This fender and genre-bending film takes us into the not-too-distant machine-driven future. Kokone should be diligently studying for her university entrance exams, but she just can't seem to stay awake. Aside from stealing precious study time, her napping is even more distracting, as it brings on strange dreams with warring machines that hint at family secrets that have been dormant for years. She can't ask her father, a hipster mechanic more talented and artful than his job requires, as he's always busy modifying motorcycles and cars in flights of fancy. What are these visions that lead Kokone at once closer to and farther away from her family? Like all the best anime, the film revels in multilayered fantasy to show how sometimes opposites—waking and dreaming, the past and the future—are far more intertwined than they appear.
Kamiyama Kenji has always been a very special director to me. His S.A.C. series is by far the best take on the Ghost in the Shell IP in my opinion, it's one of, if not THE one all time favorite anime of mine. I always hope this guy could get more attention and get more things done.
However "Hirune Hime" is kind of underwhelming. It's not really a bad film but the pacing is weird, the narrative is kind of childish, and the dialogue said too much.
In parts it kind reminds me of some of Kon Satoshi's
work, with the theme and the way it was approached, sadly it's not done nearly as good.
The animation is decent but not spectacular, the music is serviceable. Again, it's not really bad. But the story and the narrative just don't work... I can't help but see a better film, a great film buried deep within it.
I guess I was expecting way more from the man and the trailer. But how can you blame me?
Ever since my childhood, one of few things which intrigued me the most is these weird visions i had during my sleep, that is, dreams. Its quite funny that we don't know what has been in stored for us be fore we sleep, and what had happened after we woke up, even though everything just took place inside our heads. Hirune Hime (napping Princess) , the movie in question, Also tried to explore this concept of dreams in a interesting way, But unfortunately failed at properly executing the idea.
Well, Before watching it, I really had no idea what the movie is going to be about,
But after the curtains dropped, I have to say, I still have no idea what it was about.Honestly, I had really high hopes from the movie, given that its made by the director of ghost in the shell, BUt i was really disappointed with the result. The major problem is that, The movie lacked direction. It had a promising start, But it just scatters off in all directions afterwards. The movie tried to showcase a mix of different genres, but it failed at doing so properly and the way everything happens, you couldn't really take anything that happened seriously.
The Movie itself is quite ambitious. It tries to explore quite a variety of genres and had a unique way of story telling. It made quick transitions from reality to dreams , resulting in a change of scenario in between the scenes but the way of progression of the events was still the same. And all of this could have resulted in something good, if it was not for the poorly written story.
The story can get difficult to describe, Its a mix a different things unrelated things mixed in a hog-pog manner. It follows kokone, a high school girl who sees this weird dream every day where she is the princess of a world of cars. Her father is a genius mechanic who was arrested for false charges and now in the process of saving him, she discovers the truth about him and her dead mother and how her dreams are not just her mere imaginations. Also in the background, another story is taking place in a different world, which is in kokone's head.The events that take place are mostly same in both of them, but the other one is more a fantasy based world with magic. Occasionally, Both worlds come together, Tho things still happen inside the girls dreams . They try to bring together both of them by the climax, and to be honest, that part was still good.
Honestly ,The beginning part was not half bad and I kinda Liked it. It gave a vivid description of the unique world of kokone's dreams and also a bit about her normal life. The things were also going fine till the airport part, but from there the movie started to scatter around and I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy the rest . However the little transitions between dreams and reality were still really fine and it was also an interesting way to show scenes which, otherwise would have been very plain .
The characters are yet another weak link here. They are really plain and are mostly one dimensional and there is no development,Tho this part can be overlooked . Most characters do not have well defined personality and do not really fit the roll they are doing. The antagonist, for example, is just very poorly made with no clear motives and a stupid personality And so can be said for Morio. Despite having a major part, he pretty much seems useless and I am still not sure for what reason he was there in the movie anyways.The father is better made character, as he has a personality and is able to think and make good decisions on his own. Kokone is simple girl in her last year of high school and is planning to go to a university in Tokyo . However she also has a secret life, The one in her dreams, where she is a princess of a country and has magical powers thorough which she fights wit the bad people along with a pirate.There is not really much to praise or complain about her character,Tho I quite like her, for some reason.
One of my favorite parts was the ending credits, where they showed the past of kokone's mother and father and also how they met. The few scenes shown were enough to convey a lot about their history, and also song was great too.
I don't usually talk a lot about art style, as, the opinions vary for different people. The color palette is made of solid colors. and is quite bright . It fits really well and creates a good atmosphere during the transitions to the fantasy world. The animation is fine for most part, but there are a some visible inconsistencies and its not really fluid either, But to be honest, I can overlook that, as it is not really prominent. The character design is good and I don't really have any complains. The ending theme, "daydream believer" is extremely well done and I really like it. Tho it would have been better if it was played during the scenes too.
In conclusion, The movie is quite different from what you might expect it to be. Its not bad and had a promising start, but it couldn't really hold that for for long.The way things happen is a result of poor writing and execution of ideas. Most of it is pretty forgettable and there is not really a lot to praise it for.It is also that, I had some good expectations from the movie during the start, and it didn't really stand up to my expectations, and it might not be as bad As I make it out to be.So,Just don't really go in with high expectations, You might not like then. Also this movie is not something i would really recommend to people unless you have absolutely noting else to watch.
This movie has just been released in my country. Its screen name in my country is translated "Decoding the dreams". Knowing that shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I didn't expect much about this movie in the first place.
The best thing of this film is its beautiful visual (but not that breathtaking).
Mysterious, adventurous, fantasy, are what I can say about its genre.
Sounds like a Ghibli movie but I considered much worse.
The concept of this movie reminds a lot about Steamboy (the dream of automation) and Paprika (dreams - reality blending).
I have to say the story is its ultimate weakness. It
tends to be confusing, mysterious but there are too many plot holes and tons of details that make me wonder: "What is it for ?", "Why is it so cringy ?". Ehhh....and the mecha parts....I don't have a word to say =.= . In conclusion, the story is quite childish for me but at the same time it is filled with symbolic images which makes it's hard to understand what's going on for kids.
The music was good but not that outstanding (8/10). So far, my most favorite ost from anime movies are from Kimi no nawa and Mononoke princess.
Finally, I have a huge impression on Kokone, the main character. That's another bright point of this movie.
I had the distinct pleasure of attending what was at the time the second premiere of the film in North America at an anime convention, as well as attended a panel where I got to hear from the directors and some of the creative staff. My initial reaction to the film was that it was visually interesting and entertaining, but also a little childish for me. I found the story to be mildly confusing at times, but with the help of some analysis of my friend who was a film critic, I appreciated what it was doing. Hearing from the creators themselves was especially
eye-opening, and I gained even more appreciation for what the film was doing. Essentially, it is a creative adaption of an old Japanese tale, which is partially why the story feels simple: much like how disney adaptions of fairy tales, while very beautiful, told simple tales historically. I wouldn't elevate this to Studio Ghibli levels, but I would urge you to consider that there is much more intention behind this and as a foreigner, we don't have the full story. Give it a watch for a fun family-friendly adventure with a multi-layered meaning.