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 also a bland character, There is nothing special about his personality or there is rather pretty much nothing to say about him . 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.
The story of Hirune Hime was unique and delivered in a respectable manner; not too overly confusing and paced well enough for the viewer to start connecting points after a certain time.
The ending isn't particularly ambiguous in my view (the Collosus could be human-operated technology/resilience while "magic" is the advent of automation).
My only major gripes with the story and its transitions is Morio immediately accepting the situation and barely questioning anything and Kokone's great escape being a bit awkward.
Art [9/10] *The point I enjoyed most about the movie.
The artstyle here isn't your standard anime style of drawing characters, I felt that the characters
had a bit of detail sacrificed (shadow and lighting) and gained at the same time with more facial features. Scenery is extremely well done and detailed here, I appreciated it all the way throughout the movie. The final ending pan gave a bit of life into the town they live in, which is a really nice touch.
It's good, not much to say here as it's just good and borderline average, or not memorable as I heard it. I don't think it detracts from the movie at all and the OST does its job sufficiently in setting some tone.
I think some of the VAs, mainly Kokone and more noticeable with Morio, a bit raw with their performances, but it was still good. I didn't want to not hear them talk, it was more along the lines of noticing some small thing about their voices.
This is a really story/plot heavy movie, so character development and exposition is low. Sure you get to know everyone is by the end, but their motivations to act are kind of generic or not really memorable; slight exceptions can be made for Momotaro. With that being said, you don't really grow to dislike or like much of the cast because of how little you know or relate to them.
The story and art are the most memorable parts, I just personally found them to be very appealing. Really liked the way the two worlds combined in the end, the fantastic art/visuals reinforced the imagery of everything. I wouldn't mind rewatching; this story lends itself well to rewatches given that not everything's explicit to the viewer.
I don't think everyone will enjoy this, not everyone's interpretation of the story will be the same and thus the conclusion they draw may lead them to believe it wasn't that good. However, I think it's worth a watch for most people as it's trying something different.
Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari's premise does something interesting with the notion of dreams and reality being intertwined through the mind of Kokone Morikawa voiced by Mitsuki Takahata.
Some mild spoilers...you have been warned.
By this, LA means that Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari does something in lines of what Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! does with Rikka's delusions, but using Kokone's dreams instead. By the plot format of Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari utilizes Kokone's dreams of her own fantasy world to somewhat show events in Kokone's real life and vice versa in the effect of both dreams and reality being
interlaced in main driving (pardon the pun) force of this movie. That main driving force mainly involving Kokone's father Momotarou voiced by Yosuke Eguchi being embroiled in a business conspiracy and this translates into Kokone's dreams as Momotarou being a pirate and him being taken by the kingdom's forces with Kokone being the Princess and wanting to have her help Momotarou in the kingdom's corruption.
See how LA sees Kokone's dreams quite literally spilling into reality is kinda the charm to Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari, almost like Kokone's dreams correlate to the real world of hers and how it both affects Kokone's current situation as well as Kokone's dream self current situation, the easiest non spoliery example being how Kokone and Morio (a friend of Kokone) managed to get from Tokyo to Osaka, was that Kokone's motorbike had a self-driving program that accidentally took them to Osaka, this translating into Kokone's dream is that well Kokone and Morio are driving their bike/small mech to find Momotarou. To this end LA can say that it kept LA's suspension of disbelief of how any of this can be achieved in Kokone's reality as they give these hints afterwards, they just don't handwave it away like it's nothing, the only part however is near the finale where it almost swayed and almost pushed off LA's suspension of disbelief but nonetheless Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari managed to keep it's own rules it formed in check....for the most part.
Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari is but a simple story of a business conspiracy of a self-automated program for cars and because of Kokone's dreams translate into something bigger to the point of trying to save a kingdom from both the kingdom's own corruption and defeating huge lava monsters with mechas. But deeper down it's also a family-issue plot with generational gap differences, family and business disputes as well as wanting to protect your family, as much LA really doesn't like these issues or is annoyed by them (mainly how frequent this topic is in Japanese media) , HOW Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari portrayed it and in it's subtle ways through it's characters were enough to quell LA's ire rather quickly.
If there were some flaws LA found, well the only one LA could defend is "uhh Kokone's dreams don't translate well to reality", to that, no there are little subtle hints that MAKES it that way, that or you can just imagine it in a ways with what hints were given to make this, yes even the huge mecha's fighting lava monsters counts as this, metaphorically speaking...it is dreams after all, the other would be if the minor or main characters are bland, to that LA will say that no, if you can read between the lines both in the dream and reality subtext some of the most character developments you'd see in Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari would go to Momotarou and Kokone, yes the minor characters do support for the majority of the part but for the solid character development of this movie would be in bulk go to the main characters to which it has a focused narrative on (of course some minor characters development would be shafted with the narrative Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari has). The ONLY flaw LA could take as a small downfall to Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari would be the main villain of this movie, Ichirou Watanabe voiced by Arata Furuta mainly for the sake of him be rather an idiot in terms of villainy, sure his plans are thought out and he wants to cover his tracks and everything but damn is he incompetent to the point a TEENAGER thwarts him at EVER turn...just damn is this main villain deliberately incompetent for the sake of the plot.
In terms of animation by Signal. MD, the animation was decent as well as consistent for the most part and even better is how the animation incorporated it's fantasy and reality elements into the mix into something rather schizo-tech and genre-bending in it's animation style. With it's distinct character designs able to be noticed who's who in BOTH dream and reality aspects, the battles mainly the mech battles were an awe to see and even the animation taking liberties in showing real life Japan (see Tokyo and Osaka) just made the animation pop that much more. Signal. MD did a brilliant job in it's animation.
In terms of voice acting, well for LA at least these are some new faces or voices to hear in Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari with some obvious props to Mitsuki Takahata as Kokone and Yosuke Eguchi as Momotarou. as much as LA really disliked Ichirou Watanabe, LA can't fault his voice actor Arata Furuta as at least every time his character spoke he always had an air of evil scheming accompanied by incompetence about him, so Arata Furuta also did pretty well. The voice acting like it's animation is pretty impressive.
Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari is for LA at least what happens if Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! and Inception was made into an anime. Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari has ALOT of charm not only through it's characters and plot but also for what it's "gimmick" of dreams and reality being mixed together (and by this notion effectively having two simultaneously similar stories into one movie and using this form of storytelling VERY well) and LA went through a fun ride going through Kokone's reality and dreams interlaced in something as small as a business conspiracy taken up to an eleven as trying to protect a fantasy kingdom with bloody huge mech with LA's suspension of disbelief still in check!
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.
Are you familiar with movies such as Home Alone and E.T? Well, this is the anime version of it. In broader terms, this movie looked like it was made for kids, catering for the whole family. Let me explain why.
First, the plot structure is suspiciously similar to western movies targeted for children (This doesn't count as a spoiler, by the way. I'm just explaining how the plot structure works): Parent gets in trouble, kid discovers a treasure-worthy possession, travels the country, beat the bad guys via deus ex machina, saves parent and returns the possession, and they all live happily ever after. Heck, this structure
doesn't fit anime at all. It seems more fit for a live-action. But you may argue that it's set in a fantasy world, so it's more appropriate for animation. Yes, it would've been... if it weren't following a predictable structure that almost every kid has seen in every movie.
Next, we have the characters. Same thing. MC's your typical girl who's left in the dark until she discovers a valuable item and plays around with it, dad's secretly an important person, bad guys are klutz and greedy idiots, and side characters only show up for like a minute or so. Literally every character had a flat personality and there wasn't enough time for them to develop.
And don't even get me started with the soundtrack. I cannot emphasize how Hollywood-ish it is. I mean, the ending song sounds like it was written by a guy who recently watched Sharkboy and Lavagirl and was inspired to make music for the sake of mimicking western film melodies.
The only redeeming factor was the art style, which was not as good, but at least it still reminded me that I was watching an anime movie.
I'm sorry if I keep comparing it to western children's movies. There's just so much similarities that I just couldn't turn a blind eye on it. Did I enjoy it? Yes, but only because it reminded me of the good ol' times. Do I recommend it? For newcomers, maybe. But if you're looking for an unforgettable anime, then you might wanna reconsider.
I saw "The Napping Princess" at the film screening at AnimeFest in Dallas, TX on 17 August, 2017.
I really enjoyed the concept and how the film was directed during the first half; the interaction between the dream world and the real world was a joy to watch, with both stories paralleling each other nicely and the visual aesthetics supporting it. I found myself curious to see how things would connect between the two and was searching for these interconnections as the story progressed. Honestly, I was pretty satisfied by the end of everything. The story isn't anything fantastic, but it served it's purpose.
I have two
main complaints for the film. Firstly, and most importantly, I really disliked the main voice actress (and I wasn't particularly keen on the main male VA either). It didn't grow on me even by the end, which was a shame. I think I would have enjoyed the film more if she didn't grate on my nerves whenever speaking. Secondly, there is a point in the film where the two worlds are effectively blending together that left me confused. I could get the gist, but I felt myself so distracted by trying to understand what was happening that I couldn't really enjoy the scene. Perhaps a second run-through after seeing the film would rectify this.
Overall: it's a film I worth seeing once. I'll probably go with friends to see it again for the general theater release here in the states, but I doubly I'll seek it out again thereafter.
From Kenji Kamiyama, director of great works such as the spin-off Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex series and Seirei no Moribito, and the original creator of Eden of the East, comes a very... whelming film about a narcoleptic high school girl.
The premise is simple- this girl is about to graduate high school, and enjoys losing herself in fantastical lucid dreams. The dreams involve Ghibli-inspired adventures of fantasy mixed with the modern, and are very charming and child-like, much like fairy tales. The waking world is then mundane in comparison, but it uses the tone of the dreams to make a mostly relaxed
atmosphere that is more pensive than action-packed.
However, this tone is not consistent throughout the movie. It attempts a more action-packed plot of car chases, miscommunication, and family secrets that does not fit the tone established in the beginning of the film. What you might expect to be a sort of Slice of Life about this Napping Princess exploring her dreams turns into something more ridiculous and unrealistic. And that's where the plot falls apart.
The fundamental story is not bad, but the weaving together of dream and reality sequences turns it to mush. I do not think an audience will enjoy every aspect of both of them, but they are represented equally. Some people will enjoy the calm dialogue in the reality segments, discussing the girl's family history, and life in general. The dream sequences are action-packed and bursting with enemies, guns, mechs, and magic. The "villain" is a comically evil, hands-wringing man with a Satan-beard who orders his lackeys to capture an 18-year old girl... in both the dreams and real life. It's silly and it should've only been in the dream sequences. Why mix the two, only for that character?
The visuals are good, no complaints from me there. The animation is very good and uses its digital medium to make for some very nice motion and angles. The sound design is good but not very noticeable. Voice cast never stands out, but they never bothered me either.
Do I recommend Hirune-hime? Not really. If you're tired of Ghibli and want something a little more modernized, go for it. It's not a waste of time. But if you haven't seen all the Ghibli films, or even Summer Wars (which is similar to this movie in many ways), go watch those instead. They make for a better evening. 6/10.
I have sense lowered my overall rating for this Anime. When I saw that this Anime was coming out I got really excited. The reason that I did not like this Anime that much was that I felt it was a bit boring. I think it was also partially my fault. I had high expectations and the it turned out being just OK.
At the end of the day this is a cute story about family that warmed my heart and I really appreciated that. I enjoyed the optimism of female protagonist. At times it made her look 2 dimensional, but at the same time
it was refreshing.
If you watch this anime, I am sure you will be confused by two different stories and how they mix together. In my opinion, it is not important what is or what is not real. The point is, there are story elements that move the plot forward and it arrives at a resolution. The fact that I couldn't make sense of parts of the story, or how it fit in didn't bother me. But I am sure it will bother some.
It was a decent show, please watch it. But it wasn't anything special.
Whew... I mean, it's kinda bad but it's almost fascinating how it got this way. The production is pretty solid with generally-nice animation, a good setting (though the Olympics tie-ins are very sparse), and likeable characters, but the fundamental premise is just a stinker and the movie goes practically nowhere. Why did any of the napping segments even exist? Did the studio really just want to make some CGI mech fights? Did they think their plot for the real-life story was too thin (it was)?
I can't say I'm disappointed since I went in knowing this movie doesn't have the best of reputations, but I sure
wish this was a better movie.