Continuing my journey with anime on Netflix, I decided to watch Lost Song after the disaster that was Hero Mask. The description got me interested in this because it said there would be singing and a quick cursory look at the staff revealed that Yukari Tamura (you may recognize her vocal performances in shows such as Island or Higurashi) would be a prominent character. While not every roll of hers involves singing, this one seemed like it obviously would, and that was enough to get me to watch. Unfortunately, the show had a lot of bad reviews, but I was convinced there might be something to this one.Continue reading “Lost Song – Straight Forward Children’s Fare?”→
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.
Napping 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.
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!
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”→
Love it or Hate it, We’re Stuck With 3D & CG Work in Anime
Since I took a look at Ajin‘s first season earlier this week I thought it might be interesting to explore my thoughts on the use of computer generated content and various 3D elements that are becoming ever present in the anime industry. Before all that though, let’s explore the history of CG in anime.
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.
Spirited Away is a film directed by Hizo Miyazaki that aired in 2001. This film is the most successful movie in Japanese history, has won multiple awards, and was even picked up by Disney themselves for distribution in the US. It follows the story of a young girl, Chihiro Ogino, as she is whisked away into the spirit world when her family wanders into an abandoned amusement park. Tasked with saving her parents and trying to survive in her new environment, Chihiro meets several interesting characters that aid her journey in this fascinating world.Continue reading “Spirited Away -A Timeless Classic-“→