Napping Princess – Mini Review

Our Dreams Have Meaning

That’s something a lot of folks believe. Some even think dreams can influence or predict the physical world. This is the case for high schooler Kokone Morikowa who finds herself having recurring dreams about an old bedtime story her dad used to tell her as a child called, Ancien and the Magic Tablet. When her father is taken away and a group of men are after his tablet, as well as Kokone herself, she soon realizes that her dreams may just be the key to everything.

Image result for napping princessNapping Princess really wishes it were a Ghibli film and there are times where it almost feels like one. Kokone is very much the kind of female protagonist that you would expect in a Ghibli film and the world is fairly fantastical, despite being rooted in the mundane. However, a Ghibli movie this is not.

On a conceptual level this is a really interesting world. You switch between the real world that Kokone occupies and the dream world of Ancien and the Magic Tablet whenever she falls asleep. This girl is crazy narcoleptic given how often that is, but really it hardly matters. When it comes to the dream world, it quickly becomes apparent that it is largely a mirror for events that occurred in the past when Kokone’s mother passed away and a vehicle to continue to propel that story forward.

If I had to describe this film in a word it would be that Napping Princess is straightforward. Despite the premise involving dreams and allowed to get out there, it never really goes very far with it. Which alone isn’t a big deal but the film still has moments where it can be confusing due to the way it chooses to tell its story.

Image result for napping princess bad guy
It is I, the EVIL bad guy who acts very EVIL!

There are several times in the film where cuts are unclear. Segments that linger just a bit too long, which ends up adding weird emphasis on unimportant details. Whole scenes that are definitely needed, but they go on so long that they undercut tension (looking at you stair climbing scene). Plus the weird inclusion of cartoon-y stock sound effects, at one point the villain becomes engulfed in flame and a toilet flush effect is used as his body crumples to the ground… why?

Napping Princess is held back by these flaws and a few questions the film doesn’t really bother explaining all that well. This is a film that is meant to be appreciated by children with some fare for adults, but I can’t help feel that the lack of clear explanation on things like the death of Kokone’s mother received unnecessary ambiguity in order to keep the film light for kids. Which would be fine but they show the death of the mom in the dream world, it just doesn’t exactly explain what actually happened. There is some stuff you can infer but that just ends up opening a whole can of  worms.

There are some higher concept ideas hidden away in Napping Princess, like magic represent technological progress. These are really cool, and worth mentioning, but some of these ideas would warrant their own articles so I wanted to at least mention them even though I won’t be exploring them today.

At the end of the day, this is a film that could have been great. The fictional world of Ancien and the Magic Tablet is fantastical and fun, really the best part of the film, but juggling that with the real world didn’t always work. With the interesting directorial choices on top of that, and you are left with a film that will certainly entertain, but probably won’t be your next favorite anytime soon. Too bad though, because this should have been a superb film, but at least it got closer to achieving that Ghibli magic than Mary and the Witch’s Flower ever did.


Have you seen Napping Princess? Do you believe that dreams can influence reality? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you would like to support my work please hit the donation button below. As always, thanks for reading!

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Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito – There Was a Sequel Film the Whole Time?!?

A Proper Sequel or Flashback Fodder?

Image result for planetarian filmIt’s no secret that I loved the short ONA series Planetarian when I first watched and wrote about it September 2017. When it FINALLY got a Blu-ray and DVD release from Funimation earlier this year I absolutely had to purchase it. That’s when I learned this little gem had a sequel film the whole time! Obviously, I had to watch this film and determine if this properly followed things up or was absolutely unnecessary. Continue reading “Planetarian: Hoshi no Hito – There Was a Sequel Film the Whole Time?!?”

Grave of the Fireflies Review – Guest Post by The Fullmetal Narcissist

Our First Ever Guest Post!

I was thinking pretty hard about the review slots last week and asked folks on Twitter what they may like to see when I was asked if I’d like to have a guest post. We’ve never had one of those before so I figure today was an excellent time for one! Today The Fullmetal Narcissist will be sharing his review of the Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies.

While The Fullmetal Narcissist has been a follower of mine for awhile, I haven’t gotten into his content until recently. I don’t know why I’m so slow on finding cool people, but I am glad to have discovered his content. He writes longer reviews that go into a fair amount of depth. If you like what you read below, be sure to head on over to his site where the same review is posted (link to that here) and tell him so! While you’re there, be sure to like his article and give him a follow as well. Continue reading “Grave of the Fireflies Review – Guest Post by The Fullmetal Narcissist”

Mary and the Witch’s Flower – A Fine Film but a Terrible Experience

Ponyo Goes to Luna Nova

It seriously felt like that. Mary and the Witch’s Flower is a film that I happened to be fortunate enough to go see in the theatre. The film itself is pretty good, there was some magic and whimsy there with the typical Ghibli feeling that one might expect from a studio that is an offshoot of said famed studio. That being said, I have a horror tale to tell like no other about the actual theater itself… Continue reading “Mary and the Witch’s Flower – A Fine Film but a Terrible Experience”

Anime ABC’s – K is for Kimi no Na wa

It’s no Secret that I Enjoyed This Film

Kimi no Na wa, or Your Name, is a film that I’ve talked about once before on Jon Spencer Reviews. I did a quick reaction/reflection on the film immediately after having seen it in theaters when it came stateside. Needless to say, I had a wonderful experience. That being said, I saw the film subbed then and my writing on the experience was hardly an in-depth piece on my opinion of the film. Today I’ll be talking in more detail about why I enjoyed Your Name so much and my thoughts on the dub this go around. Continue reading “Anime ABC’s – K is for Kimi no Na wa”

Your Name Experience

Saw Your Name This Friday

your_name_posterIt was great.

More than that really. This is the kind of film that speaks to me pretty deeply, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

I’m not really going to review the film or talk about how great the story was, how the characters were likable, or any of that. Instead, I’m going to keep it short and simple. Your Name is an experience, an experience that people should have. Even if you don’t like anime, give this one a shot.

What you’ll find is a compelling and human story that runs the emotional gambit. It can be silly at times. Sad at times. Happy at times. Funny… the list goes on. The point is, the film lives up to all they hype and attention it got and it would be a waste not to give it a moment of your time. So, if you have the chance, sit down and watch Your Name. Really watch it, with no distractions, and I promise it will be well worth your time.

Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale – My Experience & Thoughts on the Franchise

I Expected to Enjoy This Film, I Was Not Disappointed

7b0068aca81cbdc3b3930d745f5531961484313685_fullAlright friends I’m feeling pretty great after watching the latest installment in the Sword Art Online franchise. I was hopping to have a good time and enjoy myself, and I thought the movie would be pretty good too, but it exceeded all of my expectations. In this article I’m going to (briefly) run down my thoughts on SAO pre-movie and where I’m at it now having seen the film. With that, let’s get to it; Link Start! Continue reading “Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale – My Experience & Thoughts on the Franchise”

Wolf Children – My Favorite Anime Film & Why I Love it

Something a Little Different

This article is an adapted version of a script for an oral presentation that I will be giving for one of my business classes. I was tasked to discuss something I have a passion for, so I decided to talk about Wolf Children. The reason I decided to talk about this film is for the following reasons:

  • To challenge my class to explore a topic that they are unfamiliar with. Most members of the class haven’t even seen a Ghibli film, just as a frame of reference.
  • Wolf Children is universally relatable in its themes and ideas. The film is also in English (not that there is much dialog to begin with) which removes a barrier from my audience.
  • The film can be discussed without spoiling it. Additionally, Wolf Children requires no knowledge of anime tropes and conventions. End goal is to recommend the film.
  • I am genuinely passionate about anime (obviously) and wanted to talk about my favorite anime film.

Past that, there are a few guidelines for this article since it isn’t exactly the kind of thing I normally do. This isn’t strictly a review of Wolf Children, more just why I like it so much. I have to assume you don’t know squat about anime and keep the language a bit simpler than normal. There will be some video and images in the article to enhance readability that I am unable to include in my oral presentation (we aren’t allowed to use any media whatsoever). If you enjoy this sort of article and want to see more like it, let me know by leaving a like and comment saying so below. Enjoy! Continue reading “Wolf Children – My Favorite Anime Film & Why I Love it”

‘Akira’ Classic Film Review.

Grade: B-

Akira Movie Poster

‘Akira’ is considered by many to be an important film that paved way for future science-fiction classics, such as ‘The Matrix’ by The Wachowskis. It was also the film that was said to have introduced Anime to the Western part of the world. I have been wanting to see this film for a few years now; once I saw it in Target, the “movie critic” in me told me to buy it, considering it to be an important addition to my collection of film. (and what a wide variety I have.) After finally watching the film last night, I admit that it is definitely not the greatest Anime film I’ve seen in my life.

Continue reading “‘Akira’ Classic Film Review.”

5 Anime Films That Non-Anime Fans Can Enjoy

5 Great Films That Anyone Can Enjoy, Even Non-Anime Fans

Looking for some good films? Interested in seeing what anime may have to offer? Well than look no further! As I mentioned in my ‘How to Introduce Others to Anime’ article, it can be intimidating jumping into the plethora of anime out there. With this list I aim to recommend some great films and even try and convince some people to try something new. 

Rules for the list are as follows:

  • Ghibli is off limits. All of those films are pretty solid and get a recommendation from me, but since I want this list to be diverse I won’t be including any of them on it. If you want to know some good Ghibli films I recommend Spirited Away (check out my review of that), Howl’s Moving Castle, or Ponyo as a starting point.
  • No movies that require knowledge or are attached to a series. I have one exception on this list, but I’ll explain that one when we get to it. Without this rule you’d definitely see The Disappearances of Haruhi Suzumiya on here along with some others.
  • One movie per director. I want the list to be diverse, for similar reasons as there will be no Ghibli films.
  • Only films that are both subbed and dubbed are on this list. Want to be friendly to all audiences and subbed films are a turn off for a lot of people who may not watch this sort of thing regularly.
  • Each film will have a link to where you can purchase it, and if there is any way to stream the film (in NA) legally, I’ll link that as well. All films can be found at Rightstuf.com but I’ll only include the cheapest place.

With all that, let’s get on with the list! Continue reading “5 Anime Films That Non-Anime Fans Can Enjoy”