Review: NAPPING PRINCESS ひるね姫 (2017) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Review: NAPPING PRINCESS ひるね姫 (2017)

Kokone Morikawa (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata) is the main protagonist in NAPPING PRINCESS (2017)

Kokone Morikawa (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata) is a small-town high school girl from Okayama who can easily fall asleep. During her sleep, she often dreams of a technologically-advanced fantasy world called Heartland where she is a princess named Ancien. When her father (voiced by Yosuke Eguchi) in real life is suddenly arrested in Tokyo, Kokone's world of dreams and reality somehow related to each other.

REVIEW: One thing that got me intrigued about checking out this anime feature is Kenji Kamiyama, the veteran anime filmmaker best known for directing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series.

Ancien (voiced by Mitsuki Takahata) and her talking soft toy, Joy (Rie Kugimiya) in NAPPING PRINCESS (2017)

In his latest anime feature, NAPPING PRINCESS a.k.a. ANCIEN AND THE MAGIC TABLET, Kamiyama does a good job in the visual department. The animation, ranging from the small-town backdrop of Okayama to the fantastical world of Heartland, are all gorgeously rendered. The movie is also blessed with Mitsuki Takahata's likeable, yet engaging voice performance in her dual roles as Kokone Morikawa and Ancien. Kudos also go to some of the supporting characters, which includes Rie Kugimiya as Ancien's talking soft toy-sidekick, Joy and Shinnosuke Mitsushima as Kokone's best friend, Morio.

A scene from NAPPING PRINCESS (2017)

However, the plot written by Kamiyama himself tends to be confusing. While the premise itself is interesting, the biggest problem here lies in its hazy and incoherent execution. Not to mention Kamiyama's opaque narrative style raises plenty of uncertainties throughout the movie. This is especially true with some of the questionable natures related to Kokone. For instance, why is she such as a sleepyhead?

Still, despite some of the movie's shortcomings, NAPPING PRINCESS remains decent enough as a charming anime feature.

Despite the questionable storyline, NAPPING PRINCESS is a visually arresting anime feature blessed with Mitsuki Takahata's delightful dual performances as Kokone and Ancien.

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