Unlike Napping Princess’ protagonist, Kokone Morikawa, you won’t catch yourself falling asleep to this one. Napping Princess is an ambitious movie which takes place over two worlds, the real world and a dream-like world, with the latter only being accessed with Kokone is sleeping.
Napping Princess intertwine two different worlds together to create one overarching story, and it can be a little hard to follow. Wanting to not let her magic tablet – which can bring life to sentient objects – fall into the hands of people who wish to use it for bad, Kokone has to experience two distinctly different worlds to find out the truth and, of course, to foil any evil plans.
I appreciate what director and screenplay writer Kenji Kamiyama was trying to go for with Napping Princess, but I feel that it gets too bogged down in its ambition that it ultimately hampers its narrative – at least on a first viewing. Whilst it might take a second viewing to fully appreciate that Napping Princess is doing, at least you get to enjoy the lovable cast’s presence once again!
Anything is possible and Napping Princess runs along with that to the extreme. One thing that lies under all of its extravagance is a theme of friends and family, which is something I really enjoyed. I’d struggle to recap this movie to somebody though, but there’s a lot to unpack here and you should definitely check it out for yourself.
Signal.MD have created an anime which excels in both 2D art and CGI, and I couldn’t get enough of it. A true feast for the eyes, Napping Princess has masterful art and a lovely art style which makes the most of its two worlds.
It’s a very scenic movie and details in how the characters move, how the wind blows and in the lighting make this feel very real, despite being otherworldly much of the time. I’ve always been fine with CGI being included in anime, and Napping Princess can go a long way in making CGI acceptable to the wider anime-watching audience too.
Brina Palencia and Chris Niosi lead the cast as Kokone and Morio, and I had a great time watching this dubbed in English. Many cast members in both the English and Japanese versions of the movie haven’t done much in the way of voice-over work before, but they take to the microphones as if it’s natural to them.
The soundtrack is composed by legendary composer Yoko Shimomura, best known for her work on Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV and Street Fighter II, so don’t expect anything less than outstanding from Napping Princess’ music.
I enjoyed Napping Princess and would watch it again, and maybe then it would make more sense to me. I feel that it’s ambition is amazing and I applaud it, but it comes at the sacrifice of having a tale that sometimes becomes a tad difficult to follow. I had an easier time following Your Name!
Napping Princess is worth checking out with its beautiful visuals, excellent soundtrack and voice-acting and its ultimately heartwarming story, but be warned that you might need to check it out twice to fully grasp what the story that Kenji Kamiyama is telling.
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