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Anime / Napping Princess

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With our hearts united, we can fly!
Wands are lame, use a tablet.

Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me (ひるね姫 〜知らないワタシの物語〜 Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari) is a 2017 Japanese animated fantasy adventure film. Kokone, A Japanese Ordinary High-School Student and Sleepyhead, must save her father from a Corrupt Corporate Executive, learning about her family history and using her dreams to change her fate along the way.


This film provides examples of:

  • An Odd Place to Sleep: Kokone moves from the motorcycle's sidecar into the driver's seat, squeezing in next to her friend, in order to fall asleep.
  • Asleep in Class: Kokone sleeps everywhere, including in class.
  • Compromising Call: Kokone's father's attempts to warn her about Watanabe backfire when they cause her phone to make a noise while she's trying to hide from him in her house.
  • Cool Bike: Heart, the Heartland counterpart of Kokone's father's motorcycle, can fly, transform into a rideable robot, and was brought to life by Ancien's magic.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The main antagonist, Watanabe, is a senior member of Sajima Motors, and uses his power to influence the police and ultimately intends to make a hostile takeover of the company. In general, he does keep to legal means, however, and even wants the procession at the Olympic Games to go over well just as much as everyone else (even if that's just because it would be bad for him if someone was injured). His counterpart in Heartland is much worse, making sure the princess stays imprisoned, keeping the country in danger, and ultimately wants to watch everything burn when his plans are foiled.
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  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: It's eventually revealed that Kokone's dreams of Heartland contain fantasy allegories for events from the past. Specifically her parents' past.
  • Foreshadowing: The truth of Ancien's identity is implied right from the beginning, since Ancien's relationships don't line up with Kokone's, unlike the rest of the parallels.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: In her pirate outfit, Ancien has a pair of goggles. When she climbs to the outside of a towering Enginehead, she actually discards them (and her pirate hat), despite it seeming like the situation would make the goggles useful.
  • Her Boyfriend's Jacket: When they end up in the middle of nowhere on a cold night, Morio gives Kokone his jacket, and she continues to wear it for some time.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Engineheads in Heartland are towering mechs built to stop Colossals from destroying the city.
  • Keep the Reward: Kokone's father Momotaro likes to do extra work on his jobs, like transforming an old vehicle into a self-driving one during a job to fix a tire, but refuses to be paid extra for it (although he will take food instead of money). This annoys Kokone and is one of the reasons they seem to be in some level of Perpetual Poverty.
  • Le Parkour: Ancien is kept isolated in a glass tower suspended far above the city, so she learns to use narrow ledges and girders to sneak out into the city and back.
  • Living Toys: Ancien's stuffed toy, Joy, is brought to life in Heartland using her magic.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Mr. Saijima is unaware of Watanabe's shady actions to acquire his late daughter's research.
  • MacGuffin: Kokone's tablet, or rather the self-driving car software on it.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A recurring question (for the characters as much as the audience) starting when Kokone realizes she recognizes Watanabe from her dreams despite having never met him in real life. Most of the events are given a possible mundane explanation, and one is later confirmed, but most things are left ambiguous and how Morio and Kokone's father experienced the same dream as Kokone is never explained.
  • Missing Mom: Kokone's mother died when she was a baby, and learning more about her proves to be significant. It is revealed in the end credits that she was killed in an accident while on a test run of the self-driving car software.
  • Never Grew Up: As Ancien in Heartland, Kokone is still a little girl. Ultimately revealed to be a result of Kokone visualizing Ancien as herself when she heard the stories, which was when she was that young.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: It's left a bit ambiguous. Early on, having the motorcycle fly in Kokone's dreams appears to be how they reached Osaka, before Morio realizes that the vehicle has self-driving technology. At the same time, Morio and Kokone definitely shared the dream, which is unusual on its own (although only people aware of the stories are ever implied to have actually joined the dream, so it may just be a coincidence due to them knowing the details).
  • Parting Words Regret: Kokone's grandfather Isshin Shijima for dismissing his daughter's ideas and alienating her before her death. He resurrects her project for a Olympics procession to honor her.
  • Police Are Useless: A justified example. Early in the story, you have a senior member of a respected company claiming corporate espionage against a down on his luck guy who doesn't have much of a defense and his young daughter who seems to be obstructing justice. As the plot unfolds and the events become more ambiguous, the police develop more doubt and wonder why the executive is treating them like his personal henchmen. In the end, the police still don't get to do much, but it's simply because the hero already had all of the pieces they needed to resolve things beforehand.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Heartland is a fantasy world led by a king and starring his sorceress daughter. The king dedicates the kingdom to building cars, the kingdom builds mechs to protect the land from elemental Kaiju, the treacherous advisor's magic is cast using a typewriter, and the princess' magic is cast through the use of a tablet computer.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Consciously averted. Exactly the goal of the antagonist and what Kokone's father has done is not known right away, but Kokone refuses to believe that her family has done anything wrong. Later on, she steals the villain's briefcase, but only because her own stuffed animal was attached to it and she had no choice. When the protagonists realize they're low on money, it occurs to them that there is probably money in the briefcase, but decide using it would be stealing, and Kokone hands over the briefcase at the next opportunity.
  • Put on a Bus: Morio is absent from the end of the movie and is noted in dialogue to have returned to his school offscreen.
  • Real-Place Background: Kokone's hometown is based on Kojima, a town in Japan's Okayama prefecture famous for its jeans industry. It also offers access to the Great Seto Bridge, the world's longest two-tiered bridge system, which appears in key shots and in promotional materials.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Ancien is obviously proactive. Her father is distant for most of the movie, but at least steps in when he finally realizes what has been going on.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Kokone wears her uniform throughout most of the movie despite it mostly taking place after her summer break starts. Justified in that she is tired and falls asleep immediately after school, and once she wakes up is forced to hide and spends essentially the rest of the story on the run.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: All of Ancien's precarious parkour ultimately gets her killed when she falls from an Enginehead.
  • This Was His True Form: A variant. Ancien finally appears as her true self, Kokone's mother, just before she's about to die, as Kokone realizes that the Heartland stories had never been about herself, but her mother, all along, and the visuals of her dream change accordingly.
  • Tomato Surprise: In-universe, Kokone realizes that all along, Ancien was her mother and not herself, as she had believed.
  • Useless Without Cell Phones: Kokone's father has been emotionally distant for years, and Kokone comments that he even says good morning to her only in a text message.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Isshin Shijima just wanted to honor his late daughters work and had no idea of the lengths that Watanabe would go to get her research.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Most action scenes happen in Heartland... and Kokone often awakes confused in a different location.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Watanabe is never seen after the climax of the film, but given his actions he was fired at the very least if not outright arrested for endangering Kokone.