Napping Princess

Alt title: Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari

Movie (1 ep x 111 min)
3.659 out of 5 from 659 votes
Rank #2,753

The year is 2020, three days before the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. While she should be studying for her exams, Kokone Morikawa is often dozing off, stuck between reality and a dream-world full of fantastic motorized contraptions. But after her father, a talented but mysterious mechanic, is arrested for stealing technology from a powerful corporation, it’s up to Kokone and her childhood friend Morio to save him. Together they realize that Kokone’s dream-world holds the answers to the mystery behind the stolen tech, and they embark on a journey that traverses dreams and reality, city and country, and past and present. Their mission uncovers a trail of clues to her father’s disappearance and ultimately a surprising revelation about Kokone’s family.

Source: GKids

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Most of the time I watch anime based on a recommendation, whether it be from a friend or a community like Anime Planet. Sometimes though I’ll just watch an anime because it’s there, which was the case with Hirune Hime, or as it was advertised at my local independent movie theater, Napping Princess. I only offer this as a disclaimer because I went into this movie with pretty much no expectations. All I knew was that the director had done Ghost in the Shell: SAC (which I still need to watch) and Eden of the East (which was a good premise with a disappointing ending and a review for another time). My lack of expectations prevented me from being disappointed, but also gave me no reference frame for this relatively average movie experience. Figure 1: Support your local independent movie theaters! Set in the near future just before the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, Napping Princess tells the story of a high school girl named Kokone Morikawa, the daughter of a car mechanic who retrofits cars with self driving technology. This self driving technology in the real world is paralleled with the life giving “magic” of Kokone’s dreams, where she is the princess Ancien who uses a magic tablet to try and save the kingdom from a monster called the “Colossus.” The movie weaves in and out of dreams and reality with the stories paralleling each other. A stock evil villain wants to steal the tablet and use its power for himself and after her father is captured, it’s Kokone’s mission to keep the tablet out of the evil man’s hands. The story’s premise is about as straightforward a fairy tale as you can get. All the characters are straight out of Central Casting with very basic motivations and little to no depth. The villain in particular was on the level of a Disney villain like Jaffar or Scar but without the memorable scenes that make those Disney villains beloved. Although the events of the story create suspense and drama, without the well developed characters of other children’s anime films like Miyazaki’s, the audience only has the spectacle to marvel at rather than actually being invested in the story itself, rooting for our protagonist and relishing in the villain’s demise. Figure 2: Joy was the best character by far The spectacle, the animation and art direction, was decent for a modern anime film. I’m still not sure that I am sold on how CGI is integrated into 2D animation, although it has improved significantly since I first complained about it. There were certainly some creative designs in this movie, particularly for the autonomous motorcycle, but much of the rest of the movie felt recycled and generic. Even the Engine Heads from the dream world had an unnecessarily Eva/Gundam style to it. If they were to go with the giant robot route, it seems obvious to make them more like Transformers, emphasizing their vehicular origins. The “Colossus” was disappointing as well, just being a simple lava monster that seemed to have no “real world” analogue (and not nearly as lifelike as the lava creatures like the Firebird or Te Ka). Figure 3: If we don’t have flying motorcycles by 2020 I’ll be severely disappointed There's more to ramble about (the Kingdom Hearts style music, the slightly confusing ending, why Joy is the only character I cared about) but to keep this review relatively brief, Napping Princess is a decent children’s anime movie. If you happen to have younger siblings around 5-10 years old, they will probably enjoy this anime more than the average Anime-Planet user. While it’s not a bad anime, I struggle to think of a reason to strongly recommend this anime to any other demographic, unless you have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon and just want to watch anime at a local movie theater.


First some items I need to adress. I'm Dutch to expect some spelling errors, if they are to annoying just message me and I'll fix it. My opinion may vary from others and this is fine. People are different so there is a good chance that I will not like what you love. Deal with it. I'm not telling you that you should hate it too, I'm telling you why I didn't like it. I'll try to keep swearing to a minimum but fail utterly on occasion. In general it is the more the anime pisses me off the more I swear so watch out for the low scored ones. Art: I have to give it to the animators here and the crew that worked on this. The anime looks amazing. Sound: Again, no complaints here. Like the art, a lot of time and effort went into this and it sho...listens(?). Characters: Main character is Kokone. She is in highschool and just goes about her life with her father. She has a habit of falling asleep and in her dreams she is a princess in a magical kingdom. Moria is a man who used to go to school with Kokone untill he transferred to Tokyo. They are still friends so when he visits they reconnect. Momotaro is Kokone's father and a skilled mechanic who can work wonders with machines. He gets kidnapped by Watanabe for stealing company secrets. Watanabe is a high ranking employee of Shijima Motors and after the secrets that Momotaro took with him when he left the company. Story. Konone is a young girl who sort of breezes through life with no real worries. Although he mother died when she was young she is happy living with her father. She has a habit of falling asleep whenever she can. She often dreams about a magical kingdom where she is the princess who has magical powers. Things change when Momotaro gets taken by someone from his past and she decides to go after him. Along the way she discovers that there is more to her dreams then she thought. Rant. While I love the animation and sound, I disliked the story. My main gripe is with the way the dream and real world mix. Unfortunately there is not much I can explain here without spoiling the entire anime and I'm unwilling to do that. This anime didn't deserve the hate that I usually reserve for things that I dislike. The story simply failed to get my attention so I was mostly bored throughout. The amazing animation not withstanding. If you watched and liked it then good for you but it wasn't for me.

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