Review: Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me


Do Not Sleep On Napping Princess

Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me (also known as Ancien and the Magic Tablet) is an anime film that when under my nose, and perhaps under the nose of many of my acquitances as well, but I’m glad that I finally got to check it out. As far as anime films go, last year I was caught up with One Piece Film Gold, Your Name and A Silent Voice, In This Corner of the World (And even Kuroko’s Basketball: Last game, although not in theaters) that anything else would fly under my nose, but honestly, it’s better late than never and I’m glad that I was finally able to watch this movie.

Napping Princess (Blu-ray)
Studio: Production I.G
Licensed By: GKids
Released: January 30h, 2018 (NA)
MSRP: $14.99

Napping Princess takes place in two different settings; a near-future Japan and Heartland, a fictional world that Kokone Morikawa, the main character, travels to when she falls asleep. Heartland is a society entirely revolving around cars, with the King's castle being a car factory, and his subjects all come to it to make a constant wave of new cars. In this world, Kokone, otherwise called Anicen in Heartland, appears as her younger self, and has a "magic tablet" she uses to give life to various machines. With this, she uses it to give live to a blue plush named Joy, and a motorcycle named Heart.

However, the king wasn’t happy with her actions and orders Ancien confined to her tower. Additionally, Heartland is under threat from a gigantic monster of molten metal called the Colossus. Meanwhile, Ancien partners up with spying a motorcycle-driving subject of the king's named Peach to defeat the Colossus together with him, while the king's chief adviser Bewan plots against both the king and Ancien.

In the real world, Kokone is almost done with her school term, looking into what college to attend, and meeting up with her old friend Morio who has returned from Tokyo from his first year in college. Kokone lives with her single father Momotaro; her mother passed away n an accident while Kokone was still young. Additionally, her father has a jacket like Peach's, a blue bear doll, a motorcycle, and a cracked tablet, all similar to the ones seen in Kokone's dreams.

Later on, Momotaro is abruptly arrested three days prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and accused of stealing the car company Shijima Motors' secrets. A main in a suit who looks identical to the Heartland king's evil adviser visits the Morikawa household and is overheard to be searching for both the magic tablet and Kokone. Kokone recieves a text message from her father that he sent from jail, warning Kokone not to trust the adviser, who is named Watanabe. Attached to the text message, there’s a picture of a younger Momotaro, his wife, and Watanabe. With Morio's help, Kokone evades Watanabe and his men and recovers the stolen tablet and bear doll, driving away in the family's motorcycle. While I did enjoy the story, the movie isn’t really too memorable. It left a lot to be desired, but it was certainly cute.

With Yoko Shimomura being responsible for the soundtrack, I definitely expected greatness. While it doesn’t top her other works like Unfinished Battle from the original Xenoblade, she met my expectations. Talking about high expectations and quality, the movie was animated by Production I.G (Signal.MD), known for animating series likeKuroko’s Basketball. The style is certainly unique too.

The overall Blu-ray packeging is great. To me it doesn’t make sense when Anime sets don’t include English subtiles that go alongside the English dub but thankfully Napping Princess delivers by including English subs that go with the Dub and the Original Japanese audio. To top it off, it also has a French dub and subs to go with it. If you’re interested in bonuses, it includes an interview with the director Kenji Kamiyama, scenes when the movie aired in Japan, trailers, and more.

If you missed out on watching Napping Princess in theaters, I would definitely recommend getting this movie via Blu-ray, especially for the price. It has good animation and definitely an interesting story. Do not sleep on Napping Princess. 

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Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me reviewed by Christian Chiok



Impressive effort with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.
How we score:  The Japanator reviews guide


Christian Chiok
Christian ChiokContributor   gamer profile

Christian has been a gamer since his early childhood. He's a big fan of the King of Fighters and the Metal Slug series. Additionally, Christian enjoys cooking, listening to music, watching anime ... more + disclosures



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