never eaten before, delicious food she has eaten before with a new twist, playing with cute and cuddly animals, playing with cute and cuddly kids such as the Hell-Lord's preschool daughter Mao-Mao-chan, and playing games with other demons as her friends.
  • School Festival: Chapters 33-34 take place during a sports festival at Maomao's school, Hellholm Pre-School.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ch. 14 of the manga has a flashback where the Demon Lord faced against the "Hero" of the human kingdom, with him being pretty much a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of the Hero from Dragon Quest III. The anime adaptation adds to the reference by using an incredibly similar color palette to the original.
    • Chapter 36 has the Princess munching on a cheeseburger and wearing an arc reactor. The Volume 3 extras clarify on why: the offscreen "torture" involved a cheeseburger, and when the Princess resisted Torture showed her an "interesting movie" where the MC loved cheeseburgers, after which the Princess gave in and Torture gave her some merch of the movie.
    • In Chapter 116, the Princess recalls that when she played Super Jump Plussers with Inki and Youki back in Chapter 3, she and Youki started off teaching Inki how to play, but soon Inki was kicking their asses with Kaiju No. 8 against their Isabelle expy.
    • Chapter 177 has Tortura describe the merits of hayashi rice. As she does, the image behind her is a Marine Admiral with a plate of hayashi rice for a head.
  • Sick Episode:
    • Chapters 30 and 31 have Tortura come down with a sore throat, which prevents her from effectively "torturing" the Princess until she gets better. She gets around this in Ch. 30 by preparing a meal that lets the food do the talking for her, but for Ch. 31 she just stands on the sidelines and lets somebody else do the "torture".
    • In chapter 43, it's the Princess's turn to fall ill (she develops a slight fever of 37.2ºC or 99.0ºF), with Tortura suspending torture to look after her.
    • Chapter 75 sees the Hell-Lord develop a mouth ulcer and take some time off while it heals. (This rolls over into Chapter 76, where the torturers and the Princess go bowling because "torture" is suspended until the Hell-Lord comes back from his sick leave.)
    • Chapters 162 and 163 have Tortura coming down with a scratchy throat, and staying home just in case. In Chapter 162, she decides to "torture" from home, while Chapter 163 sees her preparing a meal for herself.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Chapter 75 has the Hell-Lord off with a mouth ulcer, and chapter 76 has the Princess and her "torturers" go bowling in the meantime.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Non-sexual example. The Hell-Lord's horns, in defiance of all biology, droop when he misses Mao-Mao-chan's handbell recital. When Lulune successfully springs a surprise handbell performance on him, they perk right back up.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Parodied in chapter 49, where each new enemy/group of enemies the Hell-Lord encounters is said to have a much higher power level than the last (their "dark power level" jumps from 15 to 100 to 5000 to 980,000), and he still manages to wipe the floor with the lot of them in under two hours.
  • Switching P.O.V.: Chapter 94 is told from the standard third-person POV, while chapter 95 presents Tortura's POV on its events.
  • Talking Animal: Hamsters of the demon world can talk.
  • Talking Weapon: Excalibur, Ex for short, is the Princess' trusted companion who's aided her in many a perilous endeavor. He currently acts as the Only Sane Man when it comes to all this "torture" business, alongside him gradually losing faith in his former image of the Princess as an unflappable warrior.
  • Tamer and Chaster: In the manga there's some periodic showcases of the curvy bodies of the female cast, such as the princess being shown in blissful nudity with Barbie Doll Anatomy after hearing Torture break open the crispy buttered toast, Torture in a bath that shows every bit of her body using suds to keep it safe, and the hot springs chapter showing off Giant and the Princess with only Censor Steam protecting their modesty. The anime heavily downplays all of this, including keeping the Princess in her oversized shirt for the bliss scene, Torture's bath water being turned opaque and covering her breasts more heavily, and the hot springs segment adding Modesty Towels. Krall still gets to keep her super-skimpy "work" outfit, though.
  • Team Mom: Giant the giant manages to win Princess over with her kind, motherly demeanor, to the point Princess actually starts calling her "Mama".
  • Third Eye: The Hell-Lord and Mao-Mao. The Hell-Lord's third eye is orientated vertically on his forehead, while Mao-Mao's third eye lacks the black sclera of her other eyes.
  • Title Drop: Whenever Tortura and the other Harm-Marshals start their "torture" sessions with the Princess, which while done almost every chapter, is occasionally left out when "torture" isn't involved, the current "torturer" tells her "'tis time for torture, Princess".
  • Torture Always Works: All the "tortures" presented in the story, with very few exceptions, have done their purpose of getting information out of whoever was subjected to them.
  • Torture Is Ineffective: See this trope's counterpart above? It fails to mention that they only technically work. Not only are most of the tortures shown mostly inoffensive but the information they do get is often either trivial (the prime minister's hobby), ridiculous (the queen's cup size), or legitimately useless (the location of Jump's editing floor). When genuinely useful information does come up, some random coincidence usually prevents it from being utilized effectively.
  • Tournament Arc: Parodied in chapter 86. The Princess breezes through the first preliminary round of a martial arts tournament... and then crashes out in the second preliminary round, a math test, having cheated to get through her previous math tests.
  • Trapped in Another World: Parodied in chapter 49. The Hell-Lord, Princess, and Ex all get trapped in another world ruled by a malevolent Evil Overlord called the Black Monarch. As the Hell-Lord explains to the Princess and Ex, in the two hours between his and their regaining consciousness, he'd already Curb Stomped everyone and their overly excessive Power Levels to save the parallel world. They then return to their own world and the chapter ends with everyone getting ready to play basketball.
  • Tsundere: Vanilla, who's caught between her pride and her desire for friendship and affection.
  • Tyke-Bomb: It's never focused on, only used as the explanation for why the Princess will be able to "resist" the "torture" for each chapter, but it's shown that prior to being "captured", she was raised by the human kingdom as a living weapon wielded against said kingdom's enemies, with her barely having a life outside of that. Of course, this fact is a large part of the reason the "torture" works, because the ways they "torture" her involve essentially treating her like a person, with needs and wants beyond her continued survival.
  • Unflattering ID Photo: Tortura muses on this in Chapter 145, noting how her current and previous photos for her driver's license came out strange, and wondering if someone exists who's able to take good license photos.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When things go wrong in Chapter 98, the Princess lets out a shout of, "Sugar honey iced tea!"
  • Vague Age: Outside of Mao-Mao, who's clearly a kid, and her parents and Tortura, who're clearly adults, it's kinda difficult to pinpoint what's anybody's age in this series. The Princess is the best example: she's the commander of a legion, and has been in many battles, but she looks like a teenager at most.
  • Villains Out Shopping:
    • Volume 2's bonus chapter sees Tortura having a meal after work.
    • Volume 3's bonus chapter is about the Hell-Lord wanting to go to the parent-child lunch at the pre-school.
    • Chapter 27 features the Hell-Lord and Mao-Mao playing together.
    • Chapter 38 features Tortura savoring hotel food while on a business trip.
    • Chapter 41 features the Hell-Lord and the Queen helping Mao-Mao bake cookies.
    • Chapter 53 features the Hell-Lord and the Queen helping Mao-Mao build a paper city.
    • Chapter 66 features Tortura eating at a rest stop.
    • Chapter 101 features the Hell-Lord getting annoyed over the fact he sucks at drawing a flower mark to show Mao-Mao did a great job on her studies.
    • Chapter 105 features the Hell-Lord getting depressed over missing Mao-Mao's handbell recital in Chapter 104, only to have Lulune spring a surprise handbell recital from Mao-Mao's preschool on him.
    • Chapter 115 features the Hell-Lord and Mao-Mao making cream puffs together.
    • Chapter 130 features the Hell-Lord and Bruse, his chief battle officer, eating taiyaki outside together.
    • Chapter 138 features the Hell-Lord's family going out to buy Mao-Mao's first school backpack.
    • Chapter 145 has Tortura renewing her license and stopping at the DMV cafeteria on her way out.
    • Chapter 150 has the Hell-Lord and Lulune go out on a shopping date while Mao-Mao is at a friend's house.
    • Chapter 158 has Vanilla advise Sakura on how to go about doing her own kind of "torture" while they're both off work.
    • Chapter 163 has Tortura taking it easy at home to make sure her scratchy throat clears up.
    • Chapter 164 has Inki run into Krall's lost hellhound puppy while coming back from shopping in preparation for a day of watching movies at home.
    • Chapter 168 has the Princess keeping an eye on Mao-Mao as she buys snacks for her upcoming field trip.
    • Chapter 171 has the Hell-Lord getting tempted by the thought of Mark-D's while on his way to give the acceptance speech for the Hellhorde Distinguished Service.
    • The main part of Chapter 172 is Tortura preparing baked mushrooms for Sakura.
    • Chapter 175 has Tortura head out for an early lunch to refresh herself after feeling completely unmotivated to finish her work.
    • Chapter 176 features the Hell-Lord and his family going bug-catching in winter at Mao-Mao's request.
    • Chapter 181 is focused on Tortura once again, with her accidentally buying a shirt that's far more expensive than she expected and trying to justify it to herself.
    • Chapter 193 sees the Hell-Lord awkwardly trying to connect with another parent.
    • Chapter 203 features the Hell-Lord and his family playing with fireworks.
    • Chapter 216.5, a prologue to chapter 217, is about Tortura trying to stop herself from falling asleep under a kotatsu at her parents' house because she needs to go to work.
    • Chapter 220 sees the Hell-Lord visiting a yakitori (grilled chicken) shop.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Hell-Lord only wears a cape on his upper body.
  • Warrior Princess: The Princess is the commander of the Third Legion of the Imperial Army, and has experienced various hardships and come out on top every time. Or so we're told. In the series proper she's an idiot who falls for the slightest "torture" and has no chance to display her badassery... until the chapter where she and her "torturers" play beach sword fighting. THEN we finally get to see that she truly is a complete badass, even if only in a completely non-lethal situation. She blitzes one of her opponents, popping their balloon without any time to react, and completely parries every shot from a gatling water gun. It makes one wonder why she hasn't made any attempt to escape by force...
  • Wham Shot: The end of Ch.36 gives us the introduction of another new character, Vanilla Peschutz, one that seems much more intent on doing actual torture than the other demons. Even the short end-of-chapter narration worries about if things might get serious soon. Ultimately subverted when Vanilla's idea of "real" torture is a roller-coaster. Specifically, Vanilla was going to force the Princess to ride the roller-coaster if she didn't reveal any secrets, but the Princess actually wanted to ride it, and Vanilla ended up having to ride it as well despite being scared of roller-coasters.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • Volume 1's bonus chapter jumps back in time to before the Princess's capture, seeing her fighting a demon.
    • Volume 4's bonus chapter is high school Inki and Youki talking about what jobs they want to do.
  • Wrong Assumption:
    • The Princess and Ex aren't aware of the Hell-Lord's true identity because the first time they saw him at Mao-Mao's sports day, they assumed he must be a representative, since the real Hell-Lord wouldn't come to a sports day in person.
    • In chapter 73, the Princess assumes Vanilla took her ice skating as "torture", but in reality, Vanilla just wanted to play with her.
    • Chapter 173 has Tortura drop a packet of caramels, which the Princess assumes is the "torture". The torture is actually cornflakes - the caramels were Tortura's snack that just happened to fall out of her pocket. She ends up rolling with it to avoid embarrassing herself and the Princess (who had already submitted to the caramels).

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